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“Not So Happily Ever After”

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Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Bergisch Gladbach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We have stayed at Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg (Bensberg) booking two rooms each time. Previously, we have stayed in Garden Suites, Deluxe rooms and Superior/Standard rooms.

We have always looked forward to an outstanding experience at this "Leading Hotels of the World" property.

While it has been two years since our last stay, our return visit on October 28, 2013 was sadly disappointing.

The exterior of the hotel remains an impressive experience but the rooms we were shown to were sadly becoming tired in appearance. The "sheer" window curtains were dingy grey and,
in spots, tattered.

One of the rooms reserved for us was a "smoking" room. The lingering stench of stale tobacco reeked so badly that even the staff escorting us to the room were gasping. Opening the door to the room caused the smell to escape into the corridor forcing us to ask for room change(s).

Despite designating rooms for "smoking," there are many options to removing the smell of stale tobacco from such rooms - charcoal filters, cleaning solutions, room air neutralizers are but a few. By proper cleaning, filtering and neutralizing, designated smoking rooms could be occupied by non-smokers as needed.

As returning guests, and the hotel knew or should have known of our multiple stay status, we feel we should have been offered alternative, equal or "upgraded" rooms rather
than "downgraded" category rooms despite the inclusion of breakfast, apparently the only solution available to the acting assistant front desk manager.

The hotel removed its small "business center" for reasons the staff was unable to explain. This space now remains dark and empty. While hotel-provided computer centers are pretty much the norm, all the front desk had was a laptop which was not in operating condition....hardly worthy of a "Leading Hotel." Not every guest has a laptop or I-Pad or similar. Many count on the business center for outside communication.

The common areas still have beautiful chandeliers. However, they appear lackluster and gummy due to lack of cleaning.

We were informed of new management having taken over since our last visit. If this is some sort of "austerity program" or directive put in place for whatever reason it should be seriously rethought as to cost savings vs. benefit, appearance and guest comfort.

Our thanks go to our friend and front desk manager, Anna U. even though she was on vacation at the time of our arrival. We recognize Judith H. and Marlene K. for their assistance and efforts to please.

Room Tip: Stay away from rooms facing the rear of the hotel as revelers seem to spill out into the streets unt...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank SpencertheSpy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 - 153 of 824 reviews

Reviewed November 11, 2013

My first Castle stay. The hotel is grand. A huge castle that stands on top of a hill overlooking the city of Bensberg, south of Germany and Cologne as a whole. Very spacious surrounding areas with lots of trees and greens, very Castle like. Its nice to just walk the afternoon around the Castle grounds with the feel of fresh air. The lobby is quite simple and humble. Friendly hotel staff that are very attentive and accommodating. Rooms are spacious with high ceilings and an elegant royal feel to it. The huge bathroom was very clean with spotless glass panels. Very nice and fragrant soaps and lotions as well as soft towels. Breakfast was very good. The quality and choices were up to the standards of a 5 star luxury hotel. The hotel is near a strip of restaurants, cafe's and a few retail shops. Location is a bit off the "main city", but its a nice, peaceful, quite place to be in after a long tiring day at busy Cologne, accessible via train with a 10 to 15 minute walk to the hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank ChefGabbyPrats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

Overlooking Cologne from the south, this hotel is one of the best ever....
We stayed for businees more than a week and it became home.
Excellent breakfast, very nice staff after long days working...
Rooms ever so quiet.

Prices are the same as downtown Cologne which is easily reached by train or car. Trainstation 10 minute walk.

Room Tip: Ask for a corner room
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Renato V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2013

This hotel is a real gem. Whether you are visiting Cologne or the surrounding area, this hotel is an amazing place to stay. As they would say in German, the "Preisleistungsverhaeltnis" is off the charts. I was there for a conference and business dinner, but I could just as well see bringing my family to this hotel. You'll never stay anywhere quite like it. The contents of the minibar are gratis (even the beer) and so is the internet connection.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
Thank IntLaw_Washington_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
trastulloatschloss, Manager at Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg, responded to this reviewResponded October 21, 2013

Dear jamesboykin,

Thank you for sharing your great feedback with us. We are very pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family back soon.

