This hotel is a peaceful haven on the eastern slopes of Palatinate Forest, on the way to its highest peak, Kalmit. I found it via Google Earth when I was looking up a place to stay during my three days roundtrip with newly registered VTer Lucy from Perth. I immediately liked the hotel website and the prices were reasonable. When I called to book our rooms, one of the owners, Marlies Stoesser, was very helpful and cheerful, typical Palatinate mentality. But website photos and phone calls are only one side of a medal, the reality was much better! The location of Waldhaus Wilhelm is priceless! Stairs from the road with parking for restaurant guests lead up through a beautiful garden; the whole house is surrounded by garden and forest. We were cheerfully greeted by the other owner, Günther Wilhelm, and received our keys. Our rooms were small but spacious enough for single rooms. From the small hallway with spacious cabinet and a big mirror is the door to the bathroom with shower, toilet and sink. The room itself with windows to the south and views onto the opposite forest hills had a bed, desk, table, TV and chairs. I especially liked the colour concept: pleasing pastel pink walls, dark turquoise furniture and curtains with flower motif. The bed was firm and the bedclothes soft and fragrant. I remember that I saw a sign that they use material which is proved to be anti-allergic. My two nights were very pleasant and peaceful. No noise at all and the birds woke me up in the morning. I like this since at home, Frankfurt airport’s departing planes wake me up...
Breakfast next morning was huge. Everything we could wish for was nicely displayed on a buffet: fresh bread and rolls, boiled eggs, marmalade (including homemade ones from the region), honey, cold cuts, cheese, Palatinate specialities (like blood sausage and liver sausage), several cereals, yoghurt, fruit, homemade cake and freshly squeezed fruit juices. We could choose several teas (black tea, herbal teas, rooibos teas) and coffees (espresso, latte macchiato, cappuccino and milk coffee).
The reasons why I like this hotel so much are manifold. First it is the peaceful location, the very pleasant atmosphere and the nice and so helpful owners. And there is the restaurant which definitely exceeded my expectations! I already plan my next stay there. The owners offer many special arrangements throughout the whole year. Only a portion of these are displayed on the website. The arrangements are season related or theme related and cover accommodation and dinner. And they are excellent value! (I don’t like to use the word bargain here, because the word has a negative touch to me). In early January for example, they offer what they call “peaceful winter days”, 5 nights and 5 dinners for 240 Euro per person, which makes is 48 Euro per person per day for bed and dinner!
Dogs are allowed, they even have an own dog, Paul, of the size of a Bernese mountain dog.
Make sure you reserve rooms! When I called short notice the owner was hesitating first and told me that they are fully booked but luckily asked what I would need. When I said two single rooms she said yes, that would not be a problem! So it seems that the double rooms are more likely to be fully booked.
Oh and I must mention that despite the hotel being located at the road up to Kalmit (hilltop), the traffic seems not to be heavy. I would have expected motorbikes on the weekend mornings but didn’t hear any. I think this is because this road is not the main road up to the hilltop.
In Maikammer, take the road L515 direction Kalmit. The hotel is located a few metres after the forest begins.
Location of Waldhaus Wilhelm on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., July 2011 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
A river ship like La Bohème is naturally long and narrow, so the large public rooms are located at either end of the Upper Deck. The lounge bar at the front of the ship was a particularly nice space, with large windows offering great views all around, comfortable seating and of course a bar! The system for buying drinks though is a little odd. You have to buy a card for either €15 or €50, which you then present each time you make a purchase. The sum you have spent is deducted by the simple method of crossing out boxes with different values in them, until the card is full, at which point you have to buy another one. This worked OK for us at first, as we bought a €50 card, but after the first day or so only the lower priced cards were sold, and buying a round for four of us at a time meant that we had to buy a card almost every time. We found ourselves wondering why we couldn’t just pay for the drinks!
The restaurant was at the rear and was large enough to seat all the passengers at one sitting (just – it was a little cramped perhaps). I have said more about the meals and meal arrangements in my separate Restaurant tip.
The other main public space was the Sun Deck, which as the name suggests is an open deck on top of the ship with lots of loungers for sunbathing and other seating. Luckily some of it is shaded, as the sun was intense during the day – and in fact we spent more time in the air-conditioned lounge than here. It was great for taking photos however, and lovely at night.
