Heidelberg is definitely one of the most charming cities in Germany. It is small, historic and so inviting to walk around and do some people watching that it will be hard to want to go back to your hotel. Well…unless that hotel is the Heidelberg Suites.
Brand & Identity
The Boutique Hotel Heidelberg Suites is part of the Small Luxury Hotels´ brand, a group made of independently owned hotels, whose personality compensate their limited size. This hotel, for example, only has 25 rooms. Actually, if you associate luxury with big resorts and famous labels, think again! The hotels that manage to enter the selective SHL association are known to offer extremely high standards´ service, unique design, lavish rooms and, what I cherish the most, an intimate atmosphere. Privacy and tranquility is something big complexes cannot always offer due to their number of guests.
In this sense, The Boutique Hotel Heidelberg Suites is the perfect example of a tranquil escape that complements (and compliments!) the city in the background. The hotel manages to bring to its interior the historic opulence that surrounds Heidelberg, displaying elegant custom-made vintage furniture and honoring former residents of the city through sculptures, paintings and silhouettes. Among these, you will find the sociologist Max Weber, the philosopher Friedrich Hegel and the poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Sitting at the cozy main lounge of the hotel, you can actually tell that this 19th century villa has seen many days of philosophical debates and artistic contemplation.
I actually thought that overly dressed up hotels would put me off a bit and leave me uncomfortable. You know, like when your mom dragged you to an expensive store and basically forbade you to move in fear you would break something? We have all been there. But the Heidelberg Suites actually does a good job in mixing romantic elegance, modern touches and coziness. To me, this didn´t feel like a stay at a hotel at all. Instead, I felt like I was a guest at a rich friend´s manor, who invited me to spend over the weekend….and gave me the best guest room of the house. Or at least it felt so.
The thing is, no, we did not have the best room of the hotel. Quite the opposite, we booked the simplest accommodation available, the Deluxe Suite. But, if I hadn´t known that in advance, I would have thought this was actually one of the best indeed.
The room was not super spacious, but it was definitely enough for a couple (34-40 sq.). It is very bright with large windows, which adds up to the lovely view we had to the old town and the castle – the best feature of it all. In this kind of room you will find a cushy queen size bed with a living room containing two big armchairs, plus a fully equipped kitchen and a closet. Robes and slippers are provided.
The bathroom has a vintage touch with white tiles, a bathtub and a picture of Heidelberg from around the 60´s. They provide a high quality amenity kit with a vanity set, shower cap, polishing file, hair dryer, jasmine hand/body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and bath/shower gel. I personally found the bathroom not that bright in comparison to the rest of the room, which can be tricky for us women. Still, it´s nothing that took away from the experience.
Something that did disturb me a bit, though, was the loud traffic noise in the early morning hours. The thing is, the hotel is made out of two small buildings, the main villa and the garden villa. Our room was located in the back building, the garden villa. Therefore, at first, I liked it, because it looked more private and further away from the main street. Monday morning, I realized that it wasn´t further away enough…Still, it´s important to say that we did sleep with one side of one window open. Instead, I would recommend you to just turn on the air conditioner during summer time – something Mathias wanted to avoid because of a cold.
The other rooms available are the Junior Suite, the Superior Suite, The Penthouse and the Sky Suite. The prices range from around 275 euros to 630 euros/per night (average).
Breakfast is served in the library, a small private space decorated in classic style with only 5 tables. The food comes organized in a high tea-like three trier stand – and, guys, nothing screams more “elegance” than a three trier stand. It is actually a very clever way to offer variety and save some space on the table.
Each table is served the same breakfast: an assortment of bread, cold cuts, salmon, tomato-mozzarella sticks, jams, yoghurt, overnight oats, and fruits (in our case, kiwi, watermelon and grapes). In addition to this, there´s a menu you can order from, containing boiled, scrambled, poached eggs and omelette. During the course of breakfast, you will also be offered croissants, muffins and a delicious variety of cheese, which you can choose to take it or not. It´s a nice variety I was not expecting.
When it comes to drinks, you can have coffee (espresso, coffee with milk, American coffee, cappuccino, latte macchiato), hot chocolate, or tea (peppermint, fruit, rooibos, camomile, herbal, green or black). Though it´s not on the menu, you can also order fresh squeezed orange juice. I chose only the hot chocolate and I did not regret it.
The staff at the Heidelberg Suites is young, but by no means inexperienced. We were greeted at the small parking lot and walked inside, where we were given fresh towels and water. The check in was uncomplicated and very friendly. After that, one of the clerks asked if he could take our bags, but we didn´t find it necessary, since we were traveling very light. He walked us up to our room anyways and showed us around. He made sure we had enough light coming inside the room and shared some important information, for example, that staff is available 24h. Though this is expected of a hotel, I was surprised that they offered around the clock care being such a small property.
One of the things that stood out in the staff is that they seem really excited and proud of where they work. You know when you get used to the place you work at or live in, and you kind of stop looking around and admiring the little details? Well, not here. They always made sure to call our attention to little things about the hotel, like the unique furniture made especially for this place and the art pieces.
The staff also surprised us in the little details. For example, upon arrival, we found a handwritten welcome card in our room together with six d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s macaroons and two Italian truffles. Ordering tea in the hotel´s lounge also exceeded our expectations (though tea and coffee is complimentary in the room, we couldn´t resist the atmosphere of that elegant lounge!). After choosing from a box of high quality tea (Dammann Frères), it was served in a porcelain set with the hotel logo, yummy Italian biscotti and macaroons. Yum!!! I was not expecting more macaroons, but this totally made my day – they are seriously delicious.
For a small hotel, the Heidelberg Suites offers pretty good leisure options. They offer a golf cart rental with a driver who can show you around, a spa (sauna, steam bath, massages), a Jacuzzi and a well-put together gym at the garden overlooking the old town, a picnic basket they can organize for you, and bike rental to explore Heidelberg on your own. Additionally, you can book a hairdresser/barber and a baby sitter.
One thing we did miss, but we do understand why they don´t offer it, is a bar. The minute I saw that gorgeous library area with a fireplace, I imagined myself drinking a fancy cocktail while Mathias had a vodka martini and smoked a cigar (ok, I have been watching too many Bond movies….). So, we were quite disappointed when we learned they only had a self-service bar, meaning a fridge with bottled drinks like wine, soda and beer. They explained they felt no need to offer cocktails since you only need to cross the bridge in order to find pretty cool bars in Heidelberg´s old town. Makes sense, actually. We still ordered a bottle of wine, and though they only had one kind of white wine, it was exactly our taste. So…no complaints there.
The Boutique Hotel doesn´t offer lunch or dinner options within their property either…instead, they have something better only a few splashes away! The Scharffs Restaurant is settled on a fully modernized ship from the 1930´s, anchored right across the hotel. There, you can enjoy a seafood menu put together by a Michelin starred chef, Martin Scharff. From 8pm to 9pm, the ship glides through the calm waters of the Necker, while you savour exquisite food under the stars and above the river.
The property is located right in front of the Necker river, on the opposite side of the old town. All you need to do is to cross the old bridge in order to reach a bunch of restaurants, bars, the main square and the castle. So, basically, in 10 minutes you are in the heart of Heidelberg.
But, in order to enjoy some of what the city has to offer, you don´t even need to walk these 10 minutes. Right behind the hotel there´s the famous Philosopher´s way, a sightseeing track with beautiful views of the Neckar Valley. Here you can walk the steps of philosophers and professors of the legendary Heidelberg University, who enjoyed the seclusion and nature of this path.
For me, it would be hard to go back to Heidelberg without staying at the Boutique Hotel Heidelberg Suites again. We felt right at home, very welcome and well taken care of. I consider the prices very fair for what you get in this luxurious property, even though it’s more than what we usually spend.
The only thing that I can see as a problem is that the buildings are right next to a college, which can cause a lot of noise during class breaks especially in the garden and in the Jacuzzi area – precisely the areas made for relaxing…We only realized this as we were leaving, since we had spent the weekend there, when schools are closed. I can imagine how this could be an issue for people staying during the week and wanting to spend some time in their beautiful gardens.
What didn’t bother us at all was the fact that they don´t offer a bar or a restaurant within the property. You are only a few steps away from the hotel´s boat restaurant and from the old town´s big assortment of dining/drinking options. So enjoy the fresh air!
Lastly, I do recommend this hotel – the atmosphere, the design, the service, the breakfast and the location (location, location, location!) are amazing. Book with care though, if you are one of those people who love to spend time in the hotel property and are planning a week trip. Or…bring a set of headphones!!
Parking Costs: 25 euros/day
Breakfast Cost: 25 euros/person (free for Small Luxury Hotels´ Inspired Members)