on March 18, 2007
The Frankfurter Hof is the flagship hotel of Germany’s Steigenberger luxury hotel group. It is also the Grande Dame of luxury hotels in Frankfurt – it offers stylish, understated luxury, never flashy and for many the place of choice despite competition from newer establishments nearby such as the Hilton and Inter-Continental. The entrance into the hotel is through a small door on a quiet side street rather than through the porticos facing the small Kaiser Square. Personnel are helpful and check in was swift.We made reservations through the Steigenberger Website (www.steigenberger.de) where Standard, Deluxe, and Superior double rooms were all going for the same price of €140. There were no descriptions of the different rooms so we opted for Superior and that was not a bad choice. The room was positively big. The main room has a sleeping area at one end a comfortable lounge area at the other. Just off the entrance was a separate walk in closet storeroom with sufficient space for six suitcases, lots of hangers, and a pants press. A large desk and several telephone plugs may be of interest to the mainly business clientele. Phone charges are however high and "toll free" numbers are charged at €5 per call making the use of even phone cards expensive. The price list of the minibar is another reminder that the Internet special is not the regular price.This was our first stay in a Steigenberger Hotel but as we have since learned and got to expect is that the Steigenberger Hotels give more thought about bathrooms than the average hotel. It is beautiful – shiny stainless steel fittings, white tiles and a dark marble floor and countertop. All well lit. The bath has shower fittings and a glass divider that actually manages to keep the floor dry should you prefer to shower rather than bath. The stream of hot water is strong. The ventilation is superb keeping not only the mirror clear but making a total mockery of the old hang-the-creased-blazer-behind-the-door-while-showering technique. And above all the plumbing is quiet – you can hardly hear it while inside the bathroom and not at all while in the sleeping area.The Frankfurter Hof offers value for money when Internet specials are available. During trade shows – and there are many in Frankfurt – expect to pay full price. During the main trade shows such as the annual Book fair in October not even the manager’s mother dreams of staying here – rooms are booked out years in advance.Some stay in the Frankfurter Hof because of its location. Others stay there because of the understated luxury and class. For me the quiet plumbing alone will be reason enough to return.
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