Ramstein AB, Germany - For things to do while deployed to Germany, check out: www.letsgo-europe.com. If at all possible try NOT to stay at Sembach - bare conditions with sparse food/entertainment opportunities. For billetting on-base at Ramstein, make reservations early. They separate aircrews from Duty Pax. Transpo is LESS than helpful - especially if you have Duty Pax... A good hotel in downtown Ramstien Village is the Ramstienerhof-- the food is the best I had in 5 rotes to Germany and the owners are very cool. SchlossCafe Hotel in Landstuhl - Nestled in a quiet area just under the Castle and under your per diem rate (which is $105 US right now). Location is key, Barbarosa Hof / Hotel Zep is decent and very near Riverside (about 1 klick or less); Wed. is ladies' night at Riverside - lots of talent. For a good time, take a cab/drive to St. Martin Platz in K-town. Good pubs are the Hannen Fas, Markthalle Cafe (German hotties, but don't look like an American or you won't get through the door). Good Irish bars are Thirsty Nellies and The Harp. Ask about the Irish House which is on your way to Sembach out of K-town. Live Music, good spot. Good restaurants: il Cappricio in Ramstein, St. Martins in K-town. "Alt Landstuhl" is a great restaurant for the finer German cuisine (not cheap). Hotel Christine (06371/9020) is located in Landstuhl, this hotel is very nice. Huge rooms with kitchen and huge bathroom. Make sure you ask for the rooms up the hill, they are the newer ones. Three great restaurants located right next door, Chinese, Greek, and Italian. ~If you stay on base, eat at the German Cantina. It's a little hard to find, but get directions from the Prime Knight staff. It's in one of those buildings right next to prime knight. Good food and beer and very reasonable. The Dorint Hotel is **** and is a contract hotel for Ramstein. The drive is about 20 minutes downtown by crew bus. UDrives are very hard to get from Transportation. Van rentals on base by the gas station for about $100.00/day. There is one Rest. about a 10 min walk down the hill, Joe's Road House. Pretty good American/German food and the kitchen stays open til 0100. Nice pool, get your code and good directions. Walking distance to the FCK soccer stadium, if a game is on GO! ~Buy liquor across from Prime Night Billeting at the Canadian or Britain liquor store. It is located in a regular office building, just ask billeting receptionist how to get there. You can buy liquor without paying U.S. taxes and save alot of money. Everything kind of hard liquor there. They work normal day time hours and close around 1630 daily.
~Prime Knight was a Dump. While we thought the on base stuff was survivable but far from nice, wedid enjoy a day in K-Town. The highlight for places to eat/drink at was the Spinnradl in thepedestrian part of the town. True the menu was somewhat limited but hey it was very authentic and very good. Excellent cigar selection as well was reported by our crew (I don't smoke). ~Pirsch hotel was nice. Guessing game as to if you will get a closet sized room or a large one. But rooms are descent. Summers used to be bad due to no AC in the DE. But last time I was here they had individual fans in the rooms. The restaurant downstairs is awesome and so is the help. They have a night for just about every kind of schnitzel you can think of. Try something other than the same ol' jagerschnitzel. And say hello to Yyvone for me. ~St Pauleshof hotel - the drive to the hotel is not bad, 20 min tops. An Italian couple run the cleanest hotel I have ever stayed at! Quiet and out of the way is no problem with no transpo. The hotel owner DROVE us back to base to get a rental car. They bent over backwards to make our stay pleasent. The eating options are scarce, BUT, the restaurant has great food! Party drill is back down to Landsthul..... ~American Hotel was a dump! It's a new hotel off the beaten path and very happy to see you show up (Contract Hotel) however there's no where to go without a cab and most importantly you better not be tired because there's some sort of Rod and Gun club in the woods across from the entrance. It sounds like a firing squad's in the woods while you try to recover from a 24 hour day!
