2022 was the first year since COVID-19 that the typical Christmas markets in Germany where back in full swing and without restrictions. As my boyfriend absolutely loves Christmas and everything around it we decided to go for a weekend to the famous Christmas markets of Cologne. Seemingly everyone had the same idea as hotel prices were quite high and even the hotel we booked at an acceptable price was fully booked for the weekend.
We stayed at the Pullman Cologne, a highrise hotel of which the building dates back to 1971 right next to the centre of the city. Luckily the hotel has had a thorough renovation in 2008. The hotel also featured an underground garage, perfect for parking the car (we snagged the last available parking spot, so we were very lucky indeed)
As a ALL Gold member we received an upgrade to a bigger corner room on the 10th floor. The room was nicely appointed with a comfortable bed with plugs and switches at both sides. A relaxing chair in a corner. A desk, a mounted tv with some more storage under it in the other corner.
There was a table with a coffee capsule machine aswell as a separate cupboard with a water cooker and some tea and instant coffee. There was also a minibar which was included in the fare and had a basic offering of drinks. In the hallway there was a nice big wardrobe where we could also find the bathrobes and slippers.
The bathroom could be accessed through sliding doors and also featured a small window to the bedroom, with blinds that could be operated from the bedroom side. In my opinion it should have been controlled from the bathroom side as that is where you want to decided whether you want the privacy or not. In the bathroom we found a very low mounted toilet, a sink and a walk in shower. There were plenty of shelves to store your toiletries and necessities.
The products on offer where rather minimal with only a bar of soap at the sink and two big dispensers of shampoo and shower gel in the shower. Here the hotel could do better, Pullman Stuttgart Fontana managed to offer a third dispenser with conditioner in the shower while they offered two dispensers featuring hand soap and body lotion at the sink. While I do get that hotels are tuning towards big multiple use containers instead of small individual toiletries for ecological and economic reasons, I really prefer they do it the way Pullman Stuttgart does it with a full offering of products instead of the limited amount Pullman Cologne did.
The hotel also offers a gym, a sauna and a steam room on the first floor, but we didn’t use it during our stay. We did make use of the panoramic bar on the 12th floor of the hotel for a nightcap. While the bar was much smaller than anticipated, the view also disappointed as the city wasn’t lit up at night so you just looked at darkness. Service on the other hand was perfect with plenty of staff on hand providing nice drinks and nuts. What surprised me is that they couldn’t offer small bites, you would think they could just order something from the room service kitchen and let it deliver up to the bar, maybe an idea for extra revenue in the future?
In the morning we had breakfast in the downstairs restaurant, it was packed and a queue snaked out into the main lobby. The staff was clearly surprised themselves by the volume of people having breakfast due to the hotel being fully booked. Despite this they managed the situation very well as tables where swiftly cleared and turned round for the next customer while the buffet was frequently restocked and no items ran out (which is better than some lightly loaded hotels manage!). the only big queue at breakfast was for the single speciality coffee machine, this could be avoided by drinking tea or ordering normal filtered coffee to your table. The food offering was rather typical for a German buffet breakfast, but they did offer a bigger amount of hot items with different types of sausages on offer.
All in all we had a good stay at the Pullman Cologne it is hotel with a solid product and a well-oiled service. Everything went extremely smooth despite being fully booked, which is truly excellent. The only downside was that the hotel started to show its age by the somewhat older style of interior and the visible wear and tear on several places, like the wood chipped off of doors and surfaces in the room. I would however still recommend a stay at the hotel as it is such a seamless experience and very clean everywhere.