Hotel Excelsior Hotel Ernst Hotel 5 star
Domplatz/Trankgasse 1-5, Cologne Cologne, Germany -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Location, location, location - it's all about location and the Excelsior Hotel Ernst certainly has no problem in that department! Looking out to the famous Kolner Dom (cathedral), this hotel could not be better situated even if it wanted to be. A great choice in the city centre, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst is convenient to all of Cologne's historical and cultural sites, its shopping thoroughfares, the best places to eat and drink, as well as the central train station. Whether you're in Cologne for business or pleasure, there are few better places to base yourself than at this stylish, five star institution.

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    Location 9.11 /10

    Smack bang in the middle of Cologne's hustle and bustle, the Excelsior Hotel Ernst faces the cathedral on Trankgasse and is walking distance to most major tourist sites. The hotel is 9 miles from Cologne Bonn international airport and some 25 miles from Dusseldorf international airport.

    Accommodation 9.20 /10

    The rooms at the hotel are divided into three categories; standard, superior and deluxe with all types of room bright, clean and spacious. That said there is a stark difference between the décor of the standard/superior rooms and the deluxe rooms. The latter are comfortable and tastefully decorated while some of the standard and superior rooms appear old-fashioned (floral bed linen and matching curtains etc) and would therefore benefit from a little makeover. However, each to their own and if this doesn't pose any problem, the standards and superiors are nevertheless spotless and roomy.

    Some rooms have lovely large bay windows, others have pleasant views of the inner courtyard, while the suites command prime views of the Cologne Cathedral. With comfortable beds, a mini walk-in wardrobe, mounted flat screen TV and a sizeable bathroom with rain shower and separate large tub, the deluxe rooms are your best bet. The double deluxe rooms are between 34m² and 42m² and feature partial floor heating in addition to air conditioning. Meanwhile, all rooms feature a sitting area, pillow menu with a wide choice of pillows (we checked!) and free use of the mini bar.

    Overview 8.95 /10

    Stepping into the Excelsior Hotel Ernst immediately transports you to another place for its sumptuous lobby complete with gleaming tiles, gilt décor and smartly-uniformed bellboys make a pleasant first impression. The hotel is almost 150 years old while the building itself was rebuilt in 1908 and the last major renovations made in 2007. Like the city it is found in, the hotel attempts to mix traditional with the modern, with varying degrees of success.

    The overall ambiance is one of grandeur thanks to the royal blue carpets lining the hotel corridors, the Rococo period antiques, the abundance of rich cherry wood, or the artwork and opulent mirrors that adorn the walls. The hotel comprises three buildings connected by an inner courtyard, an oasis of calm that provides a stark contrast to the constant whirr of traffic outside. Such a stately affair is undoubtedly beautiful in some places yet somber in others.

    Although the hotel does attract a mostly business clientele, there are plenty of reasons why it would be suitable for those on a city break. Besides the obvious great location, the hotel boasts two restaurants, two bars, a fitness and wellbeing centre (with a clean and well-lit gym, sauna, steam room and relaxation room) as well as free internet and printing facilities.

    Food and drink 8.70 /10

    If you're looking to eat traditional German cuisine you'll need to look elsewhere to find typical but heavy dishes such as bratwurst and sauerkraut. The two restaurants at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst; Taku and Hanse Stube, serve elegant south-east Asian and French cuisine respectively. At Taku, take a culinary journey from Thailand to Japan via China and Vietnam and try the delicious teriyaki duck breast with pak choy and shitake mushrooms. In the elegant setting of the Hanse Stube restaurant, savour classic staples such as sautéed scallops with summer leaf salad and raspberry vinaigrette, or monkfish with truffled polenta and artichoke.

    For the early evening aperitif or afterhours nightcap, there are two bars on site; the Piano Bar, a cosy corner with a gentlemen's club feel and the Riesling Lounge, a small yet modern space to sample some local and international wines. In the summertime, drinks can be enjoyed on the terrace. Meanwhile, breakfast is served every morning in the Hanse Stube restaurant and offers a wide selection of breads, pastries, cold cuts and fruit.

    To know

    The Excelsior Hotel Ernst is a member of the luxury hotel brand 'The Leading Hotels of the World' so guests can be assured of a high standard of accommodation and service. A medium sized hotel, it has capacity for approximately 250 guests.


    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Sports equipment

      gym, fitness, sports

    • Animals allowed
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room


    • Excellent, city centre location (next to the cathedral)
    • The rooms and public areas are spacious and immaculate
    • Five star service


    • Some rooms and areas of the hotel risk looking dated and austere

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score 8.00/10
      • Package deals in July 2010 Posted on 2010-07-09 Business trip - One week or more (Room with a view)

        Gorgeous, stately hotel that effortlessly combines modern features with a heritage feel.

      • Advantages

        Its location in the city centre, great service, lovely food, and the deluxe rooms are pretty special!

      • Disavantages

        Few leisure facilities and if you're not staying in a deluxe room the others can seem quite dated.

      • Overview
      • Accommodation
      • Location
      • Food and Drink
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      • Value for money
      • Overall Score 8.17/10