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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 08-01-2008, 01:08 PM
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chaz58 chaz58 is offline
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Cheap hotels – how to get a B&B (Pension – Zimmer Frei) for only 18€/p/n

Cheap hotels – how to get a B&B (Pension – Zimmer Frei) for only 18€/p/n

With the cost of gas and the weak dollar, it is good to know you can spend the night in Europe for a lot less than you can for something similar in the US. There has been much written about finding cheap hotels for an ED, using price line, or people recommending a “Zimmer Frei” accomodation. If you want an American type hotel in large cities, this information is not for you. If you want to explore a little and get a real flavor for the land and the people you are visiting, read on.

If you are willing to travel like the locals you can get amazing deals. We spent between EUR18 to EUR25 per person per night and had wonderful, wonderful places most of the time.

How to do this?
1) Stay away from hotels catering to international travelers. You are going to pay too much for these and not get any local feel from an international hotel. They are great for people who want an easy, English only vacation.
2) Learn a few basic phrases in German (or your country of choice). Hello, goodbye, thank you, please, and counting to 100+ are a good start for any country. People love it when you recognize English is not their native language.
3) GET OUT OF TOWN. Obviously if you are a city person, this may not work for you. However, in the places we visited there were wonderful accommodations 5-10 minutes outside of town for half the price of a hotel in town. By driving outside of town you get these advantages:
- Worry free (and cost free) parking for your new car
- Friendly owners and a chance to meet local people, get the local flavor for the area, and some wonderful local tips on what to do in the area
- Bigger rooms, often in better condition than a hotel, and a much better price.
- A relaxing peaceful night’s sleep with fresh air and low noise that come from being outside of town.
4) For people who have traveled a lot in Europe – renting a room/cottage/chateau for a week and exploring an area (Provence, Alps, Tuscany) for a week can also be a good option.

You have a car - take advantage of it to explore the area (I was never relaxed parking a new car in town over night - and if something happened you wouldn’t be the first ED person to wake up and find their wheels stolen, the car doors keyed, or worse).
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2008, 01:08 PM
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There are 3 basic ways to do this:

1) Book the B&B before your trip. Google the town you want to stay in. There is usually a visitor’s page that can link you to B&B’s in the area. You may want to add to your Google search one of the following terms: Pension, Bed & Breakfast, Privatzimmer, etc. UF on German pages stands for “Uebernachtung mit Fruehstueck” - overnight with breakfast).
Here are some search pages:
Germany: http://bedandbreakfast.de/index.php?lang=en
Austria: http://www.tiscover.at/accommodations?_sch=SCH1&_lan=en
France: http://www.gites-de-france.com/gites/uk/rural_gites This is definitely the way to go for the French Countryside.

2) We also had good luck just looking for the Zimmer Frei (room free) sign in areas we wanted to stay. Easy to do in areas with a lot of vacationing people (may be less easy in August!)

3) When #2 did not work we just drove to the Information center in the heart of any town. They typically call around for you and find you a place to stay meeting your requirements. Caution - you want to arrive before 4:00pm. The places will typically close between 4:30 - 6:00. After that, you are on your own!

Other notes:
I usually read the German homepages, but English is often available. If not, yahoo has a decent translation tool. Automatic translation is an awkward thing, but at least you will get the general idea:
http://babelfish.yahoo.com/

Also, many B&B’s have a surcharge if you stay only 1 or 2 nights. Check the policy for this as sometimes it can make quite a difference in the room price (typically it is 2-4Euro per person).
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2008, 01:08 PM
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chaz58 chaz58 is offline
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Here are the results of this technique traveling in the Alps (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). We had a few duds, but all and all I was very surprised at the quality of accommodations. Even with the horrid exchange rate of the dollar, we spent close to ½ of what we would spend for something similar in the US.


