Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Peaceful retreat in the Heart of Frankfurt

If you've often put off flying to Europe because you don't want to be in the sardine can at the back of the plane, and don't think you can afford to be in the front, here's an idea. Book your seats in the Club Class on Air Transat and for about $2,000 you will have all the amenities of Business Class at a much lower price.

Moreover, you'll arrive at your destination more refreshed than if you've been tossing and turning trying to get comfortable at the back of the plane.

Not knowing how refreshed we might be when we arrived in Frankfurt, I decided we should stay at a nice hotel, before setting off on our four week journey around Germany.

Having no idea where to stay, we did what we often do....and checked out TripAdvisor to see what its subscribers thought was the best place to stay. At the time, the Number 1 hotel was the Rocco Forte Villa Kennedy Hotel and Spa, (at the moment it's number two!) a peaceful retreat created from the historical and heritage-protected Villa Speyer, which was built in neo-Gothic style in 1904. Between 2000 and 2006, it was enlarged as a hotel.

It offers 163 rooms ranging in size from 35 sq.m. As an architect, I can tell you that's a very large room. There were also 36 suites, but we thought a deluxe king would be just fine.

The hotel feels unlike anywhere we have ever stayed before. While the decoration of our room was somewhat austere with a bit too much beige and brown for our North American taste, it was very large with an extremely well-appointed bathroom.
The rest of the property has a very elegant feel. This is due in part to the fact it is comprised of a number of different buildings, no doubt constructed at different times.  I was told that apparently at one time Max Plank did some of his research in one of the buildings

After checking into our room, I decided to seek out the Spa where I found a beautiful pool, whirlpool, sauna, and indoor and outdoor relaxing areas.  While in the Sauna, I was chatting with a dermatologist who had been participating in a conference. At that point I heard a woman's voice. Since there was no one else around he asked "Do you mind if my friend comes in?" "Of course not", I replied as a tall, shapely woman holding a towel came in and sat down beside her friend in the darkened sauna.

He remarked that most saunas in Germany are mixed male and female, but for some reason this one wasn't.  I'll have to check this out some more in future hotels around the country!

The indoor relaxation came with a variety of herbal teas, (I chose ginger) and headphones which you could plug into the wall for relaxing music.

Given that 2 hours earlier I was still sitting on the plane, this was about as good as it gets!

While I can hear traffic outside our window with the window open, I have no idea where we are in relation to the heart of the City, but I know that we're close to the river, and it will be easy to get a cab if we don't want to walk too far.

That's because I learned on my taxi ride in from the airport that there are about 1700 taxi cabs for a population of about 700,000 in Frankfurt. According to our driver, this ratio was fine when the Americans were visiting and the US army had people stationed here.  However, today, in his opinion, there are simply too many cabs in a city that also offers very good public transit.

Given my ongoing campaign to get more taxis in Vancouver, you'll hear more about this later!

Last night, on the recommendation of the concierge, we went to a lively nearby German restaurant for a typical German dinner. In conversation with a charming couple seated at our table, I mentioned where we were staying. They were very impressed....and so are we!  It's a very good place to stay in Frankfurt!

1 comment:

Andreas said...

Wish you could be here on this nice Hotel on Frankfurt airport