The Hotel-Petershof is modern but with character, 31 spacious rooms spread over four floors. It's across the Rhine from the Old Town, not in the greatest neighborhood and not impressive from the outside. But the staff attitude, room quality, and great prices make it a strong value. Each room has a CD player and a VCR with some 200 free videos (many in English).
Daily Rates: Singles €68-76, doubles €111, garage parking €5.50
Rating: Quality 14/20 Value 16/20
Hotel Villa Barleben am See
Just a short drive across "Lake Rhine" from the Old Town, this 19th-century former summer residence has been converted to a seven-room hotel. Set amid Jugendstil villas, it retains a stately, Victorian appearance and the feel of a private home, with rooms that summon memories of July visits to a wealthy aunt. Amid parquet floors, antiques, cozy nooks, and old steamer trunks, guests receive a high level of personal attention. The best rooms face south to the lake (some have small balconies). Relax on the covered terrace, in the sprawling private gardens, or take a walk along the promenade.
Contact: Hotel Villa Barleben am See, Seestrasse 15, D-78464 Kölnstanz, tel +49 07531 942 330, fax +49 7531 669 73, web www.hotel-barleben.de
Daily Rates: Singles -€95-115, doubles €135-155
Rating: Quality 16/20 Value 17/20
Guests arrive at the five-star Steigenberger Inselhotel (Island Hotel) by crossing a small bridge to a private island where the hotel has stood for nearly 900 years. Past the foyer lies a glassed-in hotel courtyard, once the cloister of a 13th-century Dominican monastery. The monastery church still exists, albeit as a function room, and the original Gothic frescoes are among the oldest in Europe. Count Zeppelin was born here. A fine double is Number 322 with two windows and a lakefront balcony.
Daily Rates: Singles €107-169, doubles €179-251, suites €189-363
Rating: Quality 17/20 Value 15/20
Located high above the Mainau, a short distance from town amid hilltop farmlands, the Volapük is an excellent choice for auto travelers who want easy access to sights around the city. From Room 41, the hotel's largest, guests can look across the lake to Meersburg. Rooms are plain but neat, with the usual amenities. For trivia buffs, Volapük is an artificial language ' a precursor to Esperanto ' invented in the 19th century by a local pastor.
Daily Rates: Singles €57-90, doubles €82-108
Rating: Quality 14/20 Value 15/20
This charming country estate has a private beach directly on the Bodensee. There is also an herb garden, orchard, a small pond with lily pads and a brook lined with reeds and willows. It's a tranquil escape. The main building with rustic restaurant (hotel guests only) is a half-timber house more than 300 years old, while most guest lodging and facilities are in more modern structures. Guest rooms are spacious, and warmly decorated, some with terrace or balcony with lake view.
Daily Rates: Singles €110-150, doubles €164-240, suites €210-250. Prices include breakfast and dinner.
Rating: Quality 15/20 Value 14/20
Hotel Zum Bären
Meersburg history doesn't stop at Zum Bären's door. It follows guests across the 1605 Renaissance portal (look for the five carved angels), through the richly furnished lobby and even to their rooms. For a few extra euros per night, guests can choose rooms with antique furniture. For a few more, they get a corner room with an oriel window. The building dates from the 13th century and current family ownership is from 1851. Request private bath.
Contact: Hotel Zum Bären, Marktplatz 11, D-88709 Meersburg, tel +49/7532/432244, fax 43220, web www.meersburg.de/baeren
Daily Rates: Singles €46, doubles, €86-102
Rating: Quality 13/20 Value 15/20
The default destination for many Lindau-bound Americans is the luxurious and top-notch Bayerischer Hof, which charges as much as €289 for a room with lake view. Fight convention and head to the Lindauer Hof, a charming family-owned hotel set in a former 17th-century granary. Though you'll drop a star (from five to four), you'll save as much as 50 %. On the other hand, if you want to spend some money, ask for Number 404, a large, L-shaped room with an upstairs living room and view to the Mangturm (tower), the harbor and across to the lake to the Austrian and Swiss Alps. Even the bathroom has a throne with a view. Room 402 is another spacious top-floor room with a large terrace via French doors, and a view to the harbor and mountains.
Daily Rates: Singles €72-85, doubles €135-189
Rating: Quality 16/20 Value 15/20
Hotel Goldenes Lamm
When the Hotel Goldenes Lamm opened during the Middle Ages, it was at the western end of the island. Thanks to centuries of island expansion, it is now more central but still doesn't lack for views. Number 28, a large room with sitting and writing areas, looks over the 14th-century Thieves' Tower. Number 37's view is of St. Peter's Church (11th-century, frescoes by Hans Holbein the Elder). It's a simple but more than adequate historic hotel with room rates about 40% less than those on the waterfront. Request private bath.
Contact: Hotel Goldenes Lamm, Paradiesplatz/Schaafgasse 3, 88131 Lindau, tel +49/8382/5732, fax 6254
Daily Rates: Singles €41-51, doubles €72-102. Breakfast is €8
Rating: Quality 12/20 Value 14/20