Recently you wrote about the advantages of Ferienwohnung. The main disadvantage we have found is that there is rarely a vacancy during the summer months. We spent the summer of 92 in Prien, Germany, and never saw a frei sign on a Ferienwohnung. The signs always indicated no vacancy. However, during the winter months, the vacancy signs appeared.
Our favorite place in Germany, Austria, Switzerland is Wengen, Switzerland. We can't say enough about the quiet beauty of this mountain village. The Hotel Belvedere served an outstanding evening meal on the Swiss National Day in August.
(Ed. Note: Ms Sharp makes a good point. Our story should have pointed out that the Becker's off-season travel method of not making reservations for Ferienwohnung [vacation apartments] might be difficult to duplicate during the summer. Advance reservations would no doubt be required at that time of year.)
I would like to order another copy of the issue you wrote about Kandern's Zur Weserei. Mine blew out of the window on the autobahn as I was reading it to my husband and was smashed against the grill of the car behind us for many kilometers. We managed to find the hotel anyway, with many questions, and it was wonderful as was the restaurant. We were there in early December and although the hotel was not crowded at all, the restaurant was packed, so we were very glad we had reservations per your suggestion.
Out third time at La Residence in Lausanne and still love it.
Suggest you review De Zaehringen Auberge in Fribourg (Switz.). What a masterpiece; ancient beauty, food was better than excellent and we were given a tour of the entire old home. Will come back to stay for sure. The big suite was filled with carvings and paintings from the 13th century and packaged with dinner, wine, etc., it was about $200 a gem!
For a hotel near the Zürich Airport, we surely would choose Mövenpick over Novotel next time.
Western Springs Il
(Ed Note: Gemütlichkeit gives two-stars, "outstanding food and service," to the restaurant of the Hotel Markgräflerhof. The hotel offers simple but decent accommodations.)
The Hotel Gasthof Dragoner is conveniently located on Highway 17 and 23 just north of Oberammergau in Peiting. It is an easy drive to Füssen, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, etc., even a day's shopping trip to Innsbruck and Swarovski Crystal Factory Store in Waten.
Jim Draper & David Oplet
(Ed. Note: Mr. Oplet & Mr. Draper enclosed a brochure from this attractive hotel showing the highest priced double room is 130 DM ($78).
No On Budpest's Nemzeti
Bob Gillespie, of Lake Bluff, Illinois, takes issue with us regarding the moderately-priced Hotel Nemzeti in Budapest. Mr. Gillespie recently stayed there on business and says he will not go back. He termed the hotel "worn, tired and devoid of charm." For a less expensive Budapest alternative to the five-star hotels clustered along the river, Mr. Gillespie recommends the Hotel Gellert which he says is at least interesting and has some charm.
He highly recommends a hotel in Achern near Baden-Baden, the Götz Sonne-Eintracht, which he puts in the same category of the Hotel Anker (a favorite of many Gemütlichkeit subscribers in Marktheidenfeld, about 45 minutes east of Frankfurt.)
A Hotel in Bavaria
Victor Obninsky of Tiburon, California, the first person, incidentally, to tout us on the Hotel Geiger in Bertchesgaden (1992 Gemütlichkeit "Hotel of the Year") likes the Hotel Alpenhof in Murnau. "Only a half-hour from Munich, Oberammergau and Wieskirche and 15 minutes from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. A very good hotel off the road with a fine breakfast and Alpine view."
Rustic Swiss Gem
M. L. Cox of Scottsdale, Arizona, recommends the Bietschhorn, a pension in the village of Kippel, in a mountain valley near the Lötschberg tunnel which connects Kandersteg with the Rhône Valley (Gemütlichkeit, April, 1992). He has particular praise for the food. According to Mr. Cox, the Bietschhorn is rustic, far off the beaten track and offers such atmospheric touches as a St Bernard guarding the second floor and straw mattresses. He swears they are comfortable.
Dr. John Feist of Pittsburgh likes Frankfurt's Ristorante Bel Mondo. "An excellent and gemütlich northern Italian restaurant in a sedate residential section. Reasonably priced." The Bel Mondo is at Kettenhofweg 64, telephone (069) 725881.
Grüner Baum Supporter
Our travel agent, a Swiss woman, said "Mr. and Mrs. Miller if you are going to that area, you must stay at my most favorite place in all Europe...the hoteldorf Grüner Baum in Badgastein." When the Swiss lady says "you must" we've learned to heed her instructions.
If we ever hit the lottery or get $4 million from a rich uncle you will quickly receive our address change showing us at the Grüner Baum. It's a former hunting lodge that the Kaiser stayed at - old money to say the least. It's out in the boondocks about six or seven miles from town; the cab is a horse and wagon or a four-horse sleigh. It's a spa, a retreat, a lover's nest, a hiker's dream, etc., etc. We've referred four other couples there over the past year. We all want to live there.
Go there and check it out. I'll bet it qualifies for a "G" Award.
Hamp & Sue Miller
New Brunswick NJ