‘Nice, jolly owner; nice, jolly place’ ends our inspector’s report on Gartenhotel Pfeffel, where oleanders, geraniums and a walnut tree add colour to the entrance. Situated just outside Dornstein on the riverside road, our reporter warns would-be guests to take care since it is easy to miss the abrupt turning to the hotel under a railway arch. Although the building is modern, the general look is pleasantly old-fashioned.
Where so many hotel dining-rooms in Austria are panelled in wood, this one has mirrors, making the small room look larger and providing a multi-reflection of the chandelier. The breakfast room is contemporary, with tiled floors, rush-seated chairs, and an open fireplace.
Views change with every flight of steps: the sitting area and terrace look out on the hills; some of the bedrooms face the Danube. All are spacious, with lace mats on the dark wood furniture. Like other hoteliers in this region, the Pfeffels have their own wine production, ‘von den steilen Bergterassen des Schreiberberges’ (‘from the steep hanging terraces of the Schreiberberg’ above them) and special dishes range from fish and lamb to nettle-cream soup.