Ten things I learned in Bareiss style Baiersbronn…

Now that my latest blog series about Hotel Bareiss is complete, here’s my usual “ten things I learned” post. I find that these top ten lists tend to get read more than my “blow by blow” posts. Let’s face it! People don’t necessarily care about the minutiae of someone else’s vacation. On the other hand, sometimes including the small details is useful for some readers, or even just to myself, as I get older and duller. 😉

Anyway, here’s my list, even though we’ve done Baiersbronn before. I see that I didn’t do a ten things I learned list for our first Baiersbronn trip, so maybe it’s good to do one now. Here goes!

10. The Hotel Bareiss experience reminds me a little of being on a cruise ship.

The first time we visited Baiersbronn for more than a couple of hours, we stayed at Hotel Engel Obertal, which is a perfectly nice hotel that offers half board. But that hotel didn’t seem to be nearly as structured as Hotel Bareiss is. Yes, lunch was included in the daily rate there, but we didn’t feel like we HAD to eat lunch there. Although we didn’t HAVE to eat dinner at Hotel Bareiss either, the very heavy service component and knowing that we were paying for the food, anyway, made us feel obligated to eat there. And while it wasn’t a bad thing at all to dine at Hotel Bareiss, that aspect made me feel a little like I was on a cruise ship. The resort offers a lot of activities, too, like a cruise ship does.

9. Hotel Bareiss is very expensive, but offers an extremely high quality product.

When I compare Hotel Bareiss to Hotel Engel Obertal, I see some obvious similarities. However, Hotel Bareiss is an institution in Baiersbronn, and people come from all over to experience it. Service is mostly top notch, and they put a lot of effort into presenting a very pleasant experience for guests. That experience will cost you, of course! But if you have the means, and you just want to relax without worrying about anything, Hotel Bareiss might be just the place to go.

8. I wouldn’t call Hotel Bareiss a very “romantic” place for couples…

Although this is a five star resort hotel with a three star Michelin restaurant, it’s also a very family friendly place. There are lots of activities available for children, and they aren’t specifically prohibited from going into places. That means you might see them in the bar, or even in the sauna area. However, I did notice that visiting in late September/early October meant that most kids were in school, so their population was at a minimum during our visit. I would not book Bareiss in the summer if I was wanting to avoid running into families with children, though.

7. Baiersbronn and the Black Forest offer a lot to do outdoors. But maybe there’s not as many things to do inside. Planning for the weather is a good idea.

We suffered some rain during our visit, which made us not really want to venture out so much. A lot of the things I was thinking I’d like to do were strictly outside activities. There are some museums and other indoor activities for the resourceful, and the hotel offers excursions to nearby places like Strasbourg, France or Baden-Baden. The hotel also offers classes sometimes. For instance, they have culinary and wine courses that can be booked. I didn’t mind the rain so much, since we had such a hot, dry summer. Next time, maybe I’ll look for more inside opportunities, in case of inclement weather. Or, at the very least, I would bring clothes and shoes for wet weather. Baiersbronn is kind of a sleepy town, but there are other areas nearby that are well worth a visit.

6. Bring an extra bathing suit!

Hotel Bareiss has an AWESOME pool area, and it’s usable all year. If you like to swim or relax in the water, you may want to bring an extra bathing suit. They also have a dryer in the locker room that will wring most of the the water out in eight seconds.

5. You can bring your dog!

Although I tend to relax more when I travel without our dogs, I did miss them while we were at the Hotel Bareiss. I think Noyzi, in particular, would have loved the hotel. So many people brought their beautiful pooches with them, and there were a lot of amenities for them, including dog sitting! But bear in mind, if you do bring your dog, there are steep extra charges involved and not every room will be available to you.

4. Pack a nice outfit or two.

The Hotel Bareiss requests that guests dress nicely for dinner. That doesn’t necessarily mean putting on a dress or a suit, nor does it even mean they’ll turn you away at the door. But if you happen to be at the hotel on gala night, you will want to be dressy, as most people do put on their gladrags for the occasion. If you wear jeans and a sweatshirt, you might feel quite underdressed.

3. Don’t be afraid to try other area restaurants.

Baiersbronn is home to quite a few excellent restaurants besides the ones at Hotel Bareiss. Most are affiliated with other hotels, to include the ones at Hotel Traube Tonbach, another highly regarded hotel in the area. We ate at Traube Tonbach last year and had a very nice experience. We also tried the Meierei, which has a Michelin Plate, and liked that even more than the Michelin starred restaurant at the Traube Tonbach. But even if you aren’t into gourmet food, you can find really good eating in Baiersbronn. Especially if you like fresh trout, like I do!

2. You don’t have to spend a mint to stay in Baiersbronn…

It’s true that we dropped a load of euros at Hotel Bareiss. This year’s visit was about twice as expensive as last year’s, although we also stayed a day longer and in fancier digs. But if we’d wanted to, we could have easily bunked comfortably in less extravagant lodging and had a great time. In fact, in some ways, I think I might have preferred a less “structured” holiday. I don’t think I’m that into resorts and half board plans. I like having the freedom to try different places and do my own thing. Maybe next time we go to the Black Forest, we’ll try to find a self catering apartment in a different area.

1. On the other hand, I would NOT turn down another visit to Hotel Bareiss…

It really is a lovely hotel, with friendly and mostly professional staff, and magical surroundings. We really did enjoy ourselves, and would heartily recommend that others visit. Just remember that when you book Hotel Bareiss, you’re likely to be committed to going. You may wish to purchase travel insurance, in case you need to cancel. In our situation, I was worried about Arran being sick with lymphoma and needing us to come home to take care of him. However, he has now shown us that he is clearly not ready to leave us yet… so I’m glad we didn’t cancel! In fact, as I write this, he’s visiting the vet. I have a feeling she might be pleasantly surprised by how he’s doing today.

