The best feature of Gewandhaus for me was its marble jacuzzi bathroom. This is perhaps the only thing that may qualify it as a 5-star. The toiletries were also of a very high quality. It is nice that Internet was free and fast. There was minibar/fridge in my room, too. But the room itself on the 4th floor was somewhat dark, having only one narrow small window. The room was clean and the bed was comfortable; however it felt crimpy since the ceiling was low and cut under the roof.
It is definitely NOT a 5-star hotel. Right from the front door it smells a solid 4-star – the only thing that greets you at the door is an old carpet; there is no doorman and no help with bags. In the room one finds that they ask for 5 euro for a bath robe, which is a sure sign of a stingy 4-star establishment – a truly superior hotel is always generous on such points. There is a boiling kettle in the room, yet only tea and cacao are provided, no coffee! The kettle was located in the bathroom on the shelves whose paint could use a touch-up; it peels at spots. The tea and cacao however were in the room itself on a table – another bizarre thing. The strange absence of coffee was surely a disappointment, and somehow the hotel seemed to be full of such quirks. The closet has the most inconvenient hangers system, which I saw only once in a hotel in Brugge which was short on space – the hangers are organized into the depth of the closet, so you can’t really see all your stuff beyond the first item.
The front desk is very small for a hotel with hundreds of rooms. It is staffed with very nice very young people who smile and nod their heads but not always fully understand English, which can lead to misunderstandings about opening hours of museums, etc. and taxi reservations. I must say that throughout East Germany, except for Berlin, the poor English seems to be a pervading issue, especially among older generation. And as I state, it is a particular problem that these young and nice folks behind the Front Desk that they are probably afraid to ask again if they did not understand, and instead they just say something agreeable with a smile, which can be incorrect – for example, a young man told me that Gemaldegalerie was open till 9 pm; however everything turned out to be closed at 6 pm. I mentioned it to him the same evening, and he said that he understood me asking about “Altmarkt Galerie”, i.e. the shopping mall. That was quite annoying since one does not normally come to Dresden from the States to go to the shopping mall, however much they are proud of it themselves. Another time it was a problem with a taxi reservation to the opera, but it was resolved with the hotel limousine, and I was happy to share a ride with some other ladies going there. Yet they at the front desk were not precise in carrying out the requests.
The location is quite remote from the city center - it is much further away than Hotel Taschenbergpalais; the walk is about 15-20 min to Zwinger or 10-15 min to the Schloss, yet it is not the most beautiful one; the hotel itself faces the parking lot and a tram station, so it does not look as charming and romantic as on the pictures they publish. One must realize that Dresden builds now almost on a scale of Berlin, so squares as Markt are huge, and distances are quite grand.
I was put off by all the oddities and decided not to eat at the hotel so I cannot comment on hotel food; I ended up in the aforementioned Altmarkt Galerie for quick breakfast and with amazement discovered that you can have an unlimited choice of cuisine and have breakfast for 6 euro, with freshly squeezed juice, coffee and a meal of our dear American size, that is – too huge. I am sure the hotel is overpricing its breakfast at 22 euro; Dresden price scale just does not justify it; it is a true tourist trap – the breakfast for such price there. Also, there are plenty of open air cafes in Dresden in the most beautiful locations, and it is marvelous in warm sunny wether to while away the time there, contemplating skyline immortalized by Bernardo Belotto, who depicted Florence on Elbe with such detail. I especially recommend the cafe on the second floor on Zwinger, with the entrance of Porcelain museum; the view over Zwinger and beyond are incomparable. Also there are many along Elbe on the The Brühl Terrace, which ubiquitous Goethe called "Balcony of Europe" - and indeed the views are stunning.
Back to the hotel - overall, Gewandhaus seems to serve the bus touring clientele, and it feels too much of a revolving door, with very impersonalized service. They should not state that they are 5-star. It has an atmosphere of a slightly upgraded Cape Cod Radisson or an improved Holiday Inn. The rate reflects it fairly, though – I think that for 89 euro pre-paid it was still a good deal, even with little annoyances mentioned; the sleep quality was very good – the room was quiet.
All in all, I would prefer to stay in Hotel Taschenbergpalais if the rate is right; my room there was quite dark, too, 3 years ago, so perhaps it is just a norm in Dresden to have one small window under the roof in a room. Gewandhaus is too far away and too indifferent, however in all fairness its rate was 45% less than Taschenbergpalais, so it was an ok bargain, but nothing to rave about. It was not an exciting stay, but I would still recommend this hotel as quite good if the rate is right.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC