Hotel Wallis, Munich

This item appears on page 55 of the January 2012 issue.

Whenever my husband, Bernie, and I go to Europe, we enjoy flying Lufthansa, and when we go to Germany, which most recently was in September ’10, we like to arrive in and depart from Munich.

Right outside the Lufthansa terminal, we catch the airline’s shuttle and take it to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) in the city (€17 round trip). We stay in the city center area for a day in order to “Europeanize” ourselves.

For our last trip, Chris Weike at Nonstop Travel (Torrance, CA; 800/949-6362 or 310/324-5500) found us a cute little hotel about five minutes’ walk from the Hauptbahnhof and shuttle dropoff point. At Hotel Wallis (Schwanthalerstrasse 8, D-80336 Munich, Germany; phone 089 54 90 29 0, fax 90 29 28), we paid €97 (near $130) for one night for the two of us, including a buffet breakfast.

Our stay, the night of Sept. 7, was before the beginning of Oktoberfest (which started on Sept. 18 that year), so we paid a lower seasonal rate. (2012 rates run €79-€169 for a standard single to €120-€299 for a four-person suite.)

The Wallis is a boutique hotel with a few rooms on each of its five or six floors. It has one of those old-fashioned elevators where you close the cage door by hand. All the employees we met were friendly and helpful, but I don’t know if they spoke English (we speak German). The hotel has a garage (one night’s parking, €12). There’s a branch of the ALDI supermarket chain nearby and also a lot of small eateries.

So far, it sounds like an ordinary hotel, but what stunned us was the awesome breakfast spread. They had all of my favorite crusty German bread rolls; all the cereals you can think of; at least 10 kinds of salads, including seafood, chicken, pasta, potato and beet; plates of shrimp with seafood dip; eggs cooked to order, and — the icing on the cake — chilled champagne.

The waitress said they wanted to send us off for the day in a jovial mood.

Santa Barbara, CA