Review: Villa Kennedy Hotel Frankfurt

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Over the years I’ve reviewed several hotels in Frankfurt, most of which I consider to be pretty mediocre. However, there’s one hotel I had heard good things about but had never stayed at, which would be Villa Kennedy, a Rocco Forte hotel.

This is generally regarded as Frankfurt’s best hotel, so I thought it would be fun to treat my dad to that. The rate for our one night stay was 275EUR, and I managed to book a Virtuoso rate.

When booking through Virtuoso you pay the standard daily rate, and receive a room upgrade subject to availability, daily full breakfast for two, an 85EUR food & beverage credit, and early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability.

That’s a lot of value to get for a one night stay, if you ask me!

Anyway, our flight from Riga arrived before 8AM, while our flight to Boston the next day departed around 1PM, so we had more than a full day in Frankfurt. We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel — Villa Kennedy is located near Sachsenhausen.

There are pros and cons to the location. The hotel is on the opposite side of the Main of most of the city, though it’s only about a 10 minute walk to the river. This also means that the hotel is sort of on the way between the airport and the city, assuming you’re taking a taxi. The drive only took about 15 minutes.

Villa Kennedy has a ridiculously cool exterior, and feels like a mansion (which is exactly what it used to be).

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt exterior

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt exterior

We were welcomed by a friendly bellman, who took care of our luggage and escorted us to check-in. While the hotel is for the most part modern, the main part of the lobby maintains a more historic look, which I quite like.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt lobby

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt lobby

The reception desk is inside the entrance and to the right. The lady who checked us in informed us that our room wouldn’t be ready for a few hours.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt reception

So we decided to head into the city and walk around for a while, but not before exploring the public spaces of the hotel a bit. The lobby’s public spaces are sprawling, and like I said, aside from the main part of the lobby, they feel modern. There are several beautiful sitting areas.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt lobby

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt lobby seating

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt lobby seating

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt lobby seating

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt lobby seating

Then down the hall and to the right is a staircase leading down to JFK Bar and Gusto, which are the hotel’s bar and restaurant.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt hallway

Villa Kennedy JFK Bar

Villa Kennedy Gusto Restaurant

Here’s how the hotel describes its history:

Villa Kennedy is built around Villa Speyer, the home of the influential banking family who lived in the house for 30 years from 1901. The hotel’s name pays tribute to the road it is located on — named in honour of President John F Kennedy’s visit in 1963.

So that’s why the bar is named after JFK, and why a lot of the art in the hotel is of JFK and even Marilyn Monroe.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt stairs

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt lobby

The highlight of the hotel, which I’ll talk more about later, is the courtyard. The weather in Frankfurt was perfect while we were there, so I spent a majority of the day sitting out there with my laptop. How lovely!

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt courtyard

Anyway, we headed into the city, and at around 1PM returned after receiving a message from the hotel that our room was ready. Back at reception we were handed keys to our room, as well as a letter outlining our Virtuoso privileges:

It’s worth specifically calling out that the 85EUR food & beverage credit doesn’t apply on alcoholic drinks, which I find odd. Every time I’ve received a benefit like that it has also been redeemable for alcohol as well.

There are three elevators located at the end of the hall, leading to the guest rooms.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt lobby elevators

We were assigned room 321, located on the third floor.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt hallway

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt room exterior

For booking through Virtuoso we had been upgraded to a junior suite, which was a very nice upgrade. The room had an entryway with a closet to the left and bathroom to the right.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite entryway

I loved the way the room was furnished. On the right side of the room was the bed, featuring a soft mattress, great pillows, and two duvets.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite bed

Then the center of the room had a small sitting area with a couch and a chair, as well as a bench at the foot of the bed.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite sitting area

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite

On the table was a small welcome amenity consisting of a couple of apples and a chocolate.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt welcome amenity

Then at the far end of the room was a desk.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite desk

Also on the desk was an espresso machine.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite Lavazza espresso machine

Then on the wall near the entry hallway was a wall-mounted TV.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite

Underneath the TV was the minibar as well as the snack selection belonging to it.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite minibar

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite minibar

I was impressed by the complimentary water selection in the room, as they had both San Pellegrino sparkling water and Acqua Panna still water.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite bottled water

Our room faced the beautiful interior courtyard of the hotel.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite view

Back near the entrance to the room and on the left was a large closet area.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite closet

Then the bathroom was to the right, and featured a bathtub, walk-in shower, toilet, bidet, and sink.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite bathroom

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite sink

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite toilet & bidet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt junior suite shower

The toiletries were Rocco Forte branded.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt toiletries

Anyway, overall I thought the room was absolutely delightful. While I didn’t order any room service, the room service menu read as follows (I figure it’s useful to share, since those booking through Virtuoso get an 85EUR food & beverage credit):

I spent most of the afternoon sitting outside in the hotel’s courtyard. My parents were born and raised in the Frankfurt-area, and as a kid I’d travel there for about a month every summer. But there was something about this courtyard specifically that made me feel like I wasn’t in Frankfurt, but rather in Paris or somewhere else.

