The Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne is a luxurious hotel, if a little old fashioned, with its wood panelling and mirrors, but the service and the attention to detail is spot on. Very smart and polite receptionists sign you in and escort you to your room. I loved the fact that the rooms have old fashioned keys with heavy metal fobs.
Spacious bedrooms with fluffy pillows and quilts welcome you with their comfort – and I had the added attraction of a room looking right out onto the stunning Cathedral across the street. And it wasn’t a problem being so close to the bells as the thick double glazing keeps all the noise out.
There is a mini bar in the room and it is free. Okay so all it has is a couple each of beer, coke, fruit juice and water but it is nice not to be faced with additional charges for this.
Breakfast is a combination of continental buffet and cooked to order hot items. I particularly enjoyed their eggs and bacon. And the grapefruit juice was so fresh and cold I had three glasses both mornings.
Only slight niggle was that the room was very warm. There was a portable air conditioning unit in the room but switching it on was like having a jet engine spooling up in your room. Impossible to use at night.
The hotel is close to the main station, the aforementioned Cathedral and many restaurants and Bauhauses. Check out Gaffel Am Dom next door where you order Kolsch beer in small glasses of only 0.2l. The bar staff will simply bring you a refill whenever your glass is empty.
This led quite quickly to the end of the session with a bill amounting to “Two Sausages and 12 Beers.”