Sheraton Congress Niederrad, Frankfurt
(former ArabellaSheraton Congress)
The Sheraton Frankfurt Congress, the former ArabellaSheraton Congress Hotel, is located in the business district of Niederrad (“Bürostadt Niederrad”) to the southwest of Frankfurt city centre and not far away from the airport.
The business district is home to companies like Nestlé, IBM and Siemens among others and offers good public transportation to downtown Frankfurt and to the airport. From the airport the hotel could be reached by S-Bahn S 8 or S 9 to the station “Niederrad”, from downtown Frankfurt one could take the S-Bahn S 7, S 8 or S 9 to “Niederrad”. From the S-Bahnhof one could either walk in direction of the business district or take the tram. If you walk, you need less than 10 minutes, the tram needs just one minute to “Bürostadt Niederrad”, which is the next stop after S-Bahnhof Niederrad; the stop is in front of the hotel.
The first impression of the 1973 built hotel is not very appealing as it is constructed in Seventies brutalist concrete.
The hotel has 13 floors and only three room categories, Classic, Superior and Executive and six suites. Classic and Superior rooms have not much differences between each other, the Superior room offer tea and coffee facilities and a bathrobe. The Executive rooms are on the top floor, slightly bigger and have free W-LAN and 50% reduction and food and beverage in the restaurant and bar and an in room safe. The hotel does not offer a lounge.
The 10th and 11th floor are SPG floors, the 12th and 13th floor are Executive floors.
If you enter the hotel, you are right in a big lobby with the check-in desk opposite the entrance and the bar to left. The bar is open to the lobby and not separated, thus making the lobby and the bar a bit noisy, especially if a bigger group is arriving. Right hand side is the restaurant and the Link by Sheraton area.
There are three lifts to reach either the pool and the garage in the basement or the floors with the rooms.
Located in the basement is the pool area with sauna, steam bath and pool. There are changing rooms with lockers (you need a 1 EUR or 0.50 EUR coin). The pool is open daily from 7.00 h to 22.30 h, the sauna and steam bath is open from 10.00 h to 22.30 h.
The pool is 6 x 12 m and big enough to swim a few laps.
There is a gym connected to the pool with very good machines. Small towels and water are provided in the gym. The only downside is, that you have to pass the pool to reach the gym.
The gym is open 24 hours, but since you have to cross the pool, this means that the pool is accessible 24 hours as well. Not sure, how the hotel handles this.
The restaurant on the ground floor is big, it has a Bavarian part right hand side (called “Tölzer Stube”) and the main part. Both restaurants are more Bavarian Style, not what you would expect in Frankfurt. If the weather is fine, one could have breakfast on the terrace outside. The main restaurant is open for breakfast and for lunch and dinner on weekdays, while Tölzer Stube is open for lunch and dinner on all days of the week.
Breakfast is served in the main restaurant as an extended continental breakfast with ham, eggs (scrambled or prepared by the cook), cereals, rolls, pastries, jam, cheese, fruit salad and yoghurt. Tea was available from the usual Samowar.
All 13 conference rooms are located on the ground floor in an annex building of the hotel with a separate entrance. The largest room can hold up to 500 attendees in theatre-style seating and has French windows opening out onto the adjacent terrace.
Stays: June 11, 2004 - April 15, 2005 - March 18, 2011 - June 29, 2011
Arrival Date: June 11, 2004
Departure Date: June 14, 2004
Room type booked: Superior Room
Rate Plan: Best flexible rate
Room Number: 1029
Room Rate: 109.00 / night incl. breakfast for two persons
Status of SPG:Gold
My room on the 10th floor was easy to reach by one of the three elevators. I was assigned the same room category which I had booked, so no upgrade.
The rooms are very small and there is not much of difference between single and double rooms in terms of size. If you stay in the room with two persons, the space to move is very limited.
The bathroom could be reached from the hallway and is in relation to the room quite large. It has bath, sink and toilet. Nice, the shower is separated by a wall rather than a glass panel, but the wall is a bit short and you cannot avoid water dripping on the floor while taking a shower and the floor of the bathroom can become slippery quite quickly. The showerhead was okay but a replacement in the near future would not be wrong. The wash basin is okay but there is not much space to store things like razor, toothbrush as hairdryer and the vanity mirror need some place. On the positive side could be mentioned that the loudspeaker in the bathroom is working and you can listen to the radio or the television selected in the room.
The room had a small wardrobe in the hallway where you could hang your coat and next to the closet a place to store your luggage. The closet offers enough space to store belongings, a trouser press is located in the floor and iron and ironing board could be requested from housekeeping. The big minor is the absence of a in-room safe in Classic and Superior Rooms. The décor of the room is a “light Bavarian style” featuring a design one would more expect in Bavaria. It is difficult to describe, not modern but also not old fashioned and not timeless but for sure not typical for Frankfurt. And it is slowly showing its age though there are not too many scratches.
The mattress of the bed was okay, though no Sweet Sleeper Bed. The minibar is placed below the television. Instead of a real working desk, there is a small table in front of the window where you could place you laptop and where the LAN port is also located. To me the space is very limited and it is difficult to work and if you need papers it will be difficult to place them.
On the positive side, the water bottle is renewed every day and the newspaper was delivered during the week in the morning. I asked for a late check out at 14:00, which was only granted after I pointed out my SPG Gold status and late check out being one of the guaranteed perks.
Breakfast in the restaurant was okay regarding offerings and service. The selection was quite good including “Weißwürste” and the buffet was restocked frequently. Tea was available from a Samowar and the staff was attentive, but if they are busy, it could take some time before used plates are cleared.
