Hotel Jakoberhof, Augsburg *

There were three events going on in Augsburg, and I was unable to get a room in one of the hotels I usually stay in. The Jakoberhof was the last hotel in the city that had a room available on HRS.

It is an old hotel near the Fuggerei (but a ways from city center) that consists of a main building and two side buildings.
I was in building “37”, with the room facing the main building via the courtyard, but also the rather busy Pilgerhausstrasse, making for anything but the promised “quiet room”.

The room is ok in size, the furnishings are Ikea-quality, the bathroom seems refurbished within the last few years, and is seemingly clean. On second look, it shows its age, with this relic from the 70’s:
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Also, this “hack” was the only way to sleep:
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The door was so loose, that it clacked back and forth very loudly anytime someone opened or closed the front door.
Most likely, the door gasket was hardened, as the door also let through any and all noise from the corridor.

Breakfast was ok, they even had fresh fruit.


Hotel Riegele, Augsburg **

Sometime late 2010, I stayed in this hotel before, and seem to remember not being very happy with the choice.
This time, I’ve decided to document the stay immediately as a reminder to myself…

The hotel is located straight across from the train station, and subsequently very near our Augsburg offices. So far so good.
It also has a restaurant in the same building (run by the same company) that serves up very high quality German food.

Due to its vicinity to the train station and two very busy roads (that intersection very near the hotel), a room to the front is absolutely not to be recommended unless you are hard of hearing. Even to the back, the road noise is prevalent, mainly due to the ancient, no: antique windows. These are 1950’s style: two separate single-pane windows in separate frames, which are put together in a single unit. Needless to say, they don’t just keep noise out very badly, they are also an insulation nightmare.

The room I’m in is actually quite nice: number 401, top floor, under the roof. The bathroom contains everything you need, but quite clearly in dire need of renovation: tiles are cracked and pitted, the shower is “old-school” (a good 8” off the ground). The entire bathroom is lit by a single lamp above the sink. The grouting and silicon in the shower itself is ill-fitting or missing, which gives it a bit of a yuck-factor. The ultimate disaster in the bathroom has to be the shower tap, however. I personally prefer a thermostatic system, where you give it a temperature with one knob and vary the water volume with the other. While these are still relatively rare, the usual system is one with a ceramic cartridge where you vary volume and temperature by moving a lever up-down and left-right. The one in this bathroom must have been from 1940: just two knobs. One for hot, one for cold. To make things even worse, they opened in opposite directions! Imagine my confusion while desperately trying to make the cold shower warmer without setting it to scaldingly hot!

Also, there are no electrical outlets anywhere near the bed. If you want to charge your smartphone overnight and use it as an alarm, you’ll need to plug it into the outlet at the desk and get set to walk across the room to silence it. Wait: there are no free outlets at the desk! There is a 3-outlet strip floppily laying on top, but all three outlets are used (Refrigerator, TV, Lamp). Out go the fridge and TV to make room for the laptop and mobile phone chargers…

Wifi isn’t free, by the way, but it only costs €2 for 24 hours. Unfortunately, something was wrong with the internet connection when I stayed - while the connection to the hotspot (with a password for the network AND a password for the hotspot!) worked fine, there was nearly no traffic in or out.

Breakfast, included in the roomrate, is okay. Fresh fruit salad, yoghurt, various rolls, meats, cheese, scrambled egg, bacon, etc. Everything is there.

All in all, the room is okay, assuming you can get one to the back of the building in order to keep roadnoise to a minimum. However, the room rate is absolutely too much (€85 with breakfast) for what you get. If they offered the room for, say, €55, then I would come back. For the current rate, I will go elsewhere.

Intercity-Hotel Augsburg ****

The Intercity Hotel in Augsburg is right around the corner from the central train station.
The building complex isn’t what you would call attractive, but when you’re inside, all is well.
For some reason, this hotel is only rated 7.2 by people that booked via HRS and stayed here. I’m not really sure why. The rooms are large enough and quite clean. Yes, the bathroom fixtures probably should be renovated - I’ve had rooms with cracks in the sink, and most of the rooms I’ve had really needed a new shower head, but these little issues haven’t kept me from coming back.

Breakfast is really quite good, though it gets extremely hectic when there is a trade fair in Augsburg. Wether it is worth €14 to you is a personal decision, I’ve had certainly had similar breakfast buffets at a lower cost.

The hotel can be had for attractive rates when booking early - due to the prime location near the train station (and subsequently, not far from Munich, should the hotels in that city be full due to Oktoberfest or a trade fair). If you try to book it just a couple of days ahead, then it will generally cost more than €100. When I stay, I’m usually in the price range of €65-75.

While it is very close to the train station and subsequently, very close to my employer’s Augsburg office, it is a strong walk away from city center. A fast walker will make it there in 10-15 minutes on foot.

With your room key, you get a pass that allows you to use Augsburg-city public transport for free - and since the tram station is right in front of the entrance, this should alleviate the inconvenience of location for most people.

The street in front of the hotel is a main thoroughfare, subsequently I recommend you get a room to the back, if possible.

Hotel Ost am Kö, Augsburg **

(Updates below)

A really pleasant hotel in the heart of Augsburg “downtown”. Clean and quaint. Very friendly front desk staff.

The breakfast is great, with a large selection of different foods.

I’ve had the luck so far to have a room towards the back - it is quite possible that the rooms to the front are a bit loud, as the hotel is on a main thoroughfare with quite a bit of car and tram traffic.

It takes about 5 minutes of quick walking to get to the train station and only about 3 minutes to get to the Rathausplatz.

I have booked the hotel via HRS as well as the hotel website.

The hotel has “regular” and “premium” rooms. I’ve had both (a free “Christmas gift” upgrade - thank you!) - the premium rooms are larger, other than that the regular rooms are just fine.

There is Wifi in the entire hotel, but it is run by T-Online, which means it isn’t free (unless you’re a member). There is free internet on a computer in the hotel lobby.

The hotel has a sauna, but I haven’t used it so far.

------------- Update March 20, 2012 ----------------

Stayed in the hotel again March 19-20 - this time I had a room to the front (room 20). While the noise level from the main street outside is actually acceptable (the windows seem to be noise abating), the condition of the room definitely was not. The bathroom could have used a bit more cleaning and the room itself was in a run-down state. The shower didn’t close properly (leaving a gap of nearly two cm), which ended up flooding a portion of the floor while showering.
It annoyed me so much, that I’ve taken the hotel from a 4* to a 3* rating.

Also, beware: the entire area around the hotel is a huge construction site. The Königsplatz is being torn apart, it is my understanding that the tram tracks will be put underground. When they work a section, they also do so at night, so you run the risk of having a major construction going on outside the hotel all night long.

------------ Update August 21, 2012 ----------------

Last night, I stayed at the Ost am Kö again, this time I had room 21 (right next to the one described in the update of March 20). Here, the window, while also triple-pane, certainly did not qualify for a noise-abating rating - and the Irish pub across the street (which, for a reason I can’t fathom, seems to have been open until 1AM), perhaps the frame was damaged and leaked sound. Also, the wall to room 20 was either quite thin or the guy next door had the TV blaring, for I could almost make out the program.
The worst, however, was the temperature - there is no A/C in these rooms (not sure if there is A/C anywhere in the hotel) and the room was blaringly hot.
Since I had to put my Fireplugs into my ears anyway, I opened up the window to let some air in; the desk fan just didn’t cut it. Taking the hotel down to two stars!
Not sure I’ll stay here again unless I can be guaranteed a room to the back.