A lonely place with North Sea view (or, at least, a bit of that) – doesn’t sound too bad, does it? There weren’t too many available options when we had to shift our July 2021 plans away from a trip to New York – but the Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven in East Frisia (in German: Ost-Friesland, but not Ostfriesland – won’t explain the difference 😉 ) felt like a nice option. Here are my thoughts about the two night stay I had with my wife.
Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven – Location
Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven is located right at the Oil Harbor of the city, which is located South of the main harbor area, the Jade-Weser-Port. This means that you do have voice from the maneuvering and unloading of the tankers, it is not as loud as you might expect at first sight, though. The hotel is located right at the access road to the oil harbor area – some employees exceed driving speed significantly, which felt to be quite dangerous. The hotel has just enough space to accommodate all cars (including parking on grass) – there is hardly any other option reaching this place than on four wheels.
There are no touristic facilities around – one of the key reasons why we went for a half board package. However, you can walk along the dike, become friend with some sheep or watch how the ships in the harbor are cleared (which is not super-exciting, though). All touristic facilities like gas stations, stores or restaurant alternatives require some kilometres of driving.
Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven – The Room
My wife and I used a package called Romantic Days at the North Sea. For 283 Euro, we had a Comfort Double Room for two nights, including half board. The half board included two different kinds of dinners, the cancellation period was three days, no prepayment. The room was really spacious and felt very modern and renovated, I really loved the wide work desk, which also had a small tablet in order to review the hotel policies or to inform about the area. The minibar was empty due to Covid-19, but you could equip it with your own stuff. We were located right at the edge of the upper floor with the elevator right in front of the room. However, this lead to no significant reductions in quality.
One thing which we very early noticed about the bathroom was that though the room itself was renovated, some of the equipment in there felt rather old, e.g. the hairdryer. Apart from that, the shower bathroom was really fine – not overwhelming spacious or luxurious, but definitely in a good range regarding the room price.
Last, but not least, it has definitely been a pleasure to watch the sea and the port from the hotel room. You have to say, though, that the oil port in front of the hotel is not too entertaining compared to “normal” port operations.
Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven – Breakfast & Food
The two level panoramic restaurants with the huge glass front facing towards the port and the sea is undoubtedly the signature element of the Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven. For breakfast, the buffet are was a bit of narrow (especially during Covid-19 times). They tried to have a one-way concept, which finally did not work out due to the hotel guests. Dining at a table right at the front of the restaurant (as we had on our final evening) is definitely a lovely experience.
The breakfast performance was overall good. There were just limited warm dishes. In peak time, the staff struggled with refilling and servicing a bit – but it was a friendly and good start of the day. Nice to have some local favorites like fish dishes in there as well. Not an outstanding, but overall a really solid breakfast, just in line with our expectations.
Half Board / Dinner
On the first evening of our stay, i.e. at arrival day, we had a three course dinner. The second day, there was a five course dinner. If you are really picky, the three course one was named as candle light. The atmosphere was not super-romantic, but the service was very motivated, see below. The first day three course menu was a bit weird, though. There was a fixed starter (tomato soup) and dessert (jello), while you could choose from three dishes for the main. My wife had fish with potatoes and mushroom sauce, while I went for a vegetarian burger. Some of the dishes were solid, some of them were rather below that. The hotel did not really score on that evening regarding their food.
The five course one was massive. First of all, any dish we had on the second day was better than any dish on Day 1 – even though we “just” started with caprese. Thereafter, there was a delicious soup, the sweet delight was a nice nut creme. However, as third and fourth dish, we received two mains, both were absolutely filling. Bad luck the pork filet was already so nice, so that especially my wife struggled to have the fish dish thereafter. The other half-board guests could choose between one or the other. Overall, that was just too much. A four course dinner would have been absolutely fine (or some light choice instead of two mains). Nonetheless, we were surprised, but really pleased with the second dinner.
Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven – Service
From the welcoming to check out – the staff at Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven was one of the most friendly, most motivated and most caring ones I met during all my travels. They did excellent service, tried to solve your problems. I felt that their attitude was really exemplary.
Unfortunately, we had severe issues with the WiFi. The overall internet connection felt very good and fast, but during the late afternoon and during the whole night, the WiFi connection broke down entirely, so that I had to change to tethering. Even the tablet did not have connection as you see below. One of the key drivers is likely the location of our room in the staircase, right at the edge of the aisle. The second time we claimed that issue was the only time where I felt that the receptionist did not really make us feel that she wanted to help us. This experience is likely better in (any) other room(s) of the hotel – but that’s what finally a review is about: a snapshot. Sometimes fair, sometimes too good, sometimes unfair.
Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven – My View
Overall, I really loved the Nordseehotel Wilhelmshaven. A nice hotel, a good room, driven by excellent people who love what they are doing. I don’t claim that they don’t have air conditioning (because you might really rarely need that in this area), but of course the first day dinner and two nights where I had to use mobile data to drive Flyctory.com finally has to prevent a Top Pick! rating. Nonetheless, I feel that if you need a place with their profile in the region, the Nordseehotel is an excellent choice.