In Berlin's Double Rooms for $70
There is about to be a new, very affordable Berlin hotel that will feature a special discount rate for Gemütlichkeit subscribers. In January, Christin and Gerd Schlenzka, owners and operators of the highly-recommended Hotel Art Nouveau on Leibnizstrasse in the Savigny Platz district, will launch Art Hotel am See on the lake formed by the Havel river in Berlin's Kladow district.
The hotel has a very quiet, almost country setting overlooking a small lake harbor. Frequent public transportation will take guests to the Zentrum in about 20 minutes. Most of the spacious, comfortable guestrooms have water views.
Hotel Near Lugano
Innsbruck Hotel @ 50% Off
Vienna Pkg with Air for $499
Austrian Airlines is selling "Vienna: Love is in the Air" packages starting $999 per couple. Travel is for the period Jan. 15-Feb. 25 and includes roundtrip air for two, three nights at the four-star Hotel Penta Renaissance and the option to purchase tickets to one of four events in Vienna's Ball Season. Contact: 800-790-4682
Getting Connected in Europe
In the last issue we described in some detail our difficulty in getting on the Internet using a laptop computer from European hotel rooms. Those who plan to take a crack at it should refer to the World Wide Phone Guide.
Grindelwald Hotel/Ski Pkg
Nonskiers may want to try the worlds longest toboggan ride, a 10-mile run from the Faulhorn at 8,500 feet to the village at 3,400 feet.
Add Rhine Hotels
I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the romantic Rhein as my wife and I have several times wandered along that stretch of the river. I'd like to add a couple of suggestions regarding places to stay:
In 1999 we stayed in Koblenz at the Hotel Kleiner Riesen, (Kaiseren-Augusta Anlage 18, D-56008, Koblenz, tel: +49/0261/320 77, fax 1607-25). This is a small 3-star hotel, quite pleasant and well situated right on the Rhein within about 30 meters of the KD line pier at Koblenz. We easily watched the river steamers dock from our second floor window and there is a small KD ticket office next to the hotel. The hotel is about 6 blocks or so from the Koblenz Bahnhof on a direct line and, therefore, is an easy walk to rail connections along the Rhein, to Trier, Cochem, the walk to Burg Eltz (highly recommended), the Lahn valley and Limburg (outstanding destination) etc. The path along the Rhein goes right past the hotel and it is a very pleasant walk up to the Weindorf (unfortunately, we had a rather disappointing meal there), the Deutsches Eck, and old Koblenz.
The ownership has changed hands, I believe, since 1975 but the operation seems much as I remember it. Our young children had a wonderful time exploring the castle and grounds and climbing to the watchtower that looks down on the river. This castle is just downstream from another castle, I think it is known as Burg Rheinstein, that is better known and tends to be seen in publicity photos, but Burg Reichenstein is an outstanding site and the hotel and restaurant in the former stables was very good.
Trechtingshausen has a small Bahnhof (500 meters uphill to the hotel) with some service on the local trains that run between Koblenz and Bingen but I think the nearest KD stop is at Bingen. It is, of course, right on the highway on the left bank.
If you get a chance to check these locations out when you are next in the Rhein valley I think you will find that they merit mention in "Gemütlichkeit".
A big thank you to your staff in assisting us with our Germany vacation plans. We stayed in several hotels recommended by Gemütlichkeit.
Trier at the Petrisberg (Sickingenstr. 11, tel. +49/0651/4640, fax 46450), a great place. We were treated royally by the manger and staff and felt like we were truly guests. What a view of the city from our room.
Meersburg on the Bodensee at the zum Bren (Marktplatz 11, tel +49/07532/43220, fax 432244) which was a great location. Loved the creaky stairs and the rooms with windows overlooking the street and just up from the square.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the Gasthof Fraundorfer (Ludwigstr. 24, tel. +49/8821/9270, fax 92799) was super with its location on Ludwigstrasse and fun activities in the dining room. Our room had a great view of the Zugspitze and overlooked Ludwigstrasse. We ventured out to Ludwig's castles from here.
Other places of interest were:
Eschwege in the Harz Mountain area. Wonderful little town with great downtown area of half timbered buildings. Our hotel, Zur Struth (Struthstr. 7a, tel. +49/05651/922813, fax 2788) was the best value in our trip. A nonsmoking mini-suite for E70 ($69) clean with a good restaurant that seemed very popular with locals.
Another great value was in Starnberg where we stayed to access Munich without driving there and to see some of the sights in that area. Access to Munich was about 20 minutes by train. We stayed in Pension Happach (Achheimstr. 2, tel. +49/08151/12537, fax 739712), very nice and a great value at E60 ($59), not a hotel more like an apartment and just a couple of blocks to the Bahnhof and lake. The owners typically rent these rooms for a week at a time to business people who come to Starnberg for classes.
Our last night in Germany was in Moerfelden-Walldorf just 24 km South of Frankfurt. We stayed in the Airport Domizil-Hotel (Nordendstr. 4a, tel. +49/06105/9570, fax 957222) in the Walldorf side of the community. The price was E93 ($91) without breakfast or parking, we think this was a weekend rate. Breakfast was E11 ($11) and parking E7 ($7). We parked on the street about 30 feet from the hotel and saved the E7.
The hotel was okay, clean and rather sterile but the best thing was access to the airport. We drove from the hotel around the edge of the airport on the Flughafen Ring to the rental car return in about 15 minutes and then the elevator to Terminal 1 for our flight. No traffic and an easy to follow map and signs to the airport. The hotel also has a bus they take people back and forth to the airport. Very convenient. It may be an American-owned facility. A number of U. S. government employees were staying there for various reasons.
John & Norma Cromwell
Emailing from Europe
You might want to mention that readers who use a local Internet Service Provider can get their email from any Internet connection. Just log onto http://www.mail2web.com and enter your email address and password to get your mail. Internet-direct interfaces are much more cumbersome than your own email software with your regular connection, but at least you can check for urgent messages, delete the junk, and send replies. I did that recently without any problems from Internet cafés in the UK and France.
You might also want to warn American visitors about the keyboards in European Internet cafés. My messages from France, with the French keyboard, looked like they might have been in code.
(Editors Note: Nationally syndicated travel columnist Ed Perkins is a fellow resident of Ashland, Oregon, and founder and former editor/publisher of Consumer Reports Travel Newsletter.)