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Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel

Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel Review


The atrium at the Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel in Dresden, Germany

The atrium at the Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel in Dresden, Germany

Image CR: Ben Wadewitz
Once I learned that the building that houses this Dresden hotel had its beginnings as a hall of cloth cutters, the decor in the common areas made more sense. Period garments draped over mannequins in the lobby and prim ladies' hats displayed in the breakfast room are a few of the items that tie in the hotel's textile-oriented past. This is an old-school elegant hotel--not a place for high design fans to bed down (though you'll be surprised how modern the pool and sauna area are). But for a comfortable and classy stay in the heart of Dresden's historic old city, the Radisson Blu Gewandhaus is a fine choice.

Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel: Quiet and Roomy Guest Rooms

You've got to love a hotel that tells you, on check in, that you have till 3 p.m. the next day to check out of your room. It's standard operating procedure here. And since I'm the type of traveler that likes to make the most of my time in luxury surrounds, you can bet I hung out in the room as long as possible--catching up on work (thanks to the free wireless Internet--another much-appreciated perk!) and keeping myself caffeinated with the sleek espresso machine at my disposal.

My room was very spacious, and I loved the high ceilings. There was a big desk facing the street and a sitting area with a couch and a few chairs, in case I made some new Dresden friends to entertain. Usually I prefer wooden floors or tiles to the carpeted floor in this room, but it seemed new enough and, anyway, slippers were provided to keep my toes in their own zone.

The bathroom was very nice, with deeply veined marble covering the floors and walls, shiny brass fixtures and a shower set in a deep 'airpool' (the latter was like a Jacuzzi tub, but with more holes for air bubbles stamped into the floor--I never got to try it, but it looked fantastic).

Other things I liked about my room include the hot water boiler for making tea and the well-insulated windows that didn't allow any street noise inside.

Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel: Wow-factor Wellness Area

The original Baroque touches of the building are nowhere to be seen inside the Radisson's wellness area, which was refreshingly contemporary. Like many hotel pools in urban German locales, the one here was located in the basement. I always feel a little trapped without windows to the outside world as I swim, but there was a soothing sculpture-cum-fountain that helped distract me. One particularly cool touch was in the sauna, where a one-way window lets you look onto the pool area while you're sweating it up in the buff. There's a small fitness area, too, with treadmills and weights.

Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel: Dining

A decent breakfast spread (breads, sliced meats and cheeses, cereals and a few hot dishes such as scrambled eggs, bacon and broiled tomatoes) is served in Weber's restaurant, just off the lobby. The restaurant is a bright space with a few tables topped with white linen, though the ambiance is more business-y than romantic. There's a more casual outdoor terrace that belongs to the restaurant, too, on the backside of the hotel. The servers reminded me of those in French brasseries, with long aprons and buttoned-up attire. A small bar overlooks the hotel's atrium, and while it looked inviting enough for a nightcap, I never spotted any patrons during my visit.

Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel: In the Neighborhood

Less than a minute's walk from the hotel you'll find a slew of good restaurants with outdoor terraces and altstadt (old city) views. I spotted a Tex-Mex place, Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese eateries, in addition to some more traditional restaurants touting hearty Dresdner food.

Another gaggle of restaurants-with-views is about five minutes away by foot, on the plaza surrounding the Frauenkirche. This is definitely the touristy part of town, so don't expect things to be dirt-cheap. That said, it's still Eastern Germany and, as such, quite affordable compared to other European cities.

A nice shopping mall is located just a few blocks from the hotel, as well as Dresden's most important sites including the Semper Opera House, the Zwinger and the Elbe River, where you can hop a boat cruise to tour along the city's grassy banks. (Reviewed 7/2/2009)

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Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel is located: in Dresden's historic old city
1 Ringstrasse D-01067, Dresden, Germany Reservations: (800) 333-3333
Email: info.dresden@radissonblu.com
Web site: Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel

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