Munich
B&B Germany: http://bedandbreakfast.de/index.php?lang=en

This B&B was a little too inexpensive.
On the positive side, it was a great location - direct street car to BMW Welt, 8 minute walk to the center of town and in a nice quiet neighborhood, nice (if small) bedroom).
on the negative: Owners were friendly, but were not able to offer many tips to visitors, breakfast was adequate, but ‘bought in bulk’ quality, too many people sharing the bathroom (6-8!). I wouldn’t stay there again (one Canadian woman moved out after just one night).
2 out of 5 stars

peter perrichot-traub ab (49 EUR for two)
Bed and Breakfast bei Peter und Gilles
Theresienstraße 70
80333 München
Tel:089-2809833
http://www.bedinmunich.de/
from: http://www.muenchen-pension.de/m-verzeichnis-lage.html

Map:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...=13&iwloc=addr




Berchesgaden:
all Pensions: http://www.berchtesgaden-last-minute.de/offer.htm

One of my favorite places to stay: Steinlehen:
http://www.steinlehen.de/
***** 5/5 stars. I would love to go back and stay longer! We had a beautiful room with balconies on 2 sides, fresh milk from the cows next door for breakfast, and very helpful couple running the place (Herr Holzl-Fuchs is captain of one of the boats for the Koenigsee). Beautiful location - on hill just outside of Berchtesgaden, near Rossfeldpanoramastrasse, and down the road from Salzburg.

Berchtesgaden (19€/person/night)
Fam. Hölzl-Fuchs
Steinerweg 66
D - 83487 Marktschellenberg
Telefon: 08650-454
Fax: 08650 984863
eMail: Steinlehen@t-online.de
http://www.steinlehen.de/anfrage.html

Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...,0.289764&z=12



Another beautiful Pension that was already booked:
This is a beautiful accommodation near Berchtesgaden (25 minute drive) that was booked up long before we took our trip. Bummer!
http://www.hubertus-thumsee.de/index.html


Lienz Austria
Stoffenhoff
The owners here were great, but it was rather old and had a worn out feeling. Much different than the other B&B’s we stayed at. Still, it was well run and friendly. ** 2/5 stars.
http://www.tiscover.at/at/guide/6220...home/home.html
Source: http://www.tiscover.at/

Map:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...=13&iwloc=addr



Dolomites (bottom of Passo Pordoi)
Found on the side of the road (just driving by). Another wonderful place!:
***** 5/5 stars. The rooms with balconies were nice - some of the best coffee and prosciutto (Schwarzwald smoked ham) of the trip.
http://www.linacia.com/
EUR25/per/night

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...=13&iwloc=addr


Dolomites part 2
We got to Brixen/Bressanone ( Italy) just after the information center had closed, so they couldn’t find a place for us. Still, they had a lot of places listed on their info board outside. The phones in Italy were a joke - after spending 15 minutes trying to figure out how to use the thing (and losing several Euro in coins every time we made a wrong number) I stuck a credit card in the phone and got our call to go through for 0.30 Euro. It was worth it as we found a great place!

We stayed in St. Leonhard - a 8 minute drive up into the hills - a beautiful, beautiful view over the Brixen valley from our balcony. Everything was new and in amazing condition. Nice place for a holiday appartment! We paid ~ EUR21/per/night. (although most of the people there rented appartments for longer stays, the Uebernachtung mit Fruestueck (UF) was quite a deal!)

http://www.kircherhof.info/181/english/The_Farm.html





Garmisch region (between Neuschwanstein and Zugspitze):
Unterammergau is wonderful, quiet, non-touristy, and not expensive: http://www.unterammergau.de/englisch/index.htm

***** 5/5 stars:Unteramergau: (19€ pp)
Petra Ewald
Pfarrgasse 3
82497 Unterammergau
Gästehaus Ewald
Tel.: 08822 / 7187
Fax.: 08822 / 935680
Email: petra@gästehaus-ewald.de
web: http://www.gaestehaus-ewald.de/
(from http://www.unterammergau.de/)

I could easily spend a week here. The house was great (we had the whole upstairs and balcony), the owner was great, there is plenty to do in the area, and it was very relaxing. We found a nearby restaurant we liked so much that we drove half an hour out of our way to eat there when we were later staying in Austria
Restaurant: Forelle - Pueschlingstrasse 2, Unterammergau.

B&B map:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...,0.579529&z=11



Reutte:
Looking for something between Zugspitze and Neuschwanstein (Austrian side for hiking and better lift prices). Once again, the information center at the center of town called around and found us a nice place (and did the same for some Spaniards who were there at the same time). Because it was the weekend in the summer they had to call a few places, but found us a very nice place:

Gintherhof
http://www.tiscover.at/at/guide/5,en...,at1/home.html
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2008, 06:56 PM
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rmorin49 rmorin49 is online now
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Thanks for the info, chaz58. I am planning another ED for next year and might just give this a try. I think I remember enough German from my 3 year military tour to get by out in the country. I will also probably stay a couple nights at the US AFRC in Garmisch. Thanks again. Good info.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2008, 01:41 AM
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Good info!

