FAQ - Frequently asked questions

We are happy to explain all details concerning your stay at A&O!

If you still have any questions that you feel we have not fully answered yet, feel free to contact us!

Area
Questions

Hotel & hostel difference / Book Blue - Book Orange

Almost every A&O building has got a hotel part and a normal hostel part.
Hotels only are A&O Köln Dom, A&O Köln Hauptbahnhof and A&O Hamburg Hammer Kirche.

•   Book Blue: The hotel part consists of single-, double- and family rooms.
It is depicted in Blue in our logoBedding, towels and hair dryer are included in the price. All rooms have an own bathroom.

•   Book Orange: The hostel part means accommodation in dorms.
It is depicted in Orange in our logo. It offers very affordable accommodation. All rooms have an own bathroom.

An exception to this is our first hostel ever, the A&O Berlin Friedrichshain, which still has got some shared facilities on the floor.

Check-in/ Check-out times

Check in is guaranteed at all locations after 3 pm and check out is until 10 am. You're also welcome to book a "late check out until 2pm" for 7.50 euros.

Early Check-in / Late Check-out

With our Early Check-in for 10€ you can enter your room at 11 a.m. - You can book this service for single, double or family rooms at aohostels.com.

The Late Check-out until 2 p.m. for 10 Euro allows you a nice and long sleep-in. Available also online.

Arrival after 6 p.m.

Guests who chose the FIX rate (convenient budget rate; already paid) can arrive regardless of the time.

Guests who chose the FLEX rate (payable on site; cancellable for free until 6 p.m.) simply make a call using the number +49 30 80 947 5110 and tell us about their late arrival.

Dates in strong demand might require a more detailed check by our callcenter team. Thus, it is advisable to guarantee your booking by depositing your credit card details as security. You can then arrive at any time and pay on-site. The credit card simly is a back-up for you and won't be charged. If guests, however, never show up the card will be charged.

Wi-Fi

Every A&O offers free Wi-Fi in all public areas, such as the lobby or the bars, and in every room as well.

App

A&O offers its own free app for guests in German and English. It shows you the daily online prices of each hotel, a picture gallery with hotel information, contact options, access assistance and a map. Of course, you can book directly through the app.

Available for free here: Google Play Store; Apple App Store.

Use the app’s highlight when activating your GPS:

As soon as you check-in to our A&O and open the app, the hotel and surrounding area will be recognized and you will be able to use the intelligent online travel guide.

The hot spot search near your location will show you useful information about the city you are visiting, including phone numbers of taxis, tourist information offices, opening hours of the attractions, assistance with the use of public transport and important emergency numbers on the spot.

Guests under the age of 18

From the age of 14 you can stay in our A&O's all be yourself.  All you need is a signed declaration of consent from your parents and a copy of the personal identification from the parent who signed the form.

Ticket bookings

If you are already on-site, please ask at the reception. Our friendly personnel will be happy to help you.

Of course, you can already book tickets on our website upon your arrival. Simply choose an A&O city and get some inspiration. We offer WelcomeCards, Hop On/Hop Off city tours (bus/river), guided city walks, sightseeing tickets, museums, pub crawls and much more.

Getting to A&O

A precise description of the directions can be found on each location's website.

Car parking

Almost every A&O location has its own parking lot or underground parking. Street-level spaces cost from 5,-€ per day.

Bus parking

There are bus parking spaces free of charge in close vicinity. Some A&O's offer bus parking spaces.

Catering

An extensive breakfast buffet awaits you Mon-Fri 6-10 am and Sat/Sun 7-11 am for only 7€. Exact breakfast times are available at the reception. Breakfast is free for kids below the age of 6 years. After that the buffet costs 3.50€. People older than 18 years pay the full prize of 6€ per person (online discount: 6,75€)
For groups of 10 or more we also offer dinner (upon request). We can also provide you with packed lunch for 6€ (groups from 10 people get a 50ct discount). It contains a sandwich, fruit, a snack bar and a drink. More information here.

Self-catering

You can of course also bring your own food when staying with us. Our tip: It is best to check in advance whether the A&O you have booked offers a guest kitchen where you can prepare your meals.

You can find out either by reading the e-mail sent to you 48 hours prior to your arrival or by checking our website here.

Pets

Dogs are always welcome at all A&O locations! You can bring a maximum of 2 dogs for a fee of 5€ per night in your room.
Unfortunately it is not possible to bring dogs into the multi-bed rooms, as it is possible that it would make other guests uncomfortable. For the same reason we ask you not to bring dogs to the breakfast room. We appreciate your understanding.

Luggage storage

You can store your luggage in our lockers. For groups there is also a free luggage room.

Community rooms

Yes, these offer ample space for smaller and medium-sized groups. Should the room still be too small we can make the dining area available (non-eating times only). For teachers and accompanying persons there is also a teacher and guide lounge, called A&O Lounge.

Rules of the house

You can find them on the backside of the room door or in the footer section of our website ("GTC").

Info bed tax ("Kulturtaxe")

Important downloads for your stay
In some A&O cities a so-called ‘culture tax’ (accommodation tax) is charged on visitors.

The tax is either based on the net sum paid by each person per night or is simply a sum added to your overnight stay. For your comfort, the tax is never included in your accommodation because it might be possible that you are excluded from it.

The following cities charge a city tax:
Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Dresden, Hamburg, Graz, Salzburg, Weimar

Attention – special cases:

AMSTERDAM:
In Amsterdam, all tourists pay 5% on the net price of your accommodation. Read more about the “Toeristenbelasting” regulation here.

BREMEN:
All guests older than 18 years pay a tourist tax of € 2,14 per day (including 7% value added tax) to the city of Bremen. Exempted are freelancers and employees who are staying for business purposes. The exemption forms can be found below.

Guests staying longer than 7 nights in a row are also tax-free from the 8th day on.

SALZBURG:
All guests pay 1.50 € local tax per day. Groups of students up to the age of 15 and people staying for more than two weeks due to a business purpose are freed. Please indicate the reason that applies in a respective form.

VENICE:
In Venice tourists pay the "tassa soggiorno", a residence tax for tourists who stay overnight, depending on the high or low season and the type and location of the accommodation.

A&O Venice Mestre is a "Foresterie per Turisti" accommodation on the mainland. This means, that in the main season (1 February - 31 December) you pay only 1.40 € per person and night (all 16 years and older). In the low season (month of January) it is 1 € per person and night.

Children up to 10 years of age are excluded. For 11 to 15 year olds there is a 50% discount. So, young people pay 0.70 € per person and night (except in January: only 0.50 €). From the 6th night onwards the tax is omitted.

People with disabilities or impairments are tax-free.

Important for group travel: Per 25 travellers one bus driver or teacher will not be charged with the tax.

#1 General information on each city tax (in country’s original language only):

Berlin Bremen Dortmund Dresden Graz Hamburg Cologne Salzburg Venice Weimar
 

#2 Documents for groups (school trips) with educational purpose/ advanced training:

Berlin Dortmund Dresden Hamburg Cologne Salzburg (students up to 15y.) Weimar
 

#3 Business guests (employer's certificate):

Berlin Bremen Dresden Hamburg Cologne Weimar
 

Special rules for Salzburg: For a stay of more than 2 weeks you won’t have to pay the tax. Please bring along a confirmation of the longer period of stay.

Dortmund: Your employer’s document stating your business event will guarantee your exemption from the city tax (name of the guest, period of the officially arranged trip with arrival and departure date, business reason).

#4 Business guests (self-employed):

Berlin Bremen Dortmund Dresden Hamburg Cologne Weimar
 

Special rules for Salzburg: For a stay of more than 2 weeks you won’t have to pay the tax. Please bring along a confirmation of the longer period of stay.

Towels / Bed linen

All single, double and family rooms come with bed linen and towels. Only guests in multi-bed rooms need bed linen and towels, if they didn't bring their own. You get bed linen for 3.50€ and a towel for 1.50€ either at the reception or as an online feature when booking your stay.
In family rooms (grand)parents sleep a double bed (bed linen included) and their (grand)kids in one or two bunk beds. Families put fresh linen on their children's bunk beds themselves.

Smoking

Since January 1, 2008 all of our locations are smoke-free.

Room cleaning

At A&O we carry out daily room checks which consist of:
i) refilling hygience products and emptying bins
ii) no daily cleaning with chemicals in respect to our natural resources
iii) basic cleaning after check out.

We are always striving to help the environment that's why we don't change the towels daily. Please hang them on the towel rail and do not leave them on the floor. Fresh towels can be purchased at the reception for a small fee.

Women's rooms

Of course, we offer dorm rooms just for women. You can simply book them online – a pink banner shows the correct room category.

Disabled-friendly

Wheelchair-accessible rooms are available in almost all A&O HOTELS and HOSTELS. Feel free to call us at +49 (0)30 80947 5110 to get more information.

Kids’ Corner & child care

Families find a Kids’ Corner in every A&O with toys, a painting board, coloring pencils and children's books. In some A&O's, the small children's playgrounds even have slides or playhouses. Your children can have a good time while you enjoy a cup of coffee in the lobby or in the breakfast room.

