Mercure Hotel Bad Homburg Friedrichsdorf

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by stevemilo, Sep 16, 2007.

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  1. stevemilo

    stevemilo Intern

    Aug 2, 2007
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    hi there, what is the easiest way to get from the above hotel to the Main Frankfurt Hauptbanhof ? I believe it is about 25-30 kilometres away. Is there a train near that hotel that can take me there ? I have a train trip at 930am to amsterdam
     

  2. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    The quickest way be to walk to the underground suburban railway "S-Bahn" station Friedricksdorf and take line S5 which will take you directly to Frankfurt main station Hauptbahnhof.
     
  3. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    I have always used a taxi between FRA and Bad Homburg. Just don't watch the speedo as the driver steers his Merc along the freeway at 160km/h. The train will be cheaper, but taxi will be faster. Last trip cost me about 40 Euros.

    I have not stayed at the Mercure Hotel, having always used the Steigenberger Hotel when staying in/near Bad Homburg. Mind you, there is not much to do in Bad Homburg, so I now choose to stay in Frankfurt and commute to Bad Homburg or Wiesbaden as the places I need to be.
     
  4. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Did you pay for this out of your own pocket or was it re-imbursed by your employer?

    I don't want to sound cheap but I learned a very valuable lesson on my last trip. Avoid taxis in Europe where possible. Most major cities have very sophisticated rail networks. Stay at hotels that are near a train station or at least ones that provide a free, or very cheap, shuttle to/from the airport.

    In London I stayed at Hilton Wembley and Hilton Olympia and used the tube. Cost me about £12 from airport to Wembley, to Olympia and back to airport. I would hate to think what a taxi would have cost.

    In Brussels I stayed close to Gare du Nord train station but was rushed for time and not feeling well the morning I was due to fly out so got a taxi. It cost 47.60 whereas the train trip would have been €2.90.
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    Twas a business trip, so covered by my employer. It is my employer's view that a point to point taxi is better value that using a train for such a connection.

    Given the destination of Bad Homburg, there is a good chance the OP is also on a business trip and likely to also be reimbursed for their costs. If I was going to that area for a personal vacation, I would not be staying in/near Bad Homburg, but would be in downtown Frankfurt area.

    So I was offering an alternate option to the train based on my own personal experience of travel to the Bad Homburg area (must be at least 6 trips there now). If on a tight budget, the train is a good option. If wanting convenience (i.e. door to door) then taxi is a good option.

    When I have an early morning arrival into FRA, I am generally collected from the airport by a local colleague (my European counterpart). One time I arrived one evening and a US-based colleague was arrive early AM, so I stayed the first night at the Holiday Inn FRA North and used their free shuttle bus from the airport. Next morning I took the shuttle back to the airport where I met my local colleague for coffee while we awaited the arrive of the US fellow, then the local guy drove us out to Bad Homburg. The following day the US guy and I used a taxi back to the airport.

    Note there are some nice places to eat along the mall through the centre of town. And this time of year its very pleasant al-fresco dining. The only night life is at the casino.
     
  6. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Actually he is on a Cosmos tour. It is one of 3 main hotels Cosmos uses in Frankfurt along with the Best Western and Holiday Inn Downtown. I got to stay in the latter 2 hotels during my recent tour.

    Plus he is getting the train to Amsterdam so if on a business trip I would have thought a flight would have been the most viable option.
     
  7. NM

    NM
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    Strange place for a tour hotel. Given the choice I would rather be downtown Frankfurt as there is not much happening at bad Homburg.

    Anyway, we have given the OP some options and they can make their own decision based on their own value judgement.
     
  8. stevemilo

    stevemilo Intern

    Aug 2, 2007
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    Yes, I found out that the hotel is only about 5-10 minute walk from the Station and I take the S5 to Frankfurt Main Station.
     
  9. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Tell me about it. Unfortunately when on a tour you get no choice of which hotel to stay. One of my biggest gripes on my recent tour as some of the hotels were in the middle of nowhere with no choice for meals or drinks.
     
  10. stevemilo

    stevemilo Intern

    Aug 2, 2007
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    What hotels and where were they ?

    I am going on the Central Europe Cosmos 15 day your and i looked at the hotel lists and the only one that I noticed was far out was the MErcure Hotel in Bad Homburg.
     
  11. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    The brochure conveniently lists the hotels that appeal. In reality they are not that nice. I hope you like rooms that have a stale cigarette stench, only half the hotels have functioning fridges and forget about air-conditioning in most hotels, but you should be OK now with the weather getting cooler. Cosmos uses clever marketing in their brochures.

