Germany, Czech Republic, Austria: Planning and Hotel Reviews 2008

This was our second trip traveling with my parents.  My dad was 71 and mom 67 and they are both healthy and active.  We debated for awhile on whether to do Greece or Germany/Austria/Czech Republic, but eventually settled in on the latter.  We stayed four nights in Munich, four nights in Prague, one night in Cesky Krumlov, four nights in Salzburg, one night in Fussen and one last night in Munich before flying home.  We rented a car after spending four nights in Munich and then kept it for the rest of the trip (just stored it in a garage while we were in Prague).  Since there were 6 of us plus our luggage we had to rent a van big enough to hold all of us and our luggage. There were some seven passenger vans but when we looked at the dimensions, we were really worried we would have a problem with the luggage, so we decided to rent a nine passenger van instead. I was really worried that it would just be HUGE but it really was fairly compact. There were three rows that would seat three people each (including the front row with driver). So we had tons of room as we sat two in each row. We rented through Andrew Bestor at www.gemut.com who was extremely helpful.  We had told them we were driving in the Czech Republic and I had been told you could not take Mercedes or Audis into the Czech Republic but they gave us a Mercedes van.

Where we stayed:

Hotel Uhland, Munich

(http://www.hotel-uhland.de/enwelcome.html)

Before I say a few words about the hotel, I just want to say that I had never agonized so much about which hotel to stay in more than I did with this choice of where to stay in Munch. Usually, between reading fodors and TA there always seems to be a clear winner, but with Munich it just seemed more difficult. When staying in larger cities we generally prefer to stay close to the city center, but so many of the centrally located places in Munich were close to the train station or if in a better location than just really expensive. I had originally booked rooms at Hotel-la-maison in Schwabing. It was a bit more than I wanted to spend, but was recommended by a friend and looked quite nice, and I thought, while Schwabing is not in the city center, it appeared there would be more things around it. Well, about 2 months before we were going to leave, I suddenly realized that it did not have air conditioning. I was not sure if we would really need it or not (turns out we did not), but I just got really annoyed that paying so much I would not be in the city center NOR have air conditioning, so I hit the boards again, and decided to go with the highly rated, but not located in the city center nor having air conditioning, but VERY inexpensive Hotel Uhland. I am happy to report that we were all very pleased with the decision!!

The rooms were fairly sparse and our bathroom was pretty small (turns out our bathroom was the smallest of the three rooms we rented), but the people at the front desk and breakfast room were very nice and the breakfast was quite good (most of the family voted it best on the trip -my #1 was in Cesky Krumlov because they made eggs to order!!). Michael did dub the pillows “crackers” because they were large, thin and square -best way to use them was to fold them in half.

Hotel Uhland is located right near the Oktoberfest grounds, which would be convenient for Oktoberfest, but for us, meant we were in a very nice quiet neighborhood at this time of year. A quick walk to the nearest metro station -very convenient. My only disappointment was that we had two double rooms and 1 room with two twin beds and each room was on a different floor. The kids were old enough so was not a big problem, but would have preferred us being closer to each other. Probably happened because I made the reservations so late. Overall, we enjoyed our stay there and I would probably stay there again on a return trip.

Hotel Savic, Prague

(http://www.savic.eu/)

This was a great hotel in an excellent location. Again, my only issue was we had three rooms and they were scattered all over the hotel (and this reservation was made months before). However, the rooms were very large with beautiful bathrooms, great beds, nice storage armoire, air conditioning etc.

It was well located within walking distance to everything, really just 2-3 blocks from the main square, but we were pleasantly surprised that we did not hear too much street noise. The people at the front desk were very helpful and pleasant. The breakfast was very good, and had some wonderful fruit – particularly the watermelon. There were also some buffet hot selections – eggs, sausage, potatoes, small pancakes and grilled vegetables.

Hotel Konvice, Cesky Krumlov

(http://www.en.stadthotel-krummau.de/)

We had booked a 2 bedroom suite for the four of us and my parents had a double. Our room was extremely large with sort of a narrow sleeping porch for the kids. It worked out great for us, we also had a small balcony out the back with a view of the castle.  My parents had a nice size double. The hotel is very old and so the floors tilted and creaked a bit, but we actually found it charming!!

Although the doorways were a bit short.

The only other oddity was that they did not use fitted sheets but flat sheets on the beds, which had a tendency to come out. The breakfast was very good and they also made eggs to order which I LOVED! The hotel is very well located just up from the main square. The front desk people were very nice and gave great restaurant recommendations.

Haus am Moos, Salzburg

(http://www.ammoos.at/)

Haus am Moos is a B&B located on the Moostrasse about 10-15 minutes outside of the city center. It came highly recommended on Fodors and Tripadvisor. We had our car and were easily able to drive to one of the public parking garages and park there when we headed into Salzburg. There was a bus stop just a few hundred feet from the B&B and I have read of many who have used the bus to get into the city center. We rented their family apartment for the four of us and my parents had a double in the main house. Our apartment was very nice with two bedrooms, one with a king and an extra single bed and another room with two singles. We also had a small kitchen and eating/sitting area as well as a nice size bathroom. We never actually used the kitchen amenities but really enjoyed the extra space. This apartment is in an older house on the front of the property so the doorways are quite short, but we had been warned and Stephen just learned to duck.

My parents had a very nice double room with a balcony and beautiful views of the mountains. Breakfast each morning was typical fare, but our hosts Walter and his wife were always present and very helpful in answering questions and giving directions.  The pool and grounds were also quite nice.

Hotel Zum Hechten, Fussen

(http://www.hotel-hechten.com/)

Hotel Zum Hechten was well located in the middle of town. My parents had a regular double room and we had a quad that was absolutely HUGE!! A large bedroom for Stephen and I, a large bathroom and a very large family room with two single beds, couch, chairs and tv. It was too bad we were only there for one night.  They have a nice parking lot in back which was much appreciated.

I had read others comments of mediocre front desk help, and would have to agree that we found her not too particularly friendly.   In sharp contrast, however, we found the older couple running the breakfast room to be very kind and helpful. We did eat dinner in the restaurant there, based on recommendations on fodors, but to be honest we did not care for it – our least favorite meal on our two week trip. I regretted that we had not picked one of the other restaurants in town.

Read about the trip here:

Munich

Prague

Cesky Krumlov

Salzburg

Fussen

 

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