This place will allow you to get a taste of mass tourism east German style. Not much changed since the days of communism.
A monstrous concrete building of 500+ rooms, endless hallways inside, rooms showing much wear and tear (bordering on neglect and disrepair). Looking from the outside we had the impression that some floors or sections are no longer rented to guests (torn curtains, blind windows ...)
Guests are managed like cattle.
Decor is early eighties style. Not actually that old, it just seems those who are responsible like it that way.
On site pools and sauna are okay, but not great; indoor pool very crowded and in need of cleaning - our kids routinely explained the various items the spotted on the bottom, including hair and other not so hygienic items -- outdoor pool is nice until it closes too early, see below)
Specific challenges we had:
Our booking was lost. First response that there is no availability. After producing written booking confirmation, three clerks were needed to find some solution.
First room then offered was on ground floor facing the courtyard where live music is playing noon to late every day. We then took a room out back also on ground floor (smaller, no balcony ... so much for the "panorama view" we booked, and no compensation for choosing a lower category room).
On one of the hottest days (33 degree C), it was not possible to keep the outdoor pool open after 6 pm, reason being "it is the posted time".
Free parking as advertised did not exist.
Dining hall seats 500+ people. And is packed most mornings and evenings. Noise level is significant. Food buffets have some selection, but again it is clear that this is mass produced: Serve yourself from large steel bins, after waiting in line. Drinks served at table, be patient for your order to arrive. Staff is friendly enough, but clearly on minimum wage and not too experienced.
HOWEVER, it is a great location. If you actually manage to have a room up high, the views are surely nice. Lots of things to do around this place (of the hiking / biking / outdoor variety, skiing in winter).
They offer guided tours to some nearby attractions (groups of 20+).
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- Also Known As:
- Berghotel Hotel Friedrichroda