If you’ve followed our website, you know that we’re not the type of travelers that always need to stay at the fanciest hotel. We’re just as much at home at a Hampton Inn or Courtyard as we are at a Waldorf=Astoria or Luxury Collection property. When I wrote a post asking you where we should stay in Munich, I received a bunch of suggestions. Some of our readers suggested the Aloft or Roomers, while other boutique hotels, which are part of AMEX’s Fine Hotels and Resorts also got mentions.
That’s when I noticed a hotel name that I wasn’t familiar with:
Motel One? All that went through my mind was “Motel 6” but I remembered that we were staying in Germany and what we think of a hotel name as Americans might not be the same when outside of the US. Hotels like Comfort Inn, EconoLodge and Radisson are a different quality outside of the US than I’m used to expecting.
I looked into Motel One and saw it got good reviews. The rooms were going for only 94 Euros a night. It sounded like a place we could take a chance on, so I booked a room online.
We arrived at the Munich station on our train from Salzburg. I pulled up Google Maps and I saw that we could take a subway for just one stop, or we could walk for 10 minutes from the station to the hotel. It was dark out but still rather early in the evening, so we decided to walk it.
Not knowing the area, we ended up walking through a sketchier part of town, but besides having some “night clubs,” there were kebab houses, families walking down the street with strollers, and residents walking their dogs, so we didn’t really feel unsafe. It was just a bit farther than we’d prefer to walk when we’re not sure where we’re going.
We eventually ended up on the block of our hotel and found the lobby. It turns out we were walking up from the “back” of the hotel so we could have stuck to the main street and had a much different experience on our trip to the hotel.
The exterior of the hotel was rather non-descript and we weren’t expecting what we saw when entering the front door. It was way nicer than we were hoping for the price of our room.
The check-in area was stylishly designed and had plenty of seating available. After waiting for my turn at the front desk, I was greeted in German. I sheepishly admitted I didn’t speak any German, and she immediately started talking to me in English.
Our information was efficiently collected and we were asked if we wanted to pay for breakfast, which we declined. We were provided keys to our room and we were off to our room #735.
The hotel is shaped like a T and we were located at the far end of one of the hallways. The decor was bland with white paint and only a design on the carpet to add any bit of color to the area.
The entrance carried on the bland theme from the hallway.
Upon entering, this was one of the smallest hotel rooms we’ve stayed in recent memory. On the left were some hangers and we used them for our winter jackets.
The bathroom was located immediately to the right. It had a basic sink, shower, and toilet. The shower was the newer design of no door or curtain, just a half-length glass enclosure. I dislike these because the water often ends up all over the bathroom floor, but this one worked as intended with only minimal water outside the shower when we were finished.
The bedroom area had room for the king-sized bed, and that’s about it.
The decor of the room was stylish and the bed was comfortable. Like our room in Salzburg, the hotel provided individual covers for each person. The one downside was that the room was uncomfortably warm and never got any colder, even when we adjusted the thermostat. We ended up leaving the window cracked open, which brought down the temperature considerably, but then we had to deal with the noise from below.
I never brought this up to the hotel staff, so I’m not sure if it could be corrected. We didn’t want to change rooms, so we just dealt with it.
Behind the bed to the left was the closest to what could be considered a “closet.”
We did have a desk with a chair (Note from Sharon: well, more like a small table with an ottoman), which was where Sharon did her work for the website. However, there was no outlet near the desk. With only one desk in the room, I needed to work while sitting on the bed. That was fine for me because that’s also where the only power outlets were in the room. Now you can appreciate all we go through for you to keep YMMV running when we’re on the road.
The only storage we had were the “shelves” on the right side of the bed.
We did like that the hotel had a “fireplace” on the TV which reminded us of the Yule Log, and we went to sleep each evening watching this channel until the timer went off.
Despite the small size of the room, we were fine staying there for three days. We found places to store our luggage along the walls and it was just a place for us to sleep. We never took advantage of the hotel breakfast as we slept in each morning (since one of the nights there I was up to 3AM after seeing Star Wars)
Now, the size of the room did make it challenging to take pictures with no luggage. Here’s a behind the scenes picture of the luxurious life of travel bloggers who have to stack their bags in the shower just so they can get a pristine photo of the room.
Once we figured out the mass transit system of Munich, we discovered that Sendlinger Tor is a great place to stay. The entrance to the U-Bahn subway was just steps from the front door of the hotel. We were only one stop away from the central Munich train station and one stop from Marienplatz, where the primary Christmas Market was located. There was access to the station by an elevator, so we were able to get to our train to Frankfurt without going on any stairs when traveling with our luggage.
Sendlinger Tor also had its own Christmas Market, where we spent an evening drinking Gluhwein and eating Schweinsteak (which we had to look up what it was before ordering)
There are a restaurant and bar in the lobby area of the hotel.
These never looked too busy when we were there because there seemed to be plenty of places to eat and drink around the hotel and the Christmas Market was just steps away.
We took a chance when we stayed at the Motel One Sendlinger Tor in Munich. It was a hotel chain we didn’t know anything about, but the price was right and it looked to be in a decent location. As it turned out, the hotel has a stylish design and was perfect for our needs. Our room was a little on the small side, but we were able to make due for our stay. Paying less than $300 for a three-night stay in a major city was a huge help to keep the budget for our trip under control.
Just a note that there are several Motel One locations in Munich. We picked this one because of its location close to the train station and the ease to get to Marienplatz on the subway.
Motel One also has a loyalty program called Be One. Signing up gets you free water and late check-out on Sundays. There are no tiers of the program and everyone receives the same benefits once enrolling.
I’d stay at a Motel One location again in an instant. The hotel was smartly designed and provided everything you’d expect at the price point and more. The lack of a real desk with a chair (not a stool) and poor placements of the power outlets were the downsides about the room. The size of the room was small, but for a three-night stay it was fine. Any longer and living out of suitcases spread across the floor would start to get annoying.
I’m glad we listened to our readers and gave the Motel One chain a try. Thanks for the suggestion.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary