Look for Hoffenheim on the map and you won’t find it. The name of Europe’s smallest top-league club, Sassuolo included, Hoffenheim is one of the 12 villages of of Sinsheim, itself a modest community some 20km from Heidelberg.
The reason Hoffenheim is on any kind of map at all is because of the football club financed by Dietmar Hopp, a local software billionaire who once played for its youth club.
In the Bundesliga now for their fifth season running, and doing very nicely thank you, TSG Hoffenheim 1899 are based at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, a stadium opened halfway through their first season in the top flight, and with a capacity nearly ten times (!) Hoffenheim’s population.
And, overlooking the Rhein-Neckar stands a four-star hotel that would easily pass muster in Munich or Frankfurt: the Hotel Sinsheim. A seven-minute walk to the stadium, with a spa area, restaurant and bar to boot, the Hotel Sinsheim feels both boutique and business-friendly, the perfect getaway for a Bundesliga weekend.
The Sinsheim doesn’t do match packages as such (many in Germany, particularly Dortmund, do) but advises reserving if Bayern, Dortmund or Schalke are in town. Of the 110 exceedingly comfortable rooms, several overlooks the stadium, including 421 and other end-of-corridor lodgings.
True, the hotel was not built on Hoffenheim’s recent success alone, for it is equidistant to the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim, the only other reason to visit Sinsheim/Hoffenheim. That’s the reason you’ll see a bloody great Concorde hovering over the horizon as you head down from the Sinsheim/Arena S-Bahn stop, the nearest to the stadium. But that’s another story.