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The Hotels Seegarten and Reutemann, with a total of 64 rooms, are in two separate buildings sharing a front desk and other facilities. And frankly, it's difficult to tell just which hotel you're in at any given point. And it doesn't seem to matter in any significant way.

In general, the common lobby is a bit more casual than next door but still very attractive with lots of polished wood and fresh flowers.

Room Number 410 Seegarten has a full view of the lake and swimming pool and is large enough for a seating area at one end with a small couch and chairs.

A more impressive choice, however, is Number 216 in the supposedly less expensive Reutemann. Also with that to die-for view, this very large corner room with three big windows is 350 DM ($213). To us it makes infinite sense to opt for one of the best rooms (such as Number 216) in either the Reutemann or the Seegarten instead of a middle-of-the-road, but considerably more expensive, one in the Bayerischer Hof.

Contact: Hotel Reutemann/Seegarten, Seepromenade, D-88131 Lindau-Insel, tel. +49/08382/9150, fax 915591. Open all year.
Price Category: Moderate/Expensive
Rating: Quality 16/20, Value 16/20

Hotel Helvetia

Just beyond the Big Three, but still on the promenade, is the Helvetia.

Somewhat smaller, with just 50 rooms and certainly more relaxed, it has been done up in a Mediterranean theme, apparently in deference to the resort-like ambiance and mild climate of the region. The overall effect is decidedly, well, funky. Greek inspired motifs adorn the public rooms while guestrooms are abloom with flowery prints, ruffles and great big fabric bows tying back the draperies.

We suspect that the clientèle tends to be a little younger here.

Contact: Hotel Helvetia, Seepromenade, D-88131 Lindau-Insel, tel. +49/08382/91 30, fax 40 04. Closed: November through February.
Price Category: Moderate/Expensive
Rating: Quality 13/20, Value 13/20