Of all the Wasserburgen of north Germany, Anholt in Isselburg is one of the most impressive – a grand, rather severe red-brick building, with turrets and spires, floating on what amounts to a lake rather than a moat. The castle is open to the public – its interior has some impressive features, and it contains a major collection of paintings. The hotel occupies a separate part.
This is not the most personal of hotels, but you are more likely to be disappointed by a lack of style and antiquity than intimidated by an excess of elegance and formality – particularly in the bedrooms, some of which are no more than adequately comfortable (though others, such as the honeymoon tower-room are impressively romantic).
The public areas are all attractive, in different ways. The ground-floor cafe is a highlight, leading out on to a wooden terrace built over the water. Upstairs is a very smart, dark-wood-panelled dining room. Next to reception, a welcoming sitting room with stripped pine furniture and moat views. In the old stables, an all-wood bar serving snacks. Food in the main restaurant is as smart as the decoration, in the modern manner.