The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

HO­TEL de France, at No. 49 on Wies­baden’s el­e­gant Taunusstrasse, a few min­utes’ stroll from the Old Town, was built as a grand town man­sion in the boom days of the 1880s.

Cana­dian-born Polly Fors­dyke and her Aus­trian hus­band Markus Seegert took over the ho­tel in 2005, trans­form­ing the build­ing and cre­at­ing its stun­ning ter­raced gar­den.

Though the en­trance hall and some of the ground-floor rooms re­tain the orig­i­nal moulded ceil­ings and chan­de­liers, the rest of the in­te­rior is ul­tra mod­ern. Pub­lic rooms are fur­nished in dark woods, con­trast­ing with light oak in the up­per floors. Bath­rooms have black gran­ite and white tiles. Beds are se­duc­tively com­fort­able with crisp white linens and high-qual­ity throws.

All rooms and suites come equipped with flat-screen satel­lite television and DVD-CD player; a se­lec­tion of DVDs is avail­able from the re­cep­tion desk.

Thirty-seven rooms in three cat­e­gories (deluxe, su­pe­rior and clas­sic) start at j132 ($200) for a clas­sic dou­ble.

The deluxe Ty­rol room, fur­nished in tra­di­tional alpine style with a large hand­painted canopy bed, wooden floors and a Car­rara-Mar­mor bath­room, costs j282. It has its own ter­race with di­rect ac­cess to the ho­tel’s won­der­fully peace­ful Ital­ian-style tiered gar­den, Fors­dyke’s spe­cial joy.

The 520sq mof cas­cad­ing Mediter­ranean ter­races fea­ture a 100-year-old olive tree, sur­rounded by ex­otic palms and fig trees, and Seegert’s herb gar­den, with a won­der­ful scent of laven­der and rose­mary; a great place to stroll or flop af­ter a long day.

All room rates in­clude three free drinks from the mini-bar for each guest, free in­ter­net con­nec­tion and the sort of buf­fet break­fast that makes lunch un­nec­es­sary.

Seegert, a trained chef, runs Restau­rant M, one of the city’s bet­ter places to dine, on the ho­tel’s ground floor.

www.hotelde­ Philip Thorni­ley

Gar­den home: Ho­tel de France

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