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I flew United through Manchester on my way to Munich. Why? Because an upgrade could be guaranteed at time of ticket purchase. Those lie flat seats are too good to pass up when you travel too much. And the way United treats its frequent fliers these days, it’s best not to bet on an upgrade ever. Honest.

The flight over here was just fine on a reconfigured 757-200 with a decent BusinessFirst section. The only problem was we arrived early leaving even less time for sleep.

That transformed an already problematic four hour layover into an even longer 5 hour layover. I decided to seek a shower.

The good news is there is a Radisson Blu hotel situated between Terminal 2 (where United flies in) and Terminal 1 (where Lufthansa flies out). Popping the security perimeter for a shower is easy enough, especially if you are the second guy off the plane. Customs was a breeze.

The Manchester Airport skywalk.

The Manchester Airport skywalk.

The showers in the Radisson Blu are located on floor 0 in the gym/pool facility. I was the only person there.

Changing room.

Changing room.

The shower itself was great. Plenty of hot water and tons of room. In fact, the shower facility itself is better than the Senator Lounge shower in Frankfurt. Of course, United has no Arrivals Lounge here, but what do you expect?! It’s United!

Non-plastic shower.

Non-plastic shower.

The only problem was getting back into the security perimeter through the awful security line at Terminal 1. The line was very long. No TSApre here! Shoes off, belt off, laptop out, plastic bag of liquids separated. You know the drill (and it sucks).

Security nonsense aside, a shower on arrival in Europe is just what the doctor ordered. And the Serviceair shared lounge in Terminal 1 (the Lufthansa lounge) is just fine for waiting out the rest of the layover, especially since I am clean.

Lufthansa seems to have put me in a middle seat on the way to Munich (I switched to a window since no aisle seats are available). Wow, the star alliance is just awesome. Business class half way.

Anna Hotel, Munich

January 27, 2010

I just spent two very snowy days in Munich.  My flight from Frankfurt to Munich was canceled due to snow, which was OK anyway since the inbound jet from the States was delayed by 45 minutes while they plowed the runway. I took the train to Munich. One of my good German friends met me on Monday afternoon after I arrived and we walked around the city.  He said we covered seven of the major must see tourist sights.

I was fortunate enough to stay at the Anna Hotel which is centrally located and very nice indeed. The hotel was packed to the gills when I arrived and they tried to send me to the “old lady hotel” five star a block away. Instead I got an upgraded room at the Anna. I ended up in a round room in the tower with windows encircling the bed.

Here’s what the bedroom looked like.

The bathroom at the Anna Hotel passes muster as well.  The room was actually a small suite with an anteroom where the closet and storage area was.

The anteroom connected to the bathroom like this.

Which of course leads us to the all important shower. The shower was definitely of European design. It was quite a step into the huge deep tub. And the shower enclosure included a glass panel that covers only about 1/3 of the tub.

The shower has an adjustable showerhead and plenty of pressure.

Here’s what the shower looks like.

The Anna Hotel has a very nice bar downstairs that serves sushi in a neon-lit kinda hip atmosphere. It’s a great place to meet for drinks before dinner.

All told, the Anna gets a five showerhead rating and a place on the select list of approved hotels.