Well, that about does it for this year’s visit to the Schwarzwald. I hope this series has been entertaining, informative, and inspirational. If you’re living in Germany, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to visit The Black Forest. We completely missed it the first time we lived here. I’m so glad we came back and rectified that tragedy! And if you are into good food, especially fine dining, you may want to make a point of visiting Baiersbronn. As I mentioned in 2018, when we first heard of Baiersbronn, there are lots of (Michelin) “stars” in them there hills!


Baiersbronn in the Black Forest– Bareiss Style! Part eight

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.

It’s not Molton Brown, which were the toiletries in the bathroom… in fact, it’s better.

Tomorrow, I will post my top ten things I learned rundown… Hope you’ll read it!


Baiersbronn in the Black Forest– Bareiss Style! Part seven

Ah Sunday… our last full day at the luxurious Hotel Bareiss in Baiersbronn. Once again, I wondered if we might be able to venture to the waterfalls. Once again, I was disappointed by wind, rain, and the occasional teasing from the sun. Oh well. Now we have a reason to come back to Baiersbronn, or some other fancy resort in the area.

So what did we do on our last day? That was another pool day for us, and since I’ve already posted my pool photos in part four, I don’t have much to write about that, other than we discovered that the Bareiss has a really cool swimsuit dryer that wrings the water out of your bathing suit in eight seconds flat. I hadn’t noticed it during our first visit. Also, this was the day that I saw the nude lady in the jacuzzi, informing me that the sauna and steam room area at Hotel Bareiss is obviously clothing optional. I didn’t see any signs about that, although it’s well known in Germany that you don’t sit in a sauna or steam room while wearing a swimsuit. You will be properly bitched out for it, if you do!

Bill and I weren’t really interested in the saunas or steam rooms, anyway. After a few more turns in the indoor and outdoor saltwater pools, we just enjoyed the awesome outdoor hot tub in the sauna area, which we had all to ourselves. The sauna world also had a Kneipp walk pool, an icy cold plunge pool, foot baths, and an exit to the outside, where I assume one could walk around au naturale if they wanted to. I’ve heard being nude in public isn’t necessarily illegal in Germany, although it certainly would be noticed and frowned upon. But I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong. 😉

After we came back from the pool area, we decided to walk into town and have lunch at a restaurant at Hotel Lamm, another lodging facility located across the street from Hotel Bareiss. Hotel Lamm isn’t as fancy as Hotel Bareiss is, but it does have a pretty nice restaurant. As we were walking in, we noticed a large group of young folks in Trachten– traditional German clothing– and they were obviously headed to the Volksfest in Stuttgart. Or maybe they were going somewhere else, but they sure looked like they were going to party, and they could get the train and enjoy themselves safely.

The restaurant at Hotel Lamm is called Wipfel (Treetop), and it is staffed by young folks dressed in traditional Trachten. Our waitress switched to English as soon as she heard us speak, then apologized for not having a menu in English. It was okay, as we both speak German restaurant lingo pretty well.

I was still perturbed about the unpleasant reactions to my trout dish on Saturday, so I ordered another one! That one didn’t attract as much attention. Bill had beef with horseradish sauce. We shared a bottle of locally produced Riesling, a bottle of mineral water, and more farmer’s bread. I was impressed by the Wipfel, and the hotel itself looked nice. I’m sure it is a hell of a lot less expensive to stay there, too!

We walked around Baiersbronn a bit after a late lunch, then walked back to the Bareiss, gawking at all the Porsches, Mercedes, BMWs, Teslas and Volvos… I never thought we’d stay in such a place. When we married 20 years ago, we never went anywhere for fun, because we were broke. It wasn’t until we were married 3 years before we finally went on a trip that didn’t involve staying with family. We’ve come a long way.

Dinner at Bareiss on Sunday night was a more casual affair. I didn’t visit the buffet, but I believe vegetables was the theme. As it was, I just had one course from the menu, a filet mignon with roasted potatoes, and dessert. I wanted to try another steak, and was pleased that this time, the temperature was right. I also loved the dessert, which was a pistachio parfait.

Because it was our last night, and because I was thinking of Arran, who was named after a Scottish island in the Hebrides, Bill and I visited the bar one last time. I drank a couple of drams of whisky, while Bill had a cocktail and a wee dram of scotch. I was glad to see they had Glen Scotia from Campbeltown, but they didn’t have any Springbank!

The bartender, who had been a little aloof, was genuinely kind when we said we were going home. It was nice to hang out in her bar for a few days. But going home is better for the wallet! And, to be honest, as much as I enjoyed our visit, I was ready to come home. I think long trips are kind of hard for us, especially when things are structured, as they tend to be in resorts. I don’t know if or when we’ll be back to the Schwarzwald “on holiday”, but I would love to find a really nice self-catering house with great views of the mountains and the freedom to try different places for dinner.

On the other hand, of course I would also love to go to the Bareiss again. Stay tuned for part eight, which will close out this series.


Baiersbronn in the Black Forest– Bareiss Style! Part four

Friday morning, I was eager to see the pool and sauna areas of the hotel. I had a specific reason for this, and I apologize in advance, as many people will consider it TMI. I am 50 years old, but I’m not yet menopausal… and I knew that there was a good chance I would be visited by everybody’s favorite “Aunt Flow”. So I wanted to try the pool before that particular chore would make swimming more problematic. As it turned out, Aunt Flow decided to spare me, but on Friday, I wasn’t sure. So, that was where we spent our Friday morning, after breakfast, of course. I got a few more photos of the lavish offerings, which I will share below.

