Nuremberg was meant to be a night stop, so that we could visit the Christmas market till late, and not worry about returning to Munich at ungodly hours. Therefore, the aim was to look for a budget hotel that allow us to recharge, especially when we had to make a 7-hour journey to Hallstatt the following day.
Hotel ibis became the top choice in preliminary search. The struggle was whether to pay SGD 20 more for the version of the hotel that is a few blocks closer to the old town (in fact, it was inside the old town).
I chose the latter.
If compared apple to apple, the Hauptbahnhof ibis is definitely better than the old town’s version. The former is slightly nearer to the Hauptbahnhof, which itself has a myriad of eating and shopping places that checks off my need for convenience.
Moreover, consider that once you enter the old town, you are faced with uneven walkways, which may pose a headache especially for visitors lugging suitcases (bad for the wheels!!).
When one decides to stay in a budget hotel, he must constantly sees everything in context. When it comes to service in a budget hotel, I don’t expect the staff to know my name or to put on smiles whenever they see me.
Therefore, this hotel makes the mark, as the staff was pleasant and greets us in the morning, etc. The only thing lacking is of course the lengthy check-in. It took so long that I began to wonder if I made a mistake in my reservations, or they were deciding if I was a terrorist…
All in all, the service is good for a budget hotel, but this is all everything good about the hotel.
In the context of budget hotels, yes, this fits everything of a budget hotel. However, even in the class of budgets, there are those that scores the higher band, and those that… were the pioneers of budget hotels.
Space in Hotel ibis is very limited. Granted, there was space in the room itself to open up 2 suitcases, but that is at the expense of moving around the room. Most of the time, the suitcases had to be kept and stowed under the desk.
The other amenities just made the mark: TV, small couch, study desk, a small wardrobe to hang clothes (and wet towels!), complete with racks to put other knick-knacks.
There were power points hidden beneath a panel in the study desk, and but the crevice made it not that suitable for plugs that had wire jutting out in a particular direction (depending on how your plug is designed and where the wire juts out). The design is very space-savingly thoughtful, but lacked thorough thinking for users.
There was also no room safe (either lock your passports in your suitcases, or bring them out… I don’t know which one is more dangerous!), though the hotel provides safe in the reception. Again, I’m not sure if I want to entrust such an important document with a stranger. hmmm…
Of course, don’t expect slippers or bathrobes. This is a no-frills hotel!
The bathroom is the one that got to me.
I was quite surprised that they managed to make their rooms designed to be exactly the same, be it in France or in Germany (the design is unique, because they had weird corners, unlike the typical rectangular designs of hotel rooms). This also meant the same inconvenience is cut and paste into Nuremberg.
I’m big for an Asian, but by international standards, I’m a small-sized guy. Yet I knock into something at every turn. That was not a very good experience.
A head-to-toe shower foam was provided (a hanging squeeze-to-dispense container), so they saw no need to provide space for guests to put their own facial cleansers. Even then, the shower gel had a weird smell, so I also used my own shower foam. And that meant there was a struggle to access my toiletries, which had to be put at the sink, separated from the shower area with a door.
Imagine: Open door, squeeze facial cleanser, close door, rub-a-dub, rinse, open door, squeeze shower foam, close door, rub-a-dub, oh, not enough shower foam, open door, squeeze…. You get the drift.
Even then, there was no proper place at the sink to place toiletries, which will be a headache if you are like me, who had contact lens case, solution, shaver etc. There was a ledge above the toilet bowl that had plenty of space, but… it was a bit of a stretch and hey… imagine you have to put your shower foam there, and then the shower is 3 steps away from the shower area (think of the open-door-close-door scenario again).
What really irked me was that due to the lack of space, the bath towels were hung below the sink, where all the disease-causing moulds and bacteria in a toilet is most likely thriving.
Hygiene-sacrificed-in-name-of-space-saving aside, there was hairdryer, hand soap, glasses, heated water (and heater to heat the toilet), but no toothbrush/toothpaste, no hand towels and no shavers.
I did not include breakfast in my price package, which provided me flexibility to have breakfast at my own time, and at wherever takes my fancy.
However, the hotel still provides breakfast at its cafe on ground floor for 11 Euros. There was also a business centre at the ground floor, in case you need to print a reservation voucher at the last minute.
Just outside the old city centre. The walk from the train station to the hotel may be confusing.
Head to the East Hall, exit, look for Le Meridien Grand Hotel to orientate yourself. Directly opposite the hotel, there’s a underground entrance. Go down, walk straight and get up the escalator. Half of the journey is completed. Cross the remaining road to reach Le Meridien. Once reach LM, continue down the less busy road. After Fitness Star, it’s Hotel ibis.
OK, even though the hotel is beside a casino. In general, gang members moving in a group could be seen moving in and around hauptbahnhof.
How To Get There
When I did my research, I foresee that there would be difficulties reaching the hotel from the station, just by looking at the layout of the junction along the way. I even used Google satellite to do a research — which also proved not very useful. We were lost the moment we stepped off the train.
First, go all the way up to the ground level. Wayfinding is bad in the station, but keep a look out for Subway, KFC or Brezen Kolb (bakery).
Following that, go towards East Hall. Once you reach the vicinity, turn left, and you should be heading to the exit that is directly opposite Le Meridien, which was beside HiNH. At the exit, you should see an underground passage stairway.
Technically, all you have to do is to go down the steps, walk straight and walk up the steps and you will be on the other side of the road, which is sort of a road island in between the station and Le Meridien. Just make your way towards Le Meridien.
The catch is that if you are lugging suitcases, then this option is not suitable, as the crossing towards Le Meridien involved crossing several tram railways without the aid of traffic lights.
The alternative is to abandon the underground passage, turn right and head towards the nearest traffic light. It will not seem intuitive as you would be moving away from the direction of Le Meridien, but once you cross the road, you will be on the same side of the road as Le Meridien.
Once on the side of Le Meridien, walk towards the junction and turn the corner. Le Meridien should be on your right, and the old tower on your left. Walk straight for a block, you will see a blue facade on ground floor and the entrance to HiNH is only a few steps away.
Hotel ibis Nuernberg Hauptbahnhof
90402 Nürnberg, Germany
+49 911 24090
Like My Review
If you find the tips helpful in deciding whether to stay at this hotel, or what to do when you come here, do go to Tripadvisor, search for “Zenov” and like my review.
Or, if you are planning for a trip to Bavaria this coming winter, follow my blog, as I will post more about my adventures in Bavaria, and tips on getting the best out of your vacation!