If there's such a thing as an award for "Ultimate Friendliest Hotel Staff in the History of the Universe", I know who deserves it: these people!
When I first walk through the front doors of the National Hotel--carrying my backpack, looking scruffy, unshaven, and shaky from a whole week of non-stop drinking, my T-shirt drenched through with sweat from travel and because it's 33C (90F) outside, I'm greeted with giant smiles and two big "Hellos!" from the man and woman working the front desk. The pair of them look like a couple of extremely well-groomed stewardesses. "God, I look like hell and must stink," I think to myself, "Let's see how nice they are when I get closer." But they stay incredibly nice as they check me in--all smiles, "yes sir," and full of "if there's anything at all we can do to make your stay more pleasant, please, please let us know." I imagine for a split second that they must have me confused with somebody famous... Or that I've slipped into a fairytale land where Bambi and Thumper will show up to carry my bag up to the room for me.
In the elevator with me is a bellboy, he's friendly too. "Hot day out there, isn't it, sir?"
Walking through the hallways to my room something incredibly cool happens--wall lights are automatically turning themselves on ahead of me and off behind me. This makes me feel like a superhero who can control electricity.
My room is small but it's immaculately clean. There are two beds and they're aligned vertically instead of the regular horizontal side-by-side arrangement. They're definitely the narrowest beds I've ever seen in a hotel room.
Later that night, I take a voucher they gave me at check-in to use at their bar to receive a complimentary drink. The bartender is a little surly because desk staff was supposed to sign the back of the paper and they obviously forgot.
After my drink, I walk two doors down to a pizza parlour's patio and have what contends as one of the best spicy pizzas of all time, wash it back with a half-dozen beers, and thoroughly enjoy the people-watching. I'd heard stories that the neighbourhood was rough, but I found no evidence of that--passersby all looked very fashionable or trendy as though they were going to the opera or a disco.
The next morning, I have the included breakfast while a big German woman dotes on me and makes sure I have everything I want to eat.
Finishing my meal, I grab my backpack and walk the one block to the train station.
A completely perfect hotel stay! How often can you say that?
Directions: One block from the main downtown train station.
Am Kaiserplatz, Frankfurt, Hesse, 60311, Germany
Kennedyallee 70, Frankfurt, Hesse, 60596, Germany
Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 40, Frankfurt, Hesse, D-60325, Germany
Poststrasse 10, Frankfurt, Hesse, 60329, Germany
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Address: Baseler Strasse 50, Frankfurt, Hesse, 60329, Germany