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Subject: Essen - please review your hotels and restaurants rss

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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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Please add some info about which hotel you used, what the room rate was, the quality and some info about which restaurants you used. Please do it now before you forget.

Which resturants were open on Sunday night?
 
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Michelle Zentis
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I stayed at the Arosa, where a single was 105 Euros. The rooms are tiny but clean, and it's close to the hall (one metro stop or a 10-minute walk).

As far as restaurants go, I'm a fan of the little Pizza Express hole in the wall.
 
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Ted Alspach
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Express by Holiday Inn: 68 for 2 nights, 72 for the other 4 nights - Had to be paid entirely in advance for that rate. Clean rooms with okay bed (single pillow per bed), decent shower, small staff, mediocre lighting in the restaurant but open 24/7 for gaming (bar served drinks until 1am). No internet (except analog dialup). 10 minute easy (B224) drive to Messe, right near U-bahn (10 minute walk, 12 minute ride to Messe). 10 minute walk to city center. Near (<10 minute walk) to Burger King, Subway, McDonalds, and one "real" restaurant that served adequate american-style food.
 
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Ákos Tasnádi
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The hotel - When we started to organise our trip, it was already very late, so there were no aviable and affordable rooms in Essen. We have stayed in Ibis Hotel, Gelsenkirchen, about 20 kilometres from the show. But we had a mini-bus (8 person from Hungary), so it was not a big problem (except the traffic jam on Friyday, and the wrong exit we took Saturday morning). The price was 51 euros/day/double room. Breakfast not included, it was an additionally 9 euro (very expensive, but you could eat as much as you wanted). Free internet.

Restorants - Saturday we went an Italian restrorant/pizzeria, near our hotel in Gelsenkirchen. Sorry, I don't know the name. It wasn't expensive, but sadly there was not a no smoking area in it.
 
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Cynthia Landon
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toulouse wrote:
Express by Holiday Inn: 68 for 2 nights, 72 for the other 4 nights - Had to be paid entirely in advance for that rate. Clean rooms with okay bed (single pillow per bed), decent shower, small staff, mediocre lighting in the restaurant but open 24/7 for gaming (bar served drinks until 1am). No internet (except analog dialup). 10 minute easy (B224) drive to Messe, right near U-bahn (10 minute walk, 12 minute ride to Messe). 10 minute walk to city center. Near (<10 minute walk) to Burger King, Subway, McDonalds, and one "real" restaurant that served adequate american-style food.


I can add a little to this as we also stayed there. Although some of the rooms state that they can hold 3 people (some say queen bed and pull out sofa) I wouldn't do it personally unless you were desperate. The queen beds are really full size beds and the pull out sofa shouldn't be called that in my opinion. It was less comfortable than the floor. Also since the room is very small you'll spend a good amount of time climbing over the beds and eachother. If I stayed there again I would limit it to two people and get the room with two twin beds.

There is no internet for your personal computer, however there is one terminal in the lobby with varrying speeds of connection which you can buy a pre-paid card from the front desk to use. The cost was 5 Euros for 15 minutes... if you bought a larger card it was cheaper (I think my 90 min card was 13 Euros) The only issue is that there is only one terminal but there was only one time where I wanted to use it and someone was using it all morning so I had to wait until the evening.

We ordered food every night from Pizza Boy which delivered since we were so exhausted after the show and it was usually late when getting back. The food I thought was great for delivery and cheap. You could get a very larger personal size pizza (which even the hungriest person would be hard pressed to eat all by themselves) or a large single serving of pasta for 5 Euros. (the prices in the menu you can get from the front desk are a little higher but those do not account for the fact that they give Holiday Inn Express customers a 25% discount) They also had all kinds of other food including Asian food even (which I didn't try but everything we did have was good) They deliver in less than 30 min and food arrives very very HOT! There is no charge for delivery... just a tip for the delivery driver.

For me, the "breakfast" the hotel offered left a lot to be desired. I had been traveling in Germany for a week now and every other place had a better breakfast than here. But we brought granola bars and there were a few places in the Messe to get a little something for breakfast. Although the food in the Messe was pretty bad for the most part too. So you might want to bring your favorite breakfast snack food with you to avoid all of that.

