This post has been pending for too long on my blog. I never could get this done with all the craziness that was happening last year with work, my grandfather’s cancer, and all the travel. Hopefully it’s not too late to write about what I regard as perhaps one of all time favorite European hotel stays. So needless to say that this is Germany from the pre-covid days.
The drive from Munich Airport took about 2 hours and it was spectacular seeing the Bavaria in the early summer days with the abundance of flowers and snow capped peaks in the distance. I thoroughly enjoyed driving on the Autobahn as always, but especially this time because Hertz decided to upgrade me to a Volvo XC90 free of charge (the standard size Mercedes I had booked was unavailable).
German roads are so smooth and the scenery is always awesome through the window throughout Bavaria. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to take pictures because I was too busy driving so you will see these videos in my upcoming vlog post.
Booking the Hotel:
I booked the hotel using Hotels.com, since I have no status or points available with the Best Western hotel chain. I used a free night and paid an all inclusive rate of around ~$350 for the other night. This seemed to be a very reasonable rate considering breakfast, afternoon snacks, and evening dinner were all covered. Just for your reference, the rates in June were averaging in the $400s so I think we got in just before peak season in the area.
Arrival and Checkin:
We arrived in the town of Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden at around noon, a good three hours before our designated check in time of 3 pm local time. We went to the lobby in hopes that they would allow us to check in early, but apparently the rooms were still being cleaned at that moment.
While we waited for the room we decided to go for a walk. The hotel is located in the midst of some spectacular scenery and right across from the picturesque Parish Church of St. Sebastian. It happens to be one of the most photographed churches in all of Bavaria so you may have seen it somewhere.
After relaxing and enjoying the views for a bit, we returned to the hotel to find that our keys were ready for us. The receptionist was welcoming and efficient in letting us know where everything was located. It wasn’t altogether personal, but she was the only one at the rather busy front desk.
Our rooms were located in the building across from the pool, which is about a 8 minute walk from the lobby and the hotel restaurant. The cleaning service were just heading out of the room when we arrived so I guess cleaning service hadn’t finished yet?
The hotel room was a spacious space with tasteful wood finishes and modern undertones. The room truly had some character everywhere from the lamps to the flooring.
The restroom was to the right as soon as you entered the room. There was a soaking tub, walk in shower, and toiletries by DAMANA, a brand I’ve never heard about.
The room we were staying in felt like a junior suite in terms of space. There was a large double bed and daybed couch in the sitting area (where I ended up bc they didn’t have a room with two beds). My parents’ room was an identical mirror image to mine.
There wasn’t any welcome amenity, but they did leave us some water and a couple of chocolates next to the bed.
The highlight of the entire room had to be the view from the balcony. You had a good view of the mountains and the village of Ramsau with the hotel pool in the foreground. This is pretty much where I spent my afternoons listening to the rain and falling asleep.
I should note here that the hotel did not have air conditioning, but I didn’t find it necessary given the mild temperatures and rainy, cool days.
Wi-Fi was free and fast throughout the hotel and the hotel offered amenities like robes as well as a day pack, hiking poles, umbrellas and any hiking gear you may need to explore the area. I’m guessing by the looks of the bedding that this hotel sees a lot of honeymooners? There weren’t many people staying while we were there, but then again we were there during the middle of the week.
The hotel offers an afternoon cake time at the hotel restaurant/bar from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. The desserts and cakes are free but you have to pay for the drinks. They had a couple of varieties of cakes and cookies. They were all delicious.
If you order tea, do remember that one pot is probably enough for two people. Rates are fairly reasonable at 4 Euros for a tea, though I did tip 15 percent for the service.
On another note, I completely loved the ambiance of the hotel bar. It felt very much like I was sitting at the Green Dragon Inn from Lord of the Rings. I could definitely see myself reading a book in a corner.
Breakfast is served everyday at the hotel restaurant from 7:30 am to 10:30 am. It featured all your usual continental breakfast options and eggs were available for order.
There was fresh fruit, jams, cheese, milk and the breads were all made in house every morning.
Breakfast also featured some champagnes, wines, and some items which are available on the menu. Coffee was freshly made and brought to the table.
Dinner is served at the hotel restaurant everyday from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. Regardless of whether you have dinner, your table is reserved for you ahead of time so that hotel guests are prioritized over outsiders. Since this is Germany, there was a very good selection of vegetarian food alongside some more classic local dishes.
Everything in the buffet was included in the room rate and there was enough for a 5 course meal. Alcoholic and other beverages (when not in the buffet) will cost extra though.
Chefs serve the guests directly and explain each dish completely before serving it. All the ingredients come straight from local farms. Upon hearing that we were vegetarian, the chef got really excited and got us a plate of everything that was vegetarian on the menu card. This included potatoes, some pasta, pickled veggies, baked eggplant and some other stir fried veggies.
Everything was super delicious and it had me going back for seconds.
I was also crazy about the pretzel bread they had on offer (also one of my favorite things on Lufthansa). We topped off the meals with some fresh strawberries and cream. Oh man it was absolutely heavenly stuff.
I absolutely appreciated the kind, enthusiastic service as well as the quality of the food. I’ve paid for meals at hotel restaurants before which weren’t even half as good as this meal. And if this were America, forget having vegetarian options.
Spa, Pool, and Gym
I didn’t get a chance to use the hotel spa or pool because of the rainy weather and our being away from the hotel for most of the day. However the views from it are some of the best I’ve seen anywhere. I was regretting not taking a dip in the pool the very first night.
I did sit on the hotel lounge chairs (which are swings) and listened to the ambience. You can hear the nearby river and smell some clean, crisp mountain air.
I did not use the hotel gym during my stay. There are too many trails to explore and hike to waste time at a gym 🙂 I’d rather rent a bike or climb a mountain.
Checkout was a swift process. I had already paid for the rooms up front with hotels.com so we had nothing due so we just left the keys and drove off.
The Best Western Villa Rehlegg is perhaps my favorite hotel in Europe at the moment. The food is delicious, the staff are genuinely friendly, and the hotel grounds and environs are just straight up peaceful. I could definitely see myself spending a a few more nights at this hotel in the future. Let’s not also forget that you are in the midst of one of the most beautiful places in the world: the Bavarian Alps. There are so many hiking trails and things to do. Maybe I should consider staying at a Best Western Pluses more often?
I can’t help but feel pangs of nostalgia as I sit here writing about it now in the midst of the pandemic. How has your hotel experience been since the start of the pandemic? To all the Europeans reading this, how have hotel stays changed over there?
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