Tis the season to be jolly. Okay, so Halloween hasn’t been yet, but forgive Madame Micebook for her festive joy. Nothing beats the post-summer blues than booking in a weekend away in winter, and this year, Cologne is the destination of choice. With its Christmas markets and sleek properties, it’s no surprise the destination ranked seventh in CWT M&E’s recently published top ten cities for meetings and events in EMEA in 2020.
First up, its hard hats at the ready for Ruby Group’s forthcoming properties. In downtown Cologne, the Hohenzollernring will open next year, and will be complemented by a second property in Cologne’s creative Ehrenfeld district in 2022, featuring 165 contemporary rooms plus a co-working space.
But for this particular trip, Madame is spoilt for choice – with the palatial Excelsior Hotel Ernst proving popular with the gastronomes in her gang, due to its Michelin-starred restaurant and classy Piano Bar, while spa enthusiasts are eager for the Hotel im Wasserturm, the former water tower turned boutique gem, with a rooftop restaurant with a view to admire.
Also worth a peek are the Neo-Gothic gem that is Qvest Hideaway, sitting in the shadow of St Gereon’s, one of the largest of Cologne’s Romanesque churches while the Humbolt1 Palais in Appelhofplatz, was for many years the home of the Café Lautrec and offers a charming base for a weekend stay.
When the Christmas markets in Cologne open their gates on the last Monday before Advent, the city centre is transformed into a festive wonderland. And there are plenty to explore, from the Cathedral Christmas market with its 160 attractively designed wooden pavilions in front of the impressive landmark to Heavenue Cologne, the Gay Christmas Market with its colourful market booths in pop art style.
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Here are some more micebook profiles worth checking out for this destination: