Schloß Elmau, Bavaria, Germany Review

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DINING

The Schloß Elmau Pauschale covers the opulent (no other word for it) breakfast buffet, a dinner credit of € 48 at any of the six restaurants (not all six are open every night, however), cake, fruit, and even a midnight snack in the Teesaal lounge.

Also included in the Pauschale are fresh apples and a bottle of mineral water which await each new guest in the room.

The Kinderpauschale (children’s package) includes a lunch buffet in addition to what their parents get with the Schloß Elmau Pauschale.  Children are welcome in all restaurants except for Fidelio and Luce d’Oro.

My first meal was in the Fidelio, an excellent Italian restaurant with a menu offering both classic and updated interpretations of Italian specialties.

My late-night dinner started with the tasty crayfish ravioli, with spinach, tomato confit, and saffron sauce.  My main choice, the chicken saltimbocca with paprika sauce and a tomato-artichoke fondue, was equally inspired.  Too full for dessert, I ended the meal with biscotti and a Caffè macchiato.

I also dined in hotel’s incredible gourmet restaurant, Luce d’Oro.  I ordered the three-course prix fixe menu (see slide show at the end of this article) which, when one takes into account the multiple amuse bouche dishes served (two “greetings from the kitchen” at the beginning and a sorbet dish after the main course plus petit fours served AFTER dessert) really should have been called the seven-course menu (not that I’m complaining, of course – it was wonderful).

LEISURE

There is so much to do in the region that it almost defies explanation.  Hiking and biking are excellent options and the four (yes, four) spas offer much pampering and a variety of treatments.

Guided hiking tours are included in the Schloß Elmau Pauschale, as are relaxation classes such as yoga and tai chi.

Children are welcome guests [with two exceptions, the Badehaus (bathhouse) and the Kaminbar lounge are for guests who are 16 or older]  and there are special workshops for them ranging from creative writing, poetry, classical music, painting, dance, philosophy, and science, in addition to adventure, and sports programs for them that are included in the Kinderpauschale.  The Kinderpauschale also covers kindergarten care for children from two to five years of age.

There are also two concert halls and the hotel offers a variety of cultural activities ranging from concerts, literary events, and dance.  These are open to guests at no charge.

The hotel boasts five Steinway grands and there are several practice rooms, including one reserved for guests.  In addition to a bookstore, there is a library, a clothing store, as well as a shop that sells items that are featured in the rooms and public areas of the hotel, such as pillows and lamps.

BOTTOM LINE

Schloß Elmau markets itself as a “luxury spa and cultural hideaway” but that only tells part of the story.  This unique property, set in one of the most beautiful regions of Europe, is clearly an oasis from the stress and strain of everyday life. From the general manager to the front desk clerks, everyone at the hotel did his utmost to make guests feel comfortable and at home.  As for me, I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to visit Schloß Elmau again – and I have the distinct feeling I won’t want to wait 20 years for that to happen.

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.

INSIDE SCHLOSS ELMAU

RESTAURANT FIDELIO

GOURMET RESTAURANT LUCE D’ORO

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