Why does the England team never have the right choice of hotel?

If the key to a successful international tournament is a perfect team hotel, England could be in for a good month.

For the upcoming European Championship, Gareth Southgate has booked his England team at the Weimarer Land golf resort in central Germany for a reported fee of £800,000. The hotel matches its previous tournament picks as it offers the holy triumvirate of privacy, recreation and quality. But it is disappointing in one respect.

Located near a remote town called Blankenhain, with a population of less than 7,000 inhabitants and 90 minutes away from the nearest city, Leipzig, the Golf Resort meets the demands of privacy. One reviewer on Tripadvisor described the hotel as “nestled in a lush green forest,” while another said “this is what we needed for rest, luxury and sport.”

In that regard, the resort has three golf courses for players to enjoy (Pickford, Walker and Kane are among the avid putters): two 18-hole courses and one nine-hole course. The resort also offers guided walking tours, e-bike rentals, plus team activities such as raft building, archery and ‘team courses’ – presumably something Southgate will advise against until after the tournament.

A standard double room in the Golf Resort hotel, which has swimming pools, a gym and a spa

A standard double room in the Golf Resort hotel, which has swimming pools, a gym and a spa

When it comes to luxury offerings, the Golf Resort has an extensive spa menu (a €110 hot stone treatment for John Stones perhaps?), a selection of pools at the LindenSpa and multiple restaurants to choose from. Although the English camp travels with its own catering team as usual.

The only pitfall is the geographical location of the hotel. The Golf Resort is a long drive from all three group stadiums, which are all close together in the west of the country. As a result, the England team will only drive to the match in Frankfurt (the nearest, about three hours), but is expected to fly from Erfurt-Weimar airport, just 40 minutes away from the Golf resort, for the matches in Cologne and Gelsenkirchen. It is likely that the team will have to make more flights if they top Group C.

While dining options are offered, the team travels with their own catering teamWhile dining options are offered, the team travels with their own catering team

While dining options are offered, the team travels with their own catering team

This goes against UEFA’s sustainability recommendations for teams to drive to all matches where possible – indeed UEFA provided a list of recommended hotels, which England ignored – although this was all advisory and not mandatory.

Apart from that, the Golf Resort seems like a great choice. But the selection of English tournament hotels hasn’t always gone to plan (scroll down for a list of notable tournament hotels since 1998). In the modern era of football we have seen English fans rocked by a three-in-a-bed scandal in an Italian hotel shared with the public, a hotel in Rio with a sordid past and a hotel plagued by noise pollution in the city center from Krakow. .

Five infamous camp hotels in England

1990 World Cup, Italy

Is Molas, Sardinia

English teamEnglish team

England teammates Steve Bull, Paul Gascoigne and Bryan Robson during the World Cup Final in Italy – Getty

Until 1990, the four-star resort Is Molas, located in the south of Sardinia, was a completely respectable resort, perhaps best known for hosting the Italian Open in previous years. But that all changed when the England squad, with Paul Gascoigne in its ranks, entered the 1990 World Cup.

It was no coincidence that England ended up on the island, cut off from mainland Italy. Hooliganism was rife and the British government requested that all three of England’s group matches be played in Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia, to minimize the number of England fans who could potentially come down and cause chaos.

Yet the English tournament was not without scandals. Did Molas become famous after British newspapers wrongly reported a three-in-a-bed scandal involving a hotel worker? She later pleaded her innocence, claiming she would never have slept with a member of the squad because they were too ugly.

Bryan Robson’s attempt to meet with a faith healer, one Olga Stringfellow, to heal an Achilles tendon problem was also reported in the newspapers, although any progress was in vain after Robson ultimately injured his foot in an ambiguous after-hours incident involving Paul Gascoigne was involved.

Should you feel so compelled to relive the antics of England’s World Cup team all those years ago, Is Molas remains a luxury destination hotel, overlooking the sea of ​​Sardinia and the Sulcis hills in the distance.

  • Cost per night: doubles from around £150

  • Rooms: 72

  • Tournament ranking: Knocked out in the semi-finals, losing 4–3 on penalties to West Germany

2002 World Cup, Japan

Westin Hotel, Awaji Island

The legacy of England's stay at the Westin Awaji continued long after the World CupThe legacy of England's stay at the Westin Awaji continued long after the World Cup

The legacy of England’s stay at the Westin Awaji continued long after the World Cup

For centuries, the remote Japanese island of Awaji was the scene of the legend of Izanagi and Izanami – the Adam and Eve of the Shinto religion – who formed a union there. But that was before Sven Goran Eriksson’s England team arrived.

