Hotel Mercure Koblenz
There's no sense of history but plenty of comfort at this 167-room high-rise on the Rhine promenade. The KD docks are almost adjacent, and it's about a five-minute walk to the Deutsches Eck.
Guestrooms are spacious and modern with a small sitting area and work desk. Windows are double-glazed to keep out the minimal street noise and there's that rare summer comfort: air conditioning. Riverside rooms have a superb view of the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.
Daily Rates: Singles €115, doubles €141 - 15% weekend discount; lower rates off-season. Parking €12.
Rating: Quality 14/20 Value 14/20
Fährhaus am Stausee
The Fährhaus am Stausee is an old ferry house converted to a family-run hotel and restaurant. Because it's across the Mosel, it doesn't get many mainstream tourists. However, local residents advising guests put it at the top of their list, in part due to its excellent kitchen.
The setting is peaceful - seemingly far from the city. Several small piers jut into the river and at night you can hear the creaking of the docks in the wake of passing boats. The 20 guestrooms are spacious, bright and cheery with all the amenities, some with bath, others with shower. Ask for a Mosel view, preferably with balcony; it's only €5 more per night.
Contact: Fährhaus am Stausee, An der Fähre 3, D-56072 Koblenz, tel +49 0261 927290, fax 9272990
Daily Rates: Single € 95-115, double €140-150, studio €180 for two, suite €200
Rating: Quality 11/20, Value 15/20
First impressions can be wrong. The Hotel Brenner is at best nondescript on the outside. Thus its interior elegance comes as a complete and pleasant surprise. Every detail seems attended to, including the hand-painted flower ornaments on ceilings and walls.
Guestrooms are spacious and stylish, with separate living and sleeping areas. Located downtown, the Brenner is convenient to the Old City, ship landings and train station.
Daily Rates: Singles €70-79, doubles €87-118.
Rating: Quality 14/20 Value 15/20
If you don't mind traveling about 10 miles upstream, you can sleep surrounded by history. The medieval walls and tower in Rhens were constructed between 1336 and 1414. In 1557, the house Zum Königstuhl was built against the fortifications as the official home of Cologne's prince electors. It's been a hotel since 1706 and, though the adjacent tower also served as prison and torture chamber, you'll be very comfortable.
The hotel offers 10 doubles, all with toilet and shower or bath, four of which are exquisite, including a corner room with its own garden. Number 3 has a Chippendale bed and a view straight to the Rhine.
Contact: Zum Königstuhl, 5401 Rhens, tel +49 02628 2244
Daily Rates: All rooms €65. Free parking.
Rating: Quality 13/20 Value 15/20