Graz restaurants and a Munich hotel are featured.

Gemut Website for Planning

Can't tell you what a thrill it is to research the ports of our upcoming river cruise using your website's archives. I just peruse your back issues, copy what I want and paste it into the page of notes that I'm compiling in Word, thereby creating a personalized guidebook! What a wonderful combination of "old world Europe" and "modern technology." Many thanks for your terrific publication.

Judy Nagy
Via email

Graz Restaurants

How delightful it was to read your article about Graz. My husband and I each spent two years there while going to school, and we have many fond memories of it. So nice to hear it is still "Das Grüner Herz österreichs." Please try three of our most memorable restaurants there: the Laufke on Elisabethstrasse, the Schuberthof and the Häuserl im Wald. Graz is really worth a trip, and is even more enjoyable because there aren't as many tourists.

And, for the best homemade liqueurs, visit Josef Berka, across the street from the Park Hotel!! Thank you again for the return visit!

Kathleen Branyon
Via email

Recommends Auf Schönburg

I have just read the detailed "German Castle Hotel Report" in the March 2002 issue by Bill Bohnhoff. An excellent listing of experiences. All was well until his report of Hotel Auf Schönburg. Had I never visited this superb castle, I would be sure never to do so from his write-up. However, my wife and I have stayed there at least a dozen times over the past 20 years, and although we try other German castles from time to time, we always return to Auf Schönburg.

There are two sections to this castle - old and new. We first stayed there in the early 80s, before the new section was built and that is where Mr. Bohnhoff obviously stayed. He is correct, there is no elevator in this old section. But there is always a strapping young man of the family who readily carries baggage up the stairs, even to the third floor.

The most interesting aspect of the old section rooms to me has always been how well the amenities (obviously added when rooms were converted for guests) have been squeezed into the available spaces. So we have always looked upon the idiosyncrasies of each of the "old section" room amenities as being very quaint. And the furnishings also are always attractive.

In the new section, there is an elevator, and all the many rooms on the several floors are so well appointed that we have never found any fault. Also, in every room old or new is a complementary decanter of sherry, just the right touch for a good nights sleep whether on one's first or last night, entering or leaving Germany (the castle is a 45-minute drive from Frankfurt Airport).

We have also marveled at how the quality of food has increased over the years. On the other hand, we have bemoaned the price increases in recent years. Our first stay in the old section ran us $50 or so in 1983.

As to not having CNN/BBC, I suppose that TV is a strictly personal choice. In all our visits we were either too tired (if we were staying there on our first night) after such an excellent meal and glass or two of sherry, or too busy re-packing on our last night in Germany to worry about TV.

By all means, save a time in the morning or early evening to explore the parts of the castle open to guests, and savor the exquisite views of the Rhine from this vantage point.

Rip Rice
Via email

Munich Hotel

I recently returned from a week's stay at Acanthus Hotel in Munich. We chose it from the websites of Gemütlichkeit and the hotel itself, and made reservations by email. When we (a group of 8) arrived, all agreed we had found a treasure. We could not have been more pleased!

The hotel is perfectly located, the rooms were as nice as could be, breakfast was superb, and the staff went out of their way to help us.

My husband and I had purchased a Dachshund to bring back to the States with us, and, although I had made the arrangements in advance, the hotel helped make sure I had everything in order to transport the dog without problems.

Since no one in our group spoke more than a few words of German, their ongoing help was much appreciated. For anyone not hung-up on having a major five-star hotel, but rather a very nice place to stay, with a super staff, and a great location (half a block from Sedlinger Tor Subway station and 4 blocks from Marienplatz), this should be at the top of their list. My only concern with writing you to brag on Acanthus is that your other readers will find it so appealing that I will be unable to get reservations the next time we go!

This is the third time we have used a hotel you suggested, and the third time we have been pleased, though never so much as this one.

Iris S. Slowey
Via email

April 2002