Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

In Germany, a Baron’s Castle Is Your B&B
August 16, 2009

THE NEW YORK TIMES—August 16, 2009

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WHEN Thilo von und zu Gilsa, a scion of one of Germany’s noble families, arrived in the formal dining room of his ancestral castle in central Germany, he wore a green Bavarian hunting jacket. On the wall behind him hung a portrait of a great-great-great-grandfather, the hunting master for a local duke. His four children were on perfect behavior, including Genoveva, 2, who was buttering her own bread with a silver knife.

It was easy to forget that this was also a hotel, until Mr. von Gilsa’s wife, Tanja, walked in wearing black riding boots and carrying a large white china platter of roasted chicken, which her two paying guests eagerly carved up. After dinner, Ms. von Gilsa became the tour guide, holding forth on the provenance of the heavy antique furniture and ornate decorations throughout the home. “I think that one’s mine,” Ms. von Gilsa said, pointing to the skin of a wild boar she had recently killed. (more…)

Perfect Places to Hit the Hay in Germany
October 18, 2008

THE NEW YORK TIMES — October 19, 2008

n the hayloft at Herrenhaus Salderatzen, one of hundreds of so-called hay hotels throughout Germany.

In the hayloft at Herrenhaus Salderatzen, one of hundreds of so-called hay hotels throughout Germany.

WAKING up in a strange hotel can be disorienting. Now imagine staying down the hall from 60 cows, 2 goats and a baby rabbit. Oh, and you’re sleeping on a pile of hay.

Leave it to the Germans to combine livestock with lodging. In the last decade, hundreds of farms throughout Germany have transformed old barns and potato warehouses into heuhotels, or hay hotels, where guests spend the night on a bed of dried grass.

The eco-friendly hotels (no sheets to change) are cheap and appeal to the country’s many cyclists, nature lovers and outdoorsy families. Sleeping accommodations range from open lofts filled with bales of hay, to feed stalls furnished with wooden platforms. And while a few hotels have added more civilized amenities like privacy curtains and bottles of wine to take to bed, most still require that guests bring their own sleeping bag and towels. (more…)