I’ve just stayed in a great hotel in Germany, the ‘Hotel Friends’. I have to admit that when the taxi pulled up outside I was a little dubious; the hotel looked as though it was over a row of shops, and there was no lobby on ground level. Entering the hotel felt like going into a block of serviced apartments, it was all rather strange.
However, up one floor to the lobby and I was really surprised at how warm and welcoming the reception was. The receptionist was lovely – there were big glass jars of sweets on the counter and a tray of traditional chocolates, which was a nice touch. It was a bit like standing in the school tuck shop! To the left of reception was a little lounge area/breakfast room which also looked very comfy and cosy.
Each room at the Hotel Friends is individually decorated and themed – the photographer on my job told me to request the Kate Moss room, but it had already been taken, so I was given the Lady Gaga room, (401) complete with crystal skull telephone and patent leather furnishings!
My room was really spacious and had a double bed, good wardrobe/storage space and large window. The bathroom was small, with just a shower and no bath, but perfectly adequate. It was really quite fun to be in a themed room – I had a little look on the internet at some of the others, and there’s a great selection. Apparently a good deal of weekday custom comes from business travellers, and so it’s interesting that this isn’t just another run-of-the-mill ‘get your head down for the night’ type of establishment.
The outside of the building, the ground floor entrance, the corridors and elevator all look a little worn and disappointing, but I think that the rooms themselves more than make up for it. There’s also free, fast WiFi and, importantly, free Haribo liquorice on the bed pillows. Oh – I forgot to mention the best point, which is that rooms start at around €65, which is a bit of a bargain for a perfectly clean, spacious and well-thought-out room. The breakfast (€9.50) was buffet style, with everything you could possibly think of – from bacon and eggs to little pots of smoked salmon, to mozzarella and tomato salad (?!) to cereals and yoghurt and fresh fruit salads. There was an ice bucket containing large glass bottles of juice, a coffee machine, a selection of pastries and cakes and a whole range of herbal teas to choose from.
If you ever find yourself in Dusseldorf (I can’t imagine why you would, as there’s not a whole lot going on! Or is there? Tell me, Dusseldorfers!) then this is a great budget option. You can have a little browse on their website HERE or book through Hotels.com, which is where the above images are from. Just in case they shout at me.