Germany Tour: Peter Hardy

Hi Martin

Here are some more detailed comments:

Rental Car – we were upgraded from Merc C-Class to Volvo XC70 wagon which was perfect for us. Much bigger and we would not have fit our luggage in the smaller car. The language for the GPS was set in German and it took us quite a while to work out how to change this to English (as one had to know German in order to work through the menu). Eventually an Avis employee assisted but I suspect only because we were being very slow in exiting the carpark which was needed for the next vehicle!

Hotel Zur Krone

Wonderful quiet hotel – perfect start to the tour and sorry it was just for one night. Lovely family – very welcoming. We were very tired after long haul flight from NZ but still managed dinner in the restaurant – superb! Breakfast at this hotel was by far the best of the tour – simply amazing way to start the next day. Highly recommended.

Burg Colmberg

Fantastic hotel full of character and history. Staff not as friendly as many other places but still very efficient. Reception and indeed access to the hotel itself is closed between 11am and 3pm – we were very lucky to be accommodated as we arrived just after 11am and would have had a long wait otherwise. We noticed on leaving that staff were very insistent that all guests post a tripadvisor review – it seemed more important to them than whether we genuinely enjoyed ourselves. Still a great hotel – breakfast was lovely. Highlight was meeting a couple of retired German forestry workers and sharing a long conversation about the region and our respective countries.

Landhaus Orphee

We messed up with the GPS and arrived down a very narrow cobbled lane in Regensburg at the Grand Orphee – wrong hotel! Only stressful moment of our entire drive as there was barely enough room to escape and plenty of strange looks from the pedestrians!! Anyway the correct hotel is very unassuming to look at but an absolute delight inside. Wonderful rooms and very friendly hosts. Breakfast was special being served in the room – our children loved it and felt very special. Fantastic location for the city. Highly recommended for families.

Schlosshotel Iglhauser

Another unique experience! No check in formalities – just given keys to our rooms and complimentary drinks. The hotel did a large load of laundry for us but no change on checking out – nor were we charged for other drinks while we were there. We asked and were told definitely no charge for anything! Lovely relaxing time here though there was a wedding on and many of the staff seemed very busy. The owner is charming – not much English but tried his best and always paid us attention. Beautiful breakfast. Only negative were the mosquitoes – no fault of the hotel!

Parkhotel Tristachersee

Amazing hotel. So professional and charming. Meticulous attention to detail and wonderful hospitality from great hosts. We were lucky to arrive for Sunday evening and the cocktail reception followed by 6 course dinner. Half board option here was perfect for us – the children tried food they had never had before. Wonderful kitchen – we felt very spoiled here. Most of the guests were far older (mostly 60+ I would have guessed) and we seemed the only ones with children but still not out of place. Travel to get here was stunning on the Alpine Road and up to the Grossglockner glacier – a very memorable trip. This hotel was one of the top 3 highlights of our trip and very highly recommended.

Locanda al Leon

Beautiful hotel in an ideal location in Venice. The only hotel on our trip with air-conditioning and it was an oasis. The rooms were beautifully simple – not as overly baroque as some we saw. Lovely hosts – very welcoming and helpful. Point to note is that they are not allowed irons/ironing boards in rooms due to fire risk – so we struggled with wrinkled clothes for a few days! Breakfast was only average (we had been indulged too well at all prior hotels!) Loved Venice and the hotel was in a perfect position to explore this wonderful city. Parking was less stressful than we thought it would be however in looking for the “second” parking building we entered the Garage San Marco instead. This was fine though we had to leave our keys in the car so it could be moved (as they stack cars).

Schloss Hotel Korb

Another amazing place though had trouble finding it with GPS. Our unit told us we had arrived however we were in a dead end street 2 miles away. Eventually got there with GPS lat/long co-ordinates. Sitting on the deck for dinner looking out over the valleys of Bolzano and vineyards was magic. Wonderful restaurant and lovely facilities. Pool was lovely as it was very hot. We were there at a quiet time as staff says it can get very busy in school holidays. This hotel was another highlight for us – simply for the food and the views. Highly recommended.

Burghotel Falkenstein

We are starting to run out of superlatives by this time! What a breathtaking view from this hotel – another unique experience. The owners here were friendly but staff were a mixture – efficient but a bit cold at times. The restaurant was amazing – absolutely stunning meal on our first night. The rooms are crazy – I suspect taking their inspiration from Neuschwanstein! Music plays very softly in the hotel corridors – barely audible in the rooms however both nights (at about 1am) someone must have knocked the volume and it was turned up to maximum. Not sure of the problem but after half an hour someone managed to turn it off! The drive up is controlled by lights with a very rigid timetable – might pay to put the times in your notes for the future. Uphill travel is only possible from quarter past the hour until five to. So there is twenty minute period you have to wait.

Trip to Neuschwanstein was great day but we did not enjoy the crows of American and Japanese tourists! It made us realize that one of the best things about our travel prior was just how “local” it had been – we met local people and ate local food and just enjoyed the country. Apart from Venice this was our only real “tourist” stop.

Hotel Laimer Hof

Fantastic hospitality – lovely people who operate this hotel. The reception area acts as a meeting place and we shared many conversations with the staff and other guests here. It felt more like a home than a hotel and that is probably why it is reviewed so well. The rooms are only average – clean and tidy but quite a different standard to the prior hotels on our tour. But that did not matter because the hospitality was so warm. Our only regret here was that due to our itinerary we did not have longer in Munich as it is a wonderful city and there is so much to see. So for our next trip we shall start in Munich and then perhaps travel to the north and west!

Overall

Martin – we cannot thank you enough for arranging this wonderful, fantastic tour. Every step of the journey we were fascinated by the array of accommodation, the diverse landscape, superb food (and beer!) and the many people we met along the way. It always seems a risk to book a tour via the internet with someone who you have never met – It is a lot of money and risk. But every detail you arranged worked perfectly and we have complete trust in you and Umfulana. We will recommend you to our friends and are very happy to give a reference if you have any other prospective clients from NZ who are unsure of booking with you.

Many, many thanks from the Hardy family!

Peter