Bill and I went to the pool area before we got our bathing suits. We wanted to know what to expect. I took some photos for the blog, as no one was there at all during our initial visit. That alone makes the Bareiss Hotel kind of special. It has facilities that rival some of the awesome public spas we’ve visited in Germany, but I’ve never seen them empty like this… Imagine all of this all to yourself! It’s pretty great. Of course, in the summer, I’m sure it’s not like this at all. That’s why I suggest booking during the less popular times to travel, if you can manage it. Below are some photos from the pool area.

I didn’t get a good shot of the heated outdoor pool. That one can be entered from inside and accessed by a sliding door with an “eye”. It had bubbling rack where people can sit and get a massage, a flow channel, and a couple of massaging jets. I liked that pool, too, but it was too chilly and inconvenient to get a photo. The sun eventually came out, and I got a nice view of the area from the solarium.

Bill and I did not use the saunas or steam rooms. That was mainly because neither of us really care too much about them, and here in Germany, you have to be nude. I don’t mind being nude in the saunas or steam rooms, especially since everybody does it here. But the Bareiss doesn’t really have a lot of room for changing. I found only one dressing room, and I didn’t feel comfortable getting naked in the locker room, which was for everybody. They do have “spa kilts”, which really just looked like big towels. I didn’t want to mess with it. They also provide robes and slippers. We used the ones in our room, but I would have been more comfortable if I’d remembered to bring my own robe, which I know fits me properly. We did use the whirlpools in the sauna area, which were very nice. I think those were clothing optional, as we did see a naked lady in one of them. We just kept our suits on. Below are some photos from the sauna area and the shopping area.

There’s a swimming pond and an outdoor pool that we didn’t check out, due to the cool temperatures. In hot weather, they offer another option for swimming and sun worship.

I could have spent all day in the pool area. The one thing that seemed to be missing was waiter service. They did have the breakfast area set up, and I’m sure we could have ordered room service from the pool area. I still think it would have been good to have someone there full time to provide drinks or snacks to those who wanted them. I know it was technically available, since I saw one family getting service, but it’s not like anyone was obviously there for that purpose. I can’t complain, though, as the pool area is very relaxing and offers something for everyone. Especially the grownups! I did see that on Saturday night, which was the gala night, the kids’ program had a “pool party” after 7:00pm, which is when the pool area closes.

I also got some photos of the solarium and the gym area. No, I didn’t use either of them. 😀 And I got a few pictures of the shopping passage, where there are little boutiques selling jewelry, clothes, and gifts. If you want to, you can also get your hair done. I haven’t had mine professionally done since 2010. My dentist thought I colored my hair, but that, too, is natural as of 2017! The hard water in Germany makes coloring my hair too risky.

By the time we were finished with the pool, it was getting close to lunch time. We decided to have cake and coffee instead. Again, drinks aren’t included in the price of board, except at breakfast. But the cakes are included, and boy were they beautiful!

After we had cake, we decided to take a walk into town and visit the Apotheke. Bill was troubled by fullness in his ear and hoped the pharmacist could help. He bought some ear drops and, as it turned out, they were helpful after a short wait. I had a chance to take a few more photos.

And finally, as the evening approached, we decided to visit the goats again… and I got more pictures! On the way there, we ran into an elderly German gentleman with an adorable dog named Maya. Upon discovering that we are Americans, he told us in perfect English that he used to live in Baltimore, Maryland and went to Harvard Business School. No wonder he was vacationing at Hotel Bareiss. He’s probably loaded! We hung out with the goats until the ponies were brought in, and little kids were allowed to go into the pen and pet everybody.

I already miss the petting zoo.

Now… time for part five!


Baiersbronn in the Black Forest– Bareiss Style! Part two

Travel insurance is important for expensive trips!

It’s a good thing that I bought travel insurance for our trip. In the weeks leading up to it, we learned that our older dog, Arran, has lymphoma. We had another dog named Zane who also had lymphoma, and sadly he died just one week after he was diagnosed. In Zane’s case, the cancer appeared while we were vacationing in Scotland back in August 2019, and we had no idea that he was sick. A week after we got home, I felt swollen lymph nodes under his jaws and a week later, he was gone. So naturally, I was worried about how Arran would do while we were gone. We didn’t find out about his lymphoma until canceling would have required us to pay 80% of the cost of the reservation at the Bareiss. Then, we would have been fighting the insurance company. Nevertheless, the thought of canceling did occur to us.

We ultimately decided not to cancel, because Arran is overall healthier than Zane was when he got sick. We also took him to the vet last week and she said she thought he would be okay during our time away. We had a fine needle aspirate done to see what kind of lymphoma Arran has– it doesn’t appear to be as aggressive as Zane’s was. We also knew that since we’d just be in the Schwarzwald, it wouldn’t be a problem to come back and deal with Arran if the need arose. We didn’t get any calls from the Hundepension while we were gone, so we assume he did alright. He has an appointment to see the vet on Wednesday, at which point we’ll determine what can be done to make the rest of his time the most comfortable.

I’m bringing up travel insurance for another reason. A friend of mine from back home in Virginia was fretting the other day because she had booked a cruise, and the area from which the sailing was occurring was affected by Hurricane Ian. She did not buy travel insurance. Fortunately, it didn’t turn out to be necessary; the cruise was delayed, rather than canceled. But she was lamenting about not being “smart enough” to get insurance. I don’t always insure my trips, but I will for expensive hotels that I can’t cancel, and for things like cruises. This trip, being well into the four figures, was expensive for us. So I sprang for the insurance with “cancel for any reason” coverage, just for the peace of mind. I really recommend it, even though it adds an additional cost to the trip. We buy our insurance through USAA, but you can purchase it through many outlets. Be sure to read the reviews before taking the leap! Not all travel insurers are created equally. In fact, given how much service at USAA has been slipping lately, maybe it’s time I re-evaluated getting insured through them. 😉

Edited to add: I am pleased to report that Arran made it through his time at the Hundepension with no issues. He’s home, and delighted to be back with his favorite person, Bill!

