There is nothing particularly striking about this hotel except its central location, five minutes from the bars, restaurants, and cobblestone alleys of Old Town. The shopping district and Cathedral are only ten minutes away. This is a large, full-service hotel that can provide whatever you need -- just not much Old World character.
On a cold, rainy Cologne afternoon, I was one of the few people willing to sit outside a tavern, a few blocks away, and drink a couple Kolsch beers at a patio table. I had been looking forward to the opportunity, and I was not disappointed. The beer was crisp and cold; I was soggy and cold. Chilled to the bone, I was back inside the Maritim in a couple minutes, and decided to try the sauna downstairs to warm up. Perfect! It is very small, but just what the doctor ordered that day. (I was also introduced to local sauna dress codes.) I baked myself back to normal body temperature.
I requested and received a riverfront room, which was wonderful. I could watch barges and tour boats navigate the Rhine day or night. The front desk staff were always helpful. There is a nice cozy bar in an alcove off of the lobby -- great for a nightcap. Food? I did not see any reason to eat at the hotel, given the bounty of neighborhood restaurants.
My real find in the neighborhood I accidentally stumbled upon: one of Twelve Romanesque Churches, constructed hundreds of years ago inside the Roman city walls. I walked out the Maritim’s front door, crossed the street, walked along a side street until I spied a rounded, white, masonry wall. I decided to try to see what it was. Through a courtyard and back out around a residential block, I eventually found the entrance to St. Maria im Kapital, circa. 1100. By myself -- not really knowing what was inside -- I pulled on the huge wooden door . . . and it opened! The interior was deserted and partially in ruins. I almost felt I was discovering it on my own . . . well, I guess I was! There was nobody else around. The sense of antiquity and spirit was palpable. After reading a little information later, I came to understand what I had found; and over the next three days, in spare time away from business, I would seek out the other 11 Romanesque churches – all within walking distance of the Maritim. All looked better kept than St. Maria; some were gorgeous; but St. Maria still sticks in my mind . . . those ancient stones had supported centuries of worship.
Surely there are hotel choices with more Koln character than the Maritim, but the hotel is certainly an acceptable base of operations for adventures in Cologne. Explore the neighborhood!
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- Also Known As:
- Maritim Hotel Cologne