~Hotel Christine - (+49) 06371 - 9020 Compared to other hotels in the region, I found the Hotel Christine to be a palace! Service is what sets this hotel heads and shoulders above the rest. For Example: Amenities like a free shoe-shine machine just up from the lobby ensures that we all looked our best. They also have a coin operated laundry and a secured parking garage. It is a wi-fi hotspot so you can buy time and use your 802.11 pocket PC or wireless laptop. There is also a terminal in the lobby where you can purchase a card that gives you time on the terminal. The breakfast was served from 0530-1000hrs. Everything was fresh and the cook was highly skilled. The restaurant (The Cockpit Lounge) was fantastic. Serving everything from German food to some of the best Prime Rib I have eaten anywhere. Service was great and there are several different areas where the crew gather for a drink or meal. The decorum was aviation driven and the ceiling fan was unique (a prop from a DC-6). This is definitely not a GI bar, but more of an upscale atmosphere where you can where a flight suit, jeans, or a suit and tie and still fit in. The Hotel Christine is a must if you are staying in the Ramstein / Landstuhl area. (I have heard that the news anchors and other celebrities stay there from time to time, so you never know who you will see at the bar in the evening.)
~Stayed in the Hotel Europa a week, rooms are typical European style but the breakfast buffet every morning was outstanding. The hotel staff is very friendly and helpful too. The hotel is about 5KM from the gate and within walking distance of several nice restaurants/pubs.
Rhein Main AB, Frankfurt, Germany - What a dump? The Terra Hotel is right next to a dump. Heaven forbid you get the room on the side of the dump when the wind is blowing in. Or when the trucks start to roll at 5am with a 8am wakeup. We stayed one night then pleaded to stay on base. Thank God they had rooms. What a dump!!! We had a temporary delay in Frankfurt, I got the whole group of us (14) rooms at the Frankfurt Main Sheraton. It is right at the airport - connected to the terminal right above the USO office. I talked them down to the gov rate and it was worth it. Plush rooms, fantastic service, even a bathrobe in your room! Just got done with a week of TDY there (01-01). Here's the scoop. Billeting was on base. Prime Knight is not bad, 2 to a suite (living area, shared bath, each with private bedroom -- used to be family housing, free laundry downstairs). Places on base to eat: Avoid the bowling alley like the plague!! The food is overpriced and VERY average. Rocket Club seems to be ok. Zepplinhaus (Z house), the consolidated club was the best of the bunch. Cheap and good. Ask for a U drive. We had no problems getting 2. Rhein Main will be open until 2005 and they literally have nothing to do. AMCC support was outstanding from start to finish. OFFBASE EATING: You MUST go to the resturaunt called ZAGREB, over in Morfelder/Waldorff. OUTSTANDING German and Balkan food, plus it's cheap! Dinner is finished off with a complimentary hot toddy. This place rocks!! About a 30 DM taxi ride from billeting. Taxi to the Frankfurt International Airport costs about 35-40 DM. There is a very good 24 hour German restaurant in the train level of the airport. Also a Mickey D's (24 hours). You can catch a train into Frankfurt or elsewhere (Wiesbaden, Mainz, etc.) We took a train to Rudesheim, a city on the Rhine river. It was the middle of winter, so the town was dead, but looked like it would rock in the summer (drinking wine or beer overlooking the river). Decided the best way to get into Frankfurt (or Sachsenhausen) was to take a cab . 50 DM got you! downtown in about 20 minutes. Taking a cab to the airport, then buying a group train ticket (good for up to 5 people on trains and subways for 24 hours -- 14 DM) was cheaper but took 90 minutes to get downtown. Sachsenhausen is the bar district. Try a bar called Das Eiserne Hahn (The Iron Chicken), and ask for Heike! Very friendly to Americans. When you get kicked out of Sachsenhausen and need some late night grub, take a taxi across the river to Shooters, and Australian pub open till 4 am. I know, who drinks Fosters in Germany, but hey, you can get a plate of fries for cheap. If you're looking for people watching places, try Gotheplatz, it's the equivalent of Times square in Frankfurt. Lots of restaraunts, shopping, etc.I can't tell you how many times I've gone to the Irish Pub and seen a familiar face from AMC. Not the place to go to experience German culture, but if you don't speak the lingo, it's certainly a great place for a crazy time with all those cute british and irish nannies in Germany. Of course after the bars close at 2am you can go across the street for a Donner Kabob to grease up you stomach lining and slow the absorption of booze into your system. ~Hotel Domizile was A Dump: If a feather falls at the opposite end of the hallway, your door is closed and you are asleep with your TV on, CAN YOU HEAR IT???? Only if you are staying at this place. While the staff was very helpful and friendly, the place has more echo's than your favorite cave does! You are