Holidays close to home? Not just due to Covid-19, I felt it to be more and more attractive to have a night or a weekend away from your home and just have a lovely day and night in a new atmosphere. The Marriott hotel in Bonn thereby fascinated me due to it is excellent and amazing location. In early August 2020, my wife and I took a weekend night – and unfortunately were disappointed after the stay.
Marriott Bonn Hotel – Location
The Marriott Bonn is not the best rated hotel in the city (in fact there is one five star hotel in Bonn, the Kameha Grand, which is driven by the same company), but it is very likely the one with the most picturesque location: right in the heart of the former German government area, the hotel is just a short walk from River Rhine, the United Nations buildings and the World Conference Center (the former German parliament). It is adjacent to the Rheinaue park, so that you can have long walks in a beautiful environment. It is still quite central and the metro station Heussallee / Museumsmeile is about a five minute walk away.
As mentioned, the area features a lot of interesting facilities and the Museumsmeile, the “Museum Mile” has some stunning places like the German House of History (Haus der Geschichte), but you may lack some facilities like supermarkets around. However, as the traffic connection is good, this may likely not disturb you.
Marriott Bonn Hotel – Rooms
The room rate for a deluxe room was 225 Euro. It, however, included breakfast and a three-course meal dinner for the evening. The deluxe room featured the view over the River Rhine and the Siebengebirge mountains. The room was not too bad at first sight, but overall, it was not pleasing regarding the hotel chain, its rating and the price. The room did have a modern touch. The first thing we recognized was that the part of the super-long work desk where you should put your luggage on was far too short – it may barely suit a hand-luggage trolley. The bed was quite nice and overall, it looked quite fine – but also not too welcoming, catching, special – or whatever might cause the “Wow”-effect for you.
The bathroom was really a beauty. However, the water tap system with buttons was quite ridiculous, especially as it was located on the wrong side in case you wanted to have a bath. Amenities were rather sparse.
Coming to the details, which made us really feel uncomfortable. First of all, there was a mass of small white flies in the room. We claimed that at the reception and they asked us where we had opened the window the whole day (right after check-in). They cleaned it while we had a walk at the river. The wall had a couple of marks. I am not the type of person who is wiping everything with a white cloth and searches for dust, but the level of dust in the hairdresser was just impressive – there hasn’t been a cleaning of this item for weeks.
Even worse, the room had old, run-down service overview brochures – which by the way gave us wrong information about the service times. How on Earth can you present a room like that with a multiple-times used and touched catalog? Still today, it is hard for me to understand that. Finally, the carpet looked terrible and dirty. Another guest even complained about it at the reception and claimed for another room. It may partially be a very unfortunate choice of the flooring – but it looked terrible and not welcoming.
Marriott Bonn Hotel – Breakfast / Food
No doubt, the top floor restaurant Konrad’s is a real beauty with a lovely view over the River and the area. You can even sit outside on a balcony. The level is shared with a well-reputed bar: if you head left from the elevators at the entrance, you enter the Skybar, the right wing is the restaurant.
There is no fixed separation between the two areas so that I was quite confused that the table next to us had a burger, which we did not even have on the menu. The service was a mess, unfortunately. They first assigned us to a terrible table, then we had to stand next to a taken table because the waitress forgot us as she recognized the original table (why do you book a table that far in advance when you end up with a lousy one?). Overall, the service was not too personal and very slow.
Dinner: 3 plus 1 Dish
The dinner menu for half board hotel guests was a selection between a meat menu and a vegetarian one. I had spotted that menu a week before our stay on the website already, so the selection may not be too thrilling if you have more nights. Caused by all the confusion, we got the wrong (the vegetarian) starter – so that we finally ended up in a four course menu. The food was good, we also enjoyed the bread and a cocktail after dinner.
Breakfast was buffet under Covid-19 regulation, which majorly means that there are one-way routes through the buffet area. This did not work out too well, but I am explicitly blaming the hotel guests for that, not the hotel – the concept overall was okay. The setup of the buffet was strange though – so that for example warm items were spread over the whole area). We were sitting close to the live cooking station – which definitely was a lack of organisation, as the people queued there and thus had no other option than standing right next to the tables in the area. Still, breakfast has been quite nice – unfortunately, it was served on ground floor level and not on the posh roof level.
Marriott Bonn Hotel – Spa / Sports
One part of the Marriott Bonn service, which is extremely popular among hotel guests, is the spa. I wanted to at least have a short check of it after dinner – but even though the reception said that it should be open at that time, there was no staff downstairs (the spa seems to be driven by an external party). On Sunday after breakfasts, there were hordes of people going down to basement level in bathrobes – so either the area is huge or it was really packed. Indeed, the pictures on the hotel website look great.
Thus, I just could check out the hotel fitness area, which is accessible by room key 24/7. It felt rather compact.
Marriott Bonn Hotel – Services
The reception area of the hotel is really beautiful. There are a lot of references to the political history of the area in the hotel. While the reception staff was helpful with the issues about insects in the room, I overall did not enjoy their service too much. They really struggled to give you the right information. On top of that, the hotel information in the TV set entertainment system were wrong (e.g. regarding spa times). These things have to be maintainable with very limited effort in my point of view.
Not just the proximity to the congress center, but more than that the facilities within the hotel complex are really interesting. There is a confectionery store in the lobby area. A very popular distraction is the GOP cabaret theater, which I visited at another day before and really enjoyed it. The hotel does feature a parking garage (which can be used for congresses and GOP as well. The capacity feels a bit limited, but you even save 5 Euro and just pay 15 Euro per night when you use the additional parking garage across the street. In-room WiFi was fine.
Marriott Bonn Hotel – My View
Of course, when you spent a certain amount of money in a well-reputed hotel chain is such an amazing location like the Marriott Hotel Bonn, you do have a certain level of expectation. You want to relax, have a nice weekend, maybe enjoy the spa. It should be a good time, a good investment – and then, money is a subordinate factor.
If that is my key criteria, Marriott Bonn was a fail. The hotel performed so far below its potential. A run-down, partially dirty room, no view for hospitality (otherwise, you just cannot leave old brochures nowadays…) – even the reception performance simply was below expectations. Finally, it is an amazing location which is the key advantage of Marriott Bonn to me – coming with some amenities like the lovely view or the link to the cabaret. That’s not sufficient for a stay, which finally costed us, including all fees and expenses, some 280 Euro for one night. Thus, I would recommend to look out for alternatives if you long for a night in the area.
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