Check out was fast and efficient, but again no personal word (something like, “we hope you enjoyed the stay” or “we wish you a pleasant trip home”).
The location is not that bad and the connection to public transportation is quite good. However there is much room to improve the friendliness of the check in staff.
Date: April 15, 2005
Departure Date: April 17, 2005
Room Type booked: Superior Room
Rate Plan: Get 20% off 2 Nights
Rome Rate: 79.20 EUR / night incl. Breakfast
Status of SPG: Gold
I arrived at the hotel at 16:45 on a Friday afternoon and was greeted by the front desk agent. I was asked if I had a good journey and she must have noticed that my last stay in the hotel was a year ago, as she said, it was nice to see me again after nearly a year.
This check in experience was quite different from the last time I have stayed in this hotel, friendly and more caring about the details. This time I got a room on the 11th floor, facing the parking lot in front of the hotel, but again the same room I had booked.
It seems, they do not upgrade Gold. The room had nearly the same interior than in June 2004, as you can see on the pictures.
The requested late check out at 14:00 was granted without problems. Check out was fast and efficient again. I was asked if everything was okay. I pointed out the missing W-LAN in the rooms. I was told that the rooms will be upgraded with W-LAN during this year.
Arrival Date: March 18, 2011
Departure Date: March 19, 2011
Room Type booked: Classic Room (got Superior)
Rate Plan: Beatthetimer
Room Number: 1216
Rome Rate: 85.00 EUR
Status of SPG: Platinum
I have not been in this hotel for a long time, so I decided to give them a try since I am now SPG Platinum member. My expectations were not very high, as the hotel does not offer any executive lounge and usually do not upgrade Platinums further than to a Superior room. Since it was only a short stay and I had not plans to spend much time in the room, I did not care that much about upgrades.
I arrived around 17:00 and was friendly greeted by the agent at the front desk. The agent retrieved the reservation from the system and asked me to sign the receipt and see if everything was correct. They had old the old information in their own system and not the updated ones of my SPG profile so I had to correct a few things. In addition to the usual SPG Platinum welcome amenity – I went for the 500 pts – a choice of another amenity was offered, which were fruit smoothies, chips and beer among others. I received also a voucher for a drink at the bar.
The opening hours of the restaurant were mentioned, but in the way, it suggested that breakfast was free and after I pointed out, that breakfast was not included, the agent confirmed that of course I had to pay for it or use points. Something I have discovered quite a few times in the past and I really dislike this. It must be obvious that it is not free. I also had to ask about opening hours of pool and gym. I was also told I was upgraded to a Superior room, which was what I had expected. Platinum are not upgraded further to Executive Rooms unless a Superior Room is already booked and even than it is a bit of gambling.
The room on the 12th floor was easy to reach by one of the three elevators. The rooms had not much changed since my last stay. The only difference was, that some of the rooms now have flat TVs, unfortunately not the one I was staying in.
The bathroom could be reached from the hallway and towels were provided there for the use in the pool as well as they are no separate towels in the pool area anymore. A bathrobe hung in the closet in the room but unfortunately slippers were not provided.
Check out was fast and efficient and I was asked if everything was okay. Overall not much had changed and the lack of upgrades to suites are annoying for quite a few SPG members. However, I knew what to expect and was satisfied given the rate of only 85 EUR and the enjoyable pool and wellness area.
Arrival Date: June 29, 2011
Departure Date: June 30, 2011
Room Type booked: Classic Room (got Superior)
Rate Plan: Advanced Purchase Rate
Room Number: 1225
Rome Rate: 93.00 EUR
Status of SPG: Platinum
I needed a hotel for an overnight stay in Frankfurt, with easy access to the motorway and to downtown Frankfurt, so I booked again the Sheraton Congress.
I arrived quite late around 22:20 in the hotel . The bar was busy with a Japanese tourist group and the lobby was quite busy for this late hour.
No lines at check in and the agent retrieved the reservation from the system and asked me to sign the receipt. Unfortunately nothing of the points I corrected during my check in in March has been updated in the hotels own reservation system and so I had to update them again (and it was not the last time, which became a bit of annoying over the time). Again I was offered the SPG Platinum welcome amenity – I went for the 500 pts – and a choice of another amenity. Since nothing really impressed me I asked if it was possible to receive an additional bottle of water, which was not problem. I received also a voucher for a drink at the bar.
The opening hours of the restaurant were mentioned and again in the same way, that it suggested breakfast was free. It was pointed out, that I received an upgrade to a Superior room.
The room was located on the 12th floor, which is a SPG floor.
This rooms was slightly different than the ones I was assigned during earlier stays. The room was facing the forest in the back of hotel and thus also offering good views towards the arrival planes, especially as it had its own balcony.
The bathroom could be reached from the hallway and was quite small. This room only had a shower, which was very narrow and I have never had such a narrow shower for a long time. Though everything was in good shape, it does not really help if you cannot move in the shower and the showerhead is always in the wrong place. The sink was placed in a corner of the bathroom offering hardly any space to store razor or toothbrush.
This room had the new wall mounted flat TV opposite the bed. So the tea and coffee facilities are now placed on the minibar making more room to store belongings on the desk.
The bed was a bit too soft for my taste. A wireless internet connection was available, but the connection a bit slow and so I changed to my UMTS card.
Check out was fast and efficient and I was asked if everything was okay.
I had two glasses of beer in the bar and the service was attentive and friendly.
The location of the flat TV is an improvement and making the desk more usable for working. But the design and style of the room is still something I am not used to in Frankfurt.