The Motel One Chain in Germany

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I have stayed in quite a few Motel One hotels in Germany now – all of them in different cities – and although I moan religiously every time I get put up in one, I wanted to do a quick post about why they’re not so bad. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t actively log on and book myself into one if I had the choice  (if I’m travelling a lot, I want a bit of luxury, thanks very much) but clients these days pretend not to have any money  don’t have much of a budget and so I suppose I must resign myself to the “budget accommodation” trend.

So, Motel One. I’ve stayed in the one in Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin and, I think, two different ones in Hamburg. Unless I was just hallucinating the first time. Rates start at €69 per room per night and for this you get just that: a room. Rooms are by no means large, but they don’t feel at all cramped. Mostly due to the fact that they contain barely any furniture. There’s a bed (necessary) and a small desk (see my photo above) and there’s a “comfy chair”. Reasonably comfy. Hanging rail and shelves are part of the wall as is the television which is set to “fishtank view” when you arrive. (Strangely relaxing. The TVs downstairs are set to “faux log fire”.)

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Bathrooms are functional but not unattractive – Motel One have managed to add little design touches without compromising on the “we’ve spent no money at all” feel. Carpets are the right shade to hide various bodily fluid stains and linen is a plain, crisp white. Lighting is low but adequate, beds are without any particular feature to note – neither too soft nor too hard – showers are power.

If you’d like WiFi in your room, then you have to purchase breakfast. A bit arse-around-tit for my liking, but there you go. Spend €7.50 on breakfast (in advance, when you check in) and you get WiFi for that 24 hours. It’s actually quite fast, so if you just want a bed for the night and somewhere to get some emails sent then this is perfect! I’ve had much slower internet in very expensive German hotels that charge you loads more for the privilege. Incidentally, breakfast is very good – rows and rows of fresh continental things to eat and drink. Fresh juices, fresh coffee, fresh croissants, fresh fruit… Those weird things that people only people on the continent eat for breakfast like cucumber and the strongest garlic sausage known to civilisation…

Lobbies at the Motel One double up as bars and snack-joints (and breakfast rooms) so there’s no need to go far to find a late evening supper. Everything has been thought of, pretty much, and the atmosphere isn’t at all bad. (At least it wasn’t at the Hamburg “Alster” Motel One.)

Verdict? Actually pretty brilliant for €69. If it was much more, I’d rather pay a bit extra and have some sense of luxury, but if you’re travelling on a budget then this is a safe, clean and well-thought-out option. You wouldn’t want to book it for your honeymoon destination, but I imagine most people that stay here are on business or city-hopping. It’s actually a very good option for business travellers, as I mentioned before: somewhere to answer emails (or upload Youtube videos if you’re me!) and to have a shower and a reasonable sleep. It must be a good option, too, because it was absolutely fully booked when I stayed there a couple of weeks ago!

Motel One’s website is here: www.motelone.com

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