It’s hard to overstate the sense of well-being you get from waking up at the Krafft hotel and watching the Rhine flow by from your pillow.
A river may lack the sex and bang of the ocean – but the Rhine is as constant as it is changing. It ebbs and flows, now a deep sea-green, here, a khaki tang. Fascinating and soothing you couldn’t find a better bed mate than the Rhine for your stay at the Krafft.
We don’t do superlatives, so when we say that the Krafft is the perfect small hotel, we really do mean it. The light, white rooms with warm wooden parquetry are good sized with generous windows (some have balconies) and decorated with Swiss-made 1950s furniture which have a lived-in patina. We also like the cosy touches like Steiner woollen blankets from Austria.
There are no noisy (and environmentally unsound) bar fridges cluttering up the room, instead help yourself to a teapot (and an apple) from the communal kitchenettes on each floor. (You’ll also find a selection of books and magazines in various languages.) All up it combines simple elegance with a human touch. If it was Danish, we’d describe it as hygge, given we’re in Switzerland, we’ll take the German equivalent: gemütlichkeit.
Breakfast is served in a grand dining room overlooking the Rhine, it is a generous and well-catered affair including local breads, cheeses and freshly made bircher muslie. Come dinner time the restaurant, which specialises in locally-sourced produce, is excellent and reasonably priced. Throughout service combines small-town friendliness with Swiss diligence, and what we really like about this hotel is that it welcomes everyone – good manners never go out of fashion.
Back in the 1920s Hermann Hesse began writing Steppenwolf here in Rm 401. We’re not surprised as we’d do just about anything – including writing an existential novel – to delay checking out. (The hotel sells a special edition at reception.)