Now… on to happier matters!

We decided to start our trip on Wednesday, because our dental visit was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Downtown Stuttgart is about a 90 minute drive from Baiersbronn, and we didn’t want to be in a situation in which we were arriving late. In retrospect, it would have been okay to arrive on Thursday. I just thought it would be better to be checked in and settled before the dentist visit, especially since we had never been to the Bareiss before and didn’t know how things worked there. Besides, we love luxury hotels, so an extra night is never a hardship.

On the way to the Schwarzwald, we stopped at the Hundepension with Arran and Noyzi. Noyzi was absolutely delighted to be there. He loves the young lady who takes care of him– and young women in general. He also loves to play with other dogs. I expected Arran to be sulky, but he was actually pretty chill. Noyzi practically dragged me to the gate, while Arran moseyed along quietly, touching noses with a few dogs who greeted us on the way in. When we got to the gate, Noyzi literally pounded on it with his paw! He was so excited to see Natasha, the caretaker.

We explained about Arran to Natasha and I asked her to contact us if she had any problems with Arran, since we were only going to be a couple of hours away. Natasha didn’t contact us, so I’m guessing Arran was a slower, finickier version of himself. Bill will go get them in a little while.

Once the dogs were dropped off, we got on the road, stopping at a Rasthof for a bathroom break. Awhile later, we both needed another potty break. Unfortunately, at the second time we needed a break, there weren’t any full service facilities available. Bill decided to pull off at one of the “free” WCs on the side of the Autobahn. Those things are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they’re relatively clean and well maintained. Sometimes, they are something out of a horror show. The one we encountered on the way to Hotel Bareiss was closer to the horror show. The floors were a bit flooded, and there was toilet paper strewn everywhere. I have seen some truly gross facilities in my time, having lived for over two years in Armenia, where the public toilets were so nasty that one was happy to find a squat hole, rather than a commode. We should have moved on from that toilet, but I decided to hold my nose and go. It was not a good decision, as the gross water on the floor got on my pants.

Bill did come away from the experience with a funny story, though. A lot of the men were just going behind the facility and peeing in the woods. I should have done that myself, actually. But one elderly German man braved the toilet with Bill, and complained to him in German. He said something along the lines of, “So, this is Germany. We were in the Netherlands for four days last week. Everything there was right. Look at the state of things here in Germany. Shameful!”

I was pretty grossed out by that bathroom experience, and especially by the souvenir left on my pants. I actually considered changing pants before we got the hotel, I was so offended. But we pressed on, and arrived at the Hotel Bareiss in the early afternoon. We pulled up the grand structure with the electric gate, that didn’t open for us at first. But then we arrived at the front of the hotel, and a very kind and friendly man in a green blazer welcomed us. We walked into the lobby for the first time, noticing that the doors opened electronically just about everywhere on the grounds.

A young man at reception eagerly welcomed us, easily finding our booking. He spoke English, but had some sort of severe speech impediment. I don’t know exactly what it was– maybe stuttering of some sort, or perhaps dysprosody? He was very professional, and I was amazed by his ability to explain things to us in English, in spite of his obvious problems speaking with fluency. We tried to put him at ease to make it easier for him to speak clearly. The only issue was that he had a trainee with him who appeared somewhat amused by his colleague’s difficulties speaking to us. I suppose that’s a human reaction, but it was kind of uncomfortable to witness.

The young man showed us the little “mailboxes” in the lobby, where we could store our car key fob for easy access when we wanted the car brought to us. Then he took us to our room. I booked the Double Room Rotunda Landhaus II. This room– LH 35– had a huge balcony with a nice view and was outfitted with quaint floral accents. There was a large heart on our door that read “Herzlich Willkommen!” I noticed the heart sign was on the doors of all newly arriving guests. The bathroom had a huge bathtub in it, that I never got around to trying. It had his and her sinks, a bidet, and lots of gold fixtures. There was lots of closet space and a minibar, as well as an adjustable bed, couch, and a flat screen television with German channels. Below are some photos of the room:

Because it was still early in the day, and we hadn’t had lunch, we decided to see what we could find to eat. It was about 1:30pm, so they were serving lunch in the dining room where we had most of our meals. Lunch is not included in the price of the room, but breakfast and dinner are. That was different from the Hotel Engel Obertal. There, breakfast and lunch are included, but dinner isn’t.

Bareiss has several a la carte restaurants, including the Kaminstube, which we didn’t try, the Dorfstube, and the Forellenhof, which we tried last year. The hotel also has a Three Star Michelin Star restaurant called Restaurant Bareiss. Of course, to eat in the fanciest restaurant, one must reserve well in advance. Maybe we’ll try Restaurant Bareiss if we manage to stay at the hotel again. I would love to do that, since I really enjoyed our a la carte lunches. The meals we got from the board option were all excellent, but I was very impressed by the a la carte dishes that we paid for separately. I definitely think there’s an even higher standard with those menus. Below are some photos from lunch, which we purposely kept small, because I knew dinner was liable to be a big production.

After lunch, we took our first walk through the “Waldpark”, which includes a short barefoot trail and a petting zoo. We met the hotel’s delightful goats and ponies, as well as some of the rabbits kept on site. Bareiss also has pet deer on the premises, but we never got around to visiting them. I was too enchanted by one special goat, who proved to be very friendly and willingly posed for several photos. I wanted to get a pet goat after meeting the ones at Hotel Bareiss!

For dinner, the hotel management requests that guests dress in smart casual attire. I didn’t see this rule being enforced, much to the chagrin of one European TripAdvisor reviewer. I did bring a couple of dresses, which proved to be useful, especially on Saturday night. Most nights, I wore pants and a sweater, while Bill dressed like he was going to work. Some people wore jeans, though, and weren’t turned away at the door. The staff all wore traditional German attire. I was impressed by the beautiful dirndls and dresses the women wore. I don’t generally like uniforms, but I thought the ones at Bareiss were very nice looking.

