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Why does Hanover actually have such a bad reputation? Hanover is repeatedly described across the country as structurally uninteresting – but it is not. Of course, if you only see the Raschplatz at the train station and don’t give the city a chance, then let me convince you of the opposite. In March my husband and I were guests at a hotel in Hanover that has just celebrated its first anniversary. And there the locals told us about wonderful excursion destinations and locations, but more on that later …
A hotel of the future
The Meandal opened in 2020. The Meandall Hotels are the future of Lindner AG. Every Meandall hotel is different. The main thing is to have a local connection with the city. In Hanover, for example, it is beer and coffee from the region. The explorers who look after the guests are also all from the region. They were found in a casting. First of all, they got to know each other independently of their previous occupation. As a result, 2/3 of the explorers do not come from the hotel industry and have learned how to work in a hotel there. They also bring a lot of knowledge and experience about all kinds of good excursion destinations and other experiences in and around Hanover. This bond is also evident in the partners. With Hannover 96 (soccer) and the Recken, TSV Hannover Burgdorf (handball), the city’s two most famous sports teams are represented. Maybe partnerships with teams from the fields of ice hockey and water sports will be added in the future.
The Meandall is a 4 star hotel with 165 rooms. It is for Hanover tourists, locals, or business customers (Nord LB). The weekend zoo package is special, as it is particularly interesting for families. All are generally used. This is part of the philosophy and should create a familiar, pleasant atmosphere. We liked it a lot. The Meandall is a good place for a worcation, because it is very centrally located in Hanover and can be easily reached on foot from the train station in 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use the tram. There are only 8 parking spaces. This is to create an incentive not to travel by car. On the other hand there are 40 bicycle parking spaces.
Co-Working and Afterwork
The Meandall should be a living room, a place for co-working and afterwork. As a conference room, the boardroom currently offers space for a maximum of 4-6 people during Corona. The table is a ping pong table, for which there are also rackets to play. Of course there are also drinks. The lobby is also a freely accessible coworking space including a daily data volume of 1GB. Coworking in the lobby is currently not allowed due to the Corona regulations. The premises are instagrammable and pleasant to work with.
A place for the Locals too
The regional ties are also reflected in the focus on the region’s music. The lounge is designed in the style of industrial meets modern and offers many references to music. The big records in the lobby stand out with Mousse T., the Scorpions and Fury in the Slaughterhouse. You can also find these in the rooms in a smaller format. The music from the region should also be part of the experience. Ferry MC, the DJ from the Monkeys Club, plays regularly, as far as allowed. There is also a small shop with Merci in the lounge. The Meandall should also be for the Hanoverians. You should find a place in meandall to work, relax, party and generally on vacation in your own city.
In the Meandall there is only cashless payment. This is sustainable because it saves resources. In addition, there is no queue with waiting guests and everything works with the smartphone. This process is time-saving, contactless and cashless for customers. The room can also be opened with a smartphone via Bluetooth. A maximum of tips can be given in cash. For the hotel, the cashless system has the advantage that security is greater, since there is no cash to steal, many operational steps are omitted and, above all, time and costs are saved that can be used elsewhere for the guests.
As a rule, the gastronomy is part of the hotel. There are regularly changing gastronomic concepts in the Meandall. That means there is a new card every month. It is currently the “mamas tapas”. So there are always new delicious dishes to discover. This is a good place, especially for business lunches. The restaurateurs always bring changing concepts with them. The kitchen and staff are provided by the Meandall.
Some things I mentioned earlier is part of the implementation of sustainability in the Meandall. With coffee capsules made of wood, our own water treatment, regional suppliers, no waste and no individual packaging, sustainability should be increased. Above all, waste separation is important to Meandall. The explorers were specifically trained for this. Meandall has received a level 4 Green Sign certificate for its sustainability measures.
Fitness and sauna area
Unfortunately, this area was closed during our stay. With a more relaxed pandemic situation, it will also be open again. We were able to visit it anyway. You will find weight machines, dumbbells, rowing machines, bicycle ergometers, cross trainers, treadmills and of course the punching bag in the fitness area in the basement.
Challenges in the pandemic
We also talked about the opening and the challenges in the Corona period. It is clear that it was brave to open 2020 despite the corona pandemic. This courage paid off up to the 2nd lockdown. After that, the regulations were more restrictive and the general situation was much more difficult. In general, the booking numbers are okay, especially because of the business customers. Unfortunately, all employees forget how to have fun with guests, as distance is currently the order of the day. Due to the lower occupancy, it is currently not worth setting up the buffet corner and there must be an individual breakfast. In addition, the trade fairs have been canceled, which guarantee reliable high bookings every year. Despite all this, the meandall in Hanover is looking positively into the future.
The Meandall provides free rental bikes. We tried them out ourselves and explored Hanover by bike. In the past we were mostly on foot and by train.
If you don’t know where you want to go, we have put together a selection of great photo locations with the help of the Explorer:
- Ihme Center: The Ihme Center is an old, somewhat neglected block of flats that forms a wonderful backdrop. The best thing to do is to take photos of the meadows opposite on the Ihme, there you have a cool view and also cool corners with graffiti and ivy turns – the whole spirit is very urban and cool.
- Limmerstr .: This street is a beautiful and popular street for strolling or sitting in a café. It is also well frequented in the evenings. The Hanoverian says “glimmer” when celebrating on the street with drinks from the kiosks. Beautiful pictures can be created and you have great corners with clinker brick buildings.
- Old town of Hanover: With the Marktkirche there is a very old church. However, the idyllic alleys and the half-timbered houses also offer a good backdrop. The Lower Saxony state parliament is also located there.
- Leibniz Uni: The university has some monumental buildings with columns that make good photo opportunities. The Herrenhausen Gardens and the Georgengarten are also in the immediate vicinity.
- Herrenhausen Gardens: The Herrenhausen Gardens feel a bit like the gardens of Versailles on a smaller scale and offer many beautiful photo spots. Admission costs a little, but it’s worth it. Of course, it’s especially nice when there are fireworks championships again. There are also various exciting locations such as a colorful mosaic grotto.
- Georgengarten: The Georgengarten near the Herrenhausen Gardens. Unlike the Herrenhausen Gardens, it is freely accessible and you can take wonderful photos there, the Leibniz Temple there is particularly beautiful, which is also often used for bridal shoots because it looks so incredibly romantic.
- Expo whale and tower: At the exhibition center there is the famous expo whale and a tower, which is dilapidated. So please be careful with this location.
- Hannover Gin in the Nordstadt: The building is a former nursery and is greened with plants. There is also a rooftop with urban gardening. We don’t know if the host would like photos to be taken there. You should discuss this again beforehand and ask there before you take photos
- Schützenplatz and Maschsee: Oldie but Goldie, the Maschsee and a few side streets are an exciting place. Has anyone ever seen the big top or the dinosaurs? There is a lot to discover there.