Other than the medieval monastery in Klosterreichenbach, Baiersbronn has no notable monuments except Nature itself and its fabled restaurants. Given that there is only so much you can say about trees, let's just cut to the chow, shall we?

If money is no object and you really want a relaxing time, just bivouac at Traube Tonbach or Hotel Bareiss—two luxury resorts that offer every reason never to leave. They are like family summer camps, where everyone knows each other, and where vacationing kids grow up together. Besides fabulous food and comfortable rooms overlooking the hills, there are spa treatments, sports, mind-blowing bathing facilities, cooking classes and organized activities for all ages, even evening concerts. They are in many ways remarkably similar. Both are family owned, located some five kilometers from each other in an area that combines hillside rambles with Baiersbronn's more populated villages. Both employ almost the same number of staff as they have guests, and both are routinely voted among the top destination resorts in Germany.

But which to choose? Although the two look almost identical on paper, they are somewhat different in style, as we detail in the reviews below. Michelin correctly gives an edge to Traube Tonbach's Schwarzwaldstube restaurant over the flagship Restaurant Bareiss under Chef Klaus-Peter Klumpp, although we found the best overall dish of the weekend at Bareiss. Traube Tonbach is the more international, while the smaller Bareiss preserves a strong local character. For budget-conscious hedonists, the two hotels' more casual dining options offer an excellent and possibly even more interesting value for the thrifty non-guest. Please note that room rates at these exceptional properties are per person, per day and include room, breakfast, in some cases dinner, most leisure activities, and use of the sports facilities. Non-guests can visit the restaurants, of course. Because of the fee structure, we do not recommend the Bareiss or Traube Tonbach for short overnight stays on a crowded itinerary. They are destinations in themselves, and you will want to have enough time to take advantage of all the amenities. If these two high-flyers are a little too rich for your blood, there are many other pleasant choices along the Murg. Indeed, there is something here for everyone, from backpackers to classic car enthusiasts. —Lydia Itoi