Situated in the valley of Bayrischzell, surrounded by the Alps, the Postgasthof Rote Wand is very much a no-frills hikers’ and skiers’ hotel. The furnishings are plain at best. But the bedrooms are comfortable and the bathrooms large, with ample hot water for aching limbs. The real attraction (apart from the setting) is the warmth of the Gaukler-Pellkofer family’s welcome. Nothing is too much trouble for them, and the children and dogs are made much of.
The dining rooms, one of which is non-smoking, are plainly furnished and dotted with rustic ornaments, family shooting trophies, and photos of Herr Gaukler-Pellkofer skiing in the 1936 Winter Olympics. There is a lovely outside terrace, part of which is covered to give shade, where hot walkers can come in off the mountains for a cool beer. There is a large Kachelofen to dry out against in winter, and ample helpings of sustaining food (the smell of which can waft around the hotel) cooked by Michael Gaukler, the son of the house. Note, however, that early hours are kept here and the kitchens are supposed to cease serving at 8.00pm, although this did not seem to be adhered to on the busy Saturday summer’s evening that our inspector visited.