about 10-15 minutes from the train station (by foot) but that does count as your exercise for the day. There is a very good restaurant though just off the main drag one block up from Hotel D. though on the right side just past the grocery store. This place is awesome for great authentic German food and beer and wine...wow. ~Esprix hotel was decent. For those of us old enough to remember the hotel on base (back when RM was a REAL base) you'll be in for a shock. The place was gutted and now sports very nice rooms, cable TV with CNN & BBC, and a restaurant downstairs. The balconies have been torn off for insurance reasons, and check-in takes some time since the hotel also caters to civilian travelers. The hotel offers free transport to the civilian side of the airport so you can hop a train downtown with little fuss, and the hotel is RIGHT off base so your options for entertainment increase 10-fold with a 200 yard walk to the gate. ~Down the street from the Domizil Hotel, and around the corner from the Terra hotel is a great Turkish place called the "Orient Restaurant" of all things. Great Doners, and anything else you would want. The staff is also very friendly, and very cool too. ~Holiday Inn - Sachsenhausen real nice. First off, Trans at Frankfurt sucks. We had to make three phone calls and waited 45 minutes to get taken to the hotel. While waiting we were able to have a 50 cent beer from the T-tail Stage Snack Bar. On the backside, they neglected to pick up our crew chiefs. The Holiday Inn- Sachsenhausen was very nice since it was conference center. The breakast was about $9 and all you could eat and you could get beer with breakfast. Euros can be purchased at the front desk for a nominal fee. Right outside the hotel is a bus stop which you can take downtown. For 7 Euro, 5 people can ride on one bus pass. We arrived on Sunday and downtown was dead. For -135 guys, AMCC will not prefile for you. However, the computer in the mission planning area will let you file your 1801 on-line which was cool except it will reject your plan in you have to many letters for the equipment codes. Before you leave you must get a brief from the Stan/Eval guys downstairs on the SID's and n oise abatement. TACC flight planned the SID off 18 with the close-in turn. At 170K fuel load we were barely able to fly the procedure so do the one that takes you out farther. Also, the Sky Cops want a copy of your flight orders for some reason. ~Must try Corner Steak House (directions listed in billeting guide in rooms). Great steaks cooked on hot lava rocks at your table. Prices about $15 for 7 oz. fillet.
~(07/03)Rhein-Main is trying to be the hub it used to be, but without the base support structure to make it happen smoothly. Most Middle East bound duty pax now pass through here via commercial entry through Frankfurt Main Airport across the ramp. USO is located in Terminal 1, Hall C, downstairs at Frankfurt Main. They can get you a mil bus or cab to base. If traveling alone or in small numbers and will RON for the rotator the next day, either spend the $15 Euros for the cab to AF billeting at RMAB (bldg 340) or check out the Sheraton mentioned above. Expect Contingency Billeting on base (think Moron AB, Sp = 6 bunks/room, community showers, no trans support on base, and a bag drag from hell. It's probably worth it to stay at the Sheraton and cab it to base the next morning (claim it per the 24 hr billeting rule).
~Update 10/05 -- Rhein-Main is now officially closed to AMC traffic. Ramstein is now the AMC hub with Spangdahlem as the contingency/overflow base.
Spangdahlem AB, Germany - Terra Ventura Hotel ++49(0)6565/9 25-0 fax ++49(0)65 65/9 25-105 was a decent hotel. Stayed here for 40 days while in Spangdahlem. Hotel was very friendly with desk clerks that can tell you where to go at night. Rooms are not all that big with bathrooms being smaller. Has a restaurant and a bar. The restaurant is ok with service being decent at best. There is a pool and a spa. There are good clubs nearby in Bitburg and Trier with Frankfurt being and hour to hour and half away.
Stuttgart, Germany - Copthorne (0711)7210 is an excellent Hotel located 10 minutes away from the airport. The Base ops guys called and got us reservations and the hotel provides a shuttle. Numerous restaurants and bars inside the actual hotel, getting to downtown Stuttgart is easy. Do not take a cab, exit the hotel and go left on the street in front. There is train station there and it will cost you 3,70DM about $1.50 to get downtown. ~I was stationed at Ramstein for 2 years and the Copthorne was a "kill" to get tdy. Right next to but not part of the hotel is a Sauna complex as big an indoor football field. Maybe 15 different kinds of saunas. Upscale and very clean, like only the Germans can make it. Best part about it...TOTALLY NUDE! You got it. 30 something crowd drankin' and swingin' it every night. Friday the best. Adult DisneyLand if there is one. Love those Germans. Great eats also at the Irish Bar. ~The Millenium was a palace (Hotel formerly called the Copthorne). Super nice digs under per diem! Free deluxe breakfast! Cold beer in the room! Highly recommend this fine establishment!