    The tour I was on was split into 2 groups and we did not stay in the same hotels. The tour before was split into 3 groups and the tour after was also split into 2 groups. All groups stay in different hotels and you only ever meet the other tour groups during lunch breaks and some optional excursions when only one bus is used.

    I stayed at the following hotels
    • Best Western Imperial Frankfurt (OK hotel but not very close to centre of town)
    • Estrel in Berlin (huge hotel way out in the suburbs with the ethnic groups)
    • MDM in Warsaw (centre of town but a dump with no air conditioning and most are smoking rooms)
    • Justyna in Krakow (on the outskirts of town and another dump with no air conditioning and all smoking rooms)
    • Hotel Budapest in Budapest (OK hotel but again a long way from the centre of town)
    • Trend Eventhotel in Vienna (OK hotel but in the middle of nowhere with mirrors from floor to ceilng against one wall)
    • Top Hotel in Prague (out in the middle of nowhere and was used for workers during the communist era)
    • Econtel in Munich (think Formule 1 but a few stars lower with all smoking rooms)
    • Holiday Inn Frankfurt City (clearly the best hotel of the lot)
    I hope you have a better selection of hotels but from what I heard talking to the people in the other tour group their hotels were just as bad and just as far from the centre of town but in the opposite direction to ours.

    Don't bother with too many of the optional excursions. Potsdam is OK, Wieliczka Underground Treasures (Salt mines) was excellent and Danube Cruise and Illumination in Budapest was great. The rest you just visit palace after palace and overpriced folklore dinners. I picked all the optional excursions during the day and it cost me US$360, if you want to do all optional excursions it is well over US$800 extra which is about 2/3 on top of the original tour price.

    Anyway enough rambling from me and hopefully you will have a better experience.
     
  12. stevemilo

    stevemilo Intern

    Aug 2, 2007
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    Thanks heaps for letting me know. In a way though, I wish you hadn't now LOL. Sounds terrible !

    What do you do in the evenings then if the hotels are so far away from the city ?

    If you don't do these "optional dinners", what do you do for dinner if the hotels are so far away from the city ?

    I will definitely do the Wieliczka Underground Treasures (Salt mines) & Illumination in Budapest. I might also do the KRAKOW EXPERIENCE & PANORAMA & KRIZIKOVA FOUNTAIN in Prague. The rest are mainly those folklore dinners.
     
  13. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I don't want to spoil your trip in any way but just wanted to warn you. I wish I had someone warning me before my tour. Apparently if you search hard enough you will find forums on the internet that discuss these tours and any hassles in greater detail. I have now done a Contiki and Cosmos tour. Next time around I think I will give Trafalgar a chance.

    My overall impression of the tour is good but was a little dissapointed with the expectation from the brochures, obviously very good marketing on the part of Cosmos. There are some wonderful highlights and I will have many fond memories for many years.

    The time spent on the bus on some days is too much. It is very boring driving from Frankfurt to Berlin, from Berlin to Warsaw and from Warsaw to Krakow but from here it gets better with some beautiful mountain scenery, rivers, pretty little villages, meeting the Danube river in several countries.

    Some nights have dinner at the hotel, other nights you will find a place to eat around the corner, in some areas there are supermarkets nearby or buy a baguette or two during the lunch stops to have for dinner. Ask your tour director for this information, they are more than happy to provide and they are experts. The food is different and not easy on the stomach so occassionally some bread, ham and fetta cheese was more than enough for me. I don't know if you are alone or have company but some nights you are able to hook up with someone for dinner. Some groups went to the city for a little exploration and dinner.

    Occassionally I was so tired that I wanted to be in bed by 9:00pm. You will find that most people are in bed by around 11:00pm anyway as most days you are up by 6:00am. I was able to sleep on the bus many times without the need to recline.

    Yes I forgot about those, they are all worth it. I would also recommend Potsdam, nice little town and you will see where they signed the treaty for the end of WWII. And probably the Best of Medieval Prague would be OK as well. All of these were quite popular with the tour group.

    The rest of the palace tours I would not bother. If you are bored with something to do and really want to see some of these palaces with their beautiful gardens just go along on your own and pay an entry price less than half of what is advertised by Cosmos. Just to give you an idea from the combined tour group of 72 people the most that went to some of these other excursions was around 20-30 people most times less. Most people I found had already done their research before going on tour and would only do a small proportion of optional excursions.

    These I did not do at all. To give you an idea from 32 people in our group the most that went to one of these was the Munich one and that was 11 people. One of them, I think it was Prague, Cosmos wanted to cancel as there was only 4 people interested but the tour director persevered and they eventually went along. The other tour group cancelled one of the folklore dinners as they had a small response and they were on the other side of town. So most of these did not get a very good response.

