“One day, a tall man clothed in black with a long wig and a raven on his shoulder entered the Holy Ghost Infirmary. He made an offer to the village quack to cure all sorts of diseases for two hundred florins. The village quack was lazy and agreed. Secretly, the man whispered to all the sick people that he would start the wonderful curing of the sick tomorrow. For this purpose, he would require dried human flesh…”
Damn, I thought, now that’s a strong start! I was lying in a comfortable bed covered in gold and red – the colors of the city of Nuremberg – and reading the legend about Till Eulenspiegel, whose story was painted on the walls of my cozy hotel room. Cozy was an understatement. Cherry wood furniture, reddish sandstone wall carving of a castle, a personalized ‘welcome’ board and a perfect window view – that’s how Hotel Drei Raben receives its every guest and I was no exception.
Staying in Hotel Drei Raben, located among the old timbered buildings in the heart of the historic city center, is definitely an experience. Ranked as Nuremberg’s Number 1 on Tripadvisor, this is not a grand luxury hotel with super spacious rooms, crystal chandeliers and butlers at your service. It’s not. But somehow, it’s actually better than that. With only 22 rooms, squeezed in an old narrow building built God knows when by God knows whom, Hotel Drei Raben is an almanac of legends. Every room has its own theme and a different story to tell, which is deftly detailed on the walls by the local artists.
Room #41, for instance, is about Martin Behaim, the inventor of the world’s first ever globe, who spent all of his fortune in creating a perfectly round prototype just to wait and see it become a useless ball when Columbus discovered America a year later. Room #24 is about Eppelein von Gailingen, a famous knight who couldn’t afford all those horses and parties and armour anymore and decided to become a Robyn Hood instead – with the only exception that he was staying with all the money. All these stories make Drei Raben more than just a hotel – it’s a real Nuremberg 101 course with a thorough introduction to its rich history and famous citizens.
Just as the story of every room is different, so is the design – sometimes it’s modern, sometimes it’s conservative. But every time there’s this one special element that connects them altogether – the city. The colours, the materials, the texture – it feels as if Nuremberg itself has checked into the Drei Raben. You won’t find any real ‘hotel’ stuff here – nothing is repeatable, nothing comes from mass production (only the mini-bar, I would guess, but that’s an exception), and everything has a story where flaws are part of a charm. In every room, there’s always something interesting to read, something curious to look at and something peculiar to interact with – be it old radio recordings or a postcard dating back to 1898, I promise that you’ll be educated and entertained at the same time.
My room was absolutely delightful – starting from the wonderful roof ceiling and finishing with the view over the lively Königstraße. The atmosphere felt homely and warm, and the bed and linens were especially comfortable, which for me, who values good sleep and food more than anything, is particularly important.
Speaking of food, breakfasts at Hotel Drei Raben are ridiculously good! And the thoughtful, attentive staff made my dining experience even more pleasant. On top of that, there is also wine tasting offered to the guests, since the area around Nuremberg is famous for its Franconian wines – something that is an integral part of the whole Bavarian experience, alongside sausage and beer (and castles).
Stay in Hotel Drei Raben if:
You’re tired of chain hotels and are looking for a real authentic experience, different from anything else!
The rooms start from €150 per night. I was invited to Hotel Drei Raben as a guest but my opinions are, as always, my own.