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Report on Historic Hotel in Germany's Mosel Valley

By Nikki Goth Itoi

Next time you explore Germany's popular Mosel River Valley, plan to make an overnight stop in Cochem to stay at the historic Alte Thorschenke hotel and wine tavern.

Its hard to imagine a more authentic old inn than this one. Built in 1332, the Alte Thorschenke stands adjacent to the remains of the old town wall, and it is now designated a Gast im Schloss, meaning it belongs to a distinguished class of castle-like hotels in Germany.

The narrow spiral staircase leading to rooms in the original part of the inn is made of wood and creak loudly at every step. Some rooms feature romantic four-poster beds with canopies; others offer picturesque views of the river. Exposed beams, antique furnishings, and ornate drapery and bedspreads add to the atmosphere. Though the Thorschenke has 75 beds in total (all rooms have modern, clean bath or shower and WC), the majority are located in a more modern annex to the original building. Request one of the more historic bed chambers in the Alte Teil for the full effect.

The common areas of the hotel are equally attractive. The dining room is modeled after a traditional hunting lodge, complete with old portraits, hunting trophies, and oriental carpets covering the hardwood floors. Guests take their buffet breakfast here, and in the evening, the Weinstube is open to the public. (The Alte Thorschenke has a 500 year-old winery on the premises.) Other amenities include an elevator, outdoor patio, and free parking garage.