Where to Stay in Germany
When it comes to hotels, Germans do it right. Whether budget and spare, or luxurious and opulent, German lodgings tend to be wonderfully spic and span. You’ll find top-quality accommodations throughout Germany to rest your travel-weary bones at the end of the day. From a chic, big-city design hotel to a cozy village Gasthof to life on the farm at a Bauernhof, there’s a broad spectrum of choices wherever your journey takes you.
German hotels adhere to a high standard, and you’ll find that even the most basic offerings are scrupulously clean and comfortable. Of course, as the number of stars goes up, so do the amenities, and you can count on the largest and best city hotels to offer concierge services and fine dining. If you prefer something more intimate, Gasthöfe (country inns that also serve food) offer a great value. You can also opt to stay at a winery's Winzerhof or at an historic castle (Schloss). Families can consider a Familienhotel, which cater to children with special menus, activities, pools, and play areas. Depending on the hotel, rates are calculated by room or by person. Prices are generally higher in summer, so consider visiting during the off-season. Most resorts offer between-season (Zwischensaison) and off-season (Nebensaison) rates, and tourist offices can provide lists of hotels that offer low-price weekly packages (Pauschalangebote). It's wise to avoid cities during major trade fairs as rates skyrocket. Consider staying in nearby towns and commuting in.
If you’re looking for a more personal—and less expensive—alternative to a hotel, B&Bs are a good choice. Often called Pensions, they offer simple rooms and friendly, helpful staff. Keep in mind that not all rooms will have a private bathroom, but your stay will, of course, include breakfast. Another option is a Fremdenzimmer, meaning simply "rooms," normally in private houses. These are found most often in resort towns. And although it’s not nearly as private as staying in a hotel or inn, it will give you a peek at how the locals live. For a taste of rural life, try an Urlaub auf dem Bauernhof, a farm that rents rooms.
Apartment and House Rentals
To really get a sense of how the natives live, rent a house or apartment. Known as Ferienwohnung or Ferienappartements, it’s a popular option in Germany. In a city, you’ll feel the pulse of a neighborhood, or in the country you might step out onto your balcony to take in a mountain view. When traveling with family or a group, a private home may be a better deal than booking multiple hotel rooms. Not to mention that you’re likely to end up with more space.
Germany has a long-established tradition of spa towns (Kurorte). Officially recognized for having special mineral waters, particularly fresh sea air, or other health-enhancing natural resources, these spa towns are found throughout the country, and often have lovely hotels for visitors who want to relax and improve their health. Look for sauna and massage on offer, here.Updated: 03-2014
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