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Cosy treasure chest in the Black Forest

by Heinz Horrmann

With around 4000 hotel groups in all star categories worldwide, it is nice to find first class individual hotels that are family-owned and managed.

My experience: This is where the guest is especially cared for with loving care and the framework is often top class. After having tested more than 2000 hotels, I experienced the best family hotel on the continent as far as I am concerned, last week in Bad Peterstal-Griesbach in the Black Forest. This is the Relais-&-Chateaux holiday domicile "Dollenberg". Together with his family, the owner Meinrad Schmiederer has designed an absolutely top class product here. He started with the hotel in 1971 and has been continually extending and improving it since then. The most comprehensive German spa and wellness area. As the hotel is a little secluded – this being the guarantee for absolute peace and quiet–, a helipad has been erected away from the hotel.

Rooms and suites The furnishings that are playful in some cases, is completely in keeping with cosiness and does not look like an exhibition hall. Good beds, bathrooms in the suites which are very good and impressive with their gigantic showerheads that ensures a waterfall as with a tropical storm in the accessible shower (without stumbling blocks). The lavatory is to be found outside the wet room. The smallest of the 20 rooms measures 28 square metres and the 69 suites are ennobled with a library, workplace and some of them even have their own sauna. Those who now expect excessive prices, have to think again:

The price list starts ate 110 euros per person including the large breakfast buffet.

Food and drink This is another reason why "Hotel Dollenberg" is one of the treasures of the Black Forest, the dominant German indulgence region. The "LePavillon" gourmet restaurant has been awarded with two Michelin stars for years. The Chef due Cuisine Martin Herrmann is a part of the family. The other meal possibilities in the "Bauernstube" and the rustic restaurant for boarders and the "Renchtalhütte", that offers an especially hearty meal after a hike from the hotel, are excellent offers. There is a kitchen party every week, at which the star chef serves the guests in person.

Der service The hospitable atmosphere and the excellent service are so extraordinary that a guest wrote the following in the golden book: "It is a shame that I am unable to hug this hotel." As far as I am concerned, the wellness area with mineral water, saline and Jacuzzis, the medical department and fitness programmes unrivalled in Germany. Barbara, the manager of this part of the hotel is kind to here guests no matter whether it is early or late.

The verdict Apart from the fact that absolute rest is the greatest luxury in our fast-moving time, that is what one finds here and the entire offer of health, indulgence and relaxation at a family hotel that has no competition, deserves a special recommendation. The hotel deserves five wonderful stars and that with an exclamation mark!

The author is Germany´s most famous hotel tester: he tests another hotel for you each week.

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