V8 Hotel Review: Rooms awesome, service not so much

| August 10, 2014

Last night we stayed in a theme room at the V8-Hotel in Stuttgart’s Motor World.  This is a very difficult hotel to review, so I’ll break it down by the great, the average, the ugly.

The great: We stayed in by far the coolest hotel room we’ve ever visited. Our Kino (cinema) room was set up as a drive-in movie, with a Cadillac for a bed, a couple of old wooden theater seats to lounge in while watching a movie on the large TV screen, and an armoire painted to be the cashier window. v8-room v8-room-carMy daughter’s nook included a sofabed and desk. The bathroom mirrors were amongst the negatives of a film reel, making you the star. Every inch of wall and ceiling was painted like the evening sky, with cars painted to the left of the bed as if lined up next to us at a drive-thru. The nightstands were wheel rims. The headlights of the Caddy turned on. There were streetlights in the room. Even the soap was a tiny car. They skipped no detail. You always wonder if a theme room is going to live up to its description. This one did. The shower was outstanding: large, nicely tiled, with great shower head power and control. In other words, you don’t walk into the shower, turn on the water, and get smacked in the face by a suddenly-animated shower head swinging at you, spraying water that is teetering on either boiling point or freezing point temperatures. You could walk into this shower fully clothed and turn on the shower without getting wet. The hotel is attached to auto-themed shops and an awesome showroom floor filled with classics. All around the hotel are corners of vintage, auto-related memorabilia: gas pumps, classic cars, sculptures. It was like sleeping in a museum. V8 hotel showroom V8 hotel showroom

The average: The hotel sported three restaurants. There was a good-looking Italian restaurant, Da Signora, off of the main lobby. We opted for the brewery, Witchel, just through a hall. The brewery was average. Its specialty was Flammkuchen, which is basically a pizza. My husband enjoyed it, as well as the brew.  My Schnitzel was average—nothing noteworthy in either direction. I had much better potato salad earlier in the day at another eating establishment.  My daughter’s meal was good: fries excellent (think less greasy McDonald’s fries) and nuggets average. The service was not great. We sat for a while before anyone asked if we’d been served, and later when I needed a drink refill while eating, it was difficult to flag someone down. One of the servers was quite pleasant, the other just meh. We had to sit inside because it was too smoky outside for our tastes. We ate breakfast in the Emil Reimann café, also attached to the lobby. Their pastries were delicious, service fine, atmosphere very nice.

As for the hotel staff, everyone was friendly. No one stood out as great. Unfortunately, the friendliness of the majority of the staff was undermined by a situation to be found in…

The ugly:

The hotel room information binder included a two-page list of massages available to guests. I am always in need of a massage, so I asked the front desk about the hot stone massage. They called their masseuse and requested a massage for me in the morning. I was told that the hot stone massage was not available, but the clam shell massage was. I glanced, saw that the price was the same, and accepted the substitution. In the morning, my masseuse informed me that I must pay him directly. Although this is different from many hotels, which allow you to put a massage on the room, I did not question it because this was not the first hotel spa in Germany to ask to be paid directly, and so many people in Germany accept only cash. He also told me that the price was E99. I stopped and questioned myself—did I mix my 70-euro massage up with one of the other, more expensive massages? Standing there naked under a robe and quite often a mixed-up individual, I hesitated but nodded and had my massage. Now, I must say here that this massage was excellent. The clam shells were awesome on my back and the work that the masseuse did on my problem shoulder was outstanding. He was one of the most competent masseuses I have ever come across. That said… After the massage, I paid the masseuse directly. I asked for a receipt and he wrote up something that I signed, but he said he would have to turn it into the front desk and they would issue a receipt. At checkout, the front desk representative read my room charges to me and included the massage. I was taken aback: I’d paid upstairs, I told her—did she not have the receipt? She said that the masseuse was in with another client, so no one could ask him now. I told her I needed a receipt. She said she could write up a bill that showed the treatment and cost, but she could not issue an actual receipt. I fully understood where she was coming from—after all, she had no proof that I’d paid. However, I overheard one of the front desk representatives mention to another that I could have paid downstairs upon checkout. I wasn’t happy to hear this. As the representative wrote up my massage charge, she wrote “70-“. I said that no, I paid E99. She clarified which massage I had on her list, and I showed it to her. It read 70E as I originally thought the massage cost. I told her I thought that was the case, but he’d said 99E, and I’d already paid. At this point, the front desk was at a loss. The representative and her colleagues discussed it, but she remained at a loss. Just then, the masseuse came downstairs. The rep asked him and he said yes, he charged E99 because that was the cost of the clam shell massage. She showed him the paper and told him that their deal was E70, but he matter-of-factly said no, his new price is E99. And that was that. It did not matter that the price was E70 on the paper—I had already paid and there was no going back. I was shocked that the hotel did not compensate me in any way. The easiest place to start would have been to offer to take off the E15 charge for my daughter to stay in the room (seeing as all they had to do was make a bed and hang an extra towel in a room that already included the bed). Nope. This hotel is not cheap, so you expect a few things. This includes accuracy, and just service. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Marriott is not perfect; they make mistakes. But never has a Marriott not compensated me for an error—and usually the compensation is initiated by them, not by me. I have come to the conclusion that if you are not a frequenter of a hotel—any hotel—they are not as concerned about making you happy. Overall: I highly recommend the V8-hotel theme rooms, but I just as highly caution guests when dealing with the spa services. I’m just not a fan of the hotel service overall, and would not stay there again. There is one more “ugly” – if you want a good, quiet night’s rest, this should not be the first hotel on your list. At least, not on a Saturday night. Adjacent to the property is a gravel road where young kids in their souped-up cars come to show off at night. The revving and rumbling and pealing lasted until well past midnight. My husband and I slept very poorly. My daughter, on the other hand, slept through it (and the tooth fairy’s visit) just fine.  

 

 

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Category: Germany, Hotels, In Germany A Broad blog, Restaurants, Travel

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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