There was a time, not so very long ago, when the very words 'airport hotel' conjured a picture of a dark, dank, distinctly low-rent place to stay. Some airport hotels are still like that, but, increasingly, major hotel brands are upgrading the airport hotel experience.
Such is the case with Starwood's (www.starwoodhotels.com)Sheraton-branded property - full name, Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel and Conference Center - at Frankfurt International Airport. I stayed there earlier this week during an overnight visit to Frankfurt, Germany's financial capital. Actually, I should say overnight visit near Frankfurt, as the airport and thus the hotel are a few minutes by train outside the city center, flanked by busy highways and a lovely protected forest.
The Sheraton Frankfurt Airport is a big hotel, at 1,008 guest rooms. Not Vegas-big, but big enough, especially when you factor-in the presence of a conference center, hotel breakout rooms and a sizable, airy lobby, bar, breakfast and coffee area and substantial business center. The business center was especially important to me this time, as I was traveling without a laptop or other electronic device. The first 30 minutes of PC use (with a printer) is free; after that, it costs 8 euros per hour, including the printer, which I used to check-in and print out my airline boarding pass.
The hotel's location isn't as good as, say, the Fairmont at Vancouver, B.C.'s international airport - that hotel directly accesses the terminal. And it's not quite as stylish as the Hilton at Copenhagen International Airport. That said, the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport is a good-looking structure. Importantly, guest rooms are fairly large and well-equipped (think iron and ironing board, coffeemaker, hairdrier, Wi-Fi access) and come complete with a good desk, ergonomic chair and, thankfully, a comfortable bed. It's a 5-to-7 minute walk from the hotel lobby into terminal 1 through an enclosed corridor link.
Should you have the misfortune of getting stuck in Frankfurt airport overnight - as I did while changing planes after a visit to Berlin a few years ago, when a blizzard closed the airport at midnight - know this: There are far less pleasant places than this well-run Sheraton to spend the night and refresh yourself for your flight. The Sheraton is located at Flughaten, Terminal 1, Hugo-Eckner Ring-15, 60549, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Tel. (49)(69)69770. Web: www.sheratonfrankfurtairport.com.