I have just returned from a three night visit to the Black Forest where my partner & I stayed in the Gasthof-Hotel Zum Ochsen and I can not praise it highly enough.
The hotel is an old traditional 'chocolate box' German building set deep in the Black Forest and the rooms inside match the old style look from the outside. Our room (room 7) was large, airy and was decorated in old wood panelling, with a large double bed, sofa, coffee table and chairs matching the old fashioned style. This is not to say that the furniture is old or outdated, it is in keeping with the look of the whole hotel. The only part of the room which could do with a little updating was the bathroom, however this provided all that we required and was cleaned daily for us.
The breakfast provided was your typical 'continental' breakfast, with a good variety of cheeses, meats, breads, jams etc. On arrival at breakfast the staff immediately offered us coffee (which was very good, and I am a bit fussy about bad coffee) and also offered us a choice of scrambled eggs or fried eggs with bacon, to compliment the cold buffet. The portion of scrambled eggs and bacon was huge, and enough to keep an Englishman full of bacon until at least lunchtime! The dining areas are also wood panelled and provide a very nice atmosphere to dine in.
The evening meals were great, which was just as well as there really is little choice in Furtwangen. I can highly recommend the Maultaschen. We tried every variety on the menu and each was as tasty as the other. The pork tenderloin we had with our meals was cooked to perfection, the deserts were large (mine was soaked in enough cherry brandy to knock out a horse!) and the service was just great, Drinks in the hotel and restaurant are very fairly priced, the local beer was only €3.20 for half a litre, the wines were also fairly priced and available by the bottle or quarter litres.
The main reason why we enjoyed our stay so much was the staff. They were more than willing to help us out with any request we had, from checking in early, to putting our own bottle of champagne in the fridge for us to chill when we were celebrating, even when they sold their own in the restaurant. They were happy to let us take as many drinks up to the rooms as we wished, gave us advice on the local area and even let us pause our three course meal so that we could have our deserts served to us in the lounge whilst we watched the Euro 2012 Football, for which they moved a large screen TV into for the guests.
The only downside to staying at the 'Ochsen' was that it was in Furtwangen. Furtwangen is a nice little town (technically a city), good for exploring the west side of the forest from but there really is not much to do there, there are very few restaurants and bars and it is at least a 35 minute bus journey to the nearest piece of civilisation, Triberg (which is well worth a small visit) and 1 hour 35 minutes to Freiberg. The buses are quite infrequent, which is not ideal, however the hotel is just around the corner from the main bus station. If you have your own mode of transport and plan to use it then this is not an issue as you can explore as you wish and return to the hotel later in the evening. As we both wanted to drink on our holiday this was not an option and we were at the mercy of the local bus and train services. This is no fault of the hotel but is something that you should think about before chosing Furtwangen as your Black forest base.
The staff speak some English so this is not a problem if your German is not up to scratch, however being in the middle of the Black Forest I would advise you to at least bring a phrase book as some of the nice little villages may have less English speakers, it may make your life easier, especially with the local accent!
All in all I can not praise the 'Ochsen' highly enough for a short break away. Very, very, highly recommended.
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