Not long ago, we happened through Cochem, Germany on our summer’s trip through what we consider to be the heart of Europe. Our purpose when coming to Germany is to view castles, and just take some time to look over the pristine countryside. Cochem is on the Moselle River, about 20 miles from the Rhine River. It’s in southwest Germany, not far from France and Belgium. Aside from the famous Reichsburg Castle, this is a major wine producing region, and a popular German holiday spot. You’ll find a few English speakers in this town, but not many since most of the vacationers here are locals.
When staying in Cochem, we like a small, independent hotel just on the edge of town called Stumberger’s Hotel, no doubt named after the Stumbergers who own and operate this establishment. It seems to be just Mr. Stumberger and his wife, along with a small handful of staff that makes this establishment run.
The hotel consists of a few rooms, a restaurant, and a beer garden. The beer garden isn’t always open, but also serves fast food along with ales when it is. On one of our first trips, the beer garden was open because there was an unusually large number of bikers in town on that particular weekend, and it was popular among them.
The restaurant might be unique to Cochem because it’s a Mexican themed establishment. We were surprised to see this in Germany, and had to try it out. Surprisingly, it was pretty authentic. The main dishes were spot on while the Mexican Rice seemed a little different than our usual Tex-Mex expectations. And the refried beans weren’t enough, compared to the usual portions in a Mexican restaurant in the States. But the overall experience was pretty close, and way better than we were expecting. After all, Germany is a long way from Mexico, and being original Californians who lived in New Mexico for several years after retiring, we have pretty high expectations when it comes to our Mexican cuisine.
We requested a “castle view” for our room at Stumbergers Hotel. There are only ten rooms, but three of them have a large balcony with a stunning view of the Reichsburg Castle, nestled on top of the hill overlooking the riverfront town of Cochem. What you’ll see from a Castle View room is the River Moselle across the road, the town of Cochem to the left with the castle on the hill above. The river is active most of the day with river tour boats, river cruise boats, bulk transport ships, and pleasure boats ranging from yachts to kayaks. It makes for quite a show from the balcony in the afternoons after a day of trudging through your favorite castle of the day.
Normally, we prefer to stay in chain hotels when we travel for a number of reasons. The main reason is that we like the consistency they offer. We know what to expect when we book a room. There’s a level of excellence that we enjoy when staying at a familiar place, and we’re rarely disappointed. Stumberger’s Hotel is an exception to this rule. We’ve stayed there twice now, so we do in fact have an expectation, but the first time was a shot in the dark that paid off for us. Truthfully, we do stay at independent hotels quite a bit even though our goal is to stay somewhere that’s better known. Sometimes it pays off, as is the case with Stumbergers, and sometimes it doesn’t.
What You Can Expect
At Stumbergers, you’ll get a clean, comfortable room. It’s not the biggest room we’ve stayed in, but it’s big enough.
Internet is included, and quite good. We were at about 6Mb/s up and down with small latency times.
Parking is free. And there’s enough of it.
Breakfast is included, and quite good. It’s a typical European kind of hotel breakfast, which is not quite what we’re used to in the US, but everything was there. The one notable difference for us was that eggs were cooked to order rather than having to dig through a bowl of old scrambled eggs, hoping to find that sweet spot where they weren’t too runny or too dry. Mr. Stumberger brings your eggs freshly cooked to your table, as well as your orange juice and coffee.
The restaurant is good. Truthfully, we ate there only one night on this trip. We had various enchiladas that were authentic to our idea of Mexican cuisine. There are also various German inspired dishes on the menu, but the menu was primarily Mexican.
The Beer Garden was not open this trip. We were at a somewhat slower time, and it probably didn’t pay to have it open. Keep in mind that most of the time it’s Mr. and Mrs. Stumberger running this operation. They can’t be everywhere at once.
What’s Wrong at Stumberger’s
About the only thing we can find fault in at Stumberger’s is the fact that there are no elevators. To stay here, you’ll need to walk up at least one flight of stairs. Having only ten rooms, there simply isn’t space for an elevator. This was not a problem for us, but for a person with severe mobility problems, negotiating the stairs could be a challenge. Getting your bags up to the room wasn’t really a problem for us, but again, for a mobility challenged person, this could be an issue. We wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Stumberger was willing to help with the bags if necessary. He seemed to be interested in making us comfortable.
Keep in mind that the lack of an elevator is not uncommon in small hotels, and especially small hotels in Europe. We didn’t find it a hindrance, but we felt compelled to mention it in the interest of full disclosure.
In The Future
We’ll come to Cochem again. It’s one of those kind of places where it takes many trips to see all there is to offer. When we do come back, we’ll definitely make Stumberger’s Hotel our home base. It’s got everything we need, and Mr. Stumberger made us feel right at home.
Even though we write this review of this hotel like it’s a paid advertisement, we were not paid or even approached by the Stumbergers to comment in any way. We’re doing this simply because we think it’s one of those hidden treasures you occasionally find on a trip that helps to make your vacation a pleasant experience. We’ve been here twice and the experience has been the same each time, so we know it’s not just a fluke. This little hotel in this little German vacation spot is the real deal.