I travel a lot. And because of this, I carefully read the websites of the hotels that I book to make sure of the location. On the Regensburg Premiere Best Western Hotel, it states that Old Town is 1.8 km away. My husband and I walk many miles each week (often close to six each day). Since 1.8 km is a little over a mile, we figured we could handle that distance (with luggage), then come and go from Old Town as we pleased.
We came to Regensburg via the Danube River off a river boat cruise, planning to extend our stay one additional night. When we landed, my husband and I scoped out the area, looking for the Best Western so we could go directly there when it was time to depart the ship. When we told our guide we planned to walk to the BW, he shook his head. “It’s a long ways away,” he said. “On the other side of town.”
In the end, we had to take a taxi. As the driver drove further and further away from Old Town, I realized it was not the distance from Old Town as was listed on the website.
Upon arrival, I asked the desk receptionist about going back to Old Town and that we had planned to walk. He said it was five miles (he may have said kilometers but being from the U.S., I thought I heard miles), and then he recommended taking a taxi. I told him I preferred to walk, but a bus was our second choice. He was impatient, and vaguely told me to go down to the light, take a right and the bus stop would be there. (If he did say how long this walk would take I don’t recall because of his impatience.) He gave me a photocopied piece of paper with bus times and did quickly explain how that worked, then again mentioned that a taxi is easier and quicker.
After inspecting our room, my husband and I followed his instructions to the bus stop. However, after ten minutes of brisk walking, we decided to turn around. We never came upon the bus stop. The front desk man ordered a taxi and it was 11 euros with gratuity (rounded up to nearest euro) one way. I asked the taxi driver how far we’d come and he said over 3.5 km. (So not as far as the front desk person said, but more than the amount listed on the hotel webpage.) We had the taxi driver drop us at the closest end of Old Town to the hotel. It was still a walk to the Chain Bridge (not that we’re complaining about that. I’m just trying to point out that if a person wasn’t a walker, they’d still have a ways to go to the MAIN square.)
The reason I booked this hotel was because of websites proximity to Old Town. I figured we could walk there during the day, enjoy the area, return back to the hotel for an afternoon rest, and then return in the evening. With the cost of the taxi (round-trip) being 22 euros, we ended up staying longer during the day and never returning that evening. We certainly hadn’t expected to spend a ton on taxi fare to see the local area so this was a huge disappointment, especially since the website misrepresented its location. We also had to hire a taxi to take us to the train station. I believe the website represents the distance there to be less than it actually is too.
Now, as part of my review, these next things are not items that I would complain about had the location been as promoted on their website. Yet since I’m writing a tripadvisor review, I think it is important for other guests to note these facts about the room.
The hotel is modern and it is very nice and clean. It feels safe. However, the bathroom inside the room is made of thin glass (yes, it is see-through with etchings in the middle of the panes to distort images) with a thin sliding glass door. In all my years of traveling, I’ve never experienced a bathroom with less privacy. BW might as well have installed the toilet right in the middle of the room and foregone the glass walls. You could hear everything going on in the bathroom from anywhere within the room. So if you are a person who likes a little privacy when using the restroom, just because there are two glass walls and a sliding glass door, don’t expect that no one else will hear every sound. If you are shy—this will not work. If you are in a new relationship, this will not work. If you are traveling solo, maybe it is fine.
In fairness, three lovely unexpected things happened at this BW property. First of all, we arrived around 10:30 a.m. and check-in isn’t till late afternoon, but we were checked in immediately and allowed to occupy the room. They have an in-room bar and all contents used during the first day/night are not charged. That was a really nice touch. We were also given late check-out.
As a Best Western rewards member, I was also given one free drink in the lounge. It would’ve been better not to receive this perk. When I got there, the choices were a soda (tiny with no ice), tiny wine, or tiny beer. It was for one person—not for both parties staying in the room. I stay at other hotel chains and a free drink would mean a free drink. The coupon was misleading as to what we would get for visiting the lounge. Believe me, this perk was not worth the effort.
Finally, the breakfast that comes with your stay is very nice and there were many choices. There were also pitchers of water for consumption. Although we were given late check-out, we left the room earlier than we’d requested to free up the space. My husband and I played cribbage on the front patio until time to go to the train station. I went back to the breakfast room looking for the pitchers of water. I ran into a server. This next part is probably my fault due to language/customs communication errors. She asked how she could help me and I tried to get by her to just go to the pitchers of water and fill a glass myself. But the young woman was eager to help, so I explained (the best I could with the language barrier) that I just wanted a glass of water. She said she could bring me one and would I like the bottle? I told her no, just a glass—from the pitcher, like this morning. Shortly thereafter, she arrived with two glasses of water with ice (a nice touch). I returned the glasses, thanked her, and offered a gratuity for her trouble. She said I owed 6 euros for the water. I was shocked because I thought I was getting faucet water. But looking back, I should have realized we weren’t talking about the same thing, so I’m willing to accept responsibility for this misunderstanding.
When I told the front desk that the website is incorrect as far as distance from Old Town, there was no apology and I was offered nothing for this error. So I filed a complaint directly with BW customer service and requested a full refund for this stay. I would never have booked this property if I’d know it was this far from old town. It ended up costing us 50 euros in taxi fare to get there, go into town, return from town, and go to the train station. I could have (and would have) stayed in Old Town—even with a bit higher room price—for the convenience of the places we wanted to visit. And we missed out on an evening in that area.
Please note, this is a very nice BW, with a classy feel. If I had been to Regensburg for business, (and not Old Town), I wouldn’t be complaining. (Although the bathroom issue is concerning for me.) If you are coming to Regensburg to explore that area, unless you have a car, be prepared to spend a great deal on cab fare. And if you have a car, I believe you have to pay to park. So good luck with this property.
Finally, BW offered us $58 off a future BW stay to compensate for the taxi fare. I requested a full refund since our time in Old Town was limited to do the location. I'm not thrilled with this offer, but it is better than nothing. This reimburses us for our out of pocket expenses. It did not make up for the loss of the evening time that we could have enjoyed Old Town. less