Beaches and Mountains: Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt, Hotel Kempinski Gravenbruch

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One of the things I love about traveling from the US to Asia via Europe, even if I’m not actually planning on visiting anywhere in Europe, is to arrive in Europe in the morning and leave at night. Longhaul first class flights are part of the fun of a trip, though frankly two first class longhauls in a row aren’t especially fun. It’s nice to be able to sleep in a “real” bed between flights, and also to wait a bit between five course meals.

To that end, we had booked a dayroom at the Hotel Kempinski Frankfurt Airport. As a Lufthansa first class passenger on a connecting flight this is a complimentary benefit, whereby they’ll give you a complimentary dayroom with roundtrip airport transfer. I had emailed the hotel a couple of days before our stay to ask about availability, and they responded within hours confirming our stay.

Instead of heading straight to the hotel, though, we first visited the Lufthansa First Class Lounge closest to our arrival gate.


Our plane upon arrival


Arrivals hall

We wanted to catch up on email a bit before heading to the hotel (since I don’t believe they have free wifi) so dropped by the First Class Lounge. This worked out pretty well since we would be going straight to Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal later in the day.


Lounge entrance

At the entrance we were greeted by an agent who informed us that our flight would be leaving from the same apron, though mentioned it was subject to change.

All of the Lufthansa first class lounges are designed in a similar way, with a very industrial, minimalistic design, which I love.


Lufthansa First Class Lounge


View from the lounge

We sat down on one of the couches and I got working for about an hour. Moments after sitting down one of the waiters came by to offer us drinks. They have really good smoothies, so I went with one of those.


Smoothie

After about an hour we exited the terminal and proceeded to the arrivals area where we found the courtesy phone for the Hotel Kempinski. They promised to pick us up within 20 minutes, and with typical German precision they were there just under 20 minutes later.

We got picked up in a van for the 15-minute ride to the hotel. After almost a day of flying it’s certainly nice to go to a retreat like the Hotel Kempinski, given that it’s very secluded.


Hotel Kempinski exterior

The exterior of the hotel is very “German,” though the hotel as such is well past its prime.

At the reception we were quickly given a key to our room after presenting our boarding passes and a credit card for any incidentals. The agents was friendly and explained he had a very quiet room for us at the end of the hallway.


Lobby


Lobby

He was right on both counts – the room was quiet and the room was way the hell at the other end of the hall. It must have been a five-minute walk.


Hallway

While we all have different interior design tastes I’m sure (and some of us, like me, are more or less indifferent), I would have a hard time choosing a more hideous interior design than this hotel if I tried.


Room


Room


Bathroom


Shower

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Either way I found the room quite, erm, charming, and it was perfect for a four-hour nap. And indeed there was something relaxing about the setting, given that we really felt like we were at the end of the world.


View from the room

After a nap and shower we headed back downstairs to catch the shuttle to the airport. It’s also worth noting that the hotel has a pool and gym, though we didn’t have time to check that out this time around.

The shuttle bus driver was very friendly and drove us and an older Thai couple back to the airport. He dropped us off at the First Class Terminal which was very convenient.

While the interior design of the place is borderline unbearable, I really do like the hotel for just getting away, and also love the fact that Lufthansa offers this as an amenity for first class passengers. It’s so nice to be refreshed between long flights on a layover, especially when it’s free!

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Comments

  1. Great report so far, Ben.

    Sorry for hijacking, but your comment about the back-to-back longhaul flights has me a little concerned. I got in on the SQ A380 C class reward, and will be going JFK-FRA-SIN straight through in one shot. Yeah, I’ll be in business class but I’m a little concerned that I’ll still be ready to pull my hair out by the time I land in SIN. Any tips or suggestions to be able to manage the two flights back-to-back? I think it’s two red-eyes (which kinda sucks). Hopefully I have enough time in FRA to at least visit the lounge and take a shower…

  2. I’ve done east coast – Europe – SIN many time, on the “double red eye.” It’s not really that bad as long as you’re in C or F and can shower in the a lounge during the European stop-over. By the second flight you’re pretty numb, and don’t feel much 🙂 You arrive in SIN in the morning, so I then take a few-hour nap, and by early afternoon am feeling pretty good.

