I had to go to Essen several times in 2011 and most of the time stayed at the hotel Rheinischer Hof for its convenient location (just two stops from the central station U11 / U18), it a pleasant neighbourhead (Rüttenscheidt) just around the corner from the Rüttenscheider Strasse with all its cafes, bars and restaurants, the friendliness of staff, the good service, very good price / value ratio, the excellent breakfast buffet.
It's an old building, e.g. there's no elevator which depending on size / weight of the luggage can be a bit annoying but staff would also provided a helping hand. . . - in fact, the way up migh lead to the conclusion that it's a bit too old, but rooms all have been refurbished and are in good shape - I especially liked one at the top floors with inclined ceiling because it is very cosy.
The walls of are not that thick, so 'a good night's rest' largely depended on people staying in the rooms next door. Normally this was ok, but unfortunately, I twiced had to undure f. . . Dutch neighbours. Also, the rooms towards the street can be noisy due to people returning from having spent their evening / night out and about at the resstaurants / bars close by.
The breakfast buffet was always amazing - a lot of choice including self baked bread. Lunch
bags are moreover offered on the leaving day and / or taking and a sandwich from breakfast was for that reason never was a problem.
Close to the hotel there's a market square where market takes place every Saturday and Wednesday (starting from 7am) where you can buy fruit and vegetable, bread and pastry, flowers and plants, cloves and all sorts of items - I liked the athmosphere prevailing - it was just fun!
There's also a couple of nice cloth shops, a jewellery and a hat workshop/shop, a swimming pool with 50m bassin, and the concert hall (Philharmony).
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