When traveling abroad, it can be difficult to experience what makes a culture unique without bordering on the cliché or kitsch. Take the Bavaria region of Germany, for instance. Visitors want the authentic atmosphere of biergartens, the taste of schnitzel and freshly baked pretzels, and the artistry and fun of lederhosen, all things that understandably make this part of the world famous. But how to do this without the fake tourist traps that trip up so many travelers to the area?
A stay at Bachmair Weissach Hotel along beautiful Lake Tegernsee provides guests with true Bavarian luxury without feeling as if they’ve entered a fake, cartoonish version of southern Germany.
Every detail at Bachmair Weissach oozes sophistication, but with a distinctly German flair. Everything from the fabric choices to the menu options to the river running through the property leaves guests with the sense of experiencing Bavarian charm yet not sacrificing modern aesthetics.
Bachmair Weissach may feel quaint and charming, but it houses a sizable 146 rooms and suites. The biggest highlight for families is the space that these accommodations offer.
Bathrooms are large and well-appointed. Most rooms and suites have balconies overlooking the garden of the property. This outdoor space cries out for parents to enjoy a glass of wine after the kids are in bed, but is large enough for the whole family to enjoy during the day.
Suites are ideal for families, given the separate sleeping and living space. They offer small kitchen areas, great for longer stays if families want to eat some meals in. My favorite aspect of our suite was the closet space, nearly as large as the bedroom itself. I loathe the disorganized feel hotel rooms tend to get once we’ve spread our belongings around. To be able to hide half-empty suitcases, assorted shoes and jackets, and children’s backpacks out of sight for the duration of our stay was heavenly to me.
As fabulous and relaxing as the rooms are, it is the rest of the Bachmair Weissach property that families will remember for years to come. The grounds are extensive (and particularly deceiving to those just driving by the property, as they are hidden away from the main road that runs through the Lake Tegernsee resort area).
Favorites include the park, which most rooms overlook, for its beautiful bubbling river in which guests are encouraged to wade. There’s plenty of seating here to enjoy a steamy mug of coffee or a cocktail. For children, the large sports arena (only open during German school holidays) offers trampolines, large toys, and plenty of space to run around, especially in wet weather. My family made use of a big field on the property for a game of soccer one evening before dinner.
Another highlight for young and old is the pool and spa complex. There’s a large indoor pool perfect for exercise and play, and a kinderpool great for young children and those just learning to swim. The kinderpool is separated from the main pool with a soundproof wall, meaning boisterous little ones splashing about won’t bother adults getting in their morning workout at the main pool.
The spa is a particularly decadent space with a wide variety of offerings. Most impressively, it has many treatments aimed at men, so dads can catch a few moments of blissful relaxation right along with moms. Because it’s adjacent to the pools and kids’ club, it’s quite easy to provide the children some distraction and entertainment while parents indulge in a treatment.
And finally, the kids’ club at Bachmair Weissach is a fitting extension of the hotel’s family-friendly vibe. There’s a game room for teens and a fully staffed children’s room for those needing supervision while parents enjoy a day or night out. I was most impressed with the staff’s ability to handle children from several countries (each speaking different languages). There’s a rock wall for climbing, as well as crafts and great toys from which to choose. The staff is also happy to arrange meals for children visiting the club, should parents want to dine without their little ones.
For a hotel of this size, the food choices are abundant at Bachmair Weissach, ranging from the casual to the exotic. For dinner, guests can head to Gasthof Zur Weissach, which does traditional Bavarian fare in a very high-quality way. As the restaurant is composed of several different rooms, some dating back to the mid-1800s, families are often seated together, and a spirit of camaraderie develops among guests this way. The children’s menu here offers healthy and tasty options, and is capped off with fruit and chocolate fondue.
Another option is the newly opened Asian fusion restaurant. While children are welcome (and can order from the Asian menu or the Gasthof menu), this is the type of place that might be best enjoyed as a date night. Sushi, sashimi and other dishes are served tapas-style. For those who enjoy this cuisine, trust your server to make recommendations on what to order to experience the full range of the menu.
Service at both restaurants was impeccable, some of the best I’ve experienced in my European travels. Attentive, informative and friendly, the staff is particularly accommodating to young guests and puts families at ease from beginning to end.
Breakfast is served in a gazebo-shaped room called the Pavilion, situated directly over the river that runs through the gardens. Children will be delighted to look down at the water via glass panels embedded in the floor of this bright and airy space. My kids were so mesmerized that I was able to make plates of healthy food for them from the buffet before they had a chance to notice the delicious pastry selection.
Small plates and snacks are served throughout the day in the common areas and bar of the hotel, and room service is also available. In winter, a dedicated fondue restaurant is available.
Many Americans and those who hail from elsewhere in Europe may not be familiar with this area of Germany. But Germans know it well, and their reasons for making this a popular holiday destination are many. The lake’s natural beauty, with lush, forest-covered Alpine hillsides rolling into crystal-clear blue water, will leave those who appreciate beautiful landscapes in awe.
The streets are full of independent boutiques, shops and restaurants, many of which are high-end. Sports options for the active are plentiful, from hiking to mountain biking to water sports. My family spent an amazing afternoon at the local outdoor pool, surprisingly enough. The water is heated and the pool is infinity-style, so guests get the sense of swimming in the lake without the frigid temperatures. A water slide and hot tubs complete a fun afternoon of water play.
Bachmair Weissach offers bikes and motorized scooters (to borrow or to rent, depending on preferences) in order to explore the area without a car. For those wishing to venture farther out to Munich, Salzburg or the Austrian ski slopes, parking is free and easily accessible at the property.
Forget the cartoon version of Germany. At Bachmair Weissach Hotel, every member of your family will get to experience Bavaria’s authentic beauty and charm in a luxurious yet comfortable setting.
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Editor’s Note: Bachmair Weissach hosted Ciao Bambino in order for us to review the property. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Nicole Wiltrout.
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