One subscriber discovers the picturesque Austrian valley of Kleinwalsertal, another recommends a hotel convenient to the Munich airport.
We just returned from two weeks in Bavaria and the Tirol. Your January, 1998, Bargain Bavaria article led us to Bayrischzell and the Gasthhof zur Post (Schulstr. 3, D-83735, tel. +49/08023/226, fax 775). Bayrischzell is a lovely village in one of the prettiest valleys we've seen...lots of walking and hiking trails. We highly recommend it. Although there are two or three other good looking hotels in town we decided on zur Post and found it comfortable and reasonably priced. We'll go back to Bayrischzell.
We also discovered the Kleinwalsertal, a tiny portion of Austria accessible only from Oberstdorf in Germany. Local currency is the D-mark. We've never seen mention of this valley in Gemütlichkeit; it is gorgeous and merits your attention.
After many years of travel in Europe we're still baffled by the tipping customs or lack thereof. Could you address this in a future issue? Many of the even very small hotels/inns have a "tip jar" at the reception desk or a tip line on the charge card slip. What is appropriate where meals and room are combined? What about room (with breakfast) only? Restaurant (dinner) only? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Russ and Polly Boley
(Ed. Note: Oberstdorf was featured in Gemütlichkeit, November, 1994, and the villages of the Kleinwalsertal were briefly mentioned, but this unique area deserves its own story.
Re tipping: we try to watch what locals do and our impression is the old rules still apply; for smaller transactions, round up to the nearest mark or franc. For a lunch that is, say, 37 marks we would pay 40 marks. In a better restaurant, where the service and food has been especially good, we might tip as much as 10%, but usually somewhat less.
Taxi drivers expect 15%.
If the owner or desk person in a hotel helps carry our three or four bags to the room, we do not tip. In hotels where a porter or handyman-type person is summoned to help with the bags and that person carries all the bags we tip the equivalent of $3 to $4. On occasion, when service has been extraordinary and we have stayed for more than just a night, we have tipped on our credit card when signing the final hotel bill. Occasionally, when paying by cash, we have placed money in an envelope, given it to the owner or manager and asked that it be passed on to the staff.
What do you do? We want to hear.)
Bargain Near Munich Airport
A great last night Zimmer before flying out of Munich is the Hotel Mayr-Wirt in Erding (Haager Strasse 4, D-8058 Erding, tel. +49/08122/7094, fax 7098, 150 DM/$81 per room per night with breakfast). It is only about five miles from the airport and a 10-minute drive to the airport's back door.
In addition to the clean comfortable rooms, the family has a meat packing plant in the rear and a superb meat market in front. I just have to figure out how to get the goodies home to Illinois.
The restaurant is outstanding. A cozy Bavarian Stube with excellent food. We had a meat sampler platter for two and had to have help from three other guests to finish.
Around the corner, the town of Erding has many nice shops, a must for mein Frau. The U-Bahn to Munich is handy in Erding.
Restaurant Beograd Report
Just received our most recent issue and read your request for feedback re: the Restaurant Beograd in Vienna. We dined there on May 21. We had a wonderful time and didn't notice anything that would cause us to have doubts about the proprietor, the help, or the patrons. I don't know whether we were early (we arrived at 6:30pm), whether it was the exterior remodeling, or whether it was the war, but we were the only people in the place. By the time we left around 9:30pm business had increased only slightly.
We had the Balkan appetizer plate (a Gemütlichkeit recommendation) and it was excellent, not sophisticated, but a nice variety of Balkan/Greek nibbles and well worth the price. The other dishes were also a good value. Soon after the start of dinner the violin and piano players appeared, and after the Viennese classics, they played some American/English songs, probably because we were the only customers at the time. Enjoyable food and a private concert; we had a thoroughly entertaining evening.
Lou and Liz Kraushaar
Mill Valley CA
Hotel South of Stuttgart
A bit late for a note on our April 5-22 trip, but as the Dutch are fond of saying "a man is never late when he arrives".
We rented the car through Gemütlichkeit and Europcar - expected a BMW 316i, but one was not available when we arrived; however we were more than pleased with the Mercedes Benz EC220 CID upgrade.
We had planned to tour the old towns/villages staying a day or two in each, but after Heidelberg we stopped in Lichtenstein, about 50 kilometers south of Stuttgart.
We stumbled on to the Forellenhof Rössele (Familien Gumpper and Stoll, D-72805, Liechtenstein-Honau, tel. +49/07129/9297-0, fax 929750, www.gastro-tips.de Forellenhof Rssele, double room new section 139 DM/$75, half-pension 26 DM/$14) late in the afternoon and planned to stay a day or two; we stayed seven and enjoyed every minute. The food was excellent - trout a speciality - with a long and varied menu, plain and gourmet cuisine aplenty. Rooms are large with full baths, balconies, TVs, and a lift (new section - two years old), private parking, and a lovely setting with a view of tiny Lichtenstein castle looking directly down on the Hof.
Final word, best hotel we stayed in (including the Frankfurt Airport Sheraton). Didn't find out about the new Steigenberger till we got home.
Doris and Grover Tolliver