There were concerns in the run-up to the tournament. The city of Tsuna was so quiet that most Japanese had never heard of it. There were only ten police officers at the time and huge screens had to be erected around the lonely, spongy football pitch that had tricked the FA into booking there in the first place.

When the tournament arrived, the island gave the English camp a warm welcome, with flags lining the roads reading “Welcome to Tsuna Town!” and “England, do your best!” in Japanese and English, as Shinto priests offered prayers for England’s success, and local toddlers even sang songs for the players.

There were no scandals at the Westin Awaji (now called the Grand Nikko Awaji), although some photos emerged of a topless Teddy Sheringham during training and David Beckham walking around after scoring a goal. However, the legacy for the Westin Awaji Island was still ongoing.

“We get about 80 calls a day,” the resort manager said shortly after the tournament ended. “Most want to sleep in the bed that David Beckham left.”

  • Cost per night: doubles from around £132

  • Rooms: 200

  • Tournament ranking: Eliminated by Brazil in the quarter-finals after Ronaldinho lobbed David Seaman

Euro 2012, Poland and Ukraine

Hotel Stary, Krakow

The Telegraph rated Hotel Stary at the time with a 10The Telegraph rated Hotel Stary at the time with a 10

The Telegraph at the time rated Hotel Stary 9/10 – Alamy

Following accusations that the England squad were bored at the isolated “Camp Capello” resort in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup (see below), the FA opted for a different tactic in 2012 and booked Roy Hodgson’s men in a pentathlon. star hotel in a city center location.

They may have had no choice. Krakow’s deputy mayor Magdalena Sroka said: “By booking early, the Italians and Dutch have secured their first choice hotels and training bases – unlike England.”

Still, Hotel Stary was not a bad choice. Telegraph Travel’s expert hotel reviewer gave the hotel a 9/10 after their 2018 visit, writing: “Rooms and suites have been sensitively created in this 19th century palace, within sight of the main market square. A gourmet restaurant lies beneath vaulted ceilings, while a sky bar and a summer restaurant offer stunning views from the roof terrace.”

Upon arrival, the team coach struggled to negotiate the final turn in front of the hotel, but was greeted by hundreds of fans. Despite its polite, opulent interior, the hotel was reportedly noisy at night, with the main square around the corner and a Hooters bar nearby. There was also a complaint about noise pollution: a bugle, which was played every hour from the nearby St. Mary’s Church.

“Of course we’re going to play [it] during the entire Euro tournament, as usual, but also throughout the night. It’s 24/7,” Ms. Sroka said before the tournament.

2018 World Cup, Russia

ForRestMix Sport & Relax Resort, Repino

At the time, RestMix was called a 'modest basis'At the time, RestMix was called a 'modest basis'

ForRestMix was described by the BBC – Julian Simmonds as having a ‘modest foundation’

Gareth Southgate personally chose this resort in the sleepy Russian village of Repino, about an hour’s drive north of St. Petersburg, where many wealthy city dwellers own second homes.

The four-star hotel – with a particularly modest yellow-and-brown exterior – was less flashy than the previous international hotel in England, with the media noting that rooms cost less than a night in a British Travelodge.

“It is a modest base, but one that the Football Association and Southgate consider ideal for their needs,” the BBC wrote at the time.

The complex included a training hall, which looked more like a school hall, and private lounges on the ‘management floor’ where the England players were booked. There was also a gym, a 25-metre pool, a sauna, table tennis and Russian pool, which is played on a longer table, with larger balls and smaller pockets.

It may not have had the bells and whistles, but there was one feature that appealed to England organisers: “The internet has become the key to any World Cup environment,” said former England physio Gary Lewin at the time.

2022 World Cup, Qatar

Souq Al-Wakra, Doha

The four-star hotel was an understated optionThe four-star hotel was an understated option

The four-star hotel was an understated option – Paul Grover

When David Beckham and Gary Neville visited the Souq Al-Wakra hotel for an interview ahead of the 2022 tournament, Neville joked: “Who picked this?”

The hotel, a four-star hotel instead of five, was again more modest than what the English players were used to: described by The Telegraph‘s Jeremy Wilson as: “Just about as far removed as you can imagine from the high-rise opulence that accompanies Qatar’s dizzying growth.” Perhaps, given the political climate surrounding the tournament, opting for a subdued option was a wise move on Southgate’s part. The standard rooms were small; and out of season rooms cost less than £70 per night.

What the hotel did offer was privacy – the large courtyard is shielded by high walls and palm trees – and proximity to the England training camp. Another bonus, perhaps from the perspective of Southgate and his management team, was that there was not a drop of alcohol to be found in the hotel.

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