Apart from these spaces, the ship had a tiny souvenir shop (only open for an hour each morning) and reception area, and little else. All the other space was given over to cabins. So don’t expect life on board this ship to be like that on the big cruise liners. There were a few organised activities (quizzes and games in the bar, gentle exercises on the Sun Deck each morning), but mostly this is about relaxing and watching the beautiful castles, villages and hills sail past as you sip a coffee or something stronger in the bar, or catch some rays up on the Sun Deck.
Our accommodation was, naturally, on board our ship, La Bohème. It has capacity for 164 passengers in 80 cabins. These are distributed over two decks, Upper and Main, with those on the Upper Deck costing around £100 more per person. We had hoped to get one of these for my mother in law, as the Main Deck is below and she is not great at stairs, but we could only get Main Deck cabins and as it turned out she coped very well.
Apart from location, and the fact that some had a double bed and some two twins, all the cabins seemed to be identical. There is not a lot of space as these river ships are necessarily quite narrow, but there are all the basic facilities you need carefully fitted into that space – some cupboard space and under-bed storage, a safe, wall-mounted TV (which as the ship is a French one had both French and German channels), small desk and the bed itself. The latter was on the small side and not the most comfortable I have slept in, especially when combined with the engine noise on the nights when we were sailing. On the plus side, all the cabins have a good sized window and all are well above the waterline, so views of the passing scenery are good – although on the couple of nights when we moored alongside other ships we had to keep our curtains closed as our window looked directly into that of the passengers opposite! And another big plus in the heat-wave that Germany was experiencing just then was the efficient and adjustable air-conditioning.
The compact (some might say tiny!) bathroom is designed on a wet room basis, making good use of what little space there is. The shower was good and shower gel provided, but no other toiletries.
All in all we were pretty happy with our little base for the journey, and as we spent relatively little time there the small size was not an issue.
My mother and I went to the very small village of Meddersheim. I had looked for a hotel or a B&B there and found the Menschels Vital Resort. It is the only hotel there, so I booked it.
Again I had asked for a room on ground floor, but when I checked in we were given two singles in second floor, 45! steps( I counted them ) up and no lift. I said there was no way my mother could manage this,I didn't mind the second floor, but it was simply impossible for my mother. All of a sudden a very nice single was available, in a separate building without any steps at all.
I got a room on second floor, a double for single use. The bedroom was quite large, but the bathroom seemed to have been in a wardrobe, it was long and narrow and surprisingly there was a steep step up to it.
We were asked if we planned to eat in the restaurant. There is the choice of three different main courses, but no separate menu and also no prices. I asked how much dinner was and nobody could tell me, something "between 25 and 35 Euro" I was told. Again the same kind of vagueness which I had encountered when I had asked about a room on ground floor. Everybody was very friendly, but nobody seemed to know exactly what was going on.
We also had to choose between three different times to eat, 18:30,19:30 and 20:30.(This reminded me of a clinic , not of a hotel.)
Only organic food is used and our dinner was fantastic.First course was a carrot soup, then I had eggplant and tofu, my mother had potatoes and yams with cheese and nuts. Dessert was home-made icecream. Everything was very good, but even considering the higher prices of organic food I found 25 Euro - that's what it turned out to be - too much. We had a very good local wine with our dinner. Meddersheim is in the Nahe region, one of the best wine growing regions in Rheinland-Pflaz.
Breakfast was equally good. It was included in the room rate, but here I think it was worth more than 20 Euro. There was a large buffet with lots of organic cereal, cheeses,jams, freshly pressed juices, several sorts of bread, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs... There was even an extra table for people with lactose intolerance.
This is puzzling place. A mixture between a hotel and a clinic, with lots of extras like yoga courses, massages,a gym, guided walks etc. There is a doctor in the building and I'm still not sure if the people staying there are considered patients or hotel guests.
We saw mostly elderly people, many with walking problems and using canes or walkers, but no lift. Even to get to the breakfast room you need to walk three steps.
Since this used to be an old mansion with several barns and other buildings, which all had to be renovated, I don't understand why no lift has been added.
The old park is beautiful, large, old trees, I even heard a nightingale singing.Just for the park alone I would like to stay there longer.
Kastellaun is a small town in the Hunsrück mountains. Techno fans will have heard of it, as the Nature One festival is held near-by. It's also quite close to Hahn airport.