The metro was a short walk, as Ted said, and a short ride from there to the Messe and the stop was right next to the enterance so that was nice. If you take a taxi it will usually cost about 8 Euros depending on traffic.

We had too many bags (8 large ones and several people) to try to get around in the trains easily when getting back to Dusseldorf for our flights. We shared a taxi van which the front desk called for us and the cost was only 48 Euros to the Dusseldorf Airport at 7am with no traffic. Not bad. In Florida taxi vans cost more but here we were told they don't. 48 Euros well spent.

If I had a choice I would probably not stay there again, although I don't have strong feelings about it either way. I think if we had just one or two people and we chose the right kind of room and we brought breakfast with us... all of that... it would be just fine.




 
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Dave Bullions
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I stayed at the RhienischerHof hotel.
If you know the U11 U-Bahn route, this hotel is about 1 minutes walk from Ruttenscheider Stern station, which is halfway between Essen Hbf & Messe Gruga stations, so an ideal location. It was 70 euros a night (including breakfast & a public transport ticket for your entire stay, so U-Bahn travel was free and so was my train back to Dusseldorf airport). They would also (on request) prepare a packed lunch for you. The room was quite small but had an en-suite bathroom & also satellite tv. I booked early though (about May). The only problem with the hotel was no lounge for playing games. The attached restaurant was very nice for an evening meal, though not open on Sundays.
 
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Mike Kollross
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Quote:
and one "real" restaurant that served adequate american-style food


A bit off topic but isn't the point of travel to experience something different. You know, sample the local fare and all that?
 
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Matthew Bond
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Stayed in the Mercure Hotel Plaza Essen on Bismarckstrasse (48-50) in between Messe and the Hauptbahnhoff. About 15 mins walk from the city centre and 20 minutes walk from Messe or around 5 Euros taxi ride to either. It cost 96 Euros for a double room on the Thursday and 51 Euros per night for Friday and Saturday. Breakfast was not included but was available for 15 Euros per person - though we never tried it as there were some nice bakeries and cafes nearby where you could have breakfast for just a few Euros each. We could have got slightly cheaper rates for the room if we'd paid in advance.

The room was clean, modern and very comfortable. King size bed, extra pillows and duvet supplied. Nice en-suite bathroom with a good bath, excellent shower, towels and a hair dryer. No idea what the internet connection in the room was like as I didn't use it, but there was one. The room also featured satellite TV, a small mini bar, desk, small table with 2 arm chairs. The hotel also had a swimming pool.

Bar stayed open until 1pm and there was also space in the lobby to play larger games. Excellent hotel and staff. I would highly recommend.

We ate at the Pfefferkorn (good traditional German food), Extrablatt Cafe - bustling cafe with good snacks and drinks (and a non-smoking area), and the Chilli House which did excellent eastern food.
 
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Cynthia Landon
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MK-Ultra71 wrote:
Quote:
and one "real" restaurant that served adequate american-style food


A bit off topic but isn't the point of travel to experience something different. You know, sample the local fare and all that?


What he meant by "real" restaurant was a sit-down place as opposed to fast food. There weren't any German restaurants very close... at least from what we could find and what the front desk people told us. So it probably wasn't that he was implying that american-style was the only "real" food but rather that fast food wasn't and that is what was primarily nearby.
 
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I stayed at the Moevenpick Hotel across from the main train station in Essen. Single room 106 for Wed/Thu and 78 Fri-Sun (breakfast is 14 Euro extra per day and is to die for).

You're in the heart of the downtown pedestrian walking area, stores, and restaurants. The hotel also has its own restaurant which was open on Sunday. You're also 1 block away from Toys R Us and right across from the Kaufhof which has an excellent supermarket on the lower floor for food and drink purchases. All the local and fastfood restaurants are there and nearly all "restaurants" were open on Sunday to include all the fastfood joints (McD, BK, etc.). There are at least 5-10 schnell imbiss (German fast food) joints right around the hotel and train station area where you can get a bratwurst or sandwich on the fly and lots of bakeries and coffee shops also in the area. There's also a pharmacy right down from the hotel should you need one (you can't find a large selection of OTC meds in stores there like you can in the states).

