If you want a four star luxury hotel in a prime location then look for one and pay the ridiculous price most of them command for accommodation where basically you spend but a few waking hours.Etap hotels are identical (although they have begun a programme of upgrading to separate shower, air conditioning, flat screen TVs etc - we stayed twice in one of these in Dortmund) so you know exactly what to expect. They are meant to provide clean, modern, frill-free accommodation at a very good price with free, safe parking. Breakfast is provided for 5 Euros each and is quite reasonable value but do not expect freshly sliced cooked meats - they are of the long-life variety with fresh rolls, cheeses, cereals, yogurt, jam, honey etc.
We do not want pictures on the wall, piped music in the dining area etc just good value and a convenient location. Although this hotel is in the eastern suberb of Erfurt it is perfect for us (we have stayed there several times) because it is about 400 metres from the tram terminus so we can access the centre of the city, and indeed all parts of the city in a few minutes, by the excellent, frequent, cheap transport system so we could leave the car and enjoy the day and evening without the hassle of parking. It also means that we could have wine with our meals without the worry of driving - being on the outskirts is, in our view, an advantage (we enquired in the city about the cost of hotel parking to find it was from 5 to 10 Euros per night in addition to the 50 Euros extra we would have paid to stay in one of these).
The beds are firm but comfortable and the rooms well serviced. The shower / toilet arrangement is quirky but perfectly effective with what, in effect, is a self cleaning system. The rim of the toilet is the size of a seat but is part of the bowl - I have always wondered why all toilets are not made like this (what is the point of a separate seat??). The older Etaps do not have air conditioning but, during our 5 day stay in very hot weather, we did not need it - we opened the window and were not disturbed by noise from the outside.
If you have not used an Etap Hotel try one - you may, like us, seek them out when you are travelling!
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