As for dinner itself– it’s extensive. Each night, there’s a theme. Most meals begin with a trip to the humongous salad bar/buffet, where there are many different dishes available, according to the theme. The array of choices is incredible. I counted over 35 different cheeses offered. I don’t eat much cheese myself– at least not the fancy ones that Bill likes. I do enjoy watching him enjoy them, and he sure went to town.

Then, you choose courses from the menu– starters, soups, fish dishes and red meats, cheeses, and desserts. If nothing on the themed menu impresses, you can order steak, or other cold dishes that are always available. Beverages are not included in the price of dinner, but they are included at breakfast. Each night, we enjoyed a different bottle of locally produced German wine from the hotel’s vast cellar. And, in case anyone is wondering, yes, they have wines from other places, too.

Below are some photos from our first dinner, which had an Asian theme. I wasn’t very hungry, due to the lunch we enjoyed late in the afternoon, so I only had fish and dessert… and wine, of course. The family that owns the hotel gifted us with a complimentary glass of Sekt. Dinner is served from 6:30pm, and the staff requests that people come between 6:30 and 8:30pm, although it’s possible to come later– until 10:00pm. Our waitress the first two nights was the same lady who looked after us at lunch. She was very friendly and professional.

I’d say our arrival was a success! Stay tuned for part three.


Baiersbronn in the Black Forest– Bareiss Style! Part one

Those of you who regularly read my travel blog might remember that in August 2021, when it came time for Bill and me to visit our dentist in Stuttgart, we decided to book a stay at the Hotel Engel Obertal in Baiersbronn. We spent four pleasant nights at that luxury property and mostly really enjoyed ourselves. While we were staying at that hotel, we visited a restaurant owned by the Hotel Bareiss called the Forellenhof Buhlbach. I noticed a number of guests who were enjoying fresh trout there were also staying at Hotel Bareiss. I didn’t know much about the place, other than it’s where one of the two Three Star Michelin restaurants in Baiersbronn is. I also knew that Hotel Bareiss is considered a pretty swanky place to stay.

In August, Bill rescheduled our dental appointments, to accommodate the Hundepension taking care of our dogs, Arran and Noyzi. Since we moved to Wiesbaden and COVID-19 has been less of an issue, we’ve been combining our trips to Stuttgart with “mini breaks”. Last year, we did Baiersbronn, for instance. In the spring, we went to Sessenheim, France, and stayed in a beautiful little boutique hotel with a gourmet restaurant. I was considering staying in another nice place we haven’t yet been, when I remembered the Bareiss Hotel, and how curious I was about it. So I checked their availability for our dates…

Sure enough, they had room in their “Landhaus”, which is where some of the hotel’s suites and apartments are. After talking about it with Bill– especially given the steep price of the room– we decided to book it. And, because of the steep cost, and the contractual obligation to pay soon after we booked, I also bought travel insurance. It made sense, since the original quote– just for five nights in the room, parking in a garage, and half board, was about 3700 euros. That may seem like a lot, and it is. But you get a lot for your money at this hotel. Besides offering a comfortable place to stay, the Bareiss also has daily activities and many facilities, an awesome spa and sauna world, a huge pool complex with several pools, most of which can be used year round, walking trails, a petting zoo, and lots of child friendly attractions. It’s also an extremely dog friendly hotel, although there is a daily 35 euro charge for each dog.

Having just left the hotel this morning, I can say that the high price was mostly worth it. I liked the Bareiss more than Hotel Engel Obertal. The food was exceptional, especially considering that we mostly ate from the board program, rather than a la carte. The staff is mostly excellent, too. I did have a few quibbles about a few things, which I’ll get to as I write the blow by blow account of our trip. But– overall– I can say that we did enjoy ourselves very much.

I just wish we’d had better weather, because there were some outdoor activities I wanted to do while we were visiting. However, not doing those activities meant that we got to enjoy a couple of fabulous mornings in the pool and sauna world. They were not at all crowded, and were on par with some of the best public mineralthermes/spas/quellens we’ve been to. Imagine going to your favorite pool based spa with almost no one there, competing for resources. That’s what it was like for us at the Hotel Bareiss at this time of year, when most children are in school. I think if you’re a couple or a bunch of ladies who want a relatively quiet and less child populated experience at this property, definitely book in late September or October! In the summer, I’m sure it’s a hell of a lot more crowded and expensive! But then, the weather is also sunnier.

I’m going to start from the beginning of our five night stay and give a very detailed account, then do my usual quick and dirty top ten things I learned post, for those who want to skip the details. I hope you’ll come along with me on our latest Black Forest journey!


Will be home tomorrow… and a new blog series will commence!

We’ve spent the past few days in Baiersbronn, again, and will be finishing up our trip and coming home tomorrow morning. If you’re one of the handful of people who looks for posts on this blog, I would encourage you to come back tomorrow. I plan to have some fresh content hot off the presses.

As for now… we’re going to enjoy the final hours of this trip before we go home and face everything that will be waiting for us, to include sweet Arran and his big, younger bro, Noyzi. Arran has been ailing lately, so we’ve been concerned about him. But, as far as we know, at this point, he’s okay. So we’ll see him tomorrow at about this time.

It sure is pretty in the Schwarzwald. We should probably come here more often than we do. This is the one thing I miss most about living near Stuttgart.

dental, trip planning

A dental appointment means we finally have actual travel plans!

On March 2, 2022, Bill and I have an appointment to go to Stuttgart to see our dentist, the venerable Dr. Blair. It’s time for our cleanings, which we forewent for two years before we finally went to see him last August. Some readers may remember that we combined our last trip to Stuttgart with a visit to the Black Forest.

