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“A flying visit to Cologne on the cheap? This will do.”

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Novum Hotel Ahl Meerkatzen Cologne Altstadt
Ranked #188 of 261 Hotels in Cologne
Reviewed March 15, 2013

No one is ever going to fall in love with this hotel, with its gloomy dark wood foyer, small rooms and unappealingly brown bathrooms, but if you're in Cologne for a short stay and want to save money in a cheap hotel, walkable distance from the sites then sure, book a night here!

My tiny single room was far from special – cold, facing fire escapes and other rooms – and the windowless bathroom smelt of damp and the shower flooded the floor every time I used it. The feathered, flat excuse for a pillow wasn't much good and the receptionist was pretty unpleasant when I asked for a hypo-allergenic one.

Still, I was in Cologne for less than 24 hours – and on a budget trip – so I could overlook all these things because the hotel was cheap and in a decent location. Yes, it's surrounded by sex shops but so what? You can walk to Heumarkt U-bahn in a couple of minutes & by default, the start of the Christmas markets around there as well (in the right season of course!). It's maybe 10-15 minutes to the Dom and the shops & all in all, it's pretty handy for that.

Breakfast was poor, but again if you're only there for a night, some rolls, eggs & cold meats will do just fine, washed down with some horrendously sweet juice!

Everything about this hotel screams 'it'll just have to do cos I'm being a cheapo' And sometimes that's fine.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Sooth L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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85 - 91 of 246 reviews

Reviewed December 18, 2012

Myself and a group of 5 girlfriends spent three nights here just this weekend. We got a really good deal, all paying £45.00 each for the whole duration for a twin room.
Location is perfect, just a few minutes walk the the Rhine, a little further to the Dom (Catherdral).
We went for the Christmas markets which were really lovely but VERY busy. I have never seen so many people on one place, it did spoil it a bit as you were constantly being pushed and shoved around and you couldn't have a leisurely wander about. Anyway, i'm reviewing the hotel not the markets....
This is now a non smoking hotel (noted alot of other reviews complaining of smoking throughout the hotel), there was no smoking anywhere in the hotel (except out the of the window by me, sorry non smokers!!) Well, we were on the 3rd floor! The rooms were clean and warm, with a shower room and toilet also clean with plenty of instant hot water. Rooms were small and basic, they did have a safe in the wardrobe and the room door locked securely. All the lights in the hallway come on automatically when you step out of your room. Beds were small but comfy.
The reception staff - some were friendlier than others - but all helpful when required and spoke good English. I speak a little German which did help us out, but most people did tend to speak better English than I do German. Breakfast was included in our price, it was a typical continental type, bread, toast, tea, coffee, fruits, cereals, cheese, meats, boiled and scrambled eggs....plenty of choice. 6.30am - 10am (i think, my room mate and I only made it once on Monday and that was because we were going home!).
All in all as a base for a weekend away, this hotel ticks all the boxes :)

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank tracylh5791
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

This is a very nice budget hotel within easy walking distance of the cathedral, Rhine river and all local amenities. Very clean rooms, good breakfast and very friendly staff. We had a great time at the Christmas market, it had snowed and looked like wonderland with the christmas trees and christmas lights. Would recommend

Room Tip: For a central location and budget hotel, very good
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank CARRIESMITH1310
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2012

I have just returned from spending four nights in this hotel. It's location for the Christmas Markets make it a perfect base for exploring this wonderful city. The staff were friendly and very helpful and helped us with tourist information and advice. The room was clean, a good size and very warm. The typical German breakfast was plentiful and fresh. I would stay here again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Michaelunison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2012

We stayed in five hotels in Europe and this was, by far, the worst and biggest disappointment. I looked at the pictures on the website and decided they must have used really bright lights to take the pictures because the pictures made the hotel look much better than it was. I also was surprised by the sex shops on both sides of the hotel. I was desperate to find a hotel and settled too soon. I have learned my lesson.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kathy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012

It's a clean hotel, the breakfast is good. In the evening is smoking in the lobby aloud. From the hotel it is a 5 min walk to the center. The furniture in the room looks a little bit old, but the rooms are clean and decent. For the price we paid a good hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank koenschot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2012

In May I stayed at the Hotel Ahl Meerkatzen in Cologne. This booking was made by a German company as I was attending the drupa trade fair in Dusseldorf. I unfortunately did not do my home work on Tripadvisor as like another reviewer I've now seen, when I got to the hotel the smell of smoke was throughout the reception area which was strange as I didn't find that in any other German hotels. The reception was less than welcoming, and when I got to my first floor room the mainline phone didn't work - even though the hotel got one of their employees to try and assist. There was no security box in the room to leave passports, extra cash, note pad etc, and the windows while large led out onto a fire escape that was more like a walk way. While breakfast was included in the price of 99 Euros a night I decided to forego it as I didn't want my clothes reeking of smoke.Also the internet in the lobby didn't work and I was not offered any WiFi service which I would have been happy to pay for. Luckily around the corner was a small general store which did a roaring trade in alcohol, ( 3 fridges stacked) and the owner a young Turkish chap had an internet desk in the corner which I became a firm customer of

The hotel is situated between two gay pron shops and that was not a problem but the internet cafe across the road was never open the 4 days that I was there, and I was told by taxi drivers that there were better parts of Cologne to stay. The Italian restaurant opposite was friendly and good, and the train station was about a 12 minute walk away. The hotel room for all its failings was clean and the night staff unlike the first employee I met were friendly and helpful. The hotel was much cheaper than those in Dusseldorf but after 4 days decided to pay the extra and move, It is that classic case of "you get what you pay for".

Room Tip: Ask for a smoke free room
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank OscarGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Novum Hotel Ahl Meerkatzen Cologne Altstadt

Address: Mathiasstr. 21, 50676 Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (Formerly Hotel Ahl Meerkatzen)
Location: Germany > North Rhine-Westphalia > Cologne > Altstadt-Süd
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #188 of 261 Hotels in Cologne
Price Range: $54 - $453 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Novum Hotel Ahl Meerkatzen Cologne Altstadt 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Novum Hotel Ahl Meerkatzen is centrally located in the center of Cologne, close to public transport and the main train station in the heart of the city of Cologne. The centrally and conveniently located Novum hotels offer you cost effective deals at attractive prices in order to stay in one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Our rooms have a sophisticated, yet modern and practical facilities. Free wireless Internet access Modern comforts. Attractions such as the Cologne Cathedral are just a few minutes. The central location of the Centrum Hotels is the ideal starting point for activities of any kind, the exhibition center, the university and the city center are conveniently located just 10 minutes by public transport. ... more   less 
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