Heidelberg is a small university town located in Baden-Wurttemberg situated on the river Neckar in South-West Germany. It is located in the densely populated Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, close to Mannheim. The main tourist attractions are the baroque style old town, the old bridge and of course the castle overlooking the city.
The Crowne Plaza is located in the Weststad suburb, in between the old town and the main railway station. Right next door is the bus station for long distance coaches and under the hotel they have their own parking garage. On the site there has been a hotel since 1838, but of course it has been renovated and refurbished many times since. The hotel is relatively small with only four floors, but is fully air-conditioned and has all the amenities you can expect from a Crowne Plaza.
The room itself was a standard, somewhat older Crowne Plaza room equipped with two double beds and the standard Crowne Plaza sleeping aids like earplugs and the pillow spray. As we booked a club room the minibar was complimentary and was stocked with some local beers, water, soft drinks and juices. Above there where two bottles of complimentary still water, a bottle of local juice and of course the coffee and tea making facilities. We had a very good night’s sleep as the beds where comfortable, the air-conditioning cool and quiet and the curtains blacked out the light perfectly.
The bathroom was still in the typical late 1980’s/early 1990’s style with white tiling and a marble surface. There was a combined bath/shower which unfortunately used a stained shower curtain instead of a glass divider. Plenty of towels as well as a bathrobe and slippers where available for all guests and of course the standard toiletries and soaps where at your disposal.
The Club-lounge was also kept in a 1990’s theme, with some different style seating areas as well as a separate ‘working’ area with desks and computers. In the middle of the lounge you had the self-service bar and food area. In the evening there where some salads, smoked salmon, fruit salad and a kind of dessert as well as a tomato soup, two types of pasta, hot vegetables and some fish. The bar offered soft drinks, water, juices and coffee and tea all day long, in the evening you additionally had some beers and wines to enjoy. During the day there were still some cookies and sandwiches at your disposal, so you would never feel hungry. The most peculiar thing was the fact that the lounge did not offer any breakfast, instead the clubroom rate included the breakfast buffet in the main restaurant, which was probably better and bigger than they could offer in the lounge (something maybe Crowne Plaza Hamburg could learn from).
Breakfast was served in the main restaurant, which was located in the building’s interior court and covered by a glass roof. There was a big offering of all kinds of cold cuts, breads, yoghurts and hot dishes as well as live cooking area where you could have eggs, pancakes and waffles prepared to your liking. In traditional hotel style you were given a table by the maître d’hôtel and your hot drinks where served to your table. Dirty plates where swiftly cleared as well. All in all it was a very satisfying breakfast experience.
The pool and spa area
The hotel boasts a wonderful pool and spa area in the basement area, just to the left of the parking garage. The entire area is themed into a ‘Roman’ bath house theme, making it feel cosy and romantic. As you enter you immediately see the main swimming pool with some chairs along the side, at the right hand side you have the changing rooms and toilet facilities. Further down there is a Jacuzzi and of course a sauna.
If you wanted to exercise in the fitness, you would have to exit the hotel from the main lobby through the shopping arcade entrance and cross the hallway to the hotel fitness located at the opposite side.
I was very pleased by my stay in Heidelberg, both the city and the hotel surprised me positively and I would recommend staying here if you look for a base from where you can explore the region.