We went to the Black Forest for a few reasons. First, our usual go-to hotel in Stuttgart, the Wald Hotel, was fully booked when we needed a room. Second, it occurred to me that we’ve been to Stuttgart enough times that it’s no longer a very exciting place for us to be, even though we both love staying at the Wald Hotel. Third, we used to live at the edge of the Black Forest, and went there many times for day trips. We loved going there, and I thought it might be fun to stay a few days. And finally, it was a great opportunity to spend a long weekend in Baiersbronn, where there are several excellent Michelin starred restaurants. It beat hanging out in Stuttgart, where we’ve been many times.

Well, we did have fun in Baiersbronn last August. It was so much fun that I thought maybe we’d go back to the Black Forest and stay in another area we visited for a day and loved. I looked at visiting both Oppenau and Wolfach, both picturesque places that are in different parts of the Black Forest. But then I read about the strict COVID-19 requirements in Baden-Württemberg and decided that it wouldn’t be that much fun to hang out in a hotel, or even a guest house, dealing with those rules. Plus, I just want to get out of Germany for a few days, since we have that capability. When I searched for properties in Oppenau, I noticed that I was also getting results for Strasbourg, France. I didn’t want to go to Strasbourg, though. Our last trip to France was to Strasbourg, exactly two years ago this month. February is usually when Strasbourg hosts an annual wine expo. Last year, it was canceled. This year, it was postponed until late March.

Then it occurred to me that we’ve never been to Soufflenheim, which is a town near the German border, famous for its pottery. I went looking for a place to stay in Soufflenheim, and noticed that one of the choices was a small hotel in nearby Sessenheim, which is known for a museum dedicated to the German poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The hotel, Auberge au Boeuf, has a restaurant by the same name with a Michelin star. The place gets rave reviews, especially for the food, but also for the rooms. They had one room open for the time we were visiting. It would cost substantially less than the room I was thinking of booking at the Wald Hotel in Stuttgart, and, as it’s just inside the French border, does not impose the same onerous COVID rules and restrictions that Baden-Württemberg currently has.

It’s not so much that I’m an anti-vaxxer, or anything. I have been triple vaxxed, and I wear masks when I have to. But I HATE the FFP2 masks with a passion, and while they could be required in France, at least if we go there, it’ll be a change of scenery. At this writing, masks and vaccines are required in France, but they have done away with the rule requiring people to wear masks outside, and it’s my understanding that a simple medical mask will do. And we have MISSED France so much! Bill and I didn’t visit France much when we were here the first time, from 2007-09, but this time, we have gone a bunch of times. We have come to love it. It’s almost like a second home, since it’s not far from where we lived near Stuttgart, nor is it that far from Wiesbaden.

Yesterday, I made reservations at the hotel’s restaurant for dinner on Friday AND Saturday nights during our visit. It looks that special. Also, Bill and I have been to Alsace enough times to know that it pays to make reservations. Otherwise, you could end up having a really terrible time at a poorly rated restaurant where the waiter asks you if you’re pregnant. Of course, that happened to me in October 2014, when I still colored my hair and wasn’t as nearly close to menopause as I am today. It’s doubtful that would happen to me in 2022, even though my face is still pretty smooth and, in fact, still occasionally has zits. Thanks, hormones. On another note, damn, we have really been here a LONG time.

I think we’ll have a great time in France. I suspect Noyzi will be delighted to visit the Hunde Pension again. Arran will be annoyed, but it’s only for four nights. Then, we’ll come home, and he’ll be pampered again. Poor guy used to love going to France with us, when we still had Zane, and it was easier to travel with the dogs. Noyzi is a good traveler, but he’s huge, and takes up the whole back compartment of the car. And hotels and rentals aren’t as keen to rent to people with big dogs… although I’ll bet Yannick in Ribeauville would be cool with it. We’ve stayed at his place many times; the latest was in January 2020. Alsace never gets old, but we do want to see other areas than Riquewihr and Ribeauville, and the like. Sessenheim is also a little closer to Nancy, where we visited in 2009. Maybe we can go there on this trip. Nancy is a beautiful city. It’s about a two hour drive from where we’ll be staying, but what the hell? We have no agenda, other than eating at the hotel twice. Based on what I’ve read, we could end up eating there even more times.

I’m looking forward to our trip. Hopefully, nothing will fuck it up for us. That includes anything that happens because of Putin.

Moving on…

We didn’t do anything special yesterday, except for use our new fondue/raclette grill. I got a few photos. It really is fun to use this grill, and it offers a nice change of pace at dinner. Bill is quite the gourmand.

And then, this morning, Bill decided to get doughnuts from our neighborhood bakery again, like he did last week. I think it’s because we finally have some Peet’s Major Dickason’s coffee to drink. We’re big fans.

The heart shaped Valentine’s doughnuts were especially yummy! Raspberry! And sweeter than usual. No, we didn’t eat them all. I look forward to a snack later, or maybe breakfast tomorrow.

So things are looking up. It’s nice to look forward to a dentist appointment. I think we’ll have a great time in France. Knock on wood, nothing will screw this up… I’m looking at you, Russian dictator wannabe Putin. I think the Georgians sang it best…

Hear us?

Seeing “stars” in Baiersbronn… Part four

Friday foodie extravaganza continued…

Using a reservation app called The Fork, Bill made 7:00pm reservations at the Michelin one starred restaurant, Restaurant Köhlerstube. This restaurant is one of two at the Traube Tonbach Hotel, located in Baiersbronn. The other Michelin starred restaurant at this hotel is the Schwarzwaldstube, which has THREE stars. That’s as high as the Michelin star system goes. I’m not sure how far in advance one has to plan for a table at the Schwarzwaldstube, but as it has just eight tables and is a very famous restaurant, I’m sure it takes a lot of lead time and perhaps a bit of luck. The Schwarzaldstube is not Germany’s, or even Baiersbronn’s, only three starred restaurant, but it is the venue in Germany that has had the distinction for the longest amount of time, having earned its stars in 1993. It is currently led by Chef Torsten Michel, who took over from long time chef, Harald Wohlfahrt, in 2017. The Köhlerstube, just down the hall, is led by Chef Florian Stolte; it gained its Michelin star in 2019.

