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There are reasons why the great hotels of the world are considered “great.”  They have withstood the test of time, maintaining a degree of excellence in service and style throughout the years.  This is certainly true of Der Europäische Hof, an aristocratic hotel built in 1865. Its original garden, where carriages once arrived, has been sacrificed over the decades to make room for additional structures, designed to accommodate the increase in local tourism, while adapting to the needs and tastes of a more modern lifestyle.  Changes were made accordingly and guests continued to return, sure in the knowledge that here they would experience superior hospitality and unparalleled comfort.

I must admit, the romantic in me was disappointed not to find more of its original landscaping, but this was immediately forgotten, when I entered their grand lobby and their lounges where a “garden” of elegance and style bloomed in every intimate sitting area.  Graceful, quiet, inviting…  As are the rooms, where space is generous, light is abundant, décor tasteful, and no amenity overlooked.  Der Europäische Hof has been owned and managed by the von Kretschmann family for decades, and their spirit of hospitality and princely personal touches are evident everywhere.  

The light-filled breakfast room feels very much like a flower garden with its cheerful colors and large picture windows looking out on the greenery and fountains in the central courtyard.  On their beautifully arranged buffet tables, there is something to indulge every taste or exacting dietary limitation, making it difficult to practice any restraint in making choices.  No one leaves hungry.

Dinner at their restaurant Kurfürstenstube, on the other hand, is where Chef Peter Grün takes each diner on a culinary adventure, not to be forgotten, offering tasting menus or a la carte dining.  The dining room itself has changed little over the decades.  Its old world charm washes over you from the moment you enter, as does the soft piano notes that the musician plays to soothe the soul.  The chef has created a tasting menu this evening that builds in richness of color, taste and texture – the main course of lamb prepared two ways, accompanied by a 2003 Durkheimer Feuerberg Cabernet Sauvignon, was delectable.  Our Maître d’ and sommelier, Roland Duerkob added such enjoyment to our evening, skillfully guiding us through our dinner, ending by preparing crepes with caramel ice-cream flambéed at our table.  Oh, what memories we will take away with us!

September 2011

All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson

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Hotel Europäischer Hof

Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

Hotel Europäischer Hof ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson

This hotel is featured in my travel story: Reaching the Heights in Heidelberg