Hotel recommendations in the Harz Mountains, near Berchtesgaden, Zürich airport and Cesky Krumloz; an Interlaken restaurant and trouble in GAP.
Harz Mountain Hotel
As part of our recent participation on the IRT Railfans Tour of Germany, we spent four nights in Wernigerode. This charming village complete with its huge castle is located in what was East Germany about two hours south-southwest of Berlin. The Hotel Gothisches Haus (Markt 1, 38841 Wernigerode, tel: +49/03943/6750; fax 34559) is a real treasure. It has just been reopened after undergoing a complete restoration plus a highly compatible addition. It rates five stars in my book. The town is really neat and of course there is the steam train attraction. They have 15 operational engines. It's quite a destination for those so inclined.
The rail trip tour was great fun although a bit arduous. We traveled on over 50 trains, trams, streetcars and related rail vehicles in 15 days. Daily temperatures in the mid 90s with equal humidity coupled with several un-air-conditioned hotels was a challenge at times.
Hamp & Sue Miller,
San Luis Obispo, CA
Hotel Near Berchtesgaden
I wanted to tell you about a hotel near the German-Austrian border, near Berchtesgaden, that I make sure I stay in on every trip to Bavaria, ever since I sort of stumbled into it 4-5 years ago. Hotel Neuhäusl (tel. +49/08652/9400, email: neuhaeusl@berchtesgaden) is simply my favorite place to stay in Germany. Consistently excellent service, big rooms, with balconies looking out on an immense forest, off-the-chart nice folks, and very good Bavarian food. Birgit Rauh and family are terrific innkeepers and always make my time there a very pleasant experience.
I also went to see the exhibit of the 5300 year-old Iceman in Bolzono, Italy, about 90 minutes drive from Innsbruck. It was very cool and worth the trip.
Fine Hotel Near Zürich Airport
In early June we spent another night at the Rote Rose near the Zürich Airport in Regensberg, and continue to believe it is one of the most charming inns we've encountered in over 35 trips to Europe. Having stayed in the full suite for two nights last September, which would now be about $325 per night, and with only one night this trip, we opted for a junior suite at CHF 270 ($199). Marvelous!
Many of the furnishings were included in the building's purchase and are classic antiques. On the other hand, the bathrooms are very modern and high tech, but equally tastefully done. A small pool has been completed in a park-like setting on the backside of the property, with views for many miles. We sat there for over an hour observing three hawks circling over the roof tops, coming at times within 30 feet of us.
The Schafer family is extremely friendly and helpful, it's just like visiting relatives. It is difficult to see how they can generate enough income from the handful of rooms to cover the considerable sums they've obviously spent in making Rote Rose a very, very unique upscale hostelry, but my sense is that to a certain degree this has been a labor of love more than an economic venture.
Santa Fe, NM
I greatly enjoyed the latest issue, especially the comments about Chalet du Lac. It's certainly one of the hidden gems. The view of Iseltwald's harbor is especially nice from the Chalet's breakfast room, a particularly pleasant way to start the day. Our latest visit was just about this time of year, which is when Iseltwald holds its summer concerts in a tent a few minutes walk from the center of the village. When we arrived, we knew nothing about the concerts, but after the local band marched under our terrace, it didn't take long to figure out that even this sleepy little village has its own summer entertainment. We went over to the tent, enjoyed the concert, and took advantage of the light foods available on the premises.
We recently were in Cesky Krumlov, a favorite destination of ours and one we have visited several times since the early '90s.
Upon our return to the U.S. we read your story about it in Gemütlichkeit (June 2002) and would like to confirm that it is a wonderful place. The castle guided tour is a must.
One warning: we did stay at the Old Inn and it was very nice. The food was good and reasonably priced and our room was pleasant. It faced the old-town square and provided a great view, however, the noise from several discos, well into the early morning hours, was a real nuisance. For those wishing to get to sleep a little earlier, perhaps a room to the back of the Inn might be better.
Trouble in GAP
(Ed Note: A troubling story. We have forwarded your email to the hotel in question.)