By Don Heimburger
Photos by the author
I haven’t been to perhaps more than six InterContinental hotels in my lifetime, but I have to admit that each one more than exceeded my expectations.
Many are oases in the middle of busy cities, with street noise and lots of hustle and bustle; yet, entering the lobby of the Frankfurt (Germany) hotel, I found myself already starting to relax.
The Frankfurt City Center hotel on Wilhelm-Leuschner Strasse, managed by Thomas Hilberath, who has a knack for pleasing his upscale guests, attracts a clientele with above average income. This includes many businessmen, but also leisure travelers, who come to Frankfurt to take in the sites. And when the annual Christmas Market begins in Advent, it’s just a 15 minute walk from the hotel to the Roemer Platz, where this popular event is held.
The lobby exudes a warm atmosphere and is a very busy place at 10 a.m., with professionals having discussions in the hotel’s lobby lounges. At the same time, bags await transfer to waiting cabs, and the hotel staff keeps busy helping guests find directions, check out and check in.
This 21-story hotel towers above the Main River and affords spectacular views of the city center as well as the Main. One of my night shots of the river from the top floor could probably win a prize.
The 770 rooms available are classed as standard, deluxe and suites, and a different range of services and room footage come with each type of room.
From my corner room I got a sweeping view of the skyscrapers from one set of windows and what was going on near the river on the other side of the room out the other windows.
Standard rooms of 280 square feet feature warm room colors and are equipped with high-speed internet connections. Bathrooms feature a black and cream and gold design. Bathrobes, hair dryers, in-room safe, coffee maker/tea-maker, mini-bar and iron/ironing board are featured in all standard rooms, as is a work desk, television with cable and satellite channels.
Deluxe rooms are on the 19th and 20th floors of the River Wing (the hotel has two wings, one across the street from the other), and measure about 540 square feet. There is turn-down service at night, complimentary morning newspaper and a separate check-in area at the front desk for these guests. Deluxe rooms also feature a separate sitting area, and the bathrooms are roomier and even more upscale with more features. A valet service is also available in Deluxe rooms.
The Panorama Suites feature an elegant living room, a more luxurious bedroom, a whirlpool and even a complimentary meeting room.
24-HOUR FITNESS ROOM
Strolling around the hotel, you’ll find a 24-hour health-fitness center on the ground floor, which is complimentary; massages, manicures and facials can be arranged. The business center offers high speed internet and wireless LAN in public areas such as the hotel lobby.
On the 21st floor is the Club InterContinental Lounge for guests of this floor. The bar on the first floor, which takes its name from the German stock market index, DAX, and Frankfurt’s skyscraper-inspired nickname, DAXx Mainhattan’s Bar, is located just off the lobby and stays open until 1 a.m.
Two restaurants offer guests modern cuisine as well as Italian specialties. Signatures Veranda Restaurant features a fusion of haute cuisine from across Europe, with a menu to suit every palate featuring varying themes. Regional dishes, steak, or fish are available and served in the private dining room, summer terrace or veranda, depending on the weather. The dining room is also where breakfast is served.
Breakfast is a hearty meal, with juice, eggs, scrambled or to order, sausages, bacon, potatoes, toast, tomatoes, beans, breads, jams and jellies, cold cuts, cereals, coffee and even champagne, plus plenty more for those who need to carb up for a long day. The wait staff is pleasant and courteous.
Leons Italian Restaurant, inside the hotel, is where you can enjoy a long, leisurely meal in the ambiance of a 1920s-style Italian cafe. Popular classics include pasta, pizza and meat and fish dishes, and a cold glass of beer or wine tops off the meal. The large bar area and live piano music lure young professionals, who often stop by for drinks after work.
Trip Advisor customer comments about the hotel include these two: “Excellent, quick check-in. Room may have been small, but it was clean and comfortable, along with nice large towels. Breakfast was very good with great coffee. Very close to the train station and a beautiful walk along the river to the Christmas market. “
A second comment was, “The staff (was) quick to complete the check-in formalities. The travel desk is also very informative. Breakfast is good and location is very close to main station.”
I’d stay at the InterContinental again. Good location next to the busy train station and to the main part of busy “Mainhattan,” good food and service, and a competitive price add up to what I’d call a hotel with staying power.