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South Africans in Germany

Germany, known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities, offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs. Here’s a guide to some of the most popular hotel types you can find in Germany, each offering a unique experience.

It is important to note that these descriptions are not protected by law, and you can call your hotel a park hotel even if the park is really small. Some do have a minimum requirement, you will for instance not find a Berghotel in the valley. 
Finding a romantic hotel might also be a challenge. Most German hotels have two single beds, each with their own duvet. The interior is very basic and for cheaper hotels, there are no “little things” like chocolate on your pillow or flowers in the room that make your stay special. Coffee-making facilities in your room are also not very popular.  


These hotels are typically located in or near mountainous regions. These hotels are designed to cater to tourists seeking outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and mountaineering. The offer a rustic and cosy atmosphere


This type of hotel is located in the mountains and is mostly traditional or rustic. You typically find such a hotel in the Black Forest, in the Alps, in the Swabian Jura or in the Harz Mountains.


These hotels attract a diverse range of visitors year-round. In winter, they are favoured by skiers and winter sports enthusiasts. During the summer, these hotels become a hub for hikers, bikers, and other active sports enthusiasts.

Reasons to go

Cosy Rustic Breathtaking views

Things to consider

Crowded in in peak season Remote


Designed with families in mind, these hotels provide family-friendly amenities such as play areas, children’s menus, and family suites. Many are located near popular attractions like amusement parks and zoos, making them an ideal choice for a family vacation.





Reasons to go

While not all facilities are available at every family hotel, you can often find options such as children's entertainment, family-friendly rooms, child-friendly catering options, playrooms, playgrounds, childcare services, and leisure activities tailored for families. These hotels aim to create a welcoming environment for families, with some even offering spa or wellness facilities.

Things to consider

Family hotels are specifically designed to cater to guests traveling with children, and they typically do not accept bookings from those traveling without children. This ensures a family-oriented atmosphere and allows the hotel to focus on providing the best possible experience for families.

Gasthaus or Gasthof (Inn)

  • a German-style inn or tavern with a bar, restaurant, and rooms for rent
  • Usually family owned
  • Landhaus is the same but in the country
  • Most have a beer garden and breakfast is served for overnight guests

Hotel Garni

  • A hotel that offers accommodation and serves only breakfast, drinks and maybe some snacks.
  • They are usually privately owned and have fewer rooms than a hotel.
  • Limited reception services


  • This type of hotel is situated in the country or a rural environment (it is the only requirement)
  • Most are associated with regional food, cosy rooms and beautiful gardens, but this is not a requirement and could be misleading.

Landurlaub / Urlaub auf dem Baeurnhof (Farmstays)

  • Rooms on working farms
  • Home made produce for breakfast


  • This type of hotel is situated inside a park (it is the only requirement), and you can find them in most cities.
  • It can be any hotel category (1 to 5-star)
  • It can be with or without a restaurant

Pension (Boarding house or small hotel)

  • Usually a small and basic room in a historic or old building
  • Shared bathroom
  • Provides breakfast


  • The interior and atmosphere of the hotel should be romantic, but this is very hard to define and is also not regulated.
  • There might be special treatment packages for couples like dinner and wellness
  • Romantik Hotels & restuarants has a list of beautiful hotels in Europe.

Schlosshotel (Castle hotel)

  • A castle of part of a castle transformed into a hotel.
  • Four poster beds, thick walls, baroque furniture and decorations are what we wish for it is not a requirement, although you will find this in most castle hotels


  • This type of hotel must have a beach in the immediate vicinity of the hotel.
  • They are not necessarily luxury hotels.
  • This type of hotel is situated next to a lake (it is the only requirement)
  • Can also be a wellness or conference hotel

Spa hotel

  • Hotel with wellness facilities, although there is no minimum specification
  • South Africans associate a spa with beauty treatments, messages etc, this is not the case in Germany.
  • The term SPA (Sanus per Aqua) means health through water
  • Spa treatments and spa areas are designed to provide guests with relaxation and recreation.


  • This type of hotel is situated in the city, mostly near the centre
  • Can be any star grading
  • Can also be found in small towns


  • A type of wellness hotel
  • A hotel with a thermal spa. A thermal bath uses thermal water from a natural source or a borehole.
  • Thermal water could help you relax, stimulate your circulation and relieve joint pain.


  • These hotels can have wellness in their name but are not required by law to offer wellness facilities, so always make sure what is on offer
  • Some offer saunas, treatments, healthy cuisine, pools or a private spa
  • You usually pay for what you get, so if you want an pampered experience look for the more expensive hotels
  • Can also be called a Spa hotel or a Therme hotel


Youth Hostels (Jungendherberge)

  • The DJH (Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk) is a non profit association that created an organised network of affordable and safe accommodation for school and youth groups as well as any individual.
  • You have to be a member of the DJH to stay in a youth hostel.
  • Youth Hostels offer shared rooms. But there are also single or double rooms. If these are available, you can sleep alone in a room or share one with your partner, but a surcharge will apply. Families can book family rooms in advance, subject to availability.
  • All Youth Hostels have common rooms, and many also offer function rooms for courses or conferences.
  • Youth Hostels offer all types of meals. Breakfast is included in the overnight rate. Booking full board offers particularly good value for money.


Zimmer Frei / Fremdenzimmer (Private room in a house)

Vacation homes

  • Rent a whole house or apartment for a set period


Some terms you need to know

Full board (Vollpension)

According to DIN EN ISO 18513 No. 2.4.4, full board includes breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to accommodation. [2] If a meal is missing, one speaks of half board (DIN EN ISO 18513 no.2.4.3).

Half board (Halbpension)

According to DIN EN ISO 18513 No. 2.4.3 half board includes two meals than can be either breakfast, lunch or dinner in addition to accommodation.

All inclusive (Pauschal)

  • During a packaged tour, for example in a hotel or on a cruise ship , accommodation as well as food and drinks are included.
  • Some limit the type of drinks or exclude certain restaurants