Favorite hotel in Baden-Baden

My favorite hotel would be the Hotel Colmar Garni (Lange Strasse 34, Baden-Baden, GERMANY; visit www.hotelsingermany.com) because it has it all.

It’s located on a walking mall in the heart of town with balconies overlooking ice cream shops and flowerpots. It’s unique, has historical charm and is family-owned — great staff. And it’s relatively unknown, mentioned in few guidebooks.

In summer 2003, when we parked our rented Opel in front of the hotel it was the only car on the walking mall. Monica, one of the girls at the desk, stood guard as we unpacked the bags and the baby.

Peroska showed us our room, and although the sitting room was a bit unstylish with its chintz curtains and hook rugs, the bathroom was brand new and very high-tech German.

Our bedroom had a geranium-lined balcony overlooking the Café Perriot. “How charming,” I thought as I settled in and put my wine in the refrigerator.

Later, Monica helped us locate a baby-sitter so my husband and I could enjoy a night dining al fresco along Baden-Baden’s romantic cobbled streets. At breakfast, Peroska played with our son so we could tuck in to the cheeses, breads, yogurts and fruit which filled the buffet to overflowing.

The Colmar is not only convenient and staffed with nice people, it is inexpensive. An apartment was approximately $125 per night, including breakfast, baby cot and parking.

What it lacks in flashy opulence, this 4-star hotel makes up for with charm and cheer. I loved it so much, I plan to return again with my family in two years to celebrate my 40th birthday!

Boulder, CO