First & Last Night Hotels

Reports from a trip taken in October 1993.

Vienna

Stop & Sleep Hotel, Fischamend Bei Wien, A-2401 Fischamend/Vienna Marco Polo-Strasse 1, phone (43) 0222-32/77712, single 610 AS ($50), double 710 AS ($58). Approximately four km from Vienna airport. Good for a first and last night in Austria.

Budapest

Hotel Astoria, H-1053 Budapest, Kossuth Lajos U 19, PO Box 95, H-1366, phone (361) 117-3411, fax (361) 118-6798. Very nice but ask for rooms eight through 17 on the 4th, 5th, or 6th floors. Breakfast buffet excellent. Double $120 with private bath, booked through IBUSZ (Hungarian Travel Co.). Parking beside hotel, west side, at no charge. Visa, MC. Restaurant: Vegetarium, V. Cukor Utea 3, phone 2-67-03-22. Short walk from the hotel Astoria. Vegetarian, all nonsmoking. Classical guitar musician starts about 7 p.m. Restaurant: Orchidea, Hungarian style "California" restaurant. Excellent salads. Has nonsmoking section. Budapest VIII, Rakoczi ut 29, phone 138-2429.Laundromat: On Rakoczi utca about halfway between Hotel Astoria and Orchidea restaurant on the opposite side of the street. Discovered too late to use. Had both washers and dryers, and it looked to be self-serve.

Germany, Weilheim

On Highway 2, southwest of Munich. Good first night stop if you're on your way to Füssen or Garmisch. Hotel Vollman, 120 DM ($98), double with private bath. On main square. Overnight parking in their compound, no charge. Nice breakfast buffet and dinner menu. Train station is three blocks away. Train to Munich 13 DM ($7.50), one way, per person.

Germany, Bamberg

Hotel Gasthof Wilde Rose, Kesslerstr. 7 D-8600 Bamberg, phone 09-51-2-83-17, fax 09-51-22071. Double 140 DM ($80), third floor, no elevator, private bath. Parking available for 6 DM ($3.50) per night. Quiet spot, somewhat difficult to get to if you don't have a map. Excellent location for shopping and sight-seeing.

Germany, Erding

Hotel Mayr-Wirt, Haager Strasse 4, D-8058 Erding, phone 081-22-7094, fax 081-22-7098. Double with private bath is 140 DM ($80), parking on street or in small parking lot. Our room, #406, had balcony, lots of good lights, TV and very quiet. Erding is at the end of S-bahn 6 to Munich. Station short walk from hotel. Munich airport within 15 kilometers from hotel. Nice small town with shops and restaurants. Dinner and breakfast are excellent at the hotel. Good first and last night stop. A clerk at one of the shops in Erding recommended a visit to the crystal factories in Bodenmais or Zsiesel or on the way back to Vienna. We took time and visited the Joska plants in Bodenmais. Wonderful experience and still arrived in Vienna at 6:30 p.m..

Mr & Mrs Robert Daggett, Jr,
Afton OK

Travel by Carriage

Your travel letter is so enjoyable that I thought I'd contribute this information about a trip I plan to repeat this September.

If you're nostalgic for the past, romantic, and love beautiful scenery, you'll have a great time "Coaching in Bavaria" with a horse drawn mail coach or other antique carriage. The carriages are very comfortable, have English speaking coachmen, and travel primarily on roads that are not open to vehicular traffic. The tours are of different lengths but include overnight stays in quiet country inns, all meals, and your transfer to and from your hotel or the train station in Munich.

The five-day, four-night tour included arrival by carriage at the famous Wieskirche and the opportunity to tour King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein Castle. An eight-day tour completes a loop through this beautiful part of Germany. For those who really want a treat, horse drawn mail coach tours are available from Lindau, Germany (on Lake Constance) through Switzerland to Italy, or you can follow Mozart's Journey from Vienna to Prague with visits to castles and historic towns, and a cultural program ranging from operas and concerts to Bohemian folklore. This tour is from September 16th through the 26th and will be expensive but most memorable. Andreas Nemitz, the tour owner, speaks excellent English, the tours are very well organized, and the horses and carriages are safe and in good condition. The five-day tour, for example, costs about $900.00 per person, depending upon single or double occupancy and the rate of exchange. You can contact Coaching in Bavaria, R. Nemitz, Kerschlach 6, D-82396 Pahl, Germany, phone: 8808 386 or telefax: 8808/1349.

Susan Newcomb,
Walnut Creek CA

Hotels Recommended

We toured Germany and Switzerland for three weeks using many of your recommendations and we thank you for them.

Our hotel suggestion: Hotel Restaurant Rotsschuo, 6442 Gersau, Switzerland with a lovely view on the shore of Lake Lucerne. Rooms are modern, about $100; there are bikes to use and dinner was above average (about $35 for two) with fresh vegetables and fruits and some vegetarian dishes.

We used your car hire at Frankfurt Airport and were off to a good start as we were upgraded to the Opel Astra at the Corsa price, which for 21 days was a bargain.

From Gemütlichkeit we used: the Gasthof Rose in Boxtal, a village west of Wertheim, the Hotel Reichs-Kuchenmeister in Rothenburg, the Pension Heim in Seeg, and in Interlaken the Hotel Post Hardermannli. All were moderately priced and very satisfactory.

