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Residenz Heinz Winkler
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Reviews (269)
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All reviewsgarden suitemichelin restaurantcountry innfrench doorsseparate wcindoor poolbeautiful hotelpleasant staynight stayrooms are cleanair conditioningexquisite cuisinewine list is alsosalzburgduplexcastlebidet
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Reviewed September 24, 2009

After an exhausting three days in Munich working, sightseeing and doing battle with the appalling Kempinski hotel, we threw ourselves onto the train on Friday afternoon salivating in anticipation of a thoroughly spoiling weekend. After all, Herr Winkler sports 3 Michelin Stars. We were shown to our room on the second floor of the main building - spacious and airy, somewhat old-fashioned, the windows open to the fresh country air and we were quite happy. We ordered a glass of champagne and changed for dinner. Led to our table by the rather brittle Frau Winkler, whippet thin and gimlet-eyed, she had her staff whipped into excellent shape. The service was exemplary. It was like being in the front row of the dress circle at the ballet. Waiters sashayed through the two rooms, trays held at shoulder height, course after delicious course delivered with impeccable timing. We savoured every mouthful, none disappointed and we retired to our room feeling very contented.

Two o'clock in the morning found us both dancing round the room brandishing those ridiculous freebie slippers, batting at mosquitos, the walls peppered with red splodges - good British blood. By the morning my husband had acquired 22 livid bites, I had 9 - as high a score as we have ever had. Exhausted by our Munich machinations, I politely went down to reception and enquired whether they could please arrange some kind of defence for the coming night and would they be good enough to send up something to assuage the infernal itching. 'Mosquitos?', the good Frau Winkler enquired 'Extraordinary' thus implying that we had arrived with them in our suitcase. Some gel duly appeared and by mid-afternoon an air cooler had found its way to our room and the windows were hermetically sealed. Even so the suckers were still drifting up on the ceiling. We managed to acquire an umbrella and with the addition of a damp flannel perched on the tip, several more were dispatched.

Dinner on Saturday night was, again, unsurpassable only marred by our reluctance to drink any alcohol since we were well aware that this would only inflame our bloody bites. The night passed without incident other than incessant itching. We checked out after breakfast and were somewhat amazed to find added to our final, and very hefty bill, 4.50 Euros for a tube of anti-mosquito gel - how bizarre and how very ungenerous. So, my recommendation if you are travelling to Bavaria is that you MUST visit Herr Winkler's restaurant but tuck your trousers into your socks and smother on the Deet.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Shellfire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2008

Mr Winkler joined two old houses in a charming Bavarian village forming an elegant setting for diplaying his culinary art and lodging guest in nice quiet accomodations.
The room was large, tastefully furnished in typical German eclectic style with a modern comfortable bathroom.
The Spa with a small indoor pool is very nice and a garden in sunny weather allows peace and reading.
The culinary experience is top rank. From the breakfast through dinner Mr. Winkler delivers what you expect when selecting a multiple Michelin restaurant.
The staff is very kind and well trained.
They insist in men wearing jackets for dinner although they do not inforce it and at least 50 % do not comply. Maybe it is time for Mr. Winkler to face reality in this area...I felt very well sorrounded by elegantly casual dressed men.
A very nice experience for a 2 or 3 nights stay exploring the area.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank guillermohoter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2008

This review updates my review of this property in December 2006, but very little has changed in Aschau since then.

I have been visiting the Residenz Heinz Winkler since it first opened nearly 20 years ago and have always been charmed by the warm welcome, fabulous food and calm, relaxing atmosphere. But reading some other reviews from first time visitors, I can understand why some people may find it disappointing and not what they expected. The bottom line for those who are disappointed could be that they perhaps didn't do their homework.

The Residenz was a 14th century (1405), Post House in the sleepy village of Aschau im Chiemgau before Winkler and his family purchased it. Keeping the ancient edifice in tact while renovating the inside and outside was a formidable task, but Winkler, who is a devotee of antiques as well as Germany's top chef for over 30 years, undertook the incredible task with loving care, leaving the original beams, doors, many public rooms and even a creaky staircase from the original building in the imposing property.

