Here’s the very last part of my series on the Hotel Bareiss in Baiersbronn. I hope it will be short. I’ll try to make it so, as I will also be doing my customary “top ten things I learned” post, for those who can’t be bothered to read the whole series.
Sunday night, after dinner, we found a letter from the hotel management thanking us for our stay. The letter was in English, but it had a couple of rather glaring errors in it. I know this sounds really “uppity” of me to notice, especially since I understood it perfectly. But, I’m afraid I am a bit of a stickler about such things, especially since so many people speak English at the hotel, and the errors were pretty basic (ie; not capitalizing the word “dear”). Also, this hotel charges out the wazoo, and purports to exact high standards in all things. So I wasn’t very impressed by the letter, which thanked us for staying, offered instructions for checking out, and requested us to fill out a survey, which I was happy to do. One thing that was lacking in the room, or maybe I just never found it, was a pen. Fortunately, other hotels were more generous, and I had a couple in my purse. 😉
I didn’t sleep well the last night, because I woke up at about 3:00 am needing the bathroom. When I was finished there, I was wide awake, which prompted me to look at Facebook. That was a mistake, since that was when I saw the comment about my trout looking like it was vomited on, and that irritated me. I probably should book a meditation vacation next. I need to stop being annoyed by dumb things.
I did finally drift off to sleep again, and we got up at about 7:30 am. We packed everything up before heading off for our last breakfast. Then Bill fetched the car key fob from the “mailbox” in the lobby, so he would have it ready for the porter who came to help us with our bags. The same very kind gentleman in the green blazer arrived quickly to load us up and get us on our way. I took a couple of photos of the minibar, which I never managed to look at during our stay. It was pretty well stocked! I didn’t see a price list, but I’m sure nothing in there was cheap. They did provide us with daily waters and fruit. I took the fruit home, since I knew they would be throwing it out, anyway.
Bill settled the bill, which came to about 4800 euros. That was for the room, half board, a la carte dining, drinks, tips, taxes, an energy surcharge (thanks Putin), and parking in a private garage. Yes, it was a lot of money, but it was less than we would have spent on a luxury cruise. We don’t do big ships– we do smaller lines like SeaDream and Hebridean– and if we ever cruise again, we’ll probably do a French barge cruise. We would have easily spent more than that for a week on a boat, plus we probably would have had to fly to reach the vessel. This was a lot like being on a cruise, but having access to our car. I like not being a captive audience!
Thankfully, right now the dollar is in the very rare position of being worth more than the euro is. So actually, we spent about $4700. What a bargain! 😉
Of course, you don’t have to spend that much to enjoy Baiersbronn. The area has a bunch of lodging options to fit any budget. In fact, I was looking at another hotel– four stars– that is rated higher than Bareiss is on TripAdvisor. Because it has fewer facilities, it’s less expensive. And it is important to note that in Europe, five stars doesn’t necessarily mean service is five star. The stars indicate the facilities available and supposed luxuries. So you could stay at a perfectly basic but wonderful one star hotel that just offers a bed and a toilet. Or you could stay at a really shitty five star place that has a big pool and a business center. Keep that in mind.
I do think the Bareiss Hotel is a beautiful property and, for the most part, I was very pleased by the service. Most everybody was very pleasant, and the facilities are very good. My only quibble was that some of the decor was kind of dated looking to me. The color scheme included a lot of pinks, greens, and mauves, with lots of gold fixtures, if you catch my drift. Yes, it’s a hotel with a long history, having been founded in 1951 as the Kurhotel Mitteltal by Hermine Bareiss, and the quaintness is part of its charm. But there were a few areas that looked like they could use a coat of paint or maybe an updated color scheme. Of course, making those changes would result in higher prices.
I did love the uniforms everyone wore. The dirndls were especially pretty, and it looked like they had several styles. I don’t like wearing uniforms, but I would feel beautiful in some of the dirndls they had for the ladies. A dirndl is a rare dress that actually flatters my figure.
Once Bill paid the tab, we got in the car and headed home. Just as we were leaving the valley, the sun came out and there was beautiful sunshine. Figures. It would have been a good day to go to the waterfalls. Maybe next time we’ll make it there. I did get some pictures from the drive out of the Schwarzwald. It’s so beautiful there. I do like Wiesbaden, but it lacks a lot of the landscape and natural beauty of Baden-Württemberg. Since I lived in that area for a total of six years in two and four year stints, it will always have a piece of my heart. I feel like I’m going home when I visit BW, even though my actual home is Virginia.
So now we’re back in Wiesbaden, and it’s time to face the music with our sweet Arran. He survived the Hundepension just fine, and is still chipper at this point. I know it’s temporary, but it’s good to see him, and Noyzi who, just today, is celebrating two years of life with us. We brought him home two years ago today. Who knows what’s in store for us? We could have a rough winter. So I’m glad we took this trip. I don’t think I’ll forget our experience at Hotel Bareiss anytime soon… especially since they sent us home with a parting gift.
Tomorrow, I will post my top ten things I learned rundown… Hope you’ll read it!