The city ticket office is one door down from the hotel entrance. You can purchase fair tickets there or any other tickets to events you might want.

The main post office is right across the plaza from the hotel entrance should you want to ship anything out. They're also open on Saturday mornings.

There was a small Ocktoberfest like carnival near the IKEA and Karstadt stores which was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. I'm assuming it's probably there every year at that time.

The U-bahn at the train station is right out the hotel front door and down the stairs. It's 4 stops on U-11 to the Gruga Messe stop.

Rooms are clean and have a small refridgerator, TV, desk, room safe, closets, telephone, table, chairs, private bath with shower and single or double beds. They have a website where you can reserve a room online. Fees listed above include taxes. I believe the Moevenpick is rated as a 4 or 5 star hotel.

ADDED: Per request I was asked about the gaming area available in the hotel. Their breakfast room on the 2nd floor has tables that were open at night and the door was open a few nights but nobody was in there. There were also other open meeting rooms on the 2nd floor that were empty. Most people I knew were either gaming at the Arosa or the Savoy hotels. I did most of my gaming at the Fair and spent my evenings walking the downtown area from 7-9 PM and reading game rules at night after a few drinks at the hotel bar. Given the table and chairs in a room you could probably game with 3-4 players in a room with no problem as well at the Moevenpick.

Cheers.
 
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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Thank you so far. These reviews will go into my own sheet and the FAQ in various ways.
Keep them coming.

Cheers,
Jon.

Oh, and for the record...

I stayed at the Hotel im Girardethaus, which was an odd affair. The Girardethaus is a big block facing side on to Ruttenscheiderstrasse, just a few minutes walk from the halls. Except that the hotel entrance is all the way down the other end of the block, and you have to go down one flight to get your key, then back up a flight to get the lift. Stepping out on the 4th floor, where all the rooms are along one corridor, pity the fool that has room 437 and has to walk all the way back to where he started, only 4 floors up now. Yep, I had to do that several times a day. Next time, I want room 407.

The room was very good, very large, only 105€/night with a kitchenette no less. There was a whining noise all night, but that may have been me. The staff were exceptionally helpful, any and all my problems they tried to fix. Plus, the room came with a free local travel card including my last day, which saved me a few euos and scrabbling for change. Plenty of gamers stayed there, only I don't think the breakfast or conference room was opened up.

Restaurants. I used the Istra, the Drago (terrible service), the Pfefferkorn in town (posh but noisy), and the Fata Morgana, an Egyptian restaurant which was very good, near empty on Sunday night since it's hidden away in the Girardethaus block. I also used the Ruttenscheider Hausbrauerei, also on the Girardet block, very cheap, a bit rough, good beer including a banana beer.
 
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Jens Hoppe
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I stayed at the Hotel Ambassador, located on the main pedestrian street. Single rooms were 55 euro a night, breakfast included. My room was small and a bit spartan, but it didn't bother me particularly, since it was just the place I slept.

The hotel was located so-so: It was still a brisk 10 minutes or so walk to the nearest metro station (Berlinerplatz), and a further 8-9 minutes by train to the Gruga Ost station. OK for the once-a-day pilgrimage to the show, but a hindrance to more spontaneous trips, eg. to visit other, more gaming-friendly hotels.

In the evening we played games in the breakfast restaurant area. The Ambassador wasn't really much of a gamers' place: Apart from the trio of Danes I was part of, we saw a group of Germans and one of ... Japanese (?) guys playing a game or two down there, but overall the place felt pretty empty.

I dined twice at the Pfefferkorn, a restaurant located centrally (near the theater) and recommended by Mik Svellov. Cosy, British pub-style wooden interior with lots of little alcoves and corners. Still smoky and noisy though. The food was very good - the place is a "big steaks/french fries/lots of gravy/nice beer" kind of place.
 
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Russ Williams
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We stayed for free in an Esperantist's apartment, about 10 minutes southwest of the train station, about a 15 minute walk north from the convention center.

We walked home most evenings after the show closed, going north up the main street from the convention center, and then one block to the east and then continuing north along another main street (sorry, don't recall street names), and particularly enjoyed an Indian restaurant "Gandhi" and a Chinese restaurant "Tai Pan".
 
