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“My life is ruined!”

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Johann Lafers Stromburg
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Stromberg
Certificate of Excellence
South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“My life is ruined!”
Reviewed June 5, 2013

My life is ruined! I will be forever searching for a Watercress soup to match the one I just had. The whole meal was exquisite and totally deserved of the reputation. I had the 3 course dinner and wine to match, excellent service in a beautiful setting. Even though I was travelling on a business trip a stopover in this oasis was really worth the trek into Frankfurt the next morning. The accommodation was excellent too by the way with a comfortable firm matrass - just the way I like it! All the little touches add up to an experience I will highly reccomend for years to come

Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Simon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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Date | Rating
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English first
San Diego, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2012

I am a visitor from the US and was persuaded by a friend to stay at Lafer's for the wonderful food and ambiance.

Well, the so called castle turned out to be quite disappointing. The building was renovated to look like an American Motel...and not a good one! Formica, Naugahyde, the works. And, for those of you who cannot climb stairs: No elevators.

The famous Schnitzel was pitiful, with dry and tasteless meat and a breading that seemed to come out of a box. The breakfast omelette was no better...it consisted of some kind of gelatinous egg product that I had to return...

But, lest you forget that you are in the presence of greatness (albeit remotely): There was no escaping Lafer's mug, as he is cozying up to celebrities, staring at you from everywhere:...on every wall, in every picture frame, on every scratch of paper...even in electronic revolving picture frame format in the guest rooms! (-:

Oh, oh, but I forget: There is a beautiful, royal blue carpet with imprinted gold crowns on the stairway to the guest rooms! If that isn't worth it!

So, if you must have a Kardashian-type personality cult experience and like to pay through the nose for it, this is the place for you.

On a more pleasant note: The staff at Lafer's is amazing: Loving, professional, helpful, and very accommodating. Too bad they can't shine somewhere where they don't have to be embarrassed by their bosses vanity.

A suggestion if you happen to be in Stromburg and want authentic ambiance and food, go to the Gasthaus "Brueckenschenke." They have the best Schnitzel in the world! Really made from scratch by the Chef who'll come out to check if you are truly pleased with his creation. He'll make every possible variation of Schnitzel for you and you'll be spoiled forever!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank cessna1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2011

Johann Lafer is the Gordon Ramsay of the culinary world in Germany - but without the swearing and the attitude. He was recently voted one of the most people-friendly celebrities in Germany and his castle hotel has a laid-back feel with the staff constantly smiling.

While the interior is modern, with an extension built on to the side of the castle offering most of the public spaces, the old walls and impressive castle tower add to the grandeur of the setting.

Rooms are luxurious and well appointed, with Relais & Chateaux toiletries and champagne on arrival. Pretty gardens surround the hotel and the views over the valley below are lovely.

The food is the star attraction here though, with the two restaurants providing both informal and more formal dining in style. Bistro D'Or has an upbeat feel with a menu that can be as light or extravagant as you like while Le Val D'Or offers five course extravaganzas with surprises between each course.

My meal here was exceptional - outstanding in presentation and flavours, with stunning combinations of fine food yet no stuffy atmosphere.

Nearby Stromberg is worth a stroll for a coffee through the forest and Bingen offers a bustling town with good museum and Rhein cruises galore. The hotel can arrange wine tasting tours and even a helicopter transfer for a picnic like no other up in the hills.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lizkav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich
Level 6 Contributor
66 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2010

