We were probably an hour or so early for check in, but we’ve found that it never hurts to ask if we can check in early. We pulled into the small loading area of The Europäischer Hof Heidelberg and were immediately welcomed by a friendly and lovely young woman in a business suit and a face mask. She was happy to give us the junior suite I booked. I know a junior suite is kind of extravagant, and at this hotel, it’s not exactly a bargain. But I like to splurge when I can, and this was for a special occasion. It’s not every day a person begins their last year of their 40s, right?
The Europäischer Hof Heidelberg has belonged to the same family for four generations and has been in existence since 1865. Over the years, it’s hosted a number of famous people, as well as many more non-famous people like Bill and me. No matter. One of the first and best things I noticed about this hotel is how very friendly and professional the staff is. The lady who checked us in summoned a bellman to bring us our bags, then showed us to our room. Below are some pictures of the junior suite– room 124. It was kind of a mix between our room at Brenner’s Park in Baden Baden and our room at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne.
This hotel is air conditioned, which was a real plus on Friday and Saturday. It was pretty hot! Our room did not have a balcony, which was too bad. It did have a mini bar, which we didn’t find until minutes before we checked out this morning. The bed was huge, with a firm mattress. On the fourth floor, there is a spa with a sauna and pool that has a jetted area. There’s also a solarium, fitness room, and outdoor terrace. And, of course, there’s a full scale gourmet restaurant and bar.
We hadn’t booked anywhere for Friday night, and I like to try the hotel restaurants when I can. We decided to book Friday night’s dinner at the hotel, so I could return and report properly. Then, once that was done, we set off to see Heidelberg’s famed Hauptstrasse for the first time in almost 13 years. The heat was pretty intense, which was a shock after last month’s chilliness and rain! We missed lunch on the road, so we stopped at Strohauer’s, an outdoor cafe, for beer and a snack. It was a great place to people watch, something I love to do and have missed so much over the past year.
After some time chilling with beers, we walked down Hauptstrasse some more. I turned on my Apple Watch so our walk would count for the day’s exercise goals. Heidelberg was crowded, but just as lovely as I remembered it, with its enchanting castle on the hillside and the gentle river with its cruise boats and canoes. Lots of people were enjoying everything from buskers to ice cream. If not for all the face masks, it would have felt like old times. Below are some more shots of Heidelberg’s famous main street.
After awhile, I was needing a shower and a cool down, so we headed back to the hotel. Later, we had dinner in their restaurant… it was our first sit down gourmet meal in a restaurant– indoors, no less– since last summer. More on that in part 3. Gotta go get the dogs.