REVIEW | Pullman Stuttgart Fontana

It’s summer 2022 and for the first time in 12 years I finally had some time off of work during summer, luckily my boyfriend also had time off so we made a road trip to Germany. Originally we planned to stop at Karlsruhe to visit our friend Simon living there, unfortunately he was struck by corona. The plan was changed to a relaxing stop at picturesque Koblenz before continuing onto a 3 night stay at Stuttgart, copying Timothy’s trip.

For our three nights in Stuttgart we selected the Pullman Stuttgart Fontana as our base. While it isn’t located in the centre of Stuttgart but in the adjacent community of Vaihingen, it is conveniently located close to the highway and offers its own underground car park (as we were travelling by car).

Right next door is Vaihingen station, a big connector hub with a number of bus, metro and local train services enabling you a fast and convenient route to the airport, the centre of Stuttgart and the surrounding region. Another persuasive element was the nice offering of a half-board rate at a very competitive price.

From the outside the building is rather dull, a very big concrete 1980’s box. The lobby inside also looked like the style a grand hotel of the 1980’s would choose, with loads of woods and classical design elements. Behind the reception there even still was the huge box where they once held all the room keys.

Nowadays of course they also changed over to the room keycard system. We got handed over ours after a somewhat lengthy check-in process as we had to fill in papers for all evening meals indicating our names and at what time we would like to have dinner, 18:00 or 19:00.

To me it looked like a cumbersome process and you would imagine this could be handled much more efficient in a digital way. Also having to pick your dining time in advance isn’t the most customer friendly as I don’t always know when I’ll be feeling like having dinner beforehand.

Anyway after receiving our keys we went up to our room on the 10th floor, luckily in contrast to the dated reception area the rooms where completely refurbished during the pandemic and now sported a very modern and contemporary feel. There was a nice bed in the middle of the room, with ample space for two sofa’s and a smalle table near the window.

Opposite from the beds was a large desk and a wall mounted TV. In between the desk and the entrance you could find the empty minibar and closet.

There were some basic coffee and tea facilities, consisting of just a kettle and some teabags and powdered coffee. Sam didn’t like the powdered and had a point when stating that a hotel of this category should provide better. They also only provided 1 mug, which is a bit odd for a two-person’s room.

Luckily thanks to my Accor Gold Status I was offered complimentary non-alcoholic drinks from the downstairs mini shop in the lobby, so we would just grab our tea and coffee there, with much higher quality coffee.  My status also made sure we had a little welcome present in the room with macaroons, wasabi covered nuts and a peach.

The bathroom was also splendidly renovated, while they kept the 1980’s granite flooring and counter tops they did replace the bath tub with a spacious walk in shower.

The toiletries offered where in big multiple use bottles but where of a good quality and sent. While I do prefer the smaller bottles to be able to take with me as a souvenir, it is clear that we will have to get used to multiple use dispensers in hotels nowadays.

What did strike me as odd again in a two-persons rooms was that they only provided one big towel, this was swiftly solved after a visit to the reception to ask for a second towel where they also proactively offered a bathrobe and slippers (which wasn’t in the room). During subsequent room refreshes the two towels where always replaced, so why didn’t they just put two there in the first place?

On the first floor the hotel offered a spacious spa area. It is clear that this was once built to entertain many guests, due to the size, the welcome desk and pool bar. Yet due to it being very quiet and unstaffed it looked like a white elephant. There was an average sized gym room, with a straight back to the 80ies vibe.

Luckily the main pool area was much nicer, with a big curved pool with nice warm water. There were also plenty of loungers available, both next to the pool, in a separate calm area and on the outside terrace. The main sauna, Hamman and whirlpool area where currently closed off due to what looked like a small renovation, which was unfortunate.

But the hotel still offered a separate Finnish sauna which could be reached from the outside terrace.

In the evening we had dinner in the hotel restaurant, which was vastly oversized for the patronage visiting, but the half-board clearly helped as about half of the people eating there had booked the package. The staff was very friendly and courteous and made all effort to make sure we had a nice stay.

In our hale-board package we had a three-course meal consisting of a starter, the first day a plate of grilled vegetables and the next two days soup. Then we had a choice of two mains a fish or meat platter or a vegetable pasta. To finish there was a dessert.

All three nights there was a completely different menu and only on the last night the main wasn’t particularly good (or for Sam’s taste, revolting). So all in all I thought it was a good offering. Drinks weren’t included in the half board, but each night we had a nice suggestion for a bottle of wine, which wasn’t overly priced.

In the morning there was a breakfast buffet, which had a nice big offering, which you would expect in a big German hotel. There where however no rotating items, so every day it was completely the same, making it rather boring the third morning. Also sometimes certain items ran out and weren’t replenished, which was unfortunate.

In the end we had a good stay at the Pullman Stuttgart Fontana, with friendly professional staff which where always eager to help you.

The only downside was that as it was rather hot weather for German standards while we visited and the air-conditioning system on the room couldn’t quite cope to cool it down so it remained warmer than would ideally be.

I would consider staying here again if the location suited us, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to come back. It is a good experience and entirely what you would expect from it, but also nothing extraordinarily.

Danny and Sam go to Stuttgart, 2022

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