We stayed in this Relais & Chateaux hotel for one night on the way to another destination in order to experience the famed cuisine of Johann Lafer. Actually one night was quite satisfactory as the hotel, situated in an historic castle, is rather out of the way with little else of interest to invite one to stay longer. (Theoretically, helicopter & Land Rover tours can be arranged from the hotel and a neighboring hotel sports a golf course for destination golf vacations, but other than that there is not much else in the immediate area. Should one wish, however, the wine areas and historic villages along the Rhine river are a manageable drive away.) And, as the hotel is small (13 rooms, 1 tower suite) and often booked up, we were happy we could combine our restaurant visit (consisting of a ~7 course meal with accompanying wines) with an on-site room. First to the room: We got the last available room and it was their basic, standard double room. It very pricey and was rather cramped, adorned with what reminded me of stuffy 70's style furniture and fixtures (brocade, fringes, glass tables, gold fittings in the bathroom) and had no air conditioning, which we really needed that day. Everything was clean and in its place, but the amenities were no-name and the expected standard for a typical R&C hotel was not met. In this respect we were disappointed with the stay. On the other hand, we can only praise the staff and our food experience. The staff was young and attentive and we were treated to a refreshing house cocktail and amuse bouche in our room shortly after arriving. Nice! When we headed to the dining room (also very over-the-top in a decor sense) we were whisked to our table and informed how the evening would unfold. As one would expect, there were Greetings from the Kitchen, good wines and wonderful food being served over the course of several hours. Lafer's selections tend to emphasize typical/favored Austrian-German traditional main dishes and are then served in new ways. Often there were variations on one theme, which were interesting. The recommended wines complimented the courses well and we enjoyed learning about the producers and the wines themselves. The chef himself even came out from the kitchen for a quick walk among the diners. Although we didn't need it after our food orgy the night before, we also enjoyed the hearty breakfast the next morning. Several warm choices were available in addition to the ubiquitous rolls, cheese and meats. Fresh fruit juices and shakes were also available. We did not have a chance to try The Bistro, but that is also available as an alternative restaurant. And, as can probably be expected, the reception sells Lafer's cookbooks (a signed version, which was included with our package, was sent to us after our stay), spices, oils & scented sea salts, jams, teas etc. Our dog was welcome at the hotel and, should we have chosen, was welcome to come with us in the dining room. Unusual even for German standards! The grounds around the hotel offer a few windy footpaths 'in the green' up and down the hill for a quick outing and for 'taking care of business'. All in all, worth a visit but not a longer stay.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Travelingwithdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
115 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2010

For those in the English speaking world who do not know who Johann Lafer is, (I admit that I had not heard of him before moving to Germany) he is an award winning chef who also has several cook books, television shows, a product line, and heavens knows what else. He’s basically the German equivalent of Emeril Lagasse or Gordon Ramsay in terms of celebrity factor.

His two restaurants (one with a well deserved Michelin star) are located in the hotel, and that is why people come to Stromburg. It’s a bit of a foodie pilgrimage. Therefore, it’s quite difficult to separate a review of the hotel from the restaurant. But since I have nothing but positive things to say about both, I’ll give it a go.

The hotel itself is quite small, with a limited number of rooms. Each room is named after a famous chef and we had the “Bocuse” room, which was charming and comfortable. In addition to the usual hotel amenities we were very impressed by the attention to small details, such as a clock radio with iPod docking station, a blue ray player and selection of films, a bowl of complimentary fresh fruit, and a welcome glass of champagne. Turn down service came with two bottles of chilled complimentary water and a small box of his famous chocolate truffles. Breakfast was included in the price of the hotel room and that was another culinary treat, which we might have enjoyed more if we were not still stuffed from our 8 course meal the night before. One thing is for sure, they make sure that you do not leave hungry!

A word about the staff, who were top class all around! Everyone we dealt with was friendly and accommodating. While we suspect that Herr Lafer is often away, he can rest assured that his guests are being well looked after.

And one final word of warning, if you want to stay on a Saturday night you will have to book months in advance.

Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank ExpatTraveler2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Johann Lafers Stromburg

Property: Johann Lafers Stromburg
Address: Schlossberg 1, 55442 Stromberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Location: Germany > Rhineland-Palatinate > Stromberg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Stromberg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Johann Lafers Stromburg 4*
Number of rooms: 14
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