The Traube Tonbach Hotel has a long and storied history, beginning in 1789, when Tobias Finkbeiner began the business that would stay in his family until this very day. This hotel has been family run for seven generations, and according to its Web site, is committed to excellent service, luxury, and sustainability.

The Traube Tonbach Hotel is also noteworthy, because on January 5, 2020, there was a devastating fire that destroyed the original Schwarzwaldstube and the former Bauernstube venues. The Bauernstube was special, in that it was the original tavern opened by Tobias Finkbeiner, who aimed to provide sustenance to the lumberjacks who had come to the Black Forest. In 1812, Tobias Finkbeiner was recruited to fight in Napoleon’s Russian campaign, as Württemberg was part of France at the time. Of the twenty-five people who left the Tonbach Valley to fight, Tobias Finkbeiner was the only one to return, and he continued the business and passed it to his descendants.

The hotel is currently in the process of rebuilding the restaurants that were destroyed in the fire. Meanwhile, the Schwarzwaldstube and the Köhlerstube are both operating out of the Temporaire building– basically the top floor of a Parkhaus that has been converted. There’s also a lot of other construction going on at the hotel, which I’m sure will make it a very nice place to stay when it’s finished. As for now, I’m kind of glad we didn’t book our stay there. Parking is in short supply and there’s a bit of a mess due to all of the building being done. We ended up having to park down the hill at the free public lot.

On our way to the restaurant, Bill almost had another accident. The main drag in one of the villages is being repaved, so there’s a temporary stoplight on either end of the construction zone. At the time we were passing through, there was a terrible glare on the stoplight, making it impossible to tell what color the light was. Both Bill and I thought he had a green light. No traffic was oncoming, so we started to make our way through the construction zone. No sooner had Bill said, “I’ve just got to clear this zone as quickly as possible” than we were confronted by oncoming traffic, including a guy on a scooter who blew past us in the opposite direction. Fortunately, there’s a roundabout at the end of the zone, so other drivers could circle back and come through once we were out.

Then, the GPS sent us on a shortcut through a village. The views on the way were beautiful. I would have loved to have gotten some photos. But Bill was so wigged out by the near miss in the construction zone, I missed the opportunity.

Once we got to the hotel, we were confronted by all of the construction and the lack of parking. Bill asked an employee where to go. The guy pointed to the Temporaire, and took off. It didn’t leave a great impression. I was also relieved that I wore comfortable shoes, since we had to walk uphill from the public lot to get to the restaurant. Nevertheless, when we arrived, there were two smartly dressed young men at the door, ready to greet us, check out COVID vaccinations, and take our jackets. And then we joined about two dozen other people who had booked the restaurant that evening.

The staff at the Köhlerstube were all dressed smartly. The ladies wore Dirndls, while the lower ranking men wore traditional dress. The sommelier who took care of us wore a regular suit. Everyone spoke English very well. We had a choice of the regular or vegetarian versions of the menu, along with several side options that could be ordered a la carte or used as a substitute. Below are photos of the menu that was offered on the night of our visit.

There was a variety of people at the restaurant on Friday night. One table hosted a party of people who were celebrating a wedding, including the apparent bride in her gown. There were several couples, a couple of families with children, and a couple of groups of four. The American couple behind us brought their son, who looked to be about three or four years old. I was shocked by how quiet and well-behaved the boy was. He sat quietly and let his parents enjoy their meal with barely a fuss. He had headphones, and at one point, had fallen asleep. At the end of the meal, the wait staff brought him ice cream, which he didn’t seem to enjoy very much. They also brought him housemade chocolates. He chose a cool looking one that was blue, but it was a bit too much for his developing tastebuds and he spit it out in disgust. Bill also chose that one and said it was bitter chocolate. No wonder! I can remember not liking dark chocolate either when I was a child!

Here are some photos from our second foodie experience on Friday. Everything was delicious, although personally, I think I preferred what we had at the Meierei. I did appreciate that the portion sizes were manageable, especially since we weren’t quite recovered from lunch! We did opt to get the wine pairing with the courses, which I noticed a lot of other people were also doing. Each course was beautifully presented and the service was very good, although by the end of the meal, I was getting pretty tired and it took us some effort to flag down our check!

The total cost for this sumptuous meal was 521 euros before the tip. Thank God they take credit cards! Was it worth it? I think so… although this is the kind of meal that really should be done for the experience of it. I prefer more “comfortable” foods myself. But the delicate flavors and unusual combinations made this a very memorable and enjoyable experience for us. I liked the Meierei more, mainly because the service was so kind and personal. But I would absolutely recommend the Köhlerstube, even if the venue did remind me a little of a kindergarten. I hope we can visit again when the hotel has finished rebuilding its permanent locations for their restaurants. And, on another note, the Köhlerstube has now surpassed the now defunct Alte Post in Nagold for the most we have ever spent on a meal!

Germany, Schwarzwald

Baiersbronn… a sleepy town with many stars… (Michelin, that is)


Just like Hollywood?  Not hardly… but there’s good eating in them there hills…


Although Bill and I usually enjoy taking day trips on Saturdays and Sundays, we decided not to go out yesterday because it looked like it was going to rain.  Sure enough, it did rain… and then I got hooked on Call the Midwife on Netflix.  I seem to be among the last of my friends to discover this wonderful British series set in the 1950s and based on memoirs by midwife Jennifer Worth.  I started binge watching the show and, sure enough, wasted the day.  On the other hand, maybe it wasn’t too wasted, since Bill watched with me.