    Not sure whether you like Chopin or waltzes but I did not do these either.

    Some of the included highlights are great especially some of the little villages like Rothenburg. One that will leave a memory is Birkenau and Auschwitz.

    You will get a lot of spare time on tour. Use it how you see fit. Sometimes there are things to see and other times like St Stevenplatz (spelling?, a plaza, drop off point, in Vienna you get to visit 3 times) just sit down and have a drink or something to eat.

    Enjoy the tour.
     
  14. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    In Berlin if you have the time I would check out the Pergamon Museum. I was there in the mid 80's when it wass still in East Berlin - but it was truly stunning. The Ishtar Gate was my favourite - truly stunning reconstructions - memories that linger with me even 20 years later...
     
  15. stevemilo

    stevemilo Intern

    Aug 2, 2007
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    Thanks again for letting me know. I will keep everything you have told me in mind.
     
  16. stevemilo

    stevemilo Intern

    Aug 2, 2007
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    In the evenings, how did most people get into town ? Did they just walk or did everyone take a taxi and split the fare ? I'm not worried about during the day but I'm just a little concerned about feeling that I am stranded in these hotels in the middle of nowhere at night. Thanks, Steve. P.S - I have looked at these hotels on the net and they say that the ones far out are approximately 3 km from the city centre so that would be a good 1/2 hour walk or thereof. Please advise. Thanks, Steve
     
  17. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Not everyone had the stamina to go out every night. There are a lot of people in their 60s and 70s on these tours.

    As I mentioned previously all these cities have excellent public transport. If there are 3-4 of you going then it is smart to use a taxi and split the fare. But if you are alone then you are better off walking or using buses/trains/trams.

    I know of 1 guy who went into town almost every night. He is into photography and took close to 2000 photos so he had a reason.

    If your tour has been allocated a different set of hotels than the ones I described that may well be the case. If you are staying in the hotels I listed then apart from MDM and possibly Justyna you will be a long long way from the centre of town.

    As far as I remember, and I did not venture into the centre of town at night except on coach tours, most hotels were at least a 15-30 minute drive by coach from the centre of town. In some cities the public bus/train/tram was at least 30 minutes from the centre. Now that is not 3 kms by any stretch of the imagination, more like 10-20 kms from centre of town.

    Again not sure what type of group you will have but if you want to venture into the town centre at night then be sure to keep an ear open on who is doing what. Organise any outings during the day and do not leave it until you get to the hotel in the evening. As soon as we arrived at the hotel everybody disappeared to their rooms within 5 minutes not to be seen again that night unless there was a scheduled dinner (you get 6 of these included) or a coach tour.

    Hope this helps and if you need more information I would be happy to provide.
     
  18. stevemilo

    stevemilo Intern

    Aug 2, 2007
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    Boy, it's sounding worse by the minute LOL. When you get a chance it would be great if you could tell me which tour you did. I am doing teh 15day Central Europe Tour. You can check on cosmos.com.au

    The hotels I looked at say approx 3km out of the city centre. Oh well, hopefully there is public transport nearby so I can catch a train into the city. I guess I will just have to wait and see, but by the sounds of it, it will definitely be an experience that's for sure.
     
  19. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I am almost certain we are talking about the same tour. Cosmos Tour Code 6070, 15 day Central Europe Tour. Although the 15 days is a little debatable as all you do on the first day is check in to the hotel and have a 15 minute meeting with the tour director and tour group and on the last day check out of the hotel. I would call it a 13 day tour.

    This is only one persons experience. Please do some research before resigning to the fact that you will hate the tour. I mentioned that overall I thought the whole experience was good but as with everything you cannot please everyone. You will enjoy it.

    Do you have your travel documents yet? If so, which hotels have you been assigned? I am not exaggerating and as far as I am aware there are not many hotels used that are 3kms from the city centre. Just think of outskirts of town and it will just about sum up the location of the hotels in most cities. But hotels are only a small part of the tour. Make friends and your trips into town at night will become a reality. As for nightlife and partying I cannot help you here.

    Be very careful. There are a lot of dodgy characters around. Try not to look like a tourist. Watch your wallet and passport at all times. Do not use money changers or cambios, use a card like Citibank Readycredit or Wizard for cash withdrawals, you will definitely get a much better exchange rate.
     
  20. stevemilo

    stevemilo Intern

    Aug 2, 2007
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    No, don't have my travel documents yet but I will be sure to let you know the hotels I am staying at. I'm just taking my savings card with me to use @ ATM's and I'll carry my passport and wallet on me at all times. Do you know if I will encounter any problems when I get to the UK immigration with my recent arrest ? I have read that it's ok to enter Europe and the UK with pending charges. etc..
     
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