Superb food, lovely service and the Ortenau vineyards at your fingertip. That’s in a nutshell why Hotel Ritter Durbach should be your next wine country accommodation.
When it comes to booking a hotel there are a couple of essentials I really can’t live without. From providing authenticity to spacious rooms, friendly service, excellent on-site dining options, a rooftop, terrace, or garden (when travelling in summer) along with nearby attractions waiting to be explored, for me a hotel needs to be more than just a place where to sleep during a trip. It must unquestionably be part of the whole experience.
One such experience had been on my bucket list for quite a while, and it was clear that once travel resumes Hotel Ritter Durbach would be one of the destinations to visit at the first occasion.
Located in the northern part of the Black Forest just south of acclaimed Spa town Baden-Baden, the hotel is also the perfect base to explore the surrounding Ortenau wine region, one part of the Baden wine region stretching from Baden-Baden all the way down to the French/Swiss border. Which means, many exciting wineries just a stone’s threw away.
Where to stay in the Black Forest’s Ortenau Wine Region
There is no question, for any luxury-seeking wine travelling food enthusiast exploring Germany’s Baden wine region, there is no way around iconic 4-star superior Hotel Ritter Durbach.
The first mention of Gasthaus zum Ritter (Knight’s Inn) in the little wine town of Durbach goes back to 1656. Certainly, a lot has changed since the early times. With around 90 rooms and suites, the once small historic Inn has morphed into a complex of various intertwined buildings combining historic half-timbered and stylish modern glass-glad design.
Even rooms in the standard category are spacious and our comfort double room spotting a small sitting area, a large flatscreen, and minibar offered the perfect amenities for a long weekend base. Including generous options to put bags and a little wardrobe with sufficient hangers for a couple of dresses and trousers, which these days unfortunately is often lacking in many hotels.
If you want to go over the top, however, you could also book one of the suites equipped with its own in-room spa and sauna.
For everybody who does not want to splash out on a fancy wellness suite, a 1,200 sq.m. wellness area equipped with a sauna landscape including a classic Finish sauna, an herb and lavender room, a bio sauna (with temperatures between 65-70°C), a steam bath and a Rhassoul bath (an oriental steam bath) along with an indoor pool, whirlpool, and meditation rooms are free-to-use.
During the warmer months, make sure to take time to relax on the rooftop terrace overlooking the surrounding vineyards and forests.
For foodies and wine lovers however, one of the main reasons for a stay at Hotel Ritter will be the on-site dining offer.
Thus after kicking-off with a nice glass of bubbly or a cocktail at the cosy little lounge bar, closely watched over by Durbi, the hotel’s knight mascot, it’s time to head to your chosen restaurant.
Replacing the hotel’s famed Michelin-starred ‘Wilder Ritter’, the new maki:´dan restaurant opened during the pandemic to provide a more relaxed and easier format of fine dining. The name maki:’dan is derived from the oriental word mezze which in the middle east is synonymous of starters and small plates which are usually put in the middle of the table and shared among guests. And that’s exactly the concept you will experience when dining here.
Expect to find a fairly large choice of small plates on the menu of which you can order as many or as few as you like. Leaning a bit towards Asian flavours, the menu is created around regional and international ingredients, and includes a good number of vegetarian choices too.
As much as I’d loved to try the previous restaurant, for which the hotel was particularly lauded for, the new concept definitely fits the current vibe of a more relaxed and less formal fine dining experience.
For a more regional food experience, Ritter’s second restaurant offers a pre-fixed four course menu (with a choice of fish, meat, or vegetarian as main course), included in the culinary half-board package.
What else to do when staying at Hotel Ritter Durbach
Located in the small wine town of Durbach in the Black Forest’s Ortenau, the hotel is just a fingertip away from the many local wineries. Indeed, few are even located within walking distance.
If wine is not so much your thing, the Ortanau is also home to many small distilleries, thus why not explore the amazing offer of fruit brandies.
And if you are looking for activities not including any booze, there is definitely no shortage of hiking or biking trails, and lovely small Black Forest towns nearby.
Are you planning a trip to the Black Forest or the Baden wine region? If you do, check out Hotel Ritter Durbach – and once you’ve been, I’d be curious to get your feedback how you liked it.