I have to be honest, I really don’t want to write a review of this place. I’m dreading it. Why? Because I want the place to myself. The more people that know about the most beautiful place on earth, the higher the rates will be and the more the town of Berchtesgaden will lose its charm.
I think I’ve finally figured out my favorite place on earth. In the past when I wanted to “relax” I would travel to a beach. The thing is, I’m not much of a beach person. I’m the guy that goes to a beach hotel and sits on my balcony happily looking at the beach, without ever going there. It’s just not my thing — the sand, the salt water, etc… bleh.
For whatever reason I never thought of the mountains as a vacation destination, though this was quite possibly the most relaxing two days of my life.
After a two hour drive from Munich Airport on the Autobahn through the stunning Bavarian countryside we made it to the InterContinental Berchtesgaden.
The first cool thing worth noting? The road leading up to the hotel is the steepest in all of Germany, with a gradient of 23 degrees. Made for some fun stick driving!
As we pulled up to the hotel I had the biggest smile on my face, thinking I had finally found heaven. Literally, this place is amazing.
They call the hotel a “hideaway in the Alps,” and that’s really what it felt like.
As I pulled up to the hotel we were welcomed by the bellman with a traditional “Grüß Gott” (literally translates to “Greet God”) and asked whether we wanted to park our car.
We were escorted to the modern lobby, where check-in was quickly processed. I was thanked for being a Royal Ambassador and we were informed we had been upgraded to a Penthouse Suite because the hotel was full that weekend and they needed to bump us up. Score, especially since we were using a buy one get one free weekend night certificate, meaning we paid 239 Euros for the first night and nothing for the second night.
The bellman helped us bring our bags to our suite, noting the facilities along the way, like the lobby lounge.
The entrance to our suite was located on the third floor, though the Penthouse Suites are two floors, taking up the third and fourth floor of the hotel.
The first floor is kind of wasted space since we didn’t spend any time there, though there’s a desk with TV and daybed of sorts.
There’s also a full bathroom with shower and toilet.
The room led to the balcony, overlooking the center of the resort and surrounding mountains.
That led up to the second floor, where the bedroom and living room are located.
The living room featured a couch and two chairs, and a door leading out to the deck.
There was also a large table in the living room which housed the minibar. The minibar doesn’t have any alcohol, but rather only juice and water, which is free for everyone (Royal Ambassadors always get free minibar beverages, though that didn’t do anything for us in this case).
Waiting for us above the minibar was the Royal Ambassador welcome gift consisting of a bottle of wine, and a plate with chocolate, crackers, and fruit.
The bedroom featured a king bed which overlooked the deck.
The interesting thing about the deck is that it’s not a private balcony, but rather a massive deck shared with all those in Penthouse Suites on the top floor. While it might lack privacy to some (meaning you actually have to put on clothes to go outside), it was awesome to be able to walk around outside just by opening your “back” door.
On the other side of the bedroom was the bathroom, which overlooked the center of the resort, with two sinks, a huge walk-in shower, tub, and toilet/bidet.
While the Penthouse Suite is 154 square meters it doesn’t feel nearly that big since it’s spread out over two floors. Still, it’s quite possibly one of the coolest suites I’ve ever stayed in.
The resort also features a pool, both indoor and outdoor. Both pools are heated, especially the outdoor one which was almost like a hot tub.
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as swimming with a view of the Alps.
The hotel also has a very nice gym and spa, though I didn’t use either.
But what’s most stunning about the hotel is the location. It’s literally right on top of a mountain with amazing views of the surrounding areas. I got up early the first morning and went for a walk, and I can’t recall ever feeling as good. I’ve never breathed such fresh, clean air as in Berchtesgaden. Given that I was there in August the weather was perfect, probably high 60s or low 70s during the day, a bit cooler at night, though always with sun. It was simply the most refreshed I’ve ever felt.
It’s worth noting that while the hotel charges 15 Euros for valet parking, there’s a public parking lot just a three or four minute walk down the hill that we parked at for free.
In the next installment I’ll cover Berchtesgaden, which was just amazing. We had breakfast, lunch, and dinner in town both days, so didn’t make use of the restaurants in the hotel, which were obviously priced typically high for an international resort in a small European town. That being said, the InterContinental made an amazing base for exploring the area, and this is hands down my new favorite place on earth to vacation. If you haven’t been to Berchtesgaden wait for the next installment and you’ll see why!
Funny enough a blog reader visited last month after reading my brief review, and he emailed me two weeks ago saying Berchtesgaden “has to be one of the most gorgeous places on earth” and saying the InterContinental was one of his “best hotel experiences ever.”
Since Berchtesgaden is only about two hours from Munich Airport I plan on dropping by every time I’m connecting in Munich, be it just a regional connection or while enroute from the US to Asia.