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Reviewed 1 August 2011

As a travel writer I am super-critical of hotels as I feel they make or break a travel (rather than a tourist) experience. I do have a thing about Relais & Chateaux establishments though I must say. Many have fascinating histories and this one does too. I was on a three-week research trip.

Actually this hotel is terribly easy to find but GPS systems lead you to the wrong side of the picturesque park in which it is located. As a tip just enter 'Friedrichstrasse' on the GPS (any number in the street will do) and when you are on this road drive out of Potsdam along a lovely leafy highway and you will come to the clearly signed entrance to the hotel and park on your right. There is a golden stag guarding entrance and a small inn. A long entrance drive to the hotel prepares you for a lovely experience.

Luck plays an enormous part in hotel short stays. I feel many people do not realise or acknowledge this. Simply because they are paying what they consider to be a high price they expect everything to be guaranteed perfect. Life is not like this as we all know. Sod's law is healthy and well.

There are no budget Relais & Chateax hotels on earth to my knowledge and this one is very affordable in comparison to those in the UK and elsewhere. A couple of reviewers here seem to have been desperately unlucky as I had no insect problems at all and stayed just a few days before them (July 3-6). The weather has been so unpredicatable in Europe this summer I expect it has affected the insect population too! Periods of ennervating heat have alternated with freezing temperatures. It rained heavily all the time we were there but this made the haven of the hotel, super spa, immaculate pool and superb restaurant very welcome indeed. No consolation I know (wet moths and mossies cannot fly I suppose) but one cannot fairly generalise about hotels on one or two night stays.

During the stay I had a small medical emergency and the house manager could not have been more helpful in obtaining assistance. The 'problem' was dealt with by a gracious Potsdam physician who charged nothing and did not want to even see my EU health card. Somewhat of a change....

The Junior Suite at the Bavarian House was what one might term 'luxury-modern' and very comfortable with a fine large bathroom fitted with high quality accoutrements(separate sinks make such a difference) and separate lavatory - a real advantage for aesthetes like myself. Some say the secret to a happy marriage is separate bathrooms...

After a heavy day wandering the truly glorious Potsdam sights and walking in the extensive parks laid out by Frederick the Great an hour in the spa and pool followed by a superb meal at the gourmet one rosette Michelin restaurant made me a very charming chap indeed over my aged armagnac and cigar - far from the grumpy old man I often become whilst travelling among mass tourists of 2011. I had one of the best meals, if not the best, while we were in Germany. It featured the seemingly ubiquitous and presently fashionable so-called 'molecular cuisine' which can be so expensive and disappointing. This was certainly not the case at the Bavarian House. A marvellous food adventure for jaded taste buds! Excellent regional wine list with carefully chosen 'Gutsweine' (House Wine). Closed on Sunday and Monday evenings.

I encountered so few English people during my three weeks travelling in Germany and Switzerland. In 3,500 kms of driving I passed two English registered cars. Such a pity the recession has dealt the Brits such a bad hand. Germany is a wonderful country to tour by car with magnificent roads and the most superbly tended and extensive landscape gardens imaginable. Yes it is not inexpensive compared to the Mediterranean but if you find Germany expensive try the Helvetic Confederation - eye watering for everything except public transport. The Swiss Franc is so strong it has begun to affect tourism greatly. I heard not one English voice around Lake Geneva, the 'Swiss Riviera'.

Potsdam is marvellous for anyone who wants to experience the creations of a benevolent, musical and highly artistic monarch - Frederick the Great. If you have any historical imagination the elegant isolated comforts of the Bavarian House perfectly complete the picture for the 'happy few' .

Michael Moran
www.michael-moran.net

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MichaelMoran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2011

We stayed at this hotel for two nights when visiting Potsdam. The hotel is not so easy to find as it is off the main road and down a forest path (asphalted) in the middle of the woods. Nature lovers will surely be delighted as the songs of birds abound everywhere on the hotel grounds. We got a very spatious room with classical tastefull decoration and a balcony on the first floor of the separate chalet guest house. The bathroom left nothing to be desired and nor did the room. A few minuses did strike us though. This being listed as a five star property, we were surprised to find no airconditioning in the room. When we visited it was extremely mucky and hot and we had no other option than to leave the windows open. This was not a problem as we brought our own mosquito repellent but if you fail to do so you will undoubtedly be eaten live by the massive numbers of forest bugs and mosquitoes that came out after dark. Second minus was the minibar. When you feel thirsty and you want to help yourself to a drink from the cooler, just keep in mind that the 37.5 mL liter of white wine will set you back 25 EUR and the red 35. The small bottle of Moet&Chandon will relieve you of 90 EUR. Good to know before uncorking. The hotel apart from this has a spa on-site and a one Michelin star restaurant which we didn't try. The hotel also makes available bikes for the guests who want to reconnoitre the forests around the chalet. Altogether a nice stay. Too bad about the minuses.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Marc A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2011

Just returned from what was supposed to be a nice relaxing weekend but experienced the worst night's sleep I've ever had in a hotel! I don't normally write reviews, but felt that I had to warn other travellers about our experience.