When it was time for dinner, Bill went to our local chicken man and picked up a couple of doner kebabs.  I don’t like a lot of the yogurt sauce on my doners, so Bill asked for “klein Sauce”.  The Turkish guy who runs the place knows Bill isn’t German and speaks English, but is good enough to do business in German with Bill.  His buddy took it a step further and gave him the right word for “little sauce”.  I’m sure we’ll never forget to say “weniger Sauce” from now on.

Today, we were determined to get out and see a place we haven’t yet been.  We decided to visit Baiersbronn, mainly because I had heard it was a noted place for haute cuisine.  Baiersbronn is just about 45 minutes from where we live in Unterjettingen.  It’s kind of a sleepy little town very close to Freudenstadt that has a lot of hotels and makes a lot of its money from tourism.  I was expecting it to be bigger than what I saw today, especially since I know there are eight Michelin stars in Baiersbronn.  Two restaurants have three stars and one has two stars.  Here’s a link to a 2013 New York Times article about Baiersbronn, posted when there were only seven stars there.  If you like gourmet food, it’s definitely a town you need to know about.

Baiersbronn was formed in the 1960s and 70s when five municipalities were formed.  It’s a well known spa town and there’s even a “natural pool” nearby, perfect for youngsters, called Naturbad Mitteltal.  It was a little cold for swimming today, but this does look like it could be a hit with kids who like to swim.  Bear in mind that if you’re not a member of the pool, the hours for you will be different than they are for card carrying members.  Check out their Facebook for more information.

We did not dine in any Michelin starred restaurants today, but now that we know how close the town of Baiersbronn is to where we live, we will definitely make some plans to visit one or all of them soon.  Instead, we drove through Freudenstadt (still going through major construction right now) and took a short stroll around the main drag before we finally stopped for lunch at Cafe am Eck (Corner Cafe), a cute little Konditorei heading into town.  They serve a breakfast buffet on Sundays, but we arrived too late for it.  However, they did serve a variety of snacks– Wurst salads, Flammkuechens, Toasts, and even Quiche Lorraine, which is what I had.  I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Quiche Lorraine in Germany, although we’re close enough to France in these parts to have it.

Here are some pictures from today’s jaunt.


I never get tired of the beautiful flower arrangements in the smallest German towns.


The Murg River passes through…


It reminded me a little of the little town where I went to college, Farmville, Virginia.  The Appomattox River passes through Farmville, though, and I don’t remember pretty flower arrangements there.


A couple of cool old buildings.


An incentive to visit on a weekday or a Saturday.  I spotted at least one gourmet shop and a beer shop.  I also saw lots of construction hats like the one above.


There’s even a red telephone booth with an actual phone in it!


We probably missed the main part of the town today, although according to the New York Times piece I linked, Baiersbronn isn’t known for being especially beautiful compared to some other Black Forest towns.  It seemed like we were in the wrong part of town for tourism… although we did hear lots of English spoken by Americans, including at Cafe am Eck, a cute little establishment with decor that reminded me a little of an old style Howard Johnson’s restaurant of my youth.  You younger folks have probably never had the pleasure of dining in a HoJo’s, which were known for ice cream and family friendly dishes.  Cafe am Eck is definitely not a full scale restaurant, although during the work week, they do have a lunch dish of the day.  The waitresses all wear Dirndls and the one who took care of us was very nice, if not slightly scatterbrained.


Another construction hat, this time hanging from the grapevines over the terrace.  I have to admit, the terrace was pretty much what attracted me.


This was an okay Quiche Lorraine, priced very economically at about 3 euros.  However, I could tell it had been chilled and microwaved, since parts of it were hot and parts were ice cold.  I didn’t care… it tasted good.  Also, instead of bacon, I could see they used shredded wurst.  


Bill had Black Forest ham toast.  It was made with wheat bread, slices of ham, tomato slices, and cheese.  The toast wasn’t very toasty, but the top part was good…


I have a feeling most people come to this cafe for dessert anyway.  They have ice cream, candy, liqueurs, cakes, and pies.  Bill had a really lovely slice of cheesecake that was smooth and creamy and a little sweeter than usual.


And I had my usual Schwarzwaldtorte (Black Forest Cake).  It was very good, although I’ve had better.  I liked that it wasn’t too sweet or heavy.


A shot of the exterior of Cafe am Eck.


We really should have toured around a bit more, but it looked like it was going to rain and I felt like going home and drinking wine.  So that’s what I’m doing now… drinking wine, listening to a live recording of Carole King, and writing this blog post.  However, we will make plans to try some of Baiersbronn’s highly esteemed restaurants.  It’s also a town with some very nice looking hotels, making it a good option for a staycation.  Right now, just like in Freudenstadt, there is a major road project going on.  Maybe that’s what all the construction hats were about.

Below are a few more pretty photos from our drive home.  We feel so fortunate to live in an area right next to the Black Forest.  It’s really awesome to be able to escape there on the weekends and enjoy so much of what Baden-Württemberg has to offer.


Near where we parked.  There was a nice looking Freibad there, too.


Lucky stop here, as the train was passing.


Lots of sunflowers… there are a few fields of them on the way to Baiersbronn.

Now that we know the way, we will have to go back to Baiersbronn and its environs.  The area is very pretty and it’s so close to Freudenstadt, which is also a nice place to visit, although it’s nicer when the main drag isn’t torn up due to construction.

Edited to add: as of January 2020, one of Baiersbronn’s three Michelin starred restaurants has burned down…  The Traube Tonbach went up in flames on Saturday, January 4th.  There are plans to rebuild.