We stayed at the Hirschgasse a couple of times years ago when we were young and carefree. We lived in a poky basement flat and Blue Lamb junior hadn’t yet made an appearance. We had fond memories of this hotel and promised ourselves that one day we would return, so we were very much looking forward to finally revisiting in July.
Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, which was no problem as we were quite early. We went off and visited friends for the day, returning about four in the afternoon. When we were shown to our room, our disappointment was immediate and intense.
The hotel hadn’t changed a bit, and therein lies the problem.The Rosamund suite was reminiscent of an explosion in a Laura Ashley factory and featured the same rosy wallpaper which had been out of date in our old flat 20 years ago.
The resemblance didn’t finish there. There was an overpowering smell of damp – ironically, another trait shared with our old apartment. There was peeling wallpaper in one corner, the furniture was scratched, the paint around the bottom of the door was scuffed and all windows looked straight out onto mud embankments. The overall effect was that of being in a claustrophobic, over-decorated cellar with ventilation problems. The bathroom had a white plastic stool in it that would have been more suited to a residential care home and the toilet wall tiles were grouted in half white, half black (did the decorators run out halfway through?) Any object that had stayed still for more than a second had been captured, pinned down and forced to wear a frilly pelmet, including the mirror in the toilet and the television.
I had a word with the receptionist, who was pleasant and apologetic, but she explained that all the other rooms were full, as it was a very busy weekend. This room was an upgrade, she told me, so I asked if we could downgrade, but she assured me that we wouldn’t want to do that. To be fair, she was very nice and brought a beautiful bottle of wine to our room as compensation, but even after downing the bottle, the smell of the room and the general dampness made for a bad night’s sleep.
This was not a budget experience at €200 for the night (and I see the advertised room rate is €285!). The decor wasn’t to our taste, but that is not the issue. The main problem is that the hotel took a booking for a room that was patently unsuitable for paying guests, the equivalent of a top chef sending out a dish that he or she knows is a little bit off. The Rosamund suite was damp, smelly and tired. Like other reviewers, we had a peek at the other rooms in the morning and they looked airy and definitely more tasteful; I just wish the hotel had been honest at the time of booking and told us that they didn’t have anything suitable that night so we could have looked elsewhere.
On the plus side, the Hirschgasse has an excellent location for walking into the town and the carpet in the room was very clean. There, I’ve finished on a positive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The historic Hirschgasse Heidelberg, which is a listed building and over 540 years old, was the place for student fraternities and clubs to fence and celebrate - the oldest in Germany.Now 20 Laura Ashley suites offer a luxurious country house style, all in different design and layouts, which are offered in three categories such as: Junior | Deluxe | Salon. For the ones who do not like identikit chain hotels we are providing the right antidote with a private and familiar ambiance. Check our own official website for daily best rates and offers with growing rewards.Only a short scenic walk along the river Neckar across the Old Bridge (Alte Brücke) brings you into the heart of the Old Town. Retreat to our peace and quietness once the hustle and bustle of the city is too much for you. The nearness to the famous Philosopher’s walk and the holy mountain starting behind our hotel is a paradise for jogging and hiking.Two restaurants offer unique character and quality. The Mensustube with lots of historic memorabilia of the bygone studentic times serving local authentic Food. The Le Gourmet awarded with one Michelin star and 16 points in the Gault Millau accompanies with very charming French service and large wine selection onto a fine culinary expedition.An outstanding luxurious Butler’s breakfast served individually, without having to "fight" on a big buffet for the last piece of sausage, is an experience to start the day relaxed. ... more less
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