He added new rooms, (these are the higher priced suites and two-story rooms), and much, much more, including his own designed kitchen, massive wine cellar, and many other modern amenities like the special "honeymoon suite", the spa and the exotic sauna, pool, steam bath facility.

Potential guests need to keep in mind the following axiom which was first told to me by Winkler's oldest son, Manfred, some years ago:

"This is a first class restaurant with rooms, not a hotel with a restaurant."

This is a very important distinction, but does not mean that the accommodations are anything short of superior. The bedrooms, baths, amenities and views in most rooms are excellent, but one must remember that this is a country inn, not a modern urban Four Seasons, Oriental or Ritz Carlton. This property is in the country, not downtown, and so there are always obvious differences. The pace is slower, more relaxed. There are seldom people hanging around in the lobby. There is very little traffic outside the building and many people arrive and leave without much fanfare. There is no doorman, no taxi stand. No smell of diesel when you step out the front door.

I have stayed in nearly every room at one time or another and found that the rooms in the old portion of the hotel are generally quieter and comfortable. The newer section faces the courtyard, some two story suites share a second floor balcony with other rooms, (something to bear in mind at night if you leave your french doors open), and will have the accompanying noise from outdoor diners in spring and summer.

Much of Winkler's business comes from Munich where he put Restaurant Tantris on the map more than three decades ago and created what has been called "The Temple of Gastronomy" in Munich. Winkler's Tantris gained and held the ultimate Three Michelin Stars for the duration of his rule there. When he moved to Aschau, Michelin quickly rated the Residenz as Two Star while the property got up to speed. Staff changes, accommodations, new menus and the daunting challenge of running not only a top restaurant but a luxury hotel as well made the quick climb back to three stars a major feat.

Winkler, a student of the famous French chef, Paul Bucose, is the youngest chef ever to gain Three Michelin Stars and what is more remarkable is that he has kept them all these years. This is no small achievement in a day when the "TV Chefs" tend to make Americans think that anyone can do this and people here often talk about "Five Star Restaurants." Fact is, there are no five star restaurants under the Michelin system. Three is the best you can get and keeping the three is a very difficult thing to do, year after year.

One of the troubles that some visitors have at Residenz is with children. I agree. This is not the place for kids. There is nothing whatsoever that would interest anyone under the age of 20, and perhaps even that is too young an age. This is not to say that there might not be any 20-year old budding gourmets, or teenagers who don't like to swim in the subterranean pool, but Aschau is not a town calibrated to youth. I know few kids who want to sit through a three or four hour dinner while the courses and wines are presented slowly and with precise planning and skill. I know of no kids who find the detailed wine service interesting or who might enjoy tasting five or six different Bordeaux or champagnes at one meal.

In its early times, one would seldom encounter children at the Residenz. That has changed as has the clientele. As word spreads about this fabulous establishment in the middle of the Chiemgau, more and more families book rooms and meals, ignoring the possibility that their children will not enjoy themselves.

I think that one solution is to inquire about this when booking and ask not to be in the section of rooms where there will be kids and not to be in the same dining room with them. This may sound callous, but when you are paying these prices, you can, I think, feel justified in at least telling them your preference for not sitting and having to listen to a two year old yell his head off for three hours. It may be necessary to tolerate this on a plane, but not in a fine restaurant.

Now, to the cuisine. There is nothing else in the world that I have found that matches Winkler's mixture of fresh ingredients and creative art. The appeal is to all human senses: touch/texture, taste, nose, sight and even ear, (the normal sounds are of quiet conversation and background music or a piano in the adjacent bar area). His portions are tastes, not meals.

Each course is unto itself and for the diner used to massive heaps of food on the plate, this is not the place to go. This is as far from the cliché "beer, bread and bratwurst" fare as Burger King is from New York's vaulted Four Seasons. A typical seven course meal with wines at each course can easily take four or five hours or more. There is no reason to rush. Each meal is prepared to order and takes the appropriate time. I have spent enough time in Winkler's kitchen over the years to know this is the way it is done. If you are in a hurry, go to McDonalds in Munich.