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toulouse wrote:
Express by Holiday Inn: ... small staff...


Dwarves? Oompa Loompas? meeple
 
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I stayed at the Hotel Welcome Ruhr Residenz.

This is actually a little north of the town centre, right at the Vierhof Metro stop.

To get to the halls, it was 2 stops on the metro, change at the Hauptbahnhof, then 4 more stops. The trip took 15 minutes.

On two of the days I drove to the Messe. This trip was also around 15 minutes.

The hotel is 4* and I cannot find a single thing to fault it.

The cost of a (single) room was €52 per night, but I was placed in a double room anyway. I guess they may not have any singles.

The hotel is very much a business hotel. The bar was pretty full on Thursday night, then fairly quiet for the rest of the weekend.

The breakfast was the largest buffet breakfast I've ever seen in any hotel I've stayed in. The choices were enormous, from cereals, cold meats, cheeses, soup, 6 different items in hot plates, juices, tea/coffee, several different breads and cakes, etc, etc .... Safe to say, that a large breakfast was all I needed until supper time, saving me from the food available in the Messe.

There were only a handful from the fair staying there, but the hotel staff couldn;t do enough for us.

On the Friday night, we pretty much completely re-arranged the bar to create a gaming area, and the guy behind the bar ran off to find an extension card so we could drag the lamps up to the table, despite this leaving wires trailing all over the floor.

We couldn't use a conference room for gaming in the evening, although one of the guys from this year is looking into a block booking for next year, and maybe organising a conference room at the same time.

I can't remember the names of the restaurants where I ate, but there was a small selection (from restaurant to cafe to bar-with-food to takeaway) just across the road.

This was my first trip, but next year I'm not even shopping around. I'll be booking the same hotel without a doubt.

N.

 
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Mark Slater
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Walt Mulder wrote:
I stayed at the Moevenpick Hotel across from the main train station in Essen. Single room 106 for Wed/Thu and 78 Fri-Sun (breakfast is 14 Euro extra per day and is to die for).

You're in the heart of the downtown pedestrian walking area, stores, and restaurants. The hotel also has its own restaurant which was open on Sunday. You're also 1 block away from Toys R Us and right across from the Kaufhof which has an excellent supermarket on the lower floor for food and drink purchases. All the local and fastfood restaurants are there and nearly all "restaurants" were open on Sunday to include all the fastfood joints (McD, BK, etc.). There are at least 5-10 schnell imbiss (German fast food) joints right around the hotel and train station area where you can get a bratwurst or sandwich on the fly and lots of bakeries and coffee shops also in the area. There's also a pharmacy right down from the hotel should you need one (you can't find a large selection of OTC meds in stores there like you can in the states).

The city ticket office is one door down from the hotel entrance. You can purchase fair tickets there or any other tickets to events you might want.

The main post office is right across the plaza from the hotel entrance should you want to ship anything out. They're also open on Saturday mornings.

There was a small Ocktoberfest like carnival near the IKEA and Karstadt stores which was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. I'm assuming it's probably there every year at that time.

The U-bahn at the train station is right out the hotel front door and down the stairs. It's 4 stops on U-11 to the Gruga Messe stop.

Rooms are clean and have a small refridgerator, TV, desk, room safe, closets, telephone, table, chairs, private bath with shower and single or double beds. They have a website where you can reserve a room online. Fees listed above include taxes. I believe the Moevenpick is rated as a 4 or 5 star hotel.

Cheers.


My Girfriend and I also stayed at this hotel. Very good, although we never used the resteraunt, its Ideal for getting to the Messe as the Subway entrance is right outside.
I`ll be staying here next year when we go again.
 
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Gavin Wynford-Jones
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Walt Mulder wrote:
The city ticket office is one door down from the hotel entrance. You can purchase fair tickets there or any other tickets to events you might want.


I was in the tourist office on the Wednesday and never thought about getting the Spiel tickets for my group whilst there... I'll know to do so next year, and save queueing!

Ta!

Gavin
 
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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The office is just to the right of the Movenpick as you look at the front, with the main railway station behind you. It says Messe Essen in the window too! Buying your ticket early costs a few euros extra, but means you don't have to queue at the ticket booths at the halls.
 
