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Heidelberg Marriott

American chain hotels in Europe are seldom our choice unless the deal is too good to turn down. This is one of those times. With a travel agent coupon we're paying €83 per night for a double room, not including breakfast, at the Heidelberg Marriott.

The hotel is on the Neckar but the old-town is a 20-minute walk or a five-minute, €10 taxi ride. We have flat-screen HDTV, the usual Marriott high quality bed and bed linens, and are paying €12.5 per day for WiFi. Our first night we had a decent meal in the hotel's Pinte Stube (avoiding the expensive American-style steak house which touts twice-baked potatoes) for about €60 including two small beers each and a shared dessert. Otherwise we have found restaurants in the old town. For breakfast we walk 10 minutes to Café Merlin (fresh orange juice €2.1) at Bergheimstrasse and Römerplatz.

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Hotel Hackteufel, Heidelberg

The Marriott was a quiet place to relax and get a leg up on the jet-lag. We were in this hotel many years ago (early 90s) when it was brand new and gave it a good recommendation in our travel news letter. Though service is excellent the hotel is a bit dated. At this time of year the website is quoting €129 on the weekend for a room like ours with a river view. At the charming old Hackteufel in the center of the old town, a stone's throw from the Alte Brücke, doubles with breakfast at this time of year are €120. These first few days we spend a lot of time in the room, thus the Marriott's greater creature comforts and quiet location worked well for us. Normally, however, we would choose the Hackteufel (see photo), more charm, better location, and cheaper.