I had booked three singles in the Hotel Badische Kellerey, a hotel consisting of a newer and an older building.One of the rooms needed to be accessible without many steps, as my mother has problems with stairs.The owner did her best to make our stay comfortable. The only ground floor room is in the old building, which used to be the old vicarage. There are a few steps up into the building, though.
The ground floor room was large, a double room for single use, with wide doors and a large bathroom.
The singles are all in the modern building, but the owner said she was sure we'd all like to stay in the same building, so I got another double for single use and my sister even got a huge family room. A very nice gesture!
The old vicarage is an old house, and the floors were creaking and the furniture is not the most modern. But it was comfortable and the bathrooms were modern and I rather have a modern shower and an old bed than vice versa.
We really enjoyed our stay there.
Breakfast consisted of a buffet, cheese, cold cuts, jams etc. We were asked if and how we wanted our eggs, they were freshly cooked as we wanted them. I was even given the choice between two kinds of black tea, something I didn't expect in such a small town.
Breakfast was included in the very reasonable rate, my mother even got a senior citizen's discount.
We also had dinner in the restaurant, it was excellent.That's a hotel and a restaurant I can really recommend.
When I was in Speyer some time ago, I fell in love with this beautiful hotel, just by seeing its entrance. All covered with wild wine, looking lovely and cosy. I was very much amazed to read that they have special offers for the night from Sunday to Monday: 50% off all rooms ! It was only logical that I timed our recent visit in Speyer so that we could stay in this marvellous hotel for half the price. As we stayed here the day of beatification, it was impossible to drive to the hotel during daytime, but I already have told them about our late check-in (9 pm).
The staff is very helpful, very efficient. You can arrange all via phone or email, including paying with your credit card. The hotel itself is a gem, just look at the pictures ! As we were out in the town during the day, and in a restaurant nearby for dinner, we could not take advantage of the nice seating in the courtyard (haha, we would have gotten wet anyhow), but it must be a pleasure to do so in warm weather.
The rooms are spacious, mine (single room) had a big size bed (see pic). TV and mini-bar is in the room as well. Bathroom is spacious as well, and has all you need (including hair dryer).
The price includes buffet style breakfast, and it was very much difficult to decide what to eat. You have the choice of different kind of cereals, eggs (your style), marmelade, Nutella (the nut spread), butter and margerine, a big selection of cheese and cold cuts, a variety of fresh fruits, yoghurts and all kind of bread (including crispy rolls, ahh yamm…). They serve coffee, orange juice, tomato juice and multivitamin juice as well. And you can select your tea among 20 different tastes (green, black and herb tea).
Yes, it was a very wonderful experience, and I am already planning my next stay here (as a Christmas gift for my parents, to invite them here for asparagus season next year).
One remark though (Joan will write it anyhow, haha :-) ). The hotel is very close to the Cathedral. The Cathedral has very beautiful carillons (yes, although I never paid attention to carillons). But… they ring every 15 minutes. I am used to background noise (as I live close to Frankfurt Airport), but if you are not used to noise, bring earplugs to make your stay here very much enjoyable :-).
In October 2006 I paid 49 Euro for a single room at the special Sunday rate. Normal price would be 92 Euro. Doubles at the Sunday rate are 56 Euro, normal price 112 Euro.
Update: the Sunday rate in 2009 per single room is now 57 Euro and standard double room 73 Euro. This is still reasonable.
They also offer all different kind of special arrangements, like Christmas and New Year specials, honeymoon specials, brewery specials (haha, I know who would love that), winter specials, Easter specials, and so on.
Look it up at their website. Unfortunately only in German. But if you need help with the translation, just contact me.
Location of Domhof Hotel, Speyer, on Google Maps
© Ingrid D., June 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.), update March 2011: location on Google Maps added.
Rheinland Pfalz. One of my favourite places to visit.
My favourite wandering area in Germany is the Südlicheweinstrasse (Southern wine route) in Rheinland-Pfalz. Reinland-Pfalz is the warmest corner of the country. It has the largest and oldest mixed forest in Europe. A wine tasting and traditional home-cooking paradise. Wine festival time is Whitsuntide and September.
The vineyards run for miles along pleasantly undulating hills in the shadow of the forest. Small villages are nestled in the valleys and on top of the hills. Each village has it's wine and food delights.
