There are many places to visit in Germany, and many of them are quite popular. One town in the northeast that’s not yet recognized as one of Germany’s best is Schwerin. We learned about this little taste of the real Germany on a Baltic Cruise a few years ago. Our ship, the Norwegian Star, docked in Warnemünde and we made a bus ride down to Schwerin to see the Schwerin Castle.
After that excursion, we made up our minds to come back one day, and this was the year for that trip. While in Schwerin, we stayed in a hotel called the Weinhaus Uhle. The nearly new eighteen room four start hotel is located almost in the very center of town, literally 30 seconds walk from the town square. It’s in a building that was once a wine wholesaler.
The story goes that in 1751, a wine merchant by the name of Johann Uhl founded a wine retail company. He was officially recognized by Duke Christian Ludwig as a Frey-Wien-Schenker, or, Free Wine Merchant. That title enabled him to store and sell wine, brandy, and beer inside the city walls of Schwerin and around the immediate countryside. Over the years, the business grew as it was passed down from one generation to the next, and at one point, the family name changed from Uhl to Uhle.
The wine business survived the great depression as well as World War II, but was unable to thrive after the war in the Communist run GDR (German Democratic Republic). It was nationalized and operated by the government until 1991, when it was handed back to the family after re-unification.
Today, Weinhaus Uhle is a four star hotel rather than a wine warehouse. It’s operated by Dirk and Annika Frymark of Schwerin. They’ve done a remarkable job in restoring the property to its original period look while maintaining a comfortable and modern hotel, restaurant, and wine bar for their guests.
We were on the second floor with a balcony that looked into a common area shared by local apartments, so it was quiet. We didn’t get to enjoy the balcony much this trip because it rained much of the time we were there, but the balcony was there just the same.
The room was large. Actually, it was very large by European standards. The bathroom was modern and functional with a large shower complete with a rain head. There was fast internet on the property and plenty of electrical outlets. We point this out because the building is old, dating back to at least 1763. The interior walls were at least a foot thick. Still, the Frymarks had taken the time to have the building properly wired with electricity, cable for television, and WiFi throughout. There was even an elevator that ran from the top floor to the underground parking garage.
Breakfast was served in the main restaurant each morning. It was buffet style with scrambled eggs, American bacon, and all the rest for a typical European breakfast bar, including the meats, cheeses, and hard boiled eggs plus several kinds of rolls and jellies.
The price for staying here was modest considering the quality. Parking was additional, but that seems to be normal in Europe. Breakfast was at an extra cost too, which again, seems to be normal for European hotel accommodations. Internet was free, which seems to be trending towards the normal here in Germany. Two years ago, internet worth using was at an extra price.
Parking here was kind of strange. This is both a good thing and an inconvenience. It was inconvenient because the streets were restricted to pedestrian traffic after 10:00 am. You could drive to the entrance of the hotel, but a hotel staff member needed to go with you to lower some barriers in order for you to get around to the parking garage. From strictly a parking point of view, this was a minor annoyance.
The reason for the vehicle restrictions was because this hotel is right downtown in the historic park of old town, almost in the town square. For us, it was worth a minor inconvenience with the parking situation in order to be so close to everything. As we mentioned earlier, the town square was only 30 seconds walk away. The Schwerin Castle, and Lake Schwerin itself, was no more than about two minutes walking time from the hotel. There was a more modern area complete with a small shopping mall, a Subway, and a McDonald’s that was less than five minutes walking from the hotel.
They say location is everything, and in the case of Weinhaus Uhle, it was an important draw. But it didn’t hurt that this hotel had everything else in its favor. Modern, clean, service oriented, and comfortable. If we ever return to Schwerin—and we probably will—this will automatically be our first choice in hotels in the area.