Favorite hotels in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany; Berlin memories.

Favorite Hotels

My wife and I have averaged one 30-day trip per year since 1980. We travel during the winter months to avoid the tourists and several times have been the only guests in a hotel. It is a great way to meet local people and not be bothered with crowds, though some hotels and attractions are not open in the off-season. We always travel independently by car so that we can set out own itinerary.

On our last trip, we ran into more snow than usual. All the major passes in Switzerland were closed so we did not get to all the places we had planned to visit, but, being independent, we just changed our itinerary.

We stayed at the following hotels. Each has its individual charm and we enjoyed them all. The price quoted is for a double room with private bath and breakfast

Switzerland

• Worb (near Bern): Gasthof Zum Löwen Enggisteinstrasse 3, CH-3076 Worb, tel. +41/031 839 23 03, fax 839 58 77, price 160 Sfr. ($108). One of our favorites. Beautiful, chalet-style building. Owned and operated by the same family for about 600 years. Current owners are Hans-Peter and Ursula Bernhard. Excellent restaurant, but closed on weekends. On those days you are referred to the Brauerei A. Egger which is close by and also excellent. Dinner for two with wine: 72 Sfr. ($49). Dinner at the Brauerei was about the same price.

• Zermatt: Romantic Hotel Julen CH-3920 Zermatt, tel. +41/027/966 76 00, fax 966 76 76. Family-owned and operated by Daniela and Paul Julen. Outstanding view of Matterhorn from the south side. Good food. Price 210 Sfr. ($142) including half board. A bargain!

• Amsteg am Gotthard (South of Lucerne): Hotel Stern und Post, CH-6474, Amsteg am Gotthard, tel. +/041/883 14 40, fax 883 02 61. Another of our very favorites. Our fourth visit. An old Post House. Owned and operated by Elisabeth A. Tresch. A charming hotel with excellent food, and no TV or telephone to distract you. Our room was 160 Sfr ($108). Dinner for two with wine 80 Sfr. ($54)

Liechtenstein

• Vaduz: Hotel-Restaurant Engel, FL-9490 Vaduz, tel. +41/075/232 03 13., fax. 233 11 59. In the heart of the city. Modern and comfortable. Our room in the back was very quiet. Cost: 160 Sfr. ($108). They have a very fancy Chinese Restaurant but we chose the traditional one. Dinner for two with wine, 58 Sfr. ($39).

Austria

• Hof bei Salzburg: Jagdhof am Fuschlsee A-5322 Hof bei Salzburg, tel. +43/06229 23 72-0, fax 23 72-413. Beautiful, isolated location in a lovely part of Austria. Originally an old hunting lodge. Rebuilt after a fire about three years ago. Original decor and charm retained. Our room, Number 105 (1300 AS/$102), had a large sitting area and a balcony overlooking the golf course and lake. Highly recommend the restaurant. Dinner for two with wine about 700 AS ($55).

Germany

• Schwäbisch Hall-Hessental: Die Krone Wirtsgasse 1, D-74523 Schwäbisch Hall-Hessental, tel. +49/0791/9403-0, fax 9403 84. A Ringhotel. Hessental is a village close to Schwäbisch Hall. Very pleasant and comfortable. Staff friendly and helpful. Very good dinner. Our room cost 178 DM ($98) and dinner for two with wine was 72 DM ($40).

• Helmstedt: Holiday Inn Garden Court, Chardstrasse 2, D-38350 Helmstedt, tel. +49/053 51/1 28-0, fax 128 128. Not your typical American Holiday Inn. Relatively new and very attractive. We had a large, quiet room away from the Autobahn. No restaurant but a nice breakfast is served and also a dinner of cold cuts for those who wish. There is an Autobahn restaurant very close by. Our room was 150 DM ($82), without breakfast. Breakfast was 20 DM ($11) each.

• Berlin: Best Western Hotel Stuttgarter Hof Anhalter Strasse 9, D-10963 Berlin, tel. +49/030/264 83-0, fax 264 83 900. An older West Berlin hotel but well maintained. Our room in the back was small but comfortable and quiet. Near "Checkpoint Charlie." Convenient bus stop nearby. Pleasant restaurant but a limited menu. In November, they gave a special rate to Best Western Gold Crown Club members of 185 DM ($102) (normally 320 DM/$176). Dinner for two with wine was 65 DM ($36).

• Eisenach: Schlosshotel Eisenach, am Markt 10, 99817 Eisenach, tel. +49/03691/21 42 60. Fax. 21 42 59. A new, small hotel with a 400 year-old wine cellar. In the center of Eisenach next to the church. Owned and operated by the Fam. Reinel. Our room was large, quiet, and very comfortable. Food and service were excellent. We got a weekend rate of 175 DM ($96) for a deluxe room (normally 210 DM/$115). Dinner for two with wine was 60 DM ($33). Highly recommended.

• Frankfurt/Dreieich: Bauer Hotel Europa, Hauptstrasse 47-51, 63303 FFM-Dreieich-Sprendlingen. Tel. 0 61 03/60 40, fax 0 61 03/6 52 65. Best Western Hotel in center of Dreieich about 9 km (6 miles) from Frankfurt airport. Our room on the street was a bit noisy but comfortable. A room in back would have been more satisfactory. Good restaurant close by for a final meal in Germany. Good spot for the last night before flying home. We paid 169 DM ($93).

Bob & Pat Fargo
Pensacola FL

Berlin Memories

Your comments about Berlin in the December 97 issue brought back memories of our very first trip to Berlin in 1964. We were young and looking for adventure so we drove our new signal red Mercedes 230 SL on the Autobahn from Untertürkheim to Berlin. Before reaching the city limits we were stopped at a checkpoint manned by Russian soldiers. We were ordered to get out of our car while they made a thorough search. It was the "happening" we had hoped to experience.

After a long few minutes they gave us a smile and a positive nod and we continued until we reached the Berlin Hilton. For $17.90 plus 15% service charge we had a large double room with private bath and TV. That was 1964.

In 1993, after two weeks in Paris, we picked up our leased Peugeot 405 and headed for Berlin. This time we stayed in Potsdam. Our hotel, the Mercure—$158 for a double with CNN on the TV—was located within walking distance of the rail station and the boat dock. The rail service was excellent, but the boat trip with German school children was memorable. The children took turns sitting with us so they could pet our miniature wire-haired dachshund.

We walked many miles in Berlin; on the Ku'damm we had a delicious dinner of Spargel, ham and red berries at Kranzler. In East Berlin, a lunch in the garden at Borchardt was delightful. From the restaurant we walked to Alexander Platz and then took Bus #100 to the Brandenburg Gate. There, I bought a Russian military pin from a vendor. He assured me it was authentic. I was so pleased with my purchase I got up enough nerve to walk the short distance to the Reichstag but we were turned away when we tried to enter. Perhaps the guard saw the pin clutched in my left hand. We took the S-Bahn back to Potsdam.

Looking forward to more great issues of Gemütlichkeit.

Patricia Gehman
Palm Beach FL

March 1998