Although Triberg is a touristy town, it doesn’t have many accommodation options ad most people visit this place as a day trip. I didn’t want to spend too much time on public transport, so I decided to stay overnight and hoped that accommodation wouldn’t be too expensive. As a student, I of course booked the cheapest place I could get, and this is one of those times that I’m so chuffed with my decision.
Hotel Zum Bären is on Triberg’s Hauptstraße (main street). And because it’s not that big a town, this street is just a tiny strip where you can find everything within a kilometre radius. The hotel’s owned by a husband and wife duo. And from what I’ve gathered, they do EVERYTHING in the hotel, from the cleaning, washing and even cooking for guests.
The check-in process:
Check-in isn’t until 4pm here, but there’s a reason why. During the day they clean the rooms, and at night they wash the sheets. Daytime is also used for sheet drying, in case they didn’t dry overnight.
While at first I was bummed out that I couldn’t get my room sooner, I could easily stored my things in another room and just picked it up when I eventually checked in.
The owner sits you down and gives you recommendations on where to go and when. Hotel Zum Bären also gives you a free bus pass that’s valid for 24hrs. This pass also allows you free entry to the Triberg Waterfall- the biggest waterfall in Germany (about 1km away from the hotel). Oh, and Hotel Zum Bären is directly opposite to Cafe Schaefer, which is the birth place of the famous Black Forest Cake.
The decor in public areas:
When you’re walking on the street, Hotel Zum Bären will be easy to spot. This is the place with the brightest red flowers hanging from balconies. These flowers were so well looked after that when I was sitting on my room’s balcony, I saw the owner watering those flowers on the balconies of unoccupied rooms.
As soon as you walk in, you’ll immediately feel that quaint Black Forest vibe. Everything was antique, with heavy wooden doors and a squeaky floor everywhere in the hotel. Hotel Zum Bären didn’t have a reception. Instead, when you ‘checked in’, you were sat down on one of the chairs in their restaurant. If I had to sum this place up in one word, it would be: homely.
Like the public areas, my room made my heart flow with warmth and love as soon as I stepped in. I had two single beds with wooden ends. My pillow had a simple embroidery. I knew I was in for a good night’s sleep.
The drawer was made of wood. It had a simple embroidery and a colourful Turkish cloth placed on top. Directly on top of the drawer was a mirror with more flowery patterns.
There was also a very spacious wardrobe of at least 2 metres high and 1.5 metres in length. This would be the perfect place to stay for winter!
In my room was also a picnic table with an embroidery and two chairs with flowery cushions.
Basically, everything I’d seen so far was either flowery or embroidered. It was antique, it was classic, it was homely.
The shower/toilet wasn’t too big, but wasn’t too small either. A shower was a shower, so I don’t think I need to say much on it. I did find it interesting that the sink was outside the bathroom, next to the tables, and directly next to the floor-window. Oh well. I couldn’t complain about having a view every time I washed my hands!
I love it when hotel rooms come with balconies. I had views of my perfectly red flower beds, the Main Street in front of me, and of course, the Black Forest in the distance. I could just sit here and watch the world go by.
I read from TripAdvisor reviews that apparently the wifi doesn’t work in all the rooms. This wasn’t a problem for me, probably because I had a room that was directly above the entrance area. Still, if I didn’t have wifi I would’ve happily retired for the night, after a long day of hiking and exploring.
The special touch:
What will remain with me from Hotel Zum Bären would be the loving hosts. When I’d enquires about washing my clothes, the hostess said that they would offer me free laundry. She showed me the laundry room, put the clothes in the washing machine for me, and said that unfortunately I’d have to hang my clothes up myself as she was going to sleep (This was already at 9pm). I was so shocked and so thankful that she would offer to wash it for nothing in return, and that she would show me the areas of the hotel that was definitely not open to the public. Hanging my own washing was the least that I could’ve done.
When I went to pick up my washing after an hour, I saw the host. We had a long conversation about climate change, while he fed the clean sheets into a machine that reduced creases. I really hoped he didn’t have to stay up too late to run all the leftover errands!
Unfortunately I had to get up at ridiculous hours the next day, so I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye (My clothes had dried overnight though, yay!). Nor did I have the chance to have breakfast (or dinner, for that matter) here. I would really recommend you to eat at least a meal here though, as the whole experience would’ve surely been nothing short of overflowing love. Even if I don’t visit Triberg’s touristy sites again, I’d love to stay in Hotel Zum Bären for that homely, lovely and warm experience while being transported back to the 1970s.