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Hank Drew
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MK-Ultra71 wrote:
Quote:
and one "real" restaurant that served adequate american-style food


A bit off topic but isn't the point of travel to experience something different. You know, sample the local fare and all that?


Ted was traveling with a vegetarian, me. If you know anything about German food, you know that veggies have a rough go in some of the smaller cities.

Ted seemed to be fine with the German cold cut breakfasts though
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David Seddon
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How did you manage, Hank?

I am veggie, too and am keen to go, so tips would be appreciated. till, I suppose there's always pizza and a big breakfast!
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Russ Williams
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Finding veggie food is a problem in a lot of local cuisine restaurants in many European countries; I solve it by going to other kinds of restaurants, e.g. Chinese, Indian, Thai (if I'm lucky enough that the city has a Thai restaurant) etc. (Although sometimes even those restaurants are less veggie-friendly than their counterparts in the states.) Pizza is always an option too.
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Ubergeek
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Quote:
My Girfriend and I also stayed at this hotel.


Mark, maybe that was you on Sunday evening in the elevator with your girlfriend when she mentioned not believing how many games you bought! If so, that was me that said "Yeah, but I bought more" laughbefore we wondered how we would get them all home.

If it wasn't you, then probably another English coupleblush

Cheers.
 
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hey, we were all at movenpick at essen!!!

we were 5 malaysian chinese hanging around the lobby every evening and playing games every evening...

also, i know the japanese media was also at the hotel.

we did see couple of guests walking in with what looked like *games* in their bags as they strolled up to their rooms ;0

do say hello next year, as we are already booked for the same place.

back to the topic
--------------
this is our 2nd year at movenpick, essen, and all has already been said about the great location, rooms, etc!

this year though, we rented a car as we lugged some 40+ boxes back to the hotel, and had a shipper pick them up on monday morning.

foodwise, here's what we ate:
- cheap & quick: walk across the hotel and go down into the subway station. you will see quick & cheap pizza and kebabs. eur1.80 and a good selection of ingredients. great value salad for less than eur2.00. we ate here when we were in a rush to get back to the hotel to play games!

- slow and leisurely: nice italian restaurant (the name escapes me), but you cant miss it. from hotel lobby, turn right towards post office, then right again into the mall. walk for about 8-10 minutes till you reach a lovely square on the right. the restaurant has inside and outside sitting, which overlooks this lovely square!

- value for money: hotel recommended the best asian food around - yellow river! same directions as the italian restaurant, but another 10 minutes down. walk all the way until you see the indoor city mall on your right. go right into the mall and you will reach escalators, which you have to go up. eur15 for adults. its really all-you-can-eat, and the selection is great!!! wished we found this earlier. you can get directions from the hotel staff.

hope to see you next year!
 
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All you can eat! Excellent, that one's new to me.

Keep them coming folks, let's hear your news.
 
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John Mitchell
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I stayed in the Ibis near the Essen main train station. I booked through a friend arranging a large group (30 or so) and paid GBP205 for four nights (Wednesday was slightly more expensive) - about EUR75 per night. That's for a double room with a single breakfast, so I could have added a friend for the optional cost of an additional breakfast.

The hotel was full, and at least one non-smoker got a smoking room.

The foyer had a PC with internet connection (and not much else) for general access, WiFi in the lobby and in some rooms. WiFi access was granted via voucher obtained from reception, I don't know how much they charged.

Adjoining the foyer was the bar and breakfast area, where there was much gaming in the evening. The staff would lay out the breakfast tables in the early evening, the gamers would sweep them clean, and the staff would then have to re-lay them in the small hours of the morning.

The breakfast wasn't the best I've had in a German hotel, but my standards are set by business hotels. No crispy bacon The hotel didn't do evening meals, though there was 24-hour snacks to be had.

On Thursday we went to the Istra, and had lots of meat. On Friday we walked around the centre and eneded up at some random pizza place, food was so-so but the atmosphere was good (forget the name of the place, but we sat around a table on a glass floor above a fish tank). On Saturday we went into the Movenpick restaurant, that being just down the road, and had an excellent meal.
 
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