Hotel Matamba, an African-themed resort at Phantasialand, Bruhl
Updated: Jan 17
Phantasialand is home to some of the world’s best themed rides and some seriously intensive coasters. While you usually have countless theme parks to go to in summer, your options are more than halved when you try to look for one in winter. Thankfully, Phantasialand has a winter event (Wintertraum) annually and what's amazing is that almost all the rides are up and running. While planning for your trip to Phantasialand, do consider having an overnight stay at one of the hotels in the resort to maximise your theme park experience!
How to get to Phantasialand?
The park is located in Brühl, conveniently located between Cologne and Bonn. Heading there for a day trip is entirely possible as all you need to do is to take a regional train to Brühl Train Station or the Brühl Mitte Station and then transfer to one of Phantasialand's shuttle buses (costs 3 euros). Alternatively, you could rent a car and take a short drive to the theme park.
What are some of the accommodation options in Phantasialand?
There are only two hotels in the resort, Hotel Matamba (an African themed hotel) and Hotel Ling Bao (a Chinese themed hotel). There are generally no price differences between the two hotels but room rates vary by room types. Since we've picked Hotel Matamba, this review is dedicated to our stay!
Hotel Matamba Resort Grounds
The hotel is located right beside the entrance to Phantasialand. This is extremely important as you want to get there fast, be the first ones into the park to save on waiting times! Also, if you are travelling with children, the location makes it easy to get back to your room for your kids to take a quick afternoon nap.
We arrived by taxi to Hotel Matamba and although the exterior didn't look like much, we were blown away as we were taken into a whole new world as the doors to the resort opened!
The entire reception and lobby area was decorated with plants, having a somewhat tropical and jungle theming all around. The reception was a little jungle straw hut while the staff wore safari clothing. Being in the hotel really doesn't feel like you are in Germany, instead it feels like you are about to head for a safari drive the next day!
As we were in Hotel Matamba one night before the first day of the Winteraum opening, there were hardly anyone in the lobby area. Due to that, we also managed to snag extremely good rates for our stay. We got our park-view room for only 85 euros, inclusive of buffet breakfast in their restaurant. Usually, the park-view rooms are more expensive and there are some with balconies too! However, booking from the website was extremely tricky as my card simply could not get through. I'm not sure if it was because it was an international card but after trying to book it several times for days, I finally decided to email the property. I managed to make a booking with the customer service agent at no cost, just providing them with my personal information. If not for the website-only special rate, it would really be much better if I booked it through my trusty Booking.com! The downside was that by the time my email got through and I got a reply, the park-view balcony rooms were all taken and I had to settle for the ones without a balcony. With that rate, I guess it is still good. The other thing that we didn't get to enjoy is the theme park perk such as an entire extra hour on Taron and Raik, the two record-breaking rollercoasters. That would have been useful, especially for thrillseekers as these rollercoasters have the longest queues in the park. Because we were there on the opening day, they didn't have that!
Hotel Matamba's Park-View Rooms
After a smooth check-in at the reception, we were given our room key cards and we made out way up the lifts and to our rooms. Perhaps because ours is a park-view room, we had to walk a really long way, all the way down corridors to get to our room. No complains as we were pretty much the only ones there and there was a lot of privacy awarded to that!
Once we got into the rooms, the African-theming was even more apparent. We had a large king sized bed with a canopy made out of "wood". There was even a small separate room with another double bed, possibly for one's children or even possible to fit another two adults. The cabinet area was made to look like a large tree branch and we really enjoyed the efforts of the hotel room design.
Although there are all these rustic theming going on in the room, you'll still get to enjoy modern facilities such as sweet-smelling Rituals soap, a large shower area with premium bathroom fittings. There was also a television in the room, albeit not a smart one. Since we were really only here for the night, it wasn't that much of a fuss.
Unlike most theme park resorts that offer full facilities such as a swimming pool, Hotel Matamba does not have that. The only place for recreation was perhaps a little bar near the reception as well as their dinner buffet. Since we had our dinner prior to getting to the hotel, we decided to skip that and have an early rest instead.
Breakfast in Hotel Matamba
Breakfast starts really early at Hotel Matamba and since we had an early night, we were the second one at the restaurant in the morning! We were offered really good sofa seats and were left to explore the food offerings on our own.
There were a variety of fruits, salads, cheeses and cold cuts. Cereal lovers also have a range of choices and those who prefer hot breakfast can grab some scrambled eggs, sausages, and baked beans. The tea, coffee and juices selection is also rather wide, ensuring that there is definitely something for every one.
Your little ones also do get their own tiny little area of their own. Though they are definitely welcomed to grab some of the food for 'adults', they may wish to head over to the kids section as the food are placed much lower for their height, making it more accessible for them.
All in all, we had a really sumptuous breakfast and was all ready to tackle the theme park. Since we are theme park fanatics, staying in an amusement park resort is almost always a must for us. We want to be the first into the park to cut down on our queue times before the rest of the world arrives! Staying at Hotel Matamba indeed enabled us to do that. We also were able to keep our luggage at the hotel after check-out so that we can enjoy the theme park without any baggage! Should you have smaller bags that you don't want to carry along, there are also lockers within the park where you can use!
So, if you are heading to Phantasialand, perhaps schedule in an extra night to enjoy the full facilities of a resort-hotel like Hotel Matamba! :)
Have you been to Hotel Matamba? Share with us your experiences in the comments below!