Picture this – an indoor market breakfast in the hotel lobby: a vintner from Mainz offers his wines accompanied by delicious snacks and trendy lounge music is playing in the background. As if at a private party, hotel guests and residents of Mainz city centre stand and sit together, relaxing and enjoying the wines. Hotel manager, Holger Hanselmann mingles with his guests. He is not a manager in the classic sense: with his jeans outfit, he could also be taken as one of the guests. “Our lobby resembles more of a living room and is the central point for our regular events with local Mainz heroes – our “local heroes” are regular guests here with us!” explains the Swabian-born manager who has been managing the lifestyle boutique hotel since the opening of the me and all hotels in Mainz.
Best Of Wine Tourism award
No wonder Great Wine Capital has awarded the Best Of Wine Tourism Award 2021 to the innovative hotel in the city with its concept of opening up to local wine producers.
“The desires of business travellers and overnight tourists have changed – they want to experience the city they are staying in while at the hotel.”, is the experience the hotel manager has made. This begins at the bar: the drinks list is stocked with produce from Mainz and the surrounding area – this applies to wine, beer and soft drinks. And whenever possible, regional food for the snacks.
A trendy Citybike stands in the room, a propeller model airplane hangs from the ceiling, and the eye falls on comfortable sofas with cosy cushions: The hotel lobby with its wooden floorboards conveys a homely feel-good atmosphere – which fits perfectly with the Rhine-Hessian way of life. During the day, guests use the lobby for informal chats or meetings while enjoying small dishes and wine from Mainz – in the evening, there are atmospheric events such as homey living room like concerts, readings & talent slams, creative workshops – or just a DJ playing music on the turntable. On most Sundays, there is lunchtime live music playing and the lobby is full – everything is very relaxed and very personal.
Wine is the theme that runs through the entire hotel – an experience familiar for hotel manager, Holger Hanselmann: his parents were also active in the winegrowers’ association. Vine motifs are part of the hotel design: the room numbers are decorated with vine-motives, pictures of wine festivals hang in the lift and on the walls along the corridors. What I particularly like: the guest information in the room, the so-called “Guest Directory”, printed on the label of a wine bottle and which the guest can even keep as a take-away.
“You can’t get more wine than this!” says Holger Hanselmann enthusiastically- and refers to the extensive local wine list in the restaurant. The hotel buys the wines in cooperation with the Mainzer Winzerverein. A sommelière tastes them and selects the best.
The open restaurant concept suits the house: external suppliers alternate with different cuisine offerings. The range is exciting: whether homemade frites in all variations (even with truffles!), dishes from Israel or the guest may even be surprised with Japanese ramen cuisine, all accompanied by the diverse Mainz Local Hero wines – always a perfect match.
And Corona? Even in these difficult times, the management finds the right answers: ten hotel rooms were removed of their furniture and converted into restaurant séparés. Here, the kitchen serves wine and food for contact-reduced private dinners – the offer has been very well received.
Relaxed lifestyle in a casual, creative environment: on a blackboard guests write down in chalk the things they want to do before they die. One entry reads: “Before I die, I want to – make my own wine!” I like that!
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About the blogger
TV- and wine journalist Wolfgang Junglas is responsible for tv broadcasts such as “The Election of the German Wine Queen.” in the entertainment editorial department at SWR Television in Mainz. He is also a writer, president of Weinfeder eV, president of FIJEV and lecturers at Geisenheim University, Geisenheim.