In addition to the formal restaurant seating there were also some more casual seating options, if you just wanted drinks.

Villa Kennedy hotel courtyard

Villa Kennedy hotel courtyard

So below is where I plopped down for a few hours.

Villa Kennedy hotel courtyard

The bar menu read as follows:

While my dad went into town to meet some local friends, I met a friend who happened to be in town for drinks in the afternoon, and he had an Eiskaffee, while I just had an iced coffee.

Villa Kennedy drinks

For lunch I had the “50 Shades of Green” salad (lol?), and my friend had the currywurst.

Villa Kennedy food

Villa Kennedy food

After a great night of sleep we had breakfast in the morning at Gusto Restaurant (once again sitting in the courtyard).

Villa Kennedy hotel courtyard

Breakfast consisted of a buffet, plus eggs prepared to order. The breakfast buffet was excellent — I’ll let the pictures mostly speak for themselves.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt breakfast buffet

I had mostly just berries and pretzels, and they were both delicious. I wanted to save some appetite for my Lufthansa flight!

While I didn’t have a chance to use the other facilities, Villa Kennedy also has a spa, complete with a pool and gym. The indoor pool was quite nice when I checked it out, and it also had a hot tub.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt pool

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt pool

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt hot tub

The hotel’s gym was decent but unmemorable.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt gym

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt gym

Like I said, I didn’t get a spa treatment, but here’s the treatment menu:

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt bottom line

Villa Kennedy is my new favorite hotel in Frankfurt. The hotel itself is so beautiful, with a classic exterior, beautiful courtyard, and modern rooms. I also found the service to be excellent.

I think this is an especially good option if you have an extended layover at Frankfurt Airport, since the hotel is a bit closer to the airport than the city, and you can also maximize your value by staying just one night with Virtuoso benefits.

I will say, however, that this wouldn’t be my go-to hotel if it were my first time in Frankfurt and I wanted to explore the city. If that were the case I’d want to stay on the other side of the river, where I was walking distance to the major attractions. The Hilton and Westin both have good locations for those purposes, for example.

I’ll definitely return to Villa Kennedy.

  1. Interesting. I have stayed in numerous suites over the years but never tried this one. This would make a soft transition after a long haul flight in First. (Despite what the haters may think)

  2. Really like this hotel. FYI interestingly Amex FHR benefits include two alcoholic drinks (anything, including Champagne) as well as the hotel credit.

  3. Its a great hotel. One thing I really liked is that if breakfast is included in your rate, you can choose to order room service for a nominal charge (I think 3 euros).

    I also liked the larger toiletry bottles (not shown, but 100ml) as I think they save plastic.

  4. Good report. You didn’t comment on the service… in Matthew’s review on L&LF, he had a pretty rough go. All good in your case?

  5. I would think it would be remiss to not consider that this was once the home of a wealthy family but it was seized by the German nazi government because they were Jewish. So tourists are now welcome and pay to reside in what was once a private home. To me it is reminiscent of paying to stay in a prison turned hotel.
    Did the hotel have any momentos or any mention of this part of this buildings history?

  6. We passed by the hotel enroute from and to the airport…..staying at the Jumeirah tower downtown. We enjoy Rocco Forte hotels elsewhere but found this one’s location a little out-of-the-way for our first stay in Frankfurt. While you mention the two U.S. chain hotels as options, you did not suggest the Jumeirah……is there a reason?

  7. I can’t help but think this post was really written by a teenager? Repeatedly saying “Anyway…” makes it sound like Ben has problems paying attention and staying focused as he’s writing these reviews.

    Tiffany is, by far, the best writer of this whole crew.

  8. @Lucky

    Where are you getting these base rates? I’ve noticed that when you talk about hotel prices, they’re always 50% cheaper than the rates I can find by randomly searching dates.

  9. Great review Ben. I love that one of the Virtuoso benefits is a “Welcome Note from the General Manager”. Priceless really.

  10. Nicer than the Westin but not every virtuoso booking will snag the suite. Not sure I would pay extra $$$ to stay here on a layover unless my wife was joining. Particularly if you plan to walk out and about.
    That being said great review as I always wondered if it was worth the $$$ and giving up points earn

  11. I stayed in room 322 two months ago as I had to stay a night in Frankfurt to use my business class award on Lufthansa back home. Even though I had a standard room I much prefer the decor as it was a pretty room. I don’t like this wall paper much. It is a very nice hotel in a nice quiet location that is a 15 minute walk walk to the main downtown. The staff are very kind and helpful. Rocco Forte is a great chain.

  12. Looks very nice but besides agreeing with @michael’s comment, I can’t help but think that’s the most pitiful welcome amenity I’ve ever seen.

  13. What a worthless comment about being owned by a Jewish family before the War. No mention of the nightlife in Sachsenhausen just outside the door? Pity.

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