Jens Diekmann has been barnstorming across the United States, stirring up business for the Romantik Hotels group which he heads in nine countries of Europe--Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Britain.
"Tell us where you would like to go and we'll plan your entire route and reserve your hotels," Diekmann said.
Promises "comfort all the way."
These are small, historic little hotels/restaurants. Each is managed personally by its owner.
Joining Diekmann on his tour of the U.S. is blonde, blue-eyed Conny Scholl, 22, whose family operates the cozy little Hotel Post (circa 1697) in Nagold, Germany (on the approach to the Black Forest). Singles, $25/$30, doubles $40/$50. And you can tell the folks back home you stayed where Napoleon slept. The hotel even has a suite named for the little warrior.
The Post--it's been in the same family for seven generations--features timbered walls, a ceramic fireplace, paintings, antiques--and a restaurant with five small rooms. Candlelight, fresh flowers. And if you're particularly romantic in this Romantik Hotel, the proprietor will provide a zither player to crank out melodies while you dine. The address: Romantik Hotel Post, D-7270 Nagold, Black Forest, Germany (just a short drive from Stuttgart).
Romantik Hotels are generally found in Europe's ancient villages. One, the Zum Lowen, is a converted farmhouse in Worb, Switzerland. The owner, Hans Pieter Bernhard, does cheese fondues, marvelous veal dishes.
With Romantik you have the choice of 132 hotels (30 feature golf).
For details, call the U.S. representative toll-free (800) 826-0015 or write to Romantik Hotels, 12334 Northup Way, Suite C, Bellevue, Wash. 98005. (Ask about Romantik's fly/drive plan--hotel, breakfast for seven nights and a car, $359 per person, based on double occupancy).
Skiers Skiers can book a complete vacation package at six Colorado and Utah resorts with one toll-free call, (800) 525-5520. Stalker Tour and Travel represents Aspen, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Snowbird, Steamboat Springs, Winter Park. Arrangements for transportation, lodging, lift tickets, ski rentals. Even sleigh rides, hot-air ballooning, dinner reservations, baby-sitter service. One call does it all.
Map/Guides A series of fold-up map/guides are being marketed nationwide by Pro Design, 58 Bank St., New York 10014. You'll find a map on one side, information on the other. Fits snugly into a purse or shirt pocket. Covers New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, London, Paris, Rome, Zurich, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tokyo. On sale ($5.95 each) at bookstores, department stores or in a six-pack group through American Express for $29.95.
Dude Ranches Colorado is out to woo summer vacationers with its dude ranch program. Wide-open spaces, plenty of fresh air. Rooms without telephones or TV. Some ranches unlatch the gate as early as May. One called Ah Wilderness can be reached only by the 100-year-old Durango and Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad. The nearest road is five miles away. Smack on the Animas River, surrounded by San Juan National Forest. Thirteen cabins, ranch-style meals, a lodge with a lounge, a general store, hot tub, 30 head of horses.
For a brochure listing Ah Wilderness and 39 other ranches, write to the Colorado Dude Ranch Assn., P.O. Box 300, Tabernash, Colo. 80478.
Amtrak A series of rail excursions is being produced by Amtrak--44 trips that take in Western parks, cities. Others feature the Eastern states, Canada, air/rail and sea/rail journeys. Brochures describing the tours are available from the Amtrak Distribution Center, P.O. Box 7717, Itasca, Ill. 60143 (specify Rail West, Rail East or the Sea/Rail or Air/Rail combination). Reader Recommendations Austria--Kurt M. Gundell, Whittier: "Found an excellent small hotel in the middle of Vienna, across from the opera . . . Hotel Opernring, Opernring 11, A1010 Vienna. Proprietor, Suzie Riedl, most accommodating, speaks fluent English. About $60 for a double, including breakfast."
Belgium--M. Miller, Century City: "Hotel Biskaje, Bruges, located at Biskajer Pleen, just around the corner from the canal and Van Eyks statue. Old World charm, a cozy bar. Breakfast was one of the best in Europe."
Napa Valley, Calif.--Jim and Linda Huprich, Pasadena: "Villa St. Helena, an elegant wine country inn overlooking Napa Valley. A secluded, wooded 20-acre estate. For $100 a night, it's the bargain of the decade."
England--Marianne Lewis, Rancho Palos Verdes: "A family home on the ocean front on the south coast of England near Lady Di's father's home. From London, less than two hours by train. It's called Iron Gates, Aldwick Bay, West Sussex, PO21 4EN England. About $375 a week in summer. Locally, telephone (213) 541-6546."
Scotland--Craig A. Williams, Seal Beach: "A bed and breakfast in Scotland in the small fishing village of Findhorn. A relaxing village on a peninsula overlooking an idyllic bay on one side and an enchanting rock beach on the other. Only an hour's drive from Loch Ness. Address 7 Findhorn, Moray. Telephone (03) 093-2216. Only 7 (about $8) per person."
Oakhurst, Calif.--Jim Hackman, Oakhurst: "Discovered a wonderful restaurant loaded with atmosphere called The Old Barn. Located about two miles north of town on Highway 41 on route to Bass Lake and Yosemite--41486 Old Barn Way."
England--Neil Mitchell, Winterhaven, Fla.: "A bed and breakfast, Far Slack Farm, Stanbury at Keighley in England. Telephone Haworth 43599."
Mexico--Robert and Marge Gold, Pacific Palisades: "Enjoyed Las Cazuelas restaurant at Basillo Badillo 479, Puerto Vallarta. A good dinner for about $11. Service excellent."
Britain--Dick and Shirley Swank, Bakersfield: "Recommend bed and breakfasts at 56 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HA, England; Oxstalls Farm, A46 Warwick Road at Stratford-On-Avon, England ($10 per person per night); a B&B; on Kinsale Road, Ballygarvan, Cork, Ireland ($9 per night per person): a B&B; at 452 Strand Road, Port Marnock, Dublin, Ireland ($10 per night per person)."
Africa--Bill Watters, Los Angeles: "Visitors to West Africa will be astounded to discover a truly first-class hotel in Maroua in the northern Cameroons near the Waza Game Preserve and the magnificent Rumsiki scenic area. Managed by Georges Cloet, chef and manager of the prestigious Les Champs D'Ors in Paris and his Belgian wife, Rosita. A lovely garden with swimming pool. The 12-room hotel (singles $25, doubles $27) has a restaurant with an unbelievably extensive menu (dinners $15 to $20). The name is La Sare, Maroua, Cameroons, B.P. Maroua."
Ukiah, Calif.--Denk Torley, Los Angeles: "A beautiful bed and breakfast--five bedrooms each with its own bathroom, magnificently appointed. Address 306 S. Pine St., Ukiah, Calif. 95482. Price: $75 per night, breakfast included."
Colorado--Stan Ferris, Arcadia: "A trip on the Gunnison River in the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Monument in Colorado. So difficult to reach we had to use pack animals to get our gear in. Country was beautiful, the fishing great. I recommend Gunnison River Expedition, Box 604, Hotchkiss, Colo. 81419."
Eureka, Calif.--Virginia and Walt Benson, Los Angeles: "A beautiful rebuilt Victorian bed and breakfast in Eureka, the Carter House Inn. Wine and hors d'oeuvres, cordials and cookies, a gourmet full breakfast. Antiques, lovely paintings. Address: 1033 3rd St., Eureka, Calif. 95501. Telephone (704) 445-1390. Rates, $45-$125. Absolutely great!"
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