We visited Cologne during trade show season, so good hotels were few and far between; having failed to book in advance.
Part of the MGallery collection from Accor, the Mondial sits proudly next to Cathedral in what could arguably be the best possible location in the cosmopolitain German city of Cologne.
Equidistant between the Lindt chocolate factory and the Hohenzollern Bridge, we arrived at the hotel within a few minutes stroll from Cologne’s central station.
The great thing about Cologne, is that it’s largely pedestrianised; making it perfectly safe for exploring the city with young children. Our children especially enjoyed the Cathedral, likening it to something from a Disney film!
We arrived at the smart Hotel Mondial, and I was struck by it’s immaculate decor and business-like appearance. After seeing this I was even more surprised at the natural and hands-on way with which the Mondial’s staff greeted the children. Business grade hotels aren’t notorious for a family friendly approach!
We were booked into a family room, but were immediately upgraded to a Junior suite. The lady behind reception put us into a room on the first floor, as she said the lifts could get busy at this time of year so we could come and go freely with the children.
Our room split into two; with a living area on one side and a bedroom area on the other. Not what I’d call a traditional suite, it was actually perfect for us. Our daughters are 7 and 2, so had their own little area complete with desk for drawing and colouring in. Our 7 year old literally doesn’t stop sellotaping, colouring, creating and generally designing; so she was in her element at the marble desk with not one but three Ethernet ports!
On the ‘adult’ side of the room, we had another desk so were able to check email and surf the net without disturbing the kids.
The junior suite benefited with two bathroom’s, which was very handy. The first had a toilet and hand basin, with the other a fully fledged luxury bathroom complete with walk in shower, bath and wash basin.
Internet access at the Mondial was excellent, with a range of Wifi providers as well as the hotel’s own free Wifi available. The complimentary access was more than adequate for our children to stream episodes of Charlie and Lola without the usual stream of complaints, so we were impressed. We found it worked perfectly all over the hotel, including the restaurants downstairs.
We didn’t try room service, but the food on offer was moderately priced. About right for a 4 star hotel in the centre of a major German city.
Breakfast / Dining
Breakfast, or Früstück as the German’s call it, was a grand affair. More of a dinner buffet than a breakfast, we were pretty amazed at the range on offer. My wife counted more than 20 varieties of bread and the selection of German, French and Dutch meats and cheeses was impressive. We also saw hot dishes, smoked salmon and porridge as well as every cereal under the sun.
I took a quick movie of what we chose to give you an idea of how great the breakfast was!
We didn’t dine at the hotel, but judging from the range and quality of ingredients we saw at breakfast we’d imagine it’d be pretty good.
Cologne is an amazing city, full of shops, fashion, century old guesthouses serving traditional German fayre and steeped in history. Although Cologne was affected during the Second World War, buildings have been preserved along with it’s charm. You’ll find typical brands from Apple to o2 and finding somewhere to try traditional Bratwürst and a Stein of German wheat beer is just as straightforward.
Germany is a country going through a fair amount of economic problems, so you’ll find that most area’s of Germany are cheap in comparison to the majority of the Euro zone. We found that a family of four could have a three-course meal for less than €50.
Nearby you will find the Lindt Chocolate Factory (wife and daughters were in a perpetual state of delight throughout our time there), Cologne Cathedral, Phantasialand – Germany’s answer to Disneyland Paris and Hohenzollern Bridge, which is covered with padlocks representing the love of German men and woman through the ages. This was my wife and I’s favourite part of the trip.
You can fly directly to Cologne with British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair for less than £100 return, but we travelled from London via Eurostar and paid about the same. You can be in Cologne from London St Pancras in less than 5 hours door to door. If you add up the time travelling to an airport, going through airport security and everything else, it probably works out the same time in transit.
From Cologne Hauptbanhof (Train Station), you can reach almost any Western European station with ease; including Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich and Barcelona.
Cologne itself is well served with hotels. By the time we came to book our trip, we had left it too late to snap up some of the deals that can be had in the city. The Mondial, although not the cheapest, does offer great value for money in terms of service and comfort. All the staff were very child friendly, but the hotel is primarly aimed at business travellers. On our way to breakfast one morning we passed through the lobby full of business travellers reading the morning’s papers. We did feel a little out of place as our 2 year old shouted and danced her way through to the breakfast restaurant, but not overly so. We found that the staff couldn’t do enough to accomodate us and the Spanish concierge who helped us with train tickets and entry to Phantasialand was an asset to the hotel.
For a short break in one of Germany’s most wonderful, cultured and historical cities the Hotel Mondial Am Dom Cologne is a great choice, but better deals can be had if you book in advance.
You can find out more on the Accor website for the Hotel Mondial Am Dom Cologne at: http://lbp.so/KqZzvm