O D Yoder,
Newton NJ

Salzburg Hideaway

We would like to share our favorite hotel with your readers, the Berghotel Zistelalm, located 10 minutes and 3000 feet above Salzburg on top of the Gaisberg mountain. It makes it easier if you are traveling by car, but there is a bus that goes up from Salzburg. This cozy hotel, rated three-star by the Austrian Government, has everything! The panoramic view from this half timbered lodge includes the Austrian Alps, rolling green hills and Salzburg below. The food is excellent (don't miss Hermann's Wiener Schnitzel mitrsti). A favorite lunch spot for guests and locals alike is on the outside terrace overlooking the swimming pool, and occasionally is accompanied by local "oompah" bands in summer.

The Zistelalm is ideal for day trips to the surrounding attractions. There is a beautiful and easy hiking trail around the Gaisberg that only takes about an hour. The hotel is so relaxing we have often taken a day off from sight-seeing and stayed up there to read or enjoy the sun.

What makes this hotel so special to us is its warm and friendly owners, English-speaking Annaliese and Hermann Hauser. We recommend rooms four, nine, or 12. Prices range from approximately 650 AS ($53) per night, double without bath, to 940-1095 AS ($76-$89) with bath, breakfast included. The apartments that are separate from the main building, and sleep four, are around 1600 AS ($130) Singles are from 380 AS ($31) without bath to 490 AS ($40) with bath. Call ahead for reservations (0662/64167 or 641068 or fax 0662/642618). The address is A-5026 Salzburg, am Gaisberg.

Linda & Max Gray,
Diablo CA

Lufthansa

Lufthansa Airlines says it no longer has a check-in counter in the Frankfurt Gravenbruch Kempinski Hotel. Many Lufthansa passengers fly to Frankfurt because they can avoid the Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa "counter chaos" by staying at the Gravenbruch Hotel and enjoying this luxury. I am sure many will now seek an alternate destination and/or airline.

D.L. Bechtel,
Fort Worth TX

Tax Saving

I'm writing with regard to your November 1993 issue which contained several pieces which either need additional comment or are not up to date.

First the essay, "Factory Delivery; Good Deal or Not" did not mention an important "saving" element applicable to California residents: if one drives a factory-delivered car in Europe for more than 90 days, one avoids paying the excise tax normally applicable to a new car purchase. (It is 7.5 % in my county, so it would materially increase the amount in the total saving column).

The "Swiss Trains" essay was excellent, but it would have been more useful to your readers had it mentioned the Swiss Rail Pass is probably Europe's greatest travel bargain: it entitles the owner to ride not only the Swiss Rail network, but also the Postal Bus network, the Lake Steamers of Switzerland, and the train networks of the big cities. In addition, it also frequently obtains discounts on private lines, including R.Rs and aerial tramways and ski lifts.

Finally, the Stuttgart piece didn't mention two noteworthy art museums. The state (Baden-Württemberg) museum's collection is not world-class, but it does contain some excellent late 19th century and early 20th century art from France, Spain, Austria, and Germany. The city museum, in my experience, always offers dynamic exhibitions (In June 1993, for example, it had a fascinating "Ruins of Pompeii" together with a large exhibit of Edward Münch). It is an easy and pleasant walk between the two museums.

My credentials are that every year for the past nine years I have spent three to four months in Europe, and have taken European delivery of a German auto (in 1993 it was a 6-cylinder VW Passat) in each of these years.

Kenneth Klofkorn,
Irvine CA

How Come?

I cannot understand why you tell us that the Swiss National Tourist Office in San Francisco is closed on 12/31/93 in your December issue, received today (1/13/94) when the info could have been published in November, for a little advance notice.

R. Dreyfus,
San Diego CA

(Ed. reply: We published the information as soon as we had it. Swiss National Tourist Offices in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago remain fully operational and ready to serve you.

Swiss National Tourist Offices

* 222 No. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo CA 90245, Phone: 310-335-5980, Fax: 310-335-5982
* 150 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60601, Phone: 312-630-5840, Fax: 312-630-5848
* 608 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10020, Phone: 212-757-5944, Fax: 212-262-6116

By the way, each issue of Gemütlichkeit is written, printed and mailed during the last 10 days of the month it is dated.)

Problems at the Opera

Though we prefer that subscribers write us when they wish to make recommendations or warn of places to avoid, occasionally we hear something over the phone that needs to be passed along. John and Barbara Sewards of Allentown, PA, phoned to report a disastrous visit to a hotel Gemütlichkeit has highly recommended for the past three years, Munich's expensive little Hotel Opera. The Sewards listed several complaints, among them: no help with luggage, no fan in bathroom, a large water stain on ceiling above the bed, no waste container in room or bath, no wash cloths and no breakfast menu. Mr. Sewards told Gemütlichkeit the room they were assigned was far from the elegance and comfort we described in our January, 1992, issue. He is of the opinion that the Opera may be in financial difficulty.

It should also be noted that the Opera was omitted from the 1993 Michelin Red Guide for Germany. For the time being we will withdraw our recommendation of this hotel.

Florhof Changes

Finally, we appreciate all those who called or wrote to tell us of the retirement of Herr Schilter at the Hotel Florhof in Zürich. We will welcome your comments regarding the Florhof's new management.

Coming Soon:

1. Vienna restaurant report and more hotels
2. St. Gallen in Switzerland
3. Zell am See and Steyr in Austria
4. Oberstdorf in Germany

January 1994