Having 'done' most of the Italian Lakes - though I'm sure we'll go back again to that part of Europe - we decided to visit the Bodensee. We certainly weren't disappointed with our decision: particularly with the choice of hotel.
Very welcoming and universally helpful, the staff at the Inselhotel immediately gave a good 'feel' to the holiday from the very start
The room was a good size and with a large balcony with sun-loungers overlooking the well-tended gardens. The rooms overlooking the lake come at a fairly hefty premium and, as far as we could see, do not have large balconies. And anyway, though this is obviously a personal thing, We reckon you can always go out to see the lake without having to see it from your window! There was a side-view of the lake from the balcony. Some others in their reviews may feel the rooms' decorations are slightly old-fashioned, but we felt the decor was perfectly in keeping with the hotel's age and history and would not have benefited particularly from boutiqueifying(!).
That the ground floor were the old cloisters (now thankfully glassed-in against the weather) was quite eye-opening, and a guided tour of the historical bits by the manager one evening was completely fascinating.
The breakfasts were monumental - still trying to lose some of those surplus pounds - and can be taken on the terrace overlooking the lake (but only after 9.00 a.m. which was a little unfortunate as we tended to get up quite early).
The dinners (we went half-board) were of a very high standard, but, and this may only be an issue for Inghams' customers, occasionally turned out a little unbalanced(?) as it is only the main course for which there is a choice with set starter/soup/dessert. It may also be an 'English thing', but on a couple of evenings the desserts were felt to be rather too, shall we say, 'experimental' by several guests. But, to balance that comment, it must be said that on the majority of evenings they were excellent.
There was an extensive wine-list, but personally, and generally from looking around the tables, carafes of the more local wines were very good value. Also, and in our maybe limited hotel experiences somewhat unusual, bottled water was a very expensive alternative to the (free) carafe of local tap-water. An option shared, it would seem, by most of the diners.
Konstanz is a fascinating city, with only a few tourists (English anyway) and consequently (and thankfully) very few shops aimed at tourists. Lots of interesting old buildings in the old-town and newer and larger shops over the bridge in the new-town. Also some good walks (and cycle rides) along the banks of the lake.
There are plenty of other lakeside towns to visit on the lake using the efficient ships that ply their trade from the harbour - get a Seebaren pass when you're there...it'll save pounds - and if you get stuck, most of the towns have a railway service. DB services generally cheaper than the Swiss rail system: Both meet up in Konstanz station (about 200m over the border in Germany). The boats (some anyway) go up the Rhine as far as Schaffhausen where the Rhine Falls can be visited: really quite impressive. Or stop on the way at Stein am Rhein, a beautiful old (Swiss) town.
We spent ten days there, and there are still plenty of things we didn't get round to doing...and the Inselhotel was a terrific base for an excellent holiday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A relaxing sanctuary: Our 5 star hotel welcomes guests in a former Dominican cloister on a small private island by the old town of Konstanz. The picturesque setting as well as the unrivalled combination of modern luxury and historic ambience characterise the charm of the location. Also in the rooms and suites, guests can look forward to the considerable comfort, stylish interiors as well as a wonderful view of Lakes Constance. Celebrate in styles: Whether a romantic wedding celebration or successful business banquet - the unique atmosphere of the cloister island makes any event a truly unforgettable experience. Our six representative rooms offer space for up to 400 people whilst the attentive service, excellent cuisine and state of the art audio visual equipment leave no wish unfulfilled. Starting on January 1st 2014, the usage of the WLAN will be free of charge for guests of all hotels of the Steigenberger Hotels AG. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Steigenberger Inselhotel Konstanz
- Steigenberger Inselhotel Hotel Konstanz