We arrived at Stern am Rathaus with a bit of trepidation based on the few reviews listed on trip advisor. However, we called the new manager (Manfred) before hand who assured us that the Stern am Rathaus, the 2nd guest house of the owners’ of Hotel DomStern (#2 ranked hotel in Cologne) had been completely renovated, under new management, and that the previous reviews no longer applied. With that, we took his word and reserved 4 nights at the hotel, in Cologne to attend a wedding. The SAR is located next to the old Rathaus (City Hall) which gives the B&B its name. The B&B is located in an older, 4 story building. There is a dining hall, breakfast room on the first floor, and a stairs going up 4 flights to the rooms. There were 7 rooms total, and we were given room #7 on the top floor. The renovations are just about completed. The dining room was done, the rooms , at least ours, done. Only the stair case was still being finished, the walls were being painted and the floors being sealed while we were there. The owners were anxious for our input and suggestions if anything was lacking.
The room we stayed in was very large. It was a dual level unit, on the first floor the bed area, a long table lining the walls for holding various items including a flat screen tv; the large bathroom is also there, and a small refrigerator. A classy looking wooden stair case winds up to the 2nd level which currently only has a couch and small table, and has several windows looking out towards the main cathedral on one side, and towards the river on the other. The room was extremely clean, the windows thick, the place very quiet at nite. The bathroom is very elegant, with all new fixtures, including a very large shower head and a stone tiled shower, floors, and walls. Window shades on all windows opened either up or down making for interesting ambience. There is more than sufficient lighting that can be controlled from near the bed. The bed itself, queen size , was very comfortable with separate blankets for 2 persons. Overall there was nothing lacking in the apartment, other than a few small items that could help, for example a small reading light would have been convenient so one person could read while the other slept. More hangers are needed, we also suggested leaving bottles of water in the refrigerator.
The breakfast was a full European style buffet with many home made jams, yogurts, breads. Juices, meats, cheese plates, fruit, coffee, tea..also a really nice expresso/cappuccino maker. All high quality and more than enough for a hearty breakfast.
The staff were friendly, helpful, knowledgeable about places to visit or dine. Some also work at the parent B&B. The dining room is nicely done with several tables, and a large fresco of 16th century Cologne.
Overall, aside from a few minor additions and finishing up of the staircase, we highly enjoyed our visit at Stern am Rahaus. The price, which included a initial discount, was more than reasonable, the building located centrally, about 2 blocks from the main Dom, a few blocks from the water, at this time of year it is right between 2 large Christmas markets. We recommend this hotel highly and would stay again next time in Cologne.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- You will find our hotel in the heart of the historic city center in a quiet side street, close to the historic city hall. Stern am Rathaus is a small, cozy and comfortable boutique hotel & cafe in the center of Cologne close to the main station, cathedral and "Altstadt" (old town)with all major sights, museums and the shopping district. ... more less
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