We needed a hotel in Hannover prior to a flight from the Northern German city’s airport and I picked the Novotel Suites in downtown for its proximity to the train station and airport train, as well as the chance to spend some time in downtown Hannover prior to departure. It’s a functional hotel in a great location and good value to boot!
Location: The Novotel Suites is in a new building just behind the central train station in an area that is seeing new development. It’s a five minute walk to the train and a few minutes more to the pedestrian area of downtown Hannover on the other side of the train station. Frequent trains to the airport (EUR2) take only 25 minutes – about the same time as a taxi, but a fraction of the cost. You can also catch local trains to anywhere in Hannover as well as high-speed trains to all-over Germany! The train station has shops around the clock for necessities and the nearby pedestrian area has plenty of shopping, restaurants, bars and entertainment, making it a very convenient place to be! I remember the area around the train station as one of the worst in the city a long time ago, but it has been cleaned up very well and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here. It’s a little hard to find by car, due to poor signage – just follow signs to the train station parking!
Service/Rewards: Service was mixed during our visit. Despite being newly built, the hotel doesn’t have a drive-up to load/unload and the staff just shrugged his shoulders when asked if it’s ok to stop in front and answered “your problem”. He noticed us on arrival, but rather continued his break in the back than coming to the front desk to check us in. Check in was efficient but equally unfriendly.
Different staff at check-out and during our breakfast in the morning was a little more friendly. The restaurant team kept the breakfast well stocked and tables clean in the morning. Housekeeping had prepared our room well – everything was clean, stocked and working well.
While the front desk didn’t acknowledge my Accor LeClub Platinum status, the hotel management did. There was no upgrade available – all rooms are suites and there is no lounge – but a welcome letter with a nice welcome amenity of beer and soft drinks and some candy and snacks was delivered to our room!
Room: The Novotel Hannover is an all-suites hotel. We booked a Suite, which has a large living space near the entrance, with a sofa, desk chair and movable desk, as well as a half-bath with the toilet and sink. The amenity closet offers coffee/tea facilities, a mini-fridge and a microwave.
The queen-size bed is on the other side of the room, has nice sheets and pillows and a single mattress – instead of the split-mattress “double beds” most German hotels have. Some rooms have a sliding divider wall between the living and sleeping area, making them true suites, but our room had them removed. If the sliding wall is important to you, you should make note of that during your booking!
Near the bed is the entrance to the bathroom. It has a large, deep soaking tup on one side the sink in the center and a separate shower with glass doors on the other side. Having a separate tub and shower is an upscale touch in this category of hotel and rare in city hotels in Europe where space is at a premium. Unfortunately, it is of the new Accor type of capsule bathrooms that appear to be assembled off-site in one piece and installed during construction. They are made of plastic, similar to what you find in budget hotels in the US and certainly don’t feel upscale. And while they look ok when new, I don’t expect them to age well for an even less upscale feel after a few years… The bathroom did stock the standard, high quality Novotel amenities and nice thick towels.
Amenities/Restaurant: The restaurant at the lobby level is open and fairly small, but offers a great breakfast. I love breakfast in Germany and while this one didn’t have the largest selection, the quality of food and presentation was excellent. There is a espresso coffee maker with touch screen to get your morning coffee just right, as well as a selection of teas and neatly presented complements, including honey for your tea!
You also find a selection of cereals, fruit and yogurt for a healthy start, lots of bread, rolls and pastries as well as cold cuts and cheese, as well as some hot dishes of meat and eggs for a complete breakfast. While I wouldn’t come here for a Sunday brunch, it was a sufficient selection, well presented and tasted very good!
The hotel has a small gym with cardio and weight equipment for a basic workout. Fitness is not that high on the list of European hotels, so while small, I’d call this above average!
Bottomline: A large, modern room in a central location with a good breakfast is about all I can ask for from a city hotel for a short stay. Being able to walk into town, having great access to public transport and the airport, is the key benefit. Service is often surely in Germany, so the mixed showing at the Novotel wouldn’t stop me from staying here again. and I’d recommend it At a rate of only $74 for the room, it’s good value and I’d recommend it for a business stay or stop-over in Hannover, with a chance to spend a little time in downtown as well!