~Hilltop Hotel, Robinson Barracks DSN 422-7193 FAX 0711-896527199 is a nice hotel. For on base lodging close to the airfield, stay at Kelly Barracks (DSN 421-2815). Kelly was full, so we stayed at the Hilltop Hotel on Robinson Barracks, about a 30 minute cab ride (about 45 Euro) from Stuttgart airfield. Nice place with good rooms and suites. Rooms have DVD players and international access phones. Continental Breakfast in the Lobby. To get downtown from Robinson Barracks, ask someone where the chapel gate is...it's a small walk-in gate close to the nearest city bus stop. From there, take the 57 bus to Pragstattel train station (about 5 minutes/2 stops downhill from Robinson Barracks). From Pragstattel station take the U5 or U6 trains downtown. Trains run about until midnight...after that you're taking a cab back for about 20 Euro. If you travel in a large group, be sure to mention this to the bus driver and get a day pass ticket, good for travel all over Stuttgart on both trains and busses. Be sure to order the Apple Strudel at local restaurants to soak up all the Weissbier.
~The Millennium Hotel and Resort was awesome! (PH 49-711-721-1050 FAX 49-711-721-2931) The hotel is part of a resort complex featuring restaurants, bars, cinemas, spas (yes, its nude-only), and shopping areas. 20% discount for military at the spa. Only a 15 minute drive from the military side of Stuttgart Airport. Coordinate transportation (bus) through baseops (we used Hofmann Co. and they are allowed on base and the flightline). Taxi's aren't permitted on base. Right behind the hotel is a train station that can get you downtown. Ask hotel staff for a map. Wireless Internet, business center to print IMT papers. Do not request services outside the hours of airfield operation or the Germans will get pissed! (wet and dry ice requires cash).
~Eat at the Block House restaurant. Great steaks for 15 euro. You will not be let down! It is at the Bahnhof. All trains lead to it. http://www.block-hou...bh/en/home.html
Heidelberg, Germany - The Heidelberg Marriott Hotel is on the Neckar River and easily within walking distance of the downtown/castle area. Free Wifi and a Concierge Lounge with free breakfast, snacks and booze during certain hours.
Munich, Germany - Munich Park Hilton was nice! Parking at Munich is at general aviation ramp. Contact the American Consul Munich for rooms/transpo. 30 min drive to hotel/downtown. Service at airport is good, AF 15 or Form 44 required for landing fees, etc. Check out the hoffbrauhouse...a must when in Munich. Park Hilton is nice but $$$, if they could get away with it they'd charge you for breathing. ~Kempinski Airport Hotel (49) 8997820 was a nice place - right at or slightly above perdiem depending on the Euro. Very nice suite like air conditioned rooms. Breakfast included. Munich airport has a very large shopping area with a large variety of shops. Subway station right in the terminal for easy access to downtown Munich. Air Brau restaurant in the airport shopping area has their own home made brews and large menu.
Nurnberg, Germany - Le Meridien Grand Hotel 011 49 (0)911 2322-0/-444 was a very nice hotel. Very nice! Right downtown/across from the subway/train station. Just a couple of blocks from old town. About 2 hour train ride to Munich, but also lots to see in Nurnberg--known for great knackwurst (hot dogs/sausage), Lebkuchen (cake-like cookies), and Nazi war crime trials. Nurnberg is in Bavaria--good beer! The hotel will lay out a complimentary breakfast spread if you are leaving early. Holiday Inn City Centre 49-911-242500 was great. Nurnberg is a beautiful city in Germany. The General Aviation folks provided good service. The Holiday In City Centre was a very nice hotel. It is in the old town; a quick walk to all the sights, shopping, and restaurants. They have an excellent breakfast buffet that you might be able to negotiate into the roomrate. Two floors have free internet terminals and the rooms have internet hookups. Great food everywhere. If you tire of brats and krauts try the Italian. 'Spaghetteria Della Nonna Cafe Bar' is excellent. It is found at 7 Luitpoldstrasse street (0911) 2358464.