In our 15-day European road trip last summer, we have stayed overnight in 8 different places. While I absolutely love putting together an itinerary of cultural and fun attractions, choosing where to stay is a daunting task (and the amount of time spent looking for that perfect hotel for your budget does not directly relate to how much you will like the place.) So, what’s the solution? I’d say follow the advice of the travelers you trust, with similar tastes (and budgets!)
There were a couple of good finds on our trip and I would like to share them with you.
Part 1: Hotels or Apartments? Aparthotels!
On this trip we found the perfect combination of our hotel “wants” in an aparthotels: they offered the space and kitchens of the apartments with hotel luxuries of a 24-hour concierge and access to recreation facilities on site.
The best deal of our trip was a €85 a night Hotel Klosterhotel Ludwig der Bayer, in a small town of Ettal, in the Bavarian Alps (Germany).
Other than visiting a 14th century monastery, there is not much to do in the town of Ettal itself, but it is a convinient base to explore nearby Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles, the towns of Obermargau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and Lake Plansee.
The Monastery is right across the street from the hotel (hence the hotel’s name: Kloster means a “monastery” in German.)
Main Klosterhotel building connects to Bavarian-style cottages; our 1-bedroom apartment was located in one of the cottages.
The rustic-style apartment (think wood paneling everywhere) had large living/dining room with pull out coach and a balcony, that connected via a hallway to a spacious bedroom with 2 beds (a queen and single) and a separate fully equipped kitchen.
There was an onsite restaurant with half and full board options which we did not partake in. (We did pick up a very tasty schnitzel on Sunday night when we did not realize that German supermarkets are closed.) Freshly baked bread buns were delivered daily to your door free of charge.
We took a daily advantage of the onsite swimming pool and hot tub. Spa area offered free of charge for those aged 14+ was also a welcome treat after a very busy day of sightseeing.
Our other countryside “find” on this roadtrip was Hotel le Menestrel in Ribeauville, France (Alsace). This being France, everything was pricier than in Germany, but for a comparably reasonable €150 we had ourselves a modern and spacious one-bedroom apartment. If hotel Klosterhotel Ludwig der Bayer was the best deal of our trip, Hotel le Menestrel was the most comfortable (but still budget) accommodation of our trip.
We chose the village of Ribeauville as a base for our visit to Alsatian countryside because of its picturesque “looks” and also due to its convenient location “in the middle” of the wine route.
Hotel le Menestrel is located an easy 10-minute walk from the center of the village. The vineyards (and wine tasting) are right outside of the hotel which is convenient for a quick parents-only mid-day break.
Our apartment was part of the condominium apartment building next door to Hotel le Menestrel.
We had a full kitchen opening to a living room, a bedroom, a large bathroom (with separate toilet,) and a terrace with the view onto the vineyards.
We enjoyed a daily cleaning services provided by the hotel, but did not take advantage of the on site gym and hot tub.
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