Knowledge of German is essential, otherwise you'll be confronted with a sort of English that nobody in the world can understand.

Click here (small Gasthaus near from where I live)




What the h*** do they mean by phrases like this:
They do not know which you to undertake are?
Or "Far tenant are the family Sedlmaier us starting from 1938 the family Blesenberger. "

The restaurant:
They want to eat "property civil", to take times somewhat special to itself, perhaps even somewhat exotic? Then you are correct with us! With us you do not only get "rustikales" from Bavaria and from Austria, but also courts from the international kitchen.

You end up in court when you eat there....?!

Want to send a fax? No problem:
The moreover one our rooms are provided with telephone and communications adapter and should you times which faxes must take over that one of our coworkers and dispatches you over the "house fax".
Any questions left?
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2008, 05:22 AM
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Pedal2Floor Pedal2Floor is offline
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May I add one more item to what Alfred G has posted.

This one, is from experience, since I just went through this for my upcoming ED.

When you get a "Confirmation" as it was listed in the subject line of the Email, it may not be what you may think. As I was told by a nice German women, the confirmation was not from her to me, it was for me to contact her to confirm to her that I was taking the room(s). It took a long phone call to Germany and several faxes to get that straight. Once everything was straight, I recieved an Email titled, "Reservation" -- "Reservation" means -- my room was confirmed -- once again, after a phone call

Its all good, everyone was very nice to help me and lucky for me one of the owners spoke Italian and saved me from the embarrasing little German that I know -- just thought I would pass it on
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:05 AM
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Excellent thread!
Thanks for sharing!
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2008, 03:50 AM
bobr2001 bobr2001 is offline
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+1 Excellent info!
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:06 PM
Northcar Northcar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedal2Floor View Post
May I add one more item to what Alfred G has posted.

This one, is from experience, since I just went through this for my upcoming ED.

When you get a "Confirmation" as it was listed in the subject line of the Email, it may not be what you may think. As I was told by a nice German women, the confirmation was not from her to me, it was for me to contact her to confirm to her that I was taking the room(s). It took a long phone call to Germany and several faxes to get that straight. Once everything was straight, I recieved an Email titled, "Reservation" -- "Reservation" means -- my room was confirmed -- once again, after a phone call

Its all good, everyone was very nice to help me and lucky for me one of the owners spoke Italian and saved me from the embarrasing little German that I know -- just thought I would pass it on
You have solved a mystery for me. I showed up at a place in Germany where I thought I had a reservation (had been confirmed to me on the internet) but they had no record of my internet booking. Fortunately a room was still available. Also had with me my printed "confirmation" but given the room availability didn't need to press the matter and accordingly never really knew why the glitch.
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2008, 09:24 AM
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chaz58 chaz58 is offline
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In the worst case, you can always go to the "i" in the center of town for the information office and have them find you a room in a pinch (works quite well, as they do all of the calling and talking). Just get there before 4:00 or they might be closing down for the day (and in Europe, when it is time to go home, they go home).
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaz58 View Post
and in Europe, when it is time to go home, they go home.
Remind me story from on of my coworker, who need help from his European colleague to rebut server at 11:00 pm local time (Germany). When he call IT Manager and ask for help - answer for shocking for American employee. I CAN'T I ASK MY Worker's TO STAY TILL 11 PM, THEY GO HOME AT 5 PM?
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:13 AM
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I find Google Earth very useful too. Just spin it around, zoom in and accommodation starts appearing on the globe, sometimes with attached links and phone numbers that you can call.

Google search the name of the of the place and call up or http over and you can usually get a reasonable deal.

For my ED, I used booking.com + google earth + google map + the hotel's own site found through google search.

Translate.google.com helped with my German handicap.
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  #13  
Old 08-21-2008, 10:55 AM
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chaz58 chaz58 is offline
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Sounds like a good plan. Google earth can be addictive for trip planning. Between doing a virtual simulation of my drive (picking out the appropriate mountain passes), seeing photos of the area (and finding hidden gems - anything worth seeing has photos on google earth), to finding accomodations, Earth is quite a planning tool.

For web translations, the original, bablefish (now owned by Yahoo), is one of my favorites:
http://babelfish.yahoo.com/
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