Unspoilt Quedlinburg has so many original medieval houses - of which the Hotel Theophano is one - that the whole town has been declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. After 1989 the Vesters were among many people who reclaimed their family houses in the former East Germany, and this cosy hotel is the result, occupying a cluster of five old houses on the Corn Market. The renovation programme is not yet finished, and every few years new rooms open.
Behind the half-timbered facade, the interiors are striking. The bedrooms, rustic in style to match their casement windows, exposed beams and sloping ceilings, seem to glow with colour. Walls and ceilings are painted in harmonizing hues; beds are clothed and windows draped in prints, stripes and patterns chosen with flair. Nine rooms look on to the square and its markets, some overlook a pretty patio and the upper rooms have town views.
The public rooms exhibit the same flair for style and colour as the bedrooms. Old cellars have become an atmospheric vaulted wine bar. Above them, in the elegant restaurant, Chef Katrin Gunther serves light international food made with organic ingredients, and a sprinkling of Middle Eastern dishes in honour of the Byzantine princess for whom the hotel is named.