My Review of Meininger Hotel in Hamburg
When I found out I was going to be staying at the Meininger Hotel in Hamburg, I was a little sceptical and didn't really know what to expect. Was it a hostel? Is it a budget hotel? Will it be comfortable enough for me and my luxury-loving ways? What will the breakfast be like? Will I be close enough to everything I want to see and do when staying in Hamburg? Well, I quickly had answers to all these questions once I checked in at Meininger.
Yes, it is a hostel, and yes it is a budget hotel, but it's also 100% yes to it being a very comfortable place to stay. And as you can see from the photo above, I really needn't have worried about the free breakfast. Yes, it was continental style (so no cooked foods) but as you can see there was more than enough choice and definitely more than enough food for me to feel very full!
So what next in this review of Meininger Hamburg? Oh yes, Was the location any good? Located in the Altona district of Hamburg, the hotel itself was on a surprisingly quiet mostly residential street, a five-minute walk away from the Altona-Altstadt S-Bahn station. Taking the S-Bahn you were in the (in)famous districts of Reeperbahn and St Pauli in just a few stops, and it was also quick and easy to take the S-Bahn to and from the airport.
I was actually staying in Hamburg to go to MS Dockville festivals for Must Love Festivals and getting to the festival site was a bit more of an adventure but really when visiting Hamburg, if you're close to an S-Bahn station which the Meininger Hotel is, then you're pretty much close to everything.
After the festival was finished I had enough time to see the city itself and actually walked from the hotel to the Karolinenviertel to check out some restaurants that had been recommended to me. I definitely like staying in a hotel that is central enough to parts of a city you can walk, but also has good public transport connections for when the weather is bad, or your feet get tired, and Meininger Hotel Hamburg ticked this box.
What else is good about Meininger Hotel Hamburg?
Arguably the best thing about the Meininger Hamburg is that it is great value for money.
As I've mentioned Meininger Hotels - of which there are many now in a number of European cities - are a mix of hostel and hotel, with private or single rooms being on offer as well as beds in a dorm. This therefore means you can choose a price for your budget but still enjoy the hotel's free wi-fi, helpful reception and feeling of security. Prices vary per city, but in Amsterdam, which is one of their more expensive hotels, dorm prices begin at €22 and private rooms at €29 per person (sharing a twin room) or €49 for a single room. I have some experience of Amsterdam hotels and this is an incredibly low price to pay in a city which specialises in tiny, overpriced hotel rooms. I should also add that the other guests at the hotel in Hamburg were definitely more families and couples than hostel-happy groups of backpackers, although it does do well with really good reviews from hostel fans on HostelWorld.
Secondly, there was an "all you can eat" buffet style breakfast for just €5,90 and it was of better quality than some breakfasts I've paid €20,00+ for in 4- or 5- star hotels.
Thirdly, I could walk pretty much everywhere as I mentioned above. Living in two-wheeled Amsterdam is a dream, but that does mean my walking muscles don't get as much of a workout as they should, so I was very keen to get about by my own two feet. So when I went to meet a friend in Schanze I walked. And when I set out to see Landungsbruecke, I walked. And on both occasions I walked back to the hotel. That all being said, they did have bikes that you can hire for €12 a day and they looked like solid little bikes.
From my brief research, many of the Meininger's other hotels (in Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Amsterdam, Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna, Salzburg and London) are all operated on the same basis offering modern design, good location, great value for money, and I know they are opening more and more locations all the time so you should definitely investigate if where you want to stay has a Meininger Hotel if you're looking for comfort and value for money in a budget hotel.
I think the fact that they operate this part-hotel, part-hostel model contributes to the laidback and friendly manner of the staff, and they are also very interactive on social media; hey, I'm a blogger, it's nice to have your tweets read!
So, should you stay at the Meininger Hotel in Hamburg?
The short answer is yes, if you're looking for a budget hotel that covers all the basics VERY well. And I would definitely think about the brand name for staying in other European cities too.
While this is not a luxury travel experience, I was surprised by the additional extras in my private double room in Hamburg. There was a sofa, a TV, generous storage to unpack in and a hair dryer in the bathroom. The room was spacious and had a desk big enough to work on beside huge big windows that flooded the room with light, but the curtains were strong enough to keep it at bay in the morning.
Have you ever stayed in a Meininger Hotel? What was your experience?
Frances M. Thompson
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