The Mercure in Garmisch-Partenkirchen has a lot to offer. There are some things you need to either know or plan for in advance to make a good experience even better.
This hotel has a lot going for it. The staff is super friendly and helpful, and to me, they even went out of their way more when I offered to speak German with them. Additionally, the location is very good as well. I have visited Garmisch often and regularly stay at the Riessersee. The Riessersee has, IMHO, two drawbacks: the narrow winding road up the side of a mountain you have to drive to get there, and the dinner menu can be, at times, lacking. The Mercure is in the Partenkirchen section of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, at the head of the street that takes you right through the old part of town. That journey is wonderful, taking you by many excellent shops, bakeries and restaurants. Be sure to visit Backerei Sies, which is only a few doors away from the Mercure. They are magicians of bread, and you'll leave wondering what happened to bread-making in the United States. Personally, I took up bread-making because of my experiences in Germany and I haven't looked back. There is also a grocery store with its own backerei next to the hotel in the opposite direction (towards the main street).
The restaurant has plenty of Bavarian charm. The breakfast is fabulous, and no kidding - the Mercure has some of the best tasting fruit I've ever had. The bread selection is also very good - it makes you want to curse the junk offered at your local American supermarket. The evening fare is also very good, but can be a bit pricey. Be sure to look for the separate steak menu. The steaks are heavenly.
The room also has a Bavarian theme and charm to it. This can be very welcome given how many hotels feel the need to be "modern." In my room, there was something a akin to a "stammtisch" which can certainly make you feel like you're in a Gasthaus.
The views are also excellent. I had a beautiful view of the Alps, to include the Zugspitze, which were stunning at sunset.
There are a few things about the Mercure you need to know in advance so that you can plan accordingly. Inidividually, these are minor inconveniences, but taken together, they can add up to make a visit somewhat frustrating.
First, there is no in-room coffee capability, other than room service. Most of the hotels I've stayed at in Germany have this convenience, making the absence here stick out.
Second, there are no alam clocks in the room - another first. You can use the phone to set a wake up call, and the television has something of an alarm clock feature. Personally, I like the ability to hit the snooze button a few times, if I need it. The in-room phone eliminates the need for a snooze capability. Why? Because the ring would wake the dead.
Third, this is the first hotel I can remember staying in that did not have a Bible in the room. I didn't check to see if one was available at the desk, but I had also not packed one on the assumption that the typical three-language edition normally found in this region would be there.
Fourth, the hotel has a spa with massage services available. The Mercure also has a policy that is written in none of its spa literature and can lead to awkward moments because guests won't know in advance. That policy is that guests ordering full-body massages will only have that massage done by someone of the same sex. Apparently, there were some harrassment issues earlier - enough for the hotel to institute the policy that only men will massage men and only women will massage women. This is something the hotel needs to advise guests in advance.
Fifth, the only English-language channel available is CNN International (or, the "Blame America First and Always" Network). There are a couple of premium channels (to the tune of Euro 12.90 per event or feature), one if which carried soccer. The same channel, as I recall, is included in the room price at the Riessersee.
Sixth, you have to ask for complimentary newspaper delivery. I don't know whether USA Today is one of the papers available, but even when I did request a morning paper, one wasn't delivered. Then again, I only found out the the hotel had complimentary newspapers the night before check-out.
If your room includes the local tourist tax fee, be sure to ask for the tourist card that you're entitled to. It's good for discounts for a lot of area attractions.
Staying on the Partenkirchen side has a lot going for it, and I will consider staying at the Mercure again - especially knowing what (and what not) to expect.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Mercure Hotel Garmisch-Partenkirchen, located in the town center, has 117 comfortable rooms equipped with Wi-Fi. The hotel has a pool, sauna and steam room and can also provided massages and beauty treatments, carried out by external businesses. A fitness center is also available and the hotel has a clay tennis court, golf practice nets, bicycles and sleds for you to use in your leisure time. 7 meeting rooms can accommodate events with up to 200 guests, and parking is free of charge.Newly renovated meeting rooms with modern technology including a studio rhetoric. Various groups working spaces. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mercure Hotel Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany - Bavaria
- Mercure Garmisch Partenkirchen