  3. What are the rules for getting a comp. dayroom? For passengers arriving in LH F, or only departing in LH F?

    Also, is there anything similar for overnight layovers < 24 hours?

    Thanks!

  4. @David see:
    http://www.lufthansa.com/us/en/Arrival-Services#ancAbT2

    Now, I had always understood this benefit to be for Lufthansa ARRIVING first class passengers.

    You present your first class boarding pass stub at check-in.

    So I was surprised to see Ben taking advantage of this benefit — he arrived in Singapore first. But the rules do not say it is for arriving passengers. I suppose it’s just implied, since you need a boarding pass stub from your first class flight.

    Though I suppose if you are already checked in for an upcoming Lufthansa first class flight it must work…

  5. The beer garden at this hotel is wonderful. Maybe you missed it but there is an annual blond asparagus festival that is pretty neat. The food is excellent and the beer better.

    I’ll admit the rooms are dated but the grounds are great. You really feel like you are in the countryside. If you pass this way again and have the time take a meal on one of the patios.

  6. @DiscoPapa– What wxguy said. I did SFO-FRA-ICN in LH C and was pleasantly surprised. Slept like a baby on both flights and was ready to sleep again by bedtime in Seoul. There are also nap rooms in select Senator lounges in FRA (plus showers) if you’re so inclined.

  7. Who do you bring with you on these international trips? Maybe I’m being nosy, I just wondered since you are a single college student, who you choose to bring on your adventures!

  8. Too bad you didn’t try the Kempinski Restaurant, which is excellent! If you fly to/from FRA again, give it a try…

  9. @ DiscoPapa — I’m booked on the same flight, so worry not. It’s still perfectly enjoyable, especially on the A380. Given the flight times assuming you’re usually a night owl I recommend staying up from New York to Frankfurt (keep yourself entertained with the entertainment selection) and then sleep most of the way Frankfurt to Singapore. You should arrive perfectly well rested that way in Singapore, since you’ll arrive early in the morning after a (hopefully) decent night of sleep.

    @ DAVID — I’ve never heard of anyone having an issue either way as long as they have an arriving OR departing boarding pass. They don’t seem too strict about it. There’s no such benefit for an overnight layover, however.

    @ HeatherC — I’m not a college student anymore, though in this case it was a travel friend of mine.

    @ Remus — Good to know, thanks!

  10. Dear “Ben”,

    thank you very much for your constructive feedback about your stay at Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the stay in our hotel and want to thank you for publishing the nice pictures above.

    We hope you will be our guest again during your next trip to Frankfurt, to give us the opportunity, to show you once more that we can be your first class business- and leisure hotel.

    With kind regards and best wishes

    Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt – Your City Resort

  11. Yes, Reid, you can get it on award F. I currently hold a reservation for the Kempinski in both MUC (going) and FRA (coming), and it’s an award ticket using United miles.

  12. Do you need to make reservations ahead of time? Or do you just show up upon arrival. This is for the day room.

  13. Haha! Ben, I can tell you that I had a room even more hideous than yours at that place. I stayed the night there before my flight the next day and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a disparity between the exterior, lobby and the room itself although a couple of other places way past their best (in Germany too, actually) have come close…Happily I can vouch for the pool – they have too, a nice one indoors and an outdoor (heated) one with a sauna cabin next to it. I tried all of these and they made up for the room – as did the excellent food in the restaurant. Also it’s kind of nice to be driven at 170 km/h down the autobahn in classic German style by the taxi driver from the airport, I’d forgotten that about no speed limits on the motorways…

  14. Just a heads-up. There apparently there is NO shuttle to the Kempinski, you are now forced to pay your own way by taxi, which is about 60 euros RT. I found this out the hard way, after asking the FC lounge staff to book me a room. They said there would be a shuttle or a phone to call them outside. There isn’t (anymore?). After checking with several LH staff, one woman called and confirmed: no shuttle!

  15. Dear Ben,
    I can understand your disappointment with your stay at Kempinski Gravenbruch from your pictures.
    But give it a second try, if you get a confirmation on a renovated room. I stayed in one (a “green” one) in Nov 2013 and wholly loved my stay – also the pools and saunas!
    But the Hotel is ony recommendable for its renovated rooms!!!

    Yours buzz

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