Best regards,
Annika Trastullo

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

I love this hotel, and I have stayed there three times before. I have another reservation for next month.

I go to Dusseldorf for trade shows, and it can take me 45 minutes to get to the show facility from downtown where prices are over 200 Euros for an Ibis. Cologne is more reasonably priced, and just outside Cologne, the Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg is still only 45 minutes from the show facility in Dusseldorf. I have never paid more than 150 Euros for the room, and that is much cheaper than most other offerings during a large trade show.

The rooms are roomy and nice with high ceilings. The indoor pool is welcome as I like to get my exercise in early in the morning. Breakfast is typical for the better hotels in Germany.

The view from the hotel is stunning. You have a full view of Cologne. Just outside the hotel is a very nice street with shops and restaurants.

I have stayed at more luxurious hotels, but this one is quite good and very well-priced for the area. This is my standard choice now on each trip to Cologne/Dusseldorf.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Jonathan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

stayed here as our last night after 14 nights touring Europe, for a special night what a waste of money !! 275 euros a night, tiny room , restaurant shut 3/4 days a week forced into an Italian in the basement, only one course each & bottle of wine , 8 euros for bread so bill 130 euros for pasta , service slow , full & hot ,went for breakfast another 40 euros on top of 275 Euros then my car appeared another 22 euros for parking on site
Beds old & noisey , well ness center a 5 minute walk up & down floors in lift, nothing friendly about it start to finish, we cancelled breakfast left & enjoyed one up the road for 10 euros, no way would I recomend this place

Room Tip: overlooking the front lawn not on 3rd floor
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank peter k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Certainly not the most expensive or the most luxurious hotel I've stayed in but probably the best overall. An upgrade to a junior suite helped!
The hotel is a little outside Cologne and a 25 minute (pretty) trip on the train taking you right into the city centre. The station itself a 10 minute walk from the hotel.
The hotel is large and imposing in an elevated position and certainly from our suite one could see the Cathedral.
Our room was beautifully appointed, large, full of light and full of fruit - not just an apple and a few grapes here. The one issue I had was that I hate duvets however good the aircon. One quick phone call and the bed was made up with sheets and blankets.
Unfortunately the 3* Vendôme was closed for the summer holidays so we had to make do with Enoteca; perfectly fine and it saved us a lot of money . Breakfasts were a delight - what ever you wanted cooked for you together with a massive cold table, fruit and excellent Viennoiserie.
We arrived by car and drove directly into the garage but if you want to arrive in style pull up to the front and your car will be taken to the garage.
If you don't have a car then they do - 2 nice BMW 750 - leather seats piped in red and each headrest crested SB. A good used car buy when they come to sell particularly if your name your name is S. Bercow .

All the carpeting drapes and art work in the world do not make a great hotel but in Schloss Bensberg they have assembled a top team. To use the German way of expressing niceness - super efficient - super nice and super friendly. All of them speak better English than I do - Welsh as well probably.
They have a very refreshing local water - Gerolsteiner - and I had asked them about it. When we picked up the bill the young lady handed me a bag with two bottles of water for our journey. Then she looked inside and swapped them for Gerolsteiner because she remembered my asking about it. Cost them a few pennies but it was a gold bar to me.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GeorgeDaymond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg

Address: Kadettenstrasse, 51429 Bergisch Gladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Location: Germany > North Rhine-Westphalia > Bergisch Gladbach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Bergisch Gladbach
Price Range: $207 - $350 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg 5*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In a truly fantastic location, high above the Cologne lowlands and with a wonderful view of Cologne cathedral, one of the largest baroque palaces in Europe awaits you. It is the spirit of history that fills and enchants the 5 star Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg. The multitude of details from times long gone still tell tales of unique people and moments that characterise this building so much: Goethe and Beethoven, as well as Napoleon and the Medici family resided here. But today you can enjoy stylish luxury in the magnificent, historic chambers and in unmistakable Althoff ambience. Supplemented by personal service, Joachim Wissler's 3-star cuisine in the gourmet restaurant Vendome and a Beauty & Leading Spa that satisfies even the highest demands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg Hotel Bergisch Gladbach
Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg Cologne
Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg Hotel Cologne

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