I have been to the Hotel Florhof since the early 1970s, at least three times each year since then. In the process, I have come to know and respect the Schilter family style of management and, equally, the Schiesser approach.
Both families, by the way, were more than just managers - they had a vested financial stake in the operation with the owners who live in Central Switzerland and have been absent owners for many years. The current management (the Schiessers), in fact, have a huge financial investment in the property and participated in the extensive renovation of the entire building and restaurant as well as association now with the Romantik Hotel organization.
There are certainly many differences in the operation of the property today than in 1974 when I first stayed there. (I was there most recently in April of this year, and in June and November of 1996. I will next go in July of this year as well as November.)
The Schilters were a very reserved and efficient couple who ran the hotel in that manner as did their employees. Toward the "end" of their tenure, the restaurant had become only satisfactory (and not always that) and the look of the entire hotel was quite "tired." When the Schiessers took over, they had to bring in all new help (with the exception of one of the daytime porters who stayed and is there to this day). Now, all the renovations are complete; the rooms are all redone as is the restaurant. By the way, the restaurant is revitalized and has become well-known and extremely popular. In fact, I try to have at least a couple of dinners there because it is excellent. Yes, the prices are now higher for the rooms; but still a bargain, in my opinion, compared to other properties in Zürich with like features, etc.
The Schiessers, I find, to be very efficient and full of grand plans for the future. They are very proud of what they have accomplished there and have taken some time with me to not only show me through the entire operation, but to discuss their plans for the future. They have also been very helpful to me personally with things I have asked them to do on my behalf. I found them very helpful and very willing.
So, I regret to see the opinions expressed by two of your readers. No doubt they feel exactly as they have stated, but I do feel there is another side to the Florhof that I would urge them to give it another chance. I look forward to my return there, as I always do.
Richard J. Morse
5-Star Hotel Report
Enclosed is a check for another year of Gemütlichkeit - we have enjoyed the newsletter and send it on to our daughter and son in Zürich. We hope you will do more on the Alsace as it is so reasonable for Americans now and traveling in Switzerland and Austria still is a joke value-wise. Also hope to see more info on the famous Christmas stops other than the Christmas markets.
Our favorite hotel is Bayerischer Hof in Munich. We hosted our daughters wedding there and our American friends who came are still talking about the service, beautiful rooms in the old section and every detail perfection. Last year, on a trip to Sweden we flew to Hamburg as I wanted to stay at the Vier Jahreszeiten. Gourmet Magazine had raved about it several years ago, but it cannot hold a candle to the Bayerischer Hof.
We refused the first horrible room they gave us the second room was no better but we were jet-lagged no air-conditioning as confirmed and right over the entrance, very noisy. All the restaurants in the hotel were closed, save one, and room service took an hour. For this we were paying $400 per night and then some. The hotel is under new ownership and I'm afraid has really changed since the Gourmet article was written.
Suspect U.S. Currency
As a subscriber and occasional contributor to your newsletter, I can share a never-ending frustration when traveling in Germany.
Now that the U.S. has a new $100 bill, very few banks in Germany will take the old $100 bill. Their excuse is that it may be counterfeit ironically for years they gladly accepted them without question. Please caution readers to take only new $100 bills to Europe it will save having your blood pressure go up when a bank employee tells you he won't change the old bill.
(U.S. Dollar prices quoted in this issue of Gemütlichkeit may be inaccurate for these reasons:
- Prices in local currency have not been updated since the date of publication of this newsletter, and...
- The dollar prices shown were obtained by using exchange rates in effect at the time of publication.