This is hard hostel to rate, because some aspects are outstanding, but it's spoilt by others.
I stayed in December, over New Year's Eve, in a room for four.
The hostel is brand new and hasn't been open for long, which is partly why it so difficult to give it a rating.
I'll start with the good points. It's a stylish hostel, sort of urban industrial, with bare concrete complimented by bold colours and IKEA furniture. The room was very spacious with two bunk beds. Clean, comfortable, good heating (which was a relief as it was freezing cold over New Year), lift to all floors.
The communal bathrooms were great. I read on another site that they weren't very private, but this wasn't the case when I visited (I'm guessing the bathrooms have recently been finished). Very stylish rainfall showers in private lockable wet rooms; the decor wouldn't be out of place in a boutique hotel. Clean and warm, definitely a contender for the best hostel showers in the world!
The hostel's reception doubles as a 24 hour bar. The coffees were fantastic, large and excellent value. A litre bottle of very decent red wine was 12 euros. The beer wasn't so great, but we saw other people bringing in their own and so we did the same; nobody seemed to mind. No food, which was a little strange, but there's plenty of take-aways nearby.
The staff were really friendly, but had no record of our booking (we weren't the only ones). This seemed to be teething problems with their computer and they managed to sort it out.
Breakfast is served until midday; great if you've been out the night before. You can borrow a laptop and use the free wi-fi.
Here's the problem; the location and security. The area is pretty dodgy - in fact it's extremely dodgy. The car park attendant directly opposite was showing off a gun to his friends. He no doubt needed it to fend off the crackheads who congregate over the road. I'm not exaggerating; homeless people were shooting up in full view right outside, night and day, lying on the floor over the road. Entertaining to watch at least!
The hostel's right alongside neon-lit brothels and strip clubs. At regular intervals, various strange characters would stroll into the hostel. I felt sorry for the staff who were frequently confronting them, trying to throw them out. This may have been worse because of the time of year though.
Personally I wouldn't walk alone at night outside the hostel, but that said we didn't get pestered or have any trouble. The crackheads and brothel customers kept themselves to themselves when we passed them on the street.
The problem with the hostel is its design. The front door opens into the bar area, with a reception right at the back. There's no security on the door at all. The staff tried putting a notice on the door, but that made no difference. At one point, the staff locked the door and removed the handle with a screwdriver!
It just didn't feel safe. I'm sure they'll address this though, because the staff must complain more than the guests!
If the area doesn't concern you (and I think you have little choice as all the hostels I found were nearby) or you're staying as a group, then this is a fantastic stylish hostel with great facilities and I'm sure it will improve as they gain experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Isn't it strange? Germany's biggest international airport, lots of interesting destinations on the doorstep, but hard to find a bed for a backpacker? From summer 2008 on these times are over! Then, the Five Elements Hostel will open its doors to the public. In a beautiful turn of the century building right in the center of Frankfurt, we created a quality hostel, from scratch, stylish and brand new. The Five Elements Hostel is wholly dedicated to you, the traveler. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Five Elements Hostel Frankfurt Hotel Frankfurt
- 5 Elements Hostel Frankfurt