It is hard to find a way to describe the experience of finding this hotel. I had been driving with my friends for many hours, from Geneva, and we were all very weary by the time we got to Stein am Rhein.
We searched for a hotel and found a hotel/camping spot, but there were no rooms at the inn. As we drove away, turning our heads back towards Schaffhausen (thinking we might have better luck there) my friend spotted a tiny sign which pointed towards the fields. "Why not" we thought and turned off the main drag.
As we wound our way through the fields, we had some second thoughts, as we didn't know exactly where we would end up, but it certainly didn't look like it would be somewhere good! Another tiny sign, and turn off, and there it was. We saw tall white wrought iron fences, and a little further on a welcoming archway.
As we followed the path, we were enchanted by the picturesque garden, with its duck pond, leafy trees and garden ornaments. Our expectations weren't high, for a strange hotel in a tiny town, but boy were we in for a surprise! The elegant entry way took us through to a reception area where we were greeted very warmly. We asked if there was a room for some weary travellers, which indeed there was.
The lady (who turned out to be Ruth, the owner) said that she would just go set up the room, but that, in the meantime, had we seen the fountain? "fountain? What fountain?" was the reply.
She directed us through the bar, and out in to the side of the hotel. Then, much to our great surprise, the music of the blue danube started, lights flared, and voila, the fountain burst into life! The immense fountain leapt and bounced in time to the music, with coloured lights blazing. We were at first speechless, and then grins spread across our faces. What an amazing find in the middle of the fields. I grabbed my sister by the arm and we started waltzing around the fountain, laughing until we hurt.
After that, one could be forgiven for thinking that the rest of the hotel would be an anticlimax! But no, the bar itself had a waterfall running along the edge of it and down the centre. As we wandered through the main building of the hotel, what really struck us was that the owners had spared no expense, to make this into their dream hotel.
No detail was overlooked, anywhere. Our room was spacious, had everything in it that we could desire, and was absolutely spotless. The bathroom was perfectly appointed, again with thoughtful touches.
That night we walked around the corner to a local restaurant recommended by our hostess, and enjoyed a great Swiss meal. It was lovely to walk back, enjoying the cool dark night air, and enter through our own private entrance to our room.
In the morning we headed to the dining room for one of the best breakfasts I have been offered in years. Drinks included juice, an individual pot of coffee for those who desired it, a choice of hot chocolates, and an extraordinary range of teas and herbal tisanes. There were cold meats and cheese, some scrumptious fresh breads, hot boiled eggs in the cutest egg cups, and a wide range of cereals to enjoy. Just delightful from start to finish.
The most outstanding characteristic of this hotel would of course, be the fountain. The hotel has a swimming pool (which they enclose in winter!) and all the mod cons, but ultimately it was the warmth of the owners, the charm of the place itself, and the superb attention to cleanliness and details that will bring me back and make me recommend this as my favourite hotel in the world. I have been almost reluctant to post this review as part of this wants to keep it my little secret!
A friend of mine booked this hotel for me at the last minute, so I had no idea what to expect. It is a very unique place set out in the middle of the countryside. The view in all directions is across farm fields, with the hills seen way over on the other side of the River Rhein (see the other photo). The hotel grounds are surrounded by bushes. Inside is an amazing garden, a swimming pool, and many statues. The room was decorated with an individual touch; I'm sure all the rooms are different. It's a high-class place and the restaurant offers fine dining. Service was good. I would stay there again.
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