This issue, the 168th since we began publishing in January of 1987, marks the end of our 14th year. A good time to announce a couple of changes.

The first regards this Website where the Members' Library pages contain the text versions of issues back to January, 1993. We are pleased to announce that subscribers from now on will be able to access all back issues except for the most recent 12 at no charge. Each month on page two of Gemütlichkeit we will print a username and password which will enable you to get into the Members' Library where you are free to open these back issues and print them or download them to your own computer.

We have been wrestling with a price increase. Postage is any newsletter's number one expense and in the last 14 years those rates have increased more than 50%. Yet the renewal price to existing subscribers has never gone up. Other eight-page, monthly travel newsletters have almost doubled in price in that same period of time; La Belle France now at $87 and Hideaway Reports at $99, are examples. The Italian Traveler kept its price at $55 but folded after some 10 years in the business.

But enough of the publisher's whining. We're not going anywhere and we've decided not to increase prices for 2001. What we are going to do, however, is go from 12 to 11 issues each year. As a current subscriber this affects you almost not at all. We'll simply extend your subscription enough months to enable you to get every issue you paid for. For example, if your subscription expires with the January, 2002, issue, you'll be extended through February, 2002. The move enables us to reduce costs and thereby not increase the subscription price. Beginning with subscriptions expiring in February 2001 all renewals will be on an 11-issue-per-year basis. If you wish to renew for 12, 24 or 36 months, you can do so until February 1 by calling 800-521-6722.

Free Updates via Email

Because we only publish monthly, some travel deals come and go before we get a chance to tell you about them. We have therefore started to compile a list of email addresses to which we are sending periodic updates on hotel, auto rental and airfare deals. It's a new free service. If you want to be on that list, please email us to that effect at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

10% Discount on Travel Gear

The retail luggage and travel store, Travel Essentials, offers subscribers a 10% discount on all merchandise. In addition, your purchases are shipped from Oregon where there is no sales tax. Price travel merchandise locally—luggage, guidebooks and travel gear.

Wrapping up 2000

In past years the December issue was almost entirely devoted to a year-end review. Many of you felt that was an unnecessary rehash and so last year we cut back on those kinds of stories. This time around we're going to limit our look back on the year to a few of the "bests" from the year 2000.

Best New* Hotels

(* "New" meaning not previously reviewed by us.)

La Pinte du Vieux Manoir $$$$ (January) Murten, Switzerland, Rue de Lausanne, CH-3280 Murten, telephone +41/026/678 61 61, fax 678 61 62, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Proprietors: Elisabeth and Erich Thomas

Hotel Croix d'Or & Poste $$ (March) Münster, Switzerland, CH-3985 Münster VS, telephone +41/027/974-1515, fax 9741516, Simon and Ruth Aellig-Bumann

• Hotel Gut Schmelmerhof $$ (July) Rettenbach, Germany, Rettenbach 24, D-94379 St. Englmar, telephone +49/09965/1890, fax 189140, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hotel Beau Rivage $$$ (August) Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 1 Esplanade du Mont-Blanc, CH-2001 Neuchâtel, telephone +41/032/723 1515, fax 723 1616, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Historische Schlossmühle $$ Horbruch, Germany

Best Value Hotels

Gasthof Schorn $ (February) St. Leonhard, Austria, St. Leonhardstrasse 1, A-5083 St. Leonhard-Grödig, telephone +43/06246/72334, fax 72334-40, proprietor: Familie Ziegler

Hotel Alpenblick $$ (March) Ernen, Switzerland, CH-3995 Ernen, telephone 41/027/9711537, fax 9714374, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., proprietor: Fam. Imboden

Grandhotel Giessbach $$$ (June) Brienz, Switzerland, Ch-3855 Brienz, telephone +41/033/952 2525, fax 952 2530, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hotel Schloss Wilhelminenber $ (July) Vienna, Austria, Savoyenstrasse 2, A-1160 Vienna, telephone +43/01/485 85030, fax +43/01/485 4876

Hotel Alpes et Lac $$ (August) Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Place de la Gare 2, CH-2000 Neuchâtel, telephone +49/032/723 19 19, fax 723 19 20, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Hotel Aramis $ (September) Vienna, Austria, Döblinger Hauptstrasse 55, tel. +43/1/3698673, fax 3692480

Hotel Schloss Ort $$ (October) Passau, Germany, Am Dreiflusseck, tel. +49/0851/340 72, fax 318 17

Hotel Terminus $$ (November) Samedan, Switzerland, CH-7503 Samedan, telephone +41/081/852 5336, fax 852-44-52, Family Morell-Kapeller

Best Restaurants

Le Vieux Manoir au Lac $$$$ (January) Murten, Switzerland, (See above for address, phone, etc.)

Die Ecke $$ (February) Augsburg, Germany, Elias-Holl-Platz 2, telephone +49/0821/510 600

Restaurant-Pension Drei Tannen $ (March) Niederwald, Switzerland, CH-3981 Niederwald, telephone/fax +41/027/9711173. Proprietor: Fam. H. Wirthner-Volken

Osteria Citta Vecchia $$ (April) Munich, Germany, Hackenstr. 6-8, D-80331 Munich, telephone +49/089/23259885, fax 23259886

Prasna Basta $ (June) Bratislava, Slovakia, Zamocnicka 11, telephone +421/07/54 43 49 57

Villa Aurora $$ (July) Vienna, Austria, Wilhelminenstrasse 237, telephone +43/01/489 33 33

La Maison des Halles $$ (August) Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 4 Rue du Trésor, CH-2000 Neuchâtel, telephone 724 3141

Hacklberger Bräustüberl $ (October) Passau, Germany, Bruhausplatz 7, telephone +49/0851/583 82, fax 75 22 13

• Historische Schlossmühle, $$ Horbruch, Germany — RHB

$$$$=very expensive; $$$=expensive; $$=moderate; $=inexpensive.

December 2000