A Vote for the Florhof
You may be interested in an update on a recommended hotel removed from your preferred list after a change in management.
My wife and I have stayed at the Florhof Hotel in Zürich under the previous management and found it quite nice. In September (1994) we again stayed there and found it even better. The new management has refurbished all the rooms and they are now outstanding. Even the restaurant has been redecorated and is lovely. The food and service were top notch.
At 290 Sfr. for a double, the rate is up slightly and certainly not cheap, but the traveler gets his moneys worth in this very comfortable, well located small hotel. It definitely belongs back on your list of preferred hotels. We recommend it without reservation.
Robert D. Flori,
(Ed. Note: For the record, we never removed the Florhof from our "preferred" list, only noted that it was a hotel whose management had changed and for that reason would bear watching. In any case, thanks for the report.)
Comments for you: The Anker Hotel was fun and the family service tops, but we felt it a little pricey at $132 for room and $77 for dinner, considering the distance from Frankfurt. We found ordering dinner a little bit tough for no one there spoke better English than we speak German. This is not to say we wouldn't go back again for we probably will, just to explore the town.
In Nürnberg we stayed at the Hotel Maritim a downtown "business man's" hotel, high on service and facilities with excellent food. The breakfast buffet beats anything we have seen anywhere, including the Victoria-Jungfrau. Check it out.
What can I say about the Victoria-Jungfrau? It exceeded our expectations, even after your buildup. The staff was outstanding (particularly their ability to remember our names after helping us only once).
The hotel was not full so we received the promised upgrade to a large, two-room suite. Our first afternoon we were treated to a "behind the scenes" tour of the hotel and the facilities including the underground corridors, wine cellar, etc. A nice touch.
At your special Gemütlichkeit off-season rate, this place is an outstanding value only a few coins more than the Anker Hotel and look what you get! We will definitely go again.
David J. Bennett,
(Ed. Note: Mr. Bennett refers to a special offer made last year by the Victoria-Jungfrau to Gemütlichkeit subscribers. The hotel has proposed repeating the offer [three nights lodging plus breakfast and dinner and full use of the spa for about $435 per person] for the winter of 94/95 at a slightly higher rate. Interested parties can phone 800-521-6722 for more information.)
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We just returned from a two-week trip to Switzerland and Germany. We took advantage of the Swissair offer to buy one ticket and get one free. The flight was comfortable and the food and service excellent.
Our first stop was in Klosters (about three hours by car). It is a small, quiet village with fantastic scenery and excellent facilities. We stayed at the Hotel Walserhof. It is everything you said it was. We had a good, comfortable room and the food was outstanding. Gabi Bolliger is still a gracious hostess and her husband, Beat, is still a Master Chef. Klosters is good for daytrips to Davos, Chur, Arosa and over the Fluelapass. The road between Chur and Arosa, about 30 kilometers, has 365 curves (so I was told). It is really a scenic drive. In Klosters, I recommend taking a ride on both cable lifts, the Bergbahn and Luftseilbahn. The scenery will make the trips worthwhile.
In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, we also took your recommendation and stayed at the Gasthof Fraundorfer. Once again you were right on track. We had a three-room apartment (Number 35). It was nicely decorated in Bavarian style, comfortable, and with a balcony overlooking the Zugspitze. The Bavarian food was plentiful and outstanding. An accordion player and Bavarian folk dancers added the right touch to an enjoyable dining experience. Barbara Fraundorfer is a gracious hostess, helpful and accommodating, a really nice person to get to know. We took another of your recommendations and had a lunch and a dinner at the Alpenhof. As you said, the food was excellent.
On a previous visit to this area, we stayed at the Hotel Alois Lang in Oberammergau. This is an old, small, exquisite hotel with an excellent restaurant. It is currently closed for renovation. When it reopens, it will be worth a visit.
