We stay here year after year for the Frankfurt Book Fair. In a city noted for its lack of charm, the Palmenhof ploughs a brave furrow. It’s small and there’s a pleasant hum in the smart marble reception area. The location (near the Westend U-bahn) is in quite a leafy residential area, opposite the Palmengarten entrance. The six free off-road parking spaces (first come, first served) in front of the hotel are no small bonus. Refurbished in the early 90s, the rooms are standardized, pleasant without being particularly interesting and just about large enough. There are palm motifs on the carpets and much use of gold-coloured chrome. Beds are comfortable. The breakfast room is a pleasant scene, with good service, a generous selection of breakfast dishes (shame the bacon has been replaced by Frankfurter sausages). There’s a restaurant next door in premises owned by the hotel.
Two drawbacks. The bedrooms have thin curtains that let in street light, so if you’re on the street side, you can’t sleep in darkness. Apparently the management ‘knows about the problem’. There’s also a smell of stale cigarette smoke in some of the bedrooms.
Well, you can’t expect a fair deal in Frankfurt, and we console ourselves that during the book fair the Palmenhof increases its prices from 115 euros to 135 for a single room, when most mark up by 100 per cent.