Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Der Teufelhof Hotel

We took the short hour and half train ride to Basel this morning.  On first glance the area, although close in proximity to Strasbourg, is distant in language, cuisine and weather.  It's much colder and humid here.  Despite being on the French border, German seems to be the dominant if not exclusive language.  As usual, though, most understand and speak English.  The food seems less heavy than the Strasbourg dishes which were large, meat and potato filled casseroles.  As in Strasbourg, public transportation is by electric tram and pedestrians rule the streets.  The trams stop everywhere making it easy to get around.  The city is on the Rhine River and is renowned for museums and humanism.

Our hotel is known as the Art Hotel.  If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the man on the high wire.  Each room on the older side of the hotel has been decorated by an artist.  Our room is more like an art happening and not to my taste.  You'll need to see the video  to understand.  Friday is carnival in Basel.  Practically every shop has an array of masks in the window.  They are striking.  A few years ago we were in Venice for carnival.  It was such an eye-popping experience that I'm sorry to miss Basel's.

Video of the hotel room is on YouTube.   A few are at flickr.

If you care to read more about the hotel, I have included below a review from The Travel Online Magazine. 

The Teufelhof, in what was once a very large, turn-of-the-century middle-class house and stable located on the ancient circle of walls that once surrounded the city, is listed in Michelin as a restaurant mit Zim (with rooms). Though running a one-star Michelin restaurant is serious stuff, Der Teufelhof's owners have taken a more lighthearted approach to the hotel part of their business. The eight simple guestrooms with hardwood floors, white walls and simple furnishings are viewed as "empty canvases" and periodically eight different artists are commissioned to decorate them. The results are fascinating, but rather spare and hardly luxurious. The effect is in a range from avant garde to slightly bizarre. There are murals, mobiles, sculptures, paintings and high-tech lighting, but no couches or comfortable chairs. Each bathroom is equipped with a heated towel rack and hairdryer. We liked Numbers seven and eight, cozy, garret-like top floor rooms with exposed beams, dormer windows and slanting ceilings. One drawback for all rooms is that there is no lift and one must negotiate at least two flights of steep stairs. The Teufelhof is also known for the small (120 seats) but busy theater located within the walls of its rambling structure. The whole package, main dining room, Weinstube, theater and the eight guestrooms have been meticulously and imaginatively restored and the pieces of art carefully chosen. Note, for example, the clever pitchfork (Der Teufelhof means "the devil's house") wall sculptures incorporating images of famous people. For the flexible traveler who appreciates new ideas, even if they are a little quirky, Der Teufelhof will be fun.