Few hotels reflect the personalities of their owners so accurately as the Hirschgasse. She is English and the wallpapers and furnishing fabrics used throughout are from Laura Ashley. He is passionate about the history of this inn, where generations of students met for duelling and drinking. The old oak tables, carved with the names of long-dead students (including von Bismarck), the collection of fraternity caps and the razor-sharp swords add great interest to the mensurstube where now the only blood spilt is from the generous steak on the regional menu. There are two restaurants, one gourmet, one regional, and they deserve their reputation, which draws a clientele from the town.
Both owners are dedicated to making the Hirschgasse work well as a modern hotel and they have succeeded. Suites are strongly characterised and are not entirely German; the Peking suite, for example, is decorated with Chinese vases and lanterns. Others are less idiosyncratic, but all are comfortable and unusual. A discreet cloth covers the TV. Whirlpool baths, good beds and a pleasantly quiet environment will ease away any tension; there is no spa or gym. But the hill above is famous for walks with great views and for running tracks, so bring your outdoor shoes or trainers and earn that hearty dinner where once the duelling swords whirred and cut.