Find more information about our family benefits here.

We’re sorry to say that we do not offer hotel child care services. However, we can provide you with a good babysitter network for some cities that you can contact independently.

Guest kitchens

We offer community kitchens with full kitchen equipment in some cities for city dwellers, for example for solo travellers, for couples, families and friends as well as for smaller groups. More information is available here.

Press discount

Journalists get a 20% discount on overnight stays. MICE Travel Card holders also get to use this special price. Please contact booking@aohostels.com to make a reservation and show your valid press pass at the check-in counter.

Long-term guests

If you stay at one of our A&O HOTELS and HOSTELS for a longer period of time, we recommend purchasing a golden 'regular visitor card'. It offers exclusive prices for frequenters and other great advantages. Find more information here.

When travelling with lots of people or at regular intervals, we're happy to advise individually. Our competent sales team deals with your requests at sales@aohostels.com.

Children's discount

Children under 18 years of age stay free of charge in their parents' room. The room price is based on the number of travelling parents (guardians). Little ones are always welcome! We can provide you with free children's beds (recommend up to the age of 2 years) and high chairs, when available.

Early bird discount

To use this discount simply click on any A&O and choose the Early Bird Benefit. You get this special rate 60 days prior to your arrival.

Frequent guests

As a frequent A&O guest you get - similar to bigger airlines - a special treatment. For 29€ you can order your Silver 'Regular Visitor Card' at each reception desk or via telephone / E-Mail. The card will be send by post (on-site you will get a temporary card). You find all advantages for you as our guest here.

Student discount

Each student with a valid ISIC- oder ITIC-ID card gets 10% off the daily-updated rate at all A&O HOTELS und HOSTELS including a free, non-alcoholic soft drink. Simply type in the discount code "icic" into the appropiate field when booking online.

Automobile Association discount (e.g. AA UK)

All ARC Europe members (such as AA UK or AAA USA) get 12% off the daily-updated overnight rate at all A&O HOTELS und HOSTELS and a free, non-alcoholic soft drink (kids under the age of 12 get a free ice-cream).

Young drivers with an ADAC membership ('Junges Portal') get 12% off and free Wi-Fi instead.

All information with this reduced booking rate here.

Rail pass discount

Guests with a valid InterRail, Eurail or GermanRail pass receive a 10% discount on the daily rate of accommodation in all A&O's. Find all information including our online discount link here

Facebook discount

Social media are great communication networks that we really like! This way we can interact with our (potential) guests. That's why fans of our Facebook page also get 5% off the daily-updated price.
If you go to our Facebook page now and become a fan, you can then enter the following code when booking online: imafan

Vouchers

You can purchase our "A&O TO GO blue" gift box for 119,-€ for yourself or a special occasion. The box includes 2 nights in a double room for 2 people with breakfast buffet included. Kids younger than 18 years stay overnight for free in their parents' room. A great tip for backpackers is our "A&O TO GO orange" gift box for 29,-€ that lets you sleep in dorm for 2 nights with bed linen and free Wi-Fi. Find out more here.

Our Online Shop has got plenty of other useful and interesting products.

Pricing at A&O

Our prices are determined by availability – completely fair, completely transparent! That means that if beds of one room category are in short supply at a specific date, then the prices go up. And if the desired occupancy rate has not been reached, then the prices also fall automatically. What does that mean for you? Basically, the earlier you book, the lower the price. Those who make decisions on the spur of the moment also benefit from exclusive last-minute deals – of course, only as long as the respective category is not fully booked.

Booking cancellation

It depends on the rate you booked. If you booked using our Flex-Rate, then you can cancel at any time. Otherwise the room will be kept available for you until 6 pm on the day of your arrival. Please let us know if you will arrive later. The Fix-Rate is, as the name says, "fixed" and cannot be cancelled. The price cannot be reimbursed even if you do not stay here. That's why this rate is especially low. For groups of 10 or more there are special cancellation rules that you can find in our Terms and Conditions.

Payment options

You can choose from a range of payment options. You can pay by instant bank transfer, credit card (VISA, MasterCard or American Express), PayPal, Amazon Payments or direct debit. Paypal payments are charged with a 2.45 € processing fee when your amount is lower than 200 €. This also applies to an online payment with the credit card. The processing fee is 2.95 €. You should only use the direct debit option if your arrival is not in the next 5 days.

Surcharge for single occupancy

We don't have a surcharge for single occupancy. You can find our current prices on each location's website.

Group deposit

We don't request a deposit, but we request that groups behave themselves properly.