Very Good 1452 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

What We Love

  • A five-star stay with magnificent cathedral views, spa access and more - Christmas availabilityMagnificent views of the supersized Gothic extravaganza that is Cologne Cathedral
  • The tinkling of piano keys and superb cigar selection at the mahogany-panelled Piano Bar 
  • Mouth-wateringly delicious East Asian cuisine at the Michelin-starred taku
  • Enjoying a guilt-free drink from the complimentary minibar

What To Know

  • Guestrooms have free minibars which include soft drinks, water, and beer
  • The hotel is centrally located within walking distance of Cologne Cathedral and main train station
  • Free WiFi
Suite yacht vehicle Boat living room luxury yacht Lobby


A glamorous, five-star stay with views of Cologne's magnificent Gothic cathedral, with spa access, champagne and a suite option - Christmas availability

The Lowdown

There’s no shortage of old-world glamour at this gracious five-star right in the very heart of Cologne – the art-rich German city that famously spans the River Rhine. Opened in 1863, it’s a bastion of style that has entertained many an illustrious guest over the years. And rather interestingly, it’s one of the last few luxury hotels on the planet that’s still family-owned.
The vibe in each of the rooms and suites is one of refined elegance. Expect opulent décor, marble-clad bathrooms with bathtubs, plush bathrobes and comfortable beds with a choice of pillow for the perfect nights’ sleep. Factor in flatscreen TVs, Wi-Fi and the complimentary use of a SuitePad tablet, and it’s easy to stay holed up here forever.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a well-equipped fitness centre, sauna and steam bath, and two superb restaurants – one of which is Michelin-starred and has won numerous awards for its authentic East Asian cuisine. There’s also a mahogany-panelled Piano Bar complete with 1940 Steinway piano and humidor of cigars, as well as a lovely drawing room for blow-the-diet afternoon teas.
Good to know
Please note that a city tax of 5% of the total price is payable at the hotel upon check-out.

How to Get There

Excelsior Hotel Ernst
Trankgasse 1 - 5
Koln, 50667 Germany


4.5 Very Good 1452 Reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago

I love this hotel. To start when you arrive by train it is right there - The location is great! The room and public space is are beautiful. The saunas and workout room is a good size for the size of the hotel. The breakfast is top notch - actually the Eggs Benedict are the best I have ever had. But i do think the best part of the hotel is the staff. They made us feel so welcomed and tou could tell they sincerely cared that our stat was perfect. I cant wait to go back.

So good I could not criticize (read)
Reviewed 6 days ago

I did a non reimbursable reservation for 2 nights and stayed other 3. I asked for a reconsideration since I did not use the 2 nights, but as good germans they were inflexible and did not waive them even with justification. I was very upset. However the hotel is so nice, the service so good and the room so neat that I forgot my anger. It was my fault yes. I wanted comprehension from them yes. They were inflexible and rigid yes. But that does not mean I have to recognize that the hotel is fantastic. Next time I will take care to do something that allows me to defend myself against this rigid Germans and their great hotel

Fantastic hotel
Reviewed 7 days ago

Beautiful classic hotel , friendly great staff .... located in the hart of Keulen next to the Dom , rooms clean good atmosphere, bathroom more than super , big rain shower ,floor heating. No noise from either out door or in door . Coffee machine in room , mini bar complementary. Nice gym on top floor with small Sauna . Nice and cozy bar , with live piano music. Breakfast in Hansel Stube outstanding , advise to book your room including breakfast . Dinner at Hansel Stube , near to perfect , all staff very professional, thank you team hotel Exelsior Ernst

Afternoon Tea - Extremely Disappointing
Reviewed 1 week ago

My husband and I enjoy having afternoon tea in different hotels and when we read that the Excelsior Hotel had one we just had to make a reservation for the last day of our visit to Cologne. When making the reservation by phone my husband explained that there were some food allergies such as smoked salmon, avocado and shell fish because some of these appear in sandwiches or savoury pastries. As this is a 5* hotel we expected them to come up with equally impressive alternatives.

We were shown to our table upstairs on the balcony which then in total had five occupied tables. The waitress promptly came with two glasses of Champagne and asked if we wanted to see the tea menu immediately. We declined and said we were in no hurry and wanted to enjoy the experience. When she did bring it we asked for some help in selecting two different teas. Once this was done she immediately brought two pots of tea and to our amazement 2 creme brulee which she said was made of tea. These apparently were to be eaten first. We have never been served something sweet before being given the savouries. The only thing I will say about them is they were obviously not the colour of vanilla, could not get a tea taste and were very sweet. A waiter then brought the cake stand and we could see immediately that everything on it was extremely small in size. He didn't really give a detail explanation of everything except to say that the sandwiches consisted of cucumber, egg and more ham than the others. There were 4 scones also tiny, in a basket. Also on the stand were 4 macaroons, 2 lots of different cake one light colour and one chocolate colour, 2 fruit tarts about the size of a €1 coin and some sweets.

The sandwiches were tiny fingers, pressed together and cold as if they had been just taken out of the fridge where they had been for some time. The egg sandwiches didn't even resemble egg but more like a thin slice of cheese. No imagination or thought was put into this at all. The cakes were hard and cold like the sandwiches and my husband described the chocolate one as a tiny square of a brownie. However, when he took a bite of one of the macaroons he thought he was having an allergic reaction to something because of the immediate sensation on his tong and around his mouth. Neither of us could understand it. Just then another waitress appeared and he asked her what was in them. When she saw the one on his plate she smiled and said, Champagne & Truffle. Judging from her reaction we assumed she thought we had never had either of those things but, she couldn't have been more wrong. We think the chef used far too much truffle oil which resulted in the horrendous taste and reaction in the mouth. On a point of interest, if you read the website of Pierre Herme he advises to serve the Truffle Macaroon separate so as not to contaminate anything else.

To conclude my review it is the first time ever that we have left items untouched in an afternoon tea, had sandwiches and pastries this small and left sooner than we expected. What we saw of the hotel itself was beautiful but, it was the "Afternoon Tea" we had come for. Finally with regards the staff, we were not impressed and much preferred the staff in our hotel the Hyatt Regency.

The doorman made a real difference
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

For a short business meeting I stayed for 1 night in this beautiful located hotel. Just footsteps away from the world famous Dom, this hotel is in the heart of the Rijn city. The hotel has a long history and the rooms a really well decorated with historical elements. Personally I had a quiet room with a separate bathroom and toilet. As usual in Germany the breakfast had a lot to offer and I always like the bread and meat section. The staff offers a a la carte menu of egg meals. But the real difference was made by the doorman. I used the valet parking and when I left the hotel he informed me that he tried to clean the windows and put two bottles (sparkling and still) in my car. It is just a small token of service, but made a big impact.