As a professional chef myself, I can say that what you get at Residenz is what you pay for: ambiance, service, ingredients, presentation, décor, skill and knowledge. The kitchen has so many staff that on a busy night it is like a throbbing, closely coordinated laboratory. It bears little resemblance to the usual restaurant or hotel kitchen. There are no computer screens; no printers yammering out the orders. No photos on the walls depicting how each dish should look. No deep freezers. No microwave ovens. Winkler calls each order and the kitchen resounds with a chorus of German versions of "Yes Sir."

Each meal is lovingly prepared, tested, plated and garnished. Kitchen to table service is on a silver tray carried in front, not on the shoulder, by a crew of perfect servers. Multiple plates arrive all at one time and are served by the table captains or the oberkellners, (head captains). No one will ever ask: "who gets the roast duck?"

A final word to potential first timers at Residenz:

This is unlike anything else in the civilized world. It is emulated, but not equaled. There is no equal that I know of. Anywhere. You may find more glitz, more opulence in LA, Tokyo, Paris or New York, but nowhere else I have ever dined has the consistency, variety and care than Winkler provides.

If you go, prepare yourself:
1. Make an advance reservation and give them as much detail as you wish about your tastes, preferences, allergies, diets, etc.

2. Dress for dinner. This means tie and jacket or suit for men. (I have never visited Winkler in Munich or Aschau without wearing a tuxedo, but that's my choice), dressy attire for ladies. While it is now fashionable to dress casual for almost anything, showing up for dinner at a Three Star restaurant in running shoes and a sweat shirt makes a statement about how much you care….about anything.

3. Be prepared to spend several hours in the dining room. Avoid cocktails that would impact your taste buds or digestion or you will miss the incredible flavors.

4. Leave your cell phone and your tobacco in your car or room. Smoking anywhere in a hotel, (other than the lobby), or restaurant anywhere in Germany is now forbidden.

5. Be prepared to be pampered and take time to select your meal. The menu changes daily and seasonal specialties are featured. If all else fails, order the Chef's recommended menu, making sure you tell your waiter if anything on the list of courses isn't to your taste. Substitutions can usually be accommodated.

6. English is spoken throughout the property and there is now even an English menu, (although reading the French and German items is interesting and a bit gets lost in translation). Allow the staff to help.

7. Leave your troubles at home. Take time to relax and enjoy. If you stay overnight, take bathing suits and enjoy the indoor pool, steam room and sauna.

8. Oh yes, and take money. A dinner with modest wines for two can run you well in excess of $600-800 US. The current US Dollar/Euro exchange doesn't help.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled solo
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7  Thank jjstives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2008

I came along with friends to enjoy the cusine and stay at the hotel succeedingly. We had booked both a room and table in advance and were warmly greeted when we arrived. The host and staff know very well what they are doing and the service was effortless, in the best way.
Perhaps it was because we were a party of 4 men in their twenties but the staff needed never be reminded of our room number to bill services or to answer questions regarding our stay. Almost like getting celebrity status!
A nice touch was a full bowl of cherries in our room and a signed welcome note.
Compared to most european hotel rooms ours were huge and roomy respectively.
Our only complaint could be that we lowered the average age of guests considerably. Compared to resturants in north European cities Heinz´s is not expensive at all but all the better in quality. It should be affordable for young foodies by any rate. We did meet some nice people in the bar who were young at heart at least.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Tamo2357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2007

We stayed and dined here in 2003, so this review is a bit late. But judging by the reviews, little has changed: we found this to be a superb restaurant and very luxurious hotel. We stayed mid-week in October, so there were not many overnight guests. They gave us a huge corner room incorporating one of the (castle) turrets. I think I’ve played hockey on smaller backyard rinks than this room. Being 4 years ago, I cannot remember much detail about the meal, other than there seemed to be a separate waiter specialized for each course, the service was excellent, and the food glorious. A special, though redundant treat, was the chocolate torte left in our room when we returned after dinner. We had already had dessert and were gluttonously stuffed, but we took the torte with us and enjoyed it later. It was perhaps the best chocolate torte I’ve ever had (except for our friend Linda’s).

The only downside is its remoteness. There’s not much to do here except enjoy the marvelous meal. One nice day trip is to go to Wasserburg, a very pleasant medieval town on the Inn River, about 25 km north-northwest of Aschau.

Stayed: October 2003
Thank 20minutetourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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