A basic but nonetheless charming and quite comfortable hotel with friendly staff and onsite owners. Its 30 rooms are plain but pleasant and clean. Number 12 is on a corner with balcony overlooking the Rhine. Leave the shades open when you go to sleep, and the sun will wake you as it rises over Burg Katz. Open the window and the only early-morning sounds you'll hear are ships chugging upstream. The room's only downside is a slightly cramped bathroom with pod shower.
The hotel is immediately across from the ship landing and a two-minute walk to the pedestrian ferry to St. Goarshausen. The ground floor features a small café and restaurant.
Contact: Hotel Hauser, Heerstrasse 77, D-56329 St. Goar, tel. +49 06741 333, fax +49 06741 1464
Rates: Singles €26-38, doubles €52-76
Rating: Quality 11/20 Value 14/20
Schloss Hotel and Villa Rheinfels
The Schloss Hotel and Villa Rheinfels is built atop the outer walls of the mighty fortress over the Rhine. Though not cheap, it's a good value and you'll be generously pampered by a staff that is formal but not stiff. The 57 rooms are regal and palatial with lavish décor. Most have some combination of four-poster beds, chandeliers, live plants, plush draperies and modern, tiled bathrooms with tubs big enough for two. Larger rooms have both sitting and writing areas.
The views to the Katz and Maus fortresses, St. Goarshausen and the start of the Loreley are among the most stunning along the Rhine and worth the extra price for a riverside room, preferably with balcony. Since the hotel is a 20-minute walk uphill, factor in taxi fare (about €4) - at least for trips with luggage.
Daily Rates: Singles €95-140, doubles €145-185
Rating: Quality 15/20 Value 16/20
Hotel zur Post
The Hotel zur Post's half-timber architecture, overhanging balcony and abundant window-box flowers capture the atmosphere of what is arguably the most scenic town on the Rhine. Inside, the hotel's personable staff immediately makes guests feel at home. The rooms are quite simple, but clean, spacious and comfortable, though without phones. The restaurant offers a variety of tasty Italian dishes at good prices.
Contact: Hotel zur Post Oberstrasse 38, D-55422 Bacharach, tel +49 06743 1277, fax +49 06743 947600
Daily Rates: Singles €25-35, doubles €50-70. Non-smoking rooms available.
Rating: Quality 12/20 Value 13/20
The Altkölnscher Hof, with its delightful half-timber framework, small turrets, towers and balconies, is a slight step up from the Hotel zur Post. The 21 rooms are generally larger, with new carpeting and wooden or wood-trimmed country-style furniture (and also with phones). The location is central and just two minutes by foot from the ship landing and five minutes from the train station. Room 32 offers a large covered balcony with a view to the marketplace. (Check out the public restrooms for photographs of floods over the past decades.)
Daily Rates: Singles €48-70, doubles €70-105
Rating: Quality 13/20 Value 13/20
Though we seldom review youth hostels, most aren't located in an 11th century castle. And Stahleck Fortress makes for one of the most beautiful hostels in Germany. Lucky residents can walk within the courtyard, surrounded by half-timber buildings built on mighty ramparts. A round castle keep, capped by a tower, rises from the center. Of the 166 beds, many are located in single, double or family rooms, most with private showers and WC. While membership in a national youth hostel organization is required (American Youth Hostels 202-783-6161, hiusa.org/), the hostel welcomes guests of all ages.
Contact: Jugendburg Stahleck, Burg Stahleck, D-55422 Bacharach, tel. +49 06743 1266, fax +49 06743 2684
Daily Rates: Singles from about €17.50, doubles €29-35.
Rating: Quality 8/20 Value 11/20
Just footsteps away from the craziness of Rüdesheim's Drosselgasse, the Hotel Lindenwirt is a collection of half-timber buildings joined around a large courtyard.
While most guests prefer the traditional rooms—spacious, modern and well-appointed—overlooking the courtyard, some choose to spend the night in a wine cask. Each giant cask opens to the courtyard, and you enter through a door cut in its side. With twin beds and a shower, the rooms are cramped but inexpensive and give guests one more story to tell when they get home. The hotel is one of the largest (90 rooms), most central and most popular in Rüdesheim, which may be a plus or minus depending on personal taste.
There's free parking in the courtyard, a convenience for car travelers that somewhat diminishes the historic environment and courtyard view for others.
Contact: Hotel Lindenwirt Drosselgasse 15, D-65376 Rüdesheim, tel. +49 06722 1031, fax +49 06722 47585.
Daily Rates: Singles €49-78, double €52-104 ($86-$156), twin in a wine barrel €52-62.
Rating: Quality 11/20 Value 11/20