Rules are made to be broken. We include the Tristachersee because it is definitely charming and the atmosphere remains 'small' despite the 53 bedrooms. We would happily spend our holiday watching the colours of the lake change a hundred times a day, from brilliant blue in sunshine to soft green in the rain. Every room in the hotel faces either the water or the woods, with not a car in sight.
  Josef 'Pepi' Kreuzer began his successful hotel career here 30 years ago and he jumped at the chance of returning to take over the property. That was a decade ago. After a complete face-lift, his meticulous standards have been met. Bedrooms are expensively furnished, paintings are chosen with care and even the indoor swimming pool has a mural. All public rooms are large, light and airy, especially the conservatory right on the water. Even the obligatory, wood-panelled Stube, named for Emperor Maximilian, who hunted here, is spacious. The award-winning restaurant reflects Pepi's passion for food, especially local fish such as trout, zander and pike. This is a sophisticated retreat where luxury is tempered by informality.