Bavarian hotel updates and recommendations, including the demise of an old favorite, a Munich airport tip, plus hotel and day trip info for the Swiss mountain town of Chateau d'Oex.
Hotel Geiger Shuts Down
I have the very sad task of giving you and your readers bad news about Hotel Geiger in Berchtesgaden. It was closed by the new owner, Stefan Geiger, on November 1, 1997. Clara, our son Warren, and I were there the last weekend it was open. Apparently the main problems were a combination of high wages being paid to German nationals for jobs at the hotel, fewer Americans due to military cutbacks, fewer Germans due to the high value of the DM against other currencies, as well as a huge amount of deferred maintenance in the original building. Plans are apparently underway to sell the closed operation to entirely new ownership with international connections.
We were Hotel Geiger guests at least 22 times, commencing in 1976. The former owner, Hugo Geiger, and his charming wife, Monika, truly ran a fine establishment and one which can be remembered with pride and enjoyment. Hugo was the fourth member of the Geiger family to direct hotel operations and Stefan would have been the fifth.
I gather that business is very slow in the Alpenland. Berchtesgaden itself seems to really be just floating without any direction.
There is a very good hotel in Bad Reichenhall (25km north of Berchtesgaden); it is called the Luisenbad. The hotel is built in the spa style similar to Karlsbad or Baden-Baden and the rooms are large and comfortable and cost 300 DM ($167) nightly (including a fine breakfast).
I partially disagree with your assessment of the Hotel Adlon on the Pariser Platz in Berlin. They did an excellent job of constructing a brand new hotel while making it look as if it were built in the 1900s. An example of this is the fact that room carpeting is not wall to wall, but surrounded by wood marquetry tiles. The common area in the lobby is busy, but full of fountains, flowers and the like.
You are correct that there is more to do near the Kufürstendamm, but that should change with all the money being invested where The Wall was as well as on Unter den Linden. Anyway, we enjoyed the Adlon and were very happy to see this historic establishment reappear.
After we went to Berlin, we drove north for a few days in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The hotel pricing was fair and the food prices were very good. The highlight was Rügen, an island with a great deal of beauty; it was a popular vacation spot with Commie brass during the days of the late, unlamented "DDR." The chief town, Stralsund, was part of Sweden until 1815; the introduction of Swedish genetic threads over a number of years resulted in a current gene pool which seems to produce amazingly beautiful women. I suppose the latter remark is sexist or incorrect, but I am really too old to care a great deal about modern venial sins such as "non p.c."
Keep up the good work!
Victor P. Obninsky
Munich Airport Hotel
In the May, 1997, issue, Gary Ford talked about the Hotel Hoyacker Hof (tel. +49/89/3206965, fax 3207243) located near the Munich Airport at Garching bei München.
I stayed at this hotel in mid-December and can also recommend it. The price is now 150 DM ($83) per night for a single room.
If there any negatives, they don't accept American Express cards, nor is there a restaurant, other than breakfast. Just five minutes away from the hotel is a park-and-ride facility. You can be in the center of München Marienplatz in 12 minutes.
Château d'Oex Hotel
My wife and I were delighted to see you select the Hostellerie Bon Accueil in Château d'Oex as a Special Hotel your Best of 97 issue 12/23/97. We spent a week hosted by this fine hotel in early September and enjoyed every bit. Our double room was quite pleasant; good beds and great views. The food and wine selections in the restaurant were all superb. We even went in the charming village for good Pizza Margherita just to get some "plain food."
Several daytrips included Gstaad (noisy and lots of traffic), Rougemont (quiet village with wonderful "decoupage"), Leysin (up and down ski town with spectacular views), and to Aigle, crossing into France through Evian to the medieval village of Yvoire. In Yvoire, we had a tasty lunch (Fricassee du St. Jacque, perch citron, pommes frites, wine, about $50) at the Hotel du Port on Lac Léman and wandered through the winding streets of the village before heading back to Château d'Oex.
The 33 km drive up and down the hill from Château d'Oex to Aigle became exhausting when sharing the narrow road with tour buses, but we braved it one more time to go to Martigny and visit the Miró exhibit and the antique auto display at the museum worth the trip!
We enjoyed an omelet lunch at a sidewalk café in Martigny before returning to yet another great meal.
Driving the other direction to Gruyères is more pleasant, and the village and castle were fun as well. We treated ourselves to some fantastic Gruyères cheese soup and Rösti Gruyères, topped off with coupe d'framboise at Hotel de la Halles.
On our last day, we decided to lunch at Château d'Oex's Hotel Ermitage and had a bad experience, food poisoning that hit us within 30 minutes with pounding heart, shakes and hot, flushed faces. We managed to recover with help from the staff back at Hostellerie Bon Accueil, and were able to hold down our last good dinner with an excellent bottle of Savlgny des Beaune.
Charles F. Sullivan
(U.S. Dollar prices quoted in this issue of Gemütlichkeit may be inaccurate for these reasons:
* Prices in local currency have not been updated since the date of publication of this newsletter, and...
* The dollar prices shown were obtained by using exchange rates in effect at the time of publication.)