In Zürich, we stayed at the Florhof. It was our third time there. There are new owners, however things seem about the same. They are doing some renovations and it is noisy during the day. This was not a problem because my wife likes to spend all the daylight hours in Zürich on the Bahnhofstrasse. We ate a lunch and a dinner at the Zeughauskeller, another of your good recommendations. The food was excellent both times. A good place to have dinner on the last night in Zürich is the Zunfthaus Zur Schmiden. It is in the "Old Town," an easy 15-minute walk from the Florhof. They have been in business over 580 years. Prices are rather high; dinner for two was SF 98 ($78). However, the food is excellent and the service is old-style European.
(Ed. Note: The 2-for-1 Swissair offer referred to by Mr. Stuart was made some months ago to Gemütlichkeit subscribers and was for business class travel. Swissair says they may repeat the offer in the near future. Watch your mailbox. Of course, the Swissair discount program for Gemütlichkeit subscribers $50 off sale fares, $100 off regular coach class, $400 off business class and $600 off first class remains in effect.)
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My husband, who spends much time in Germany in connection with his work at the University of Wisconsin, and I thoroughly enjoy Gemütlichkeit. Austria is like my second home, since my father is Viennese. I am a travel agent and use your recommendations frequently.
Practically every year we spend our vacation at Hotel Hollweger, A-5340 St Gilgen, Austria. The lake view suites are lovely. Frau Danner-Hallweger speaks excellent English and helps the many English-speaking guests. This hotel is family run and has an excellent kitchen. In Vienna I would give a high recommendation to Hotel Opernring, Opernring 11, A-1010 Vienna, Austria. The owner, Susi Riedl, is charming and will help guests obtain tickets for all events. The location, across from the Opera House, couldn't be better. Hotel Geiger in Berchtesgaden also gets five stars in our book. The Jesacherhof, St Jakob in Defereggental, Austria, is a lovely property in a beautiful valley. This hotel has a good kitchen and excellent spa facilities. It is well worth the drive off the main highway. Another favorite is the Hotel Hanneshof, A-5532, Filzmoos, Austria. This is a low-key hotel with a very good kitchen and comfortable rooms. This area near Dachstein has wonderful hiking
During a 10-day stay in Berlin in June, we followed Gemütlichkeit recommendations regarding hotels and restaurants.
We stayed at the Hotel Domus, situated in the very pleasant Wilmersdorf neighborhood at Uhlandstr. 49 (tel (030) 88 20 41, Fax (030) 88 20 410), a 10-minute walk to Kurfürstendamm, a 20-minute walk to Zoo railway and S-Bahn station, the latter being far less crowded than Zoo Station. At DM 230 for a double room, the Domus is quite satisfactory, serves a good breakfast and seems to cater to business travelers rather than groups.
We ate one night at Zlata Praha, Meineke Strasse 4, and found food and service to be excellent (although we were not in the rear room which Gemütlichkeit had suggested) and not overpriced. We also tried Josef Diekmann Restaurant, at Meineke Strasse 7, but, despite its interesting apothecary shelves and cabinets it did not have nearly the decor and ambiance of Zlata Praha, but did have higher prices and a limited menu. (A main course of geschnetzeltes pork was not tender.) We would not care to go back. Fofi's Estiatario, at Fasanen Strasse 70, seemed to be the current "in" and "trendy" place and reservations are essential. Food and service were good but, again, we would rather return to Zlata Praha.
Our best dinner find, however, was in the former eastern part of Berlin at the Goldene Gans Restaurant, one of several in the Maritim Grand Hotel Berlin, Friedrich Strasse 158-164, tel. 23270. It not only serves excellent meals and provides good service in pleasant, rustic surroundings, but features—from 7 to 11 p.m.—what has become even more difficult to find: a good zither player. Dinners are not inexpensive—DM 173, including 15% service, for two persons, for excellent servings of soup, goose breast, fruit and ice dessert, mineral water and wine. We liked the Goldene Gans well enough to pay it a second visit on our last night in Berlin.
Cafés for afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen seemed few and far between in Berlin and we would gladly recommend Café Möhring at Kurfürstendamm 213, corner of Uhlandstrasse (not far from Domus), as one of an apparent disappearing breed, even here in the center of Berlin (although Café Möhring does offer three other locations in the city and in Charlottenburg). The one problem we found was to choose from among the 28 different varieties of cake!
H. Martin Ems,
(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.)