Our favourite place to stay is Rhodt (http://www.rhodt-unter-rietburg.de/ ), a charming, relaxing, friendly village with a good selection of tipples to try..
Beautiful countryside, friendly people, good food, good wines, not commercialised.
Every village has a large selectionof guesthouses, reasonably priced. Many allow dogs (the last charged Euro 1,00/night extra :-).
"Malerwinkel" is normally a place, where painters will sit in order to get a perfect view of a beautiful landscape. And this place in the back of the village of Bacharach is such a romantic place -far away from the noises in the Rhine-valley - at a small brook and far below the castle of Stahleck.
This Pension is my favorite place to spend the night in Bacharach, besides the Hostel in Stahleck-castle of course ! Hiking to the castle takes about 20 minutes from there and 5 minutes to the river Rhine.
NO train-noises here at all!
Berghotel auf der Loreley is a hotel built on the very top of the Loreley-rock, with a great terrace and plenty of possibilities for hikings. Next to it there is also the large Loreley-camping-site and a giant car-park .
The Room-prices are moderate :
All rooms have private facilities, TV and telephone
43 Euros is the singleroom, including breakfast
75 Euros for the doubleroom, including breakfast
and for longer stays you even get a discount !
The small hotel has just 23 rooms and besides the perfect view of the Rhine-valley it offers a quiet vacation far away from the noises by trains and cars. I had an excellent dinner there and it was somehow strange to see that except me there were just 4 other guests in the restaurant. That is a pity, because the food was delicious.
NO train-noises here at all!
When driving through the Mosel-valley, you will realize, that you will find mainly rather small hotels & B&Bs and most of them will not have their own webpage. Therefore I added some links below, that will give you at least some informations about places to stay in the WHOLE valley of the river Mosel / Moselle !
Hotels, B&B Guesthouses
Camping-sites along the Mosel / Moselle
places to park you motorhome along the Mosel
Ferienwohnung = private appartments to rent
Youth-hostels along the river Mosel
Burg Rheinfels dates back to the year 1245 and it is partly a ruin today and a modern ****hotel was added close to castle-museum. They have a great restaurant and terrace with a perfect view of the Rhine-valley.
The very best about this hotel is the perfect Rhine-view that you have from many of their rooms and from the hotel-terrace, and as you may see on one of my pictures, they even provide motor-scooters fro their hotel-guests..
NO train-noises here at all!
Schlosshotel Schönburg in Oberwesel is certainly one of the very best and most exclusive castle-hotels along the river Rhine. The old castle dates back to the 10th century and today the castle is used partly as a luxury hotel and as a "Kolpingheim / hostel" and a hotel next to the castle.
Schlosshotel Schönburg in Oberwesel has a great terrace with a perfect view of the Rhine-valley. You have to leave your car at the parking and your luggage will be taken with a small truck to the hotel. all of the great rooms are facing the river and also the restaurant is well known for its perfect cuisine...
NO train-noises here at all!
Burg Stahleck in Bacharach might be the highlight for your stay in the Rhine- and Mosel-valley, in case that you are a budget-traveller and have to search for a cheap price of your accomodation. Burg Stahleck offers a perfect panorama-view over the Rhine-valley at moderate prices - see the link to their webpage !
You may enter the castle freely and without restriction. As a hostel-guest you may even use the great table-tennis at one of the terraces - see my pictures !!
NO train-noises here at all!
This lovely hotel and restaurant in Ruedesheim am Rhein is in a sidestreet , quite in a distance from the famous Drosselgasse and its noises of day and night.
Hotel Stadt Frankfurt has a lovely garden restaurant and a really beautiful half-timbered facade.
In that area, you will certainly hear NO noises at all from the trains rushing through the Rhine-valley about every half hour, day and night.
NO train-noises here at all!
This camping is in a side-valley of the Rhine, in Lahnstein, not far from Koblenz. In a distance of just about 100 meters you may see a great castle : Burg Lahneck - read more about it under my tips "off the beaten path"
The camping Lahneck is on a mountain, about 400 meters from the river, so the floods of the river are NO problem there, BUT unfortunately also the view on the Rhine-valley is missing from there, but from the nearby restaurant you may at least see the castle Kapellen-Stolzenfels.
NO train-noises here at all!
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