My husband and I arrived at the hotel with our 17-month old toddler for the weekend, and our first impressions of the hotel were really positive. We were very happy with our large room as there was plenty of space for our little boy to play. We had arrived in the early evening and noticed that the window was open and that the mosquito net was not shut. We'd read other reviews and knew that mosquitos were a problem, so were rather surprised. The nastiest surprise was still to come!

When I went to draw the curtain, I saw at least 30 large moths on the inside. I'm not a fan of large insects and was pretty petrified. We called reception and they sent housekeeping with a vacuum cleaner to sort out the problem. The young girl was very pleasant and accommodating. However, during the evening more moths found their way into our room and my husband spent the night chasing them away from our little boy's cot. He must have killed at least 20. This is NOT an exaggeration. I'd expected a few unwelcome bugs in our room given that we were in the middle of the woods, but this was ridiculous. We could also hear the vacuum cleaner going in another room and banging noises, so we knew we weren't the only ones with the problem. We couldn't sleep, and by 3 a.m. we'd had enough. The hotel does not have air conditioning and it was almost 30 degrees in the day when we were there. The heat was unbearable, but we couldn't open the windows as somehow the moths were still getting in through the mosquito net.

I called reception but no-one could speak any English so my husband went down to try and explain the problem with his limited German and some handy drawing skills. The night receptionist, who was friendly and helpful, was happy to offer us another room. However, having to move our toddler at 3.30 in the morning was the last thing we wanted. But, it was that or no sleep! We finally got our little boy off to sleep at 5.15 a.m. and were exhausted and very hot!

In the morning, I went down to reception to complain about the moth problem and the inconvenience it had caused. I spoke to the receptionist and a lady who I believe is the owner or manager also happened to be there. They were apologetic but didn't really seem to care. They told us it was unusual and that there was nothing they could do given that we were in the the woods. I would have expected a little more in terms of customer service and satisfaction from a 5 star establishment. A courtesy call from the manager to ensure we were happy with our new room, at the very least, given that we'd been inconvenienced. Our new room, which was much smaller, still had a few moths but we could live with that.

Overall, a charming looking hotel in a lovely setting. Great pool which was spotlessly clean. Strange, as the hotel was very quiet for the peak season. We only saw a few guests the whole weekend we were there. Didn't have breakfast as at 25 euros, we didn't think it was good value. 15 euros per night for the use of a cot is also on the expensive side.

Would I go back? No, never!! 120 euros for a terrible night's sleep is outrageous and it completely spoiled our experience. Shame, as in my opinion, this place could be great but it desperately needs to install air conditioning and do some serious work on its guest relations before it really deserves its 5 star status.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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Thank monez21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2010

The Bayrisches Haus is a gem. It was built in 1847 by Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV for his wife Elisabeth Von Bayern. It is worth driving from Berlin to stay at this pleasant Potsdam hotel. Hidden in a heavily-wooded park it is simply excellent. The hotel is very quiet, super clean, non-smoking. Rooms are charming, nicely decorated and furnished, with excellent beds. Windows have anti-mosquito screens. Amenities include a heated indoor pool, a beautiful spa and sauna, and free high speed internet. You find complimentary mineral water, tea & Nespresso coffee plus fruit in the room. The service is professional and friendly. The hotel is top of the range.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MrsPiket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2010

Don't be fooled by the rather plain photos on the website. This place is excellent, and you'd pay twice as much in Berlin for less. The staff is professional and friendly, and they are not bothered by having to speak English to us mono-linguals. It is in the middle of a heavily-wooded park next to Potsdam. The rooms are very nice; I expect I would not want to check out of one of the suites. A great place for the lazy who like to eat well. Free internet. You'll wish they had A/C if you go during a 38 C heatwave. We should have tried the main restaurant; dress well for it in order to fit in.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kodachrometraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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