I was hesitating for a long time whether to include this hotel recommendation in the blog or not. It was one of the places that leaves you speechless, but for a few different reasons.
Let me start with the location. The hotel is set in a picturesque village of Schonau am Koningssee, and as the name suggests, the main attraction being the lake itself.
Dubbed the most beautiful and cleanest lake in Germany, it attracts hundreds of thousands of local and tourists who are coming here to take a boat ride on the lake, visit the famous St Bartolomea and perhaps take a short trip to the Eagel’s nest with easy access from the nearby town.
When I initially researched the trip, the location of the hotel scored top points for me and I couldn’t imagine a better place to wake up, with a direct view to the lake.
The building of the hotel was also stunning – a traditional wooden house with all historic features including creaking floors.
The decor is very old-fashioned and basic, which fits perfectly with the location and the atmosphere in the hotel.
We paid extra for a room with lake view (in my honest opinion for this type of room it was quite a lot considering we were visiting in off-season time). The room was large with comfy bed and views to die for.
What let us down was the bathroom size and equipment. It looked like something you would have found in hostels around the corner and it felt like it hasn’t been touched since the 70s,
With barely enough room to move around or even bend over the sink to clean your teeth, getting a shower or clean up was always an uncomfortable mission.
We were also provided complimentary soap which was just couple of sachets of the most basic body soap, no shampoo or anything similar.
Even the bathroom was an eye sore and a huge inconvenience to do just a few basic tasks, the view sort of made up for it. With one closed eye, we were happy to overlook the let down on that front because we knew we could enjoy the gorgeous views.
The balcony was huge and all made out of beautifully painted wood. There was a basic folding table with a couple of chairs, which is more than you need to enjoy the scenery.
The next bedrooms were shielded by a small wooden divider, which didn’t provide too much privacy but at least blocked some views to the balcony.
As it was a birthday trip, on two of the mornings we stayed there we popped open a bottle of bubbles just after breakfast to watch the tourists lining up for boats and ducks hunting for a piece of bread below us.
Each morning provided a completely different scene. One of them was a particularly misty one where you couldn’t even see where the lake starts. It was very cold in the morning but we found some very thick blankets that came in handy.
As the mist started to lift, you can once again see the peaks behind the lake and hear the chatter of tourists on the square.
The area around the hotel is also very beautiful. There is a walking path that takes you through an old wooden bridge all the way to the village and lots of local small shops selling souvenirs and local traditional clothing.
Right under the hotel is a small cafe where we enjoyed Bavarian beer before boarding the boats and a small food stall selling crepes and other snacks.
The hotel has also its own restaurant which was closed during the time we were there (opens in Dec) with a beautiful outside terrace providing stunning views on the arriving boats.
Thanks to the location of the hotel it’s the perfect way to explore the area before dozens of tourists descend on it. Especially if you want a few decent pictures without crowds, going for a stroll right after breakfast is your best chance.
Another small pathway that leads on the left to the hotel takes you up the hill towards a small cafe with the best view of the whole bay (again closed when we were there).
The autumn scenery and nature was simply breathtaking.
We took a stroll through this wooden bridge all the way to the next door village, only to find it desserted with no restaurant open. The season in here closes end of October and opens again in December. I visited in November which is the time when everyone is closing down ahead of winter season.
Something that would have been useful information before booking the trip because it made eating out and getting around a lot more difficult.
But back to the hotel. I said I had mixed feelings about it, and despite the location and the stunning views, here are a few things you should keep in mind if you wan to stay in the same place:
I think for off-season visit and for the room comfort, it was too overpriced. You would get better value for money by choosing some other hotel in the location. If it’s a special trip, like it was in my case, I think one night in the hotel is more than enough to get the most out of the views without spending a fortune.
There were no complimentary items in the room. No fridge, no coffee or tea facilities. No room service either as the local restaurant was closed for winter.
The staff in the hotel was not exactly professional. When we arrived, the gentleman at the reception only handed us a key to the room, with no information, explanation, welcome… nothing. We had a little laugh about it as I thought it might be the local way to run a hotel, but I wish he had told us at least something about the area. Like the fact that all the restaurants close at 5pm and won’t be open at all after a few days.
At some point we needed to call a taxi and the lady at the reception spoke very basic German, zero English and told me they dont have any taxi numbers. We got there in the end, but getting stuck in a village with no restaurants or food shops and no way to get in and out was a little frustrating.
After 3 days in the village we were pretty bored (probably also by fault of our own – we didn’t rent a car), so I would recommend max one night to get the most out of the location.
One of the epic places I wanted to visit was Eagel’s Nest – which is a historic view point over the area built on the peak of a mountain, a popular summer place for Hitler himself. Unfortunately as with everything else in the area, it was closed.
If you’re looking to book a hotel in the village, I hope this gives you some helpful insights and avoid some costly mistakes (pointing at myself now!) =). I have some cool pictures from Berchtegsgaden prepared for the next blog post, which is the closest city to the village and offers plenty more culinary adventures.