I’m no expert on hotels. I may not really understand the 2,3 or 4 star ratings. I care about just a few things. Price, location and comfort; in that order. So, when I found Hotel Dolomit (yeah the name is a bit off putting) in Munich, Germany for the price I did, I said to myself; “one down two to go”.
For a late April Saturday in Munich I was having a bit of trouble deciding between a hotel and a hostel. Since I was traveling with a friend I knew that two beds in a hostel could cost as much or more than splitting a budget hotel. In fact a recent search on hostelworld.com has the cheapest result for a single bed in a 10 bed dorm room at $26.50. Could I find something close to that price without having to sleep with in a bunk bed with 8 strangers? As luck would have it, the answer was yes and I stumbled upon Hotel Dolomit. At just $58.00 for a double room I was skeptical but as I said price is number one on my list. So my travel partner and I decided to split the price and spend $5.00 more than the hostel, allowing ourselves the amenity of sleeping in.
With location next on my list I surveyed the hotel’s website. Now, when a hotel is located right next to the main train station as Dolomit is…bells go off. The areas around train stations in Europe are hit and miss, particularly in the big cities. Beggars, solicitors, crazy people and down right shady characters all seem to be drawn to these locations as if some “weirdo beacon” shines from the rooftops. But with the price so low, I took a gamble and it paid off.
The hotel is located just down the street from the Munich hauptbahnhof (main train station), not even a block away. Now of course Munich does have its share of weirdos, but all in all the area is not that bad. There are a few sex shops between Dolomite and the train station but also a few “casinos” where old men play pool and you can use the internet at a cheap price. There is a Deutsch Bank right around the corner from the Hotel and the staff is eager to help point out anything else you might need. Best of all, from this location you can easily walk to the main sights of the city…including the Hofbrauhaus which is about a 15-20 minute walk.
View Hofbrauhaus Munich in a larger map
Well, I knew it was cheap and I’d have no problem finding the place but would it be comfortable? My expectations were not high. Still, upon arriving I was pleasantly surprised. The 24 hour reception was welcoming and a nice lobby was provided with places to sit and cold beer and water for purchase. The staff was genuinely helpful and even offered to Google the meeting point of a tour I was planning to take. In fact, when I asked if it would be ok to check out an hour late the following day, there was no hesitation to oblige.
The room which was on the top floor had a nice view of the intersection below bu t was surprisingly quiet. The bed was comfortable and a flat screen TV hung in the corner. The décor is not the most modern looking but felt new. Wooden headboards ran along the back of the beds and reading lights were placed accessibly nearby.
The bathroom had its issues but not nearly as many as the hostel option likely would have presented. Decorated in an orange color that was retired from the spectrum in 1964 the room with shower, toilet, sink and mirror was rather small. In fact, for anyone who has been on a Carnival or Royal Caribbean cruise…that is exactly what you get. Seriously it looks like they ordered a bunch of cruise ship brand “one box bathroom” kits and plopped them in the room. Plumbing was also a bit of an issue as the shallow shower seemed to fill up quicker than it could drain. Now that I think about it the same thing always happens on the cruise ships too.
All in all the hotel has 43 guest rooms, wi-fi, and a paid breakfast option. If you are driving they also have a nearby parking garage that guests can use at a discount. Leaving your bags after check-out and while you explore the city is no problem either. A locked storage closet in direct view of the 24 hour reception is a safe place to leave whatever you’re lugging.
To sum it all up; if you’re traveling with at least one other person and you’re not looking for mints on your pillow service this hotel is a great choice. When deciding between staying in a hostel and a cheap, convenient and rather comfortable budget hotel go with Hotel Dolomit. For a few bucks more you’ll be able to avoid 8 strangers waking up early to catch a train and sleep through some of that hofbrauhaus hangover.