Goethe was a guest at Amsteg's Stern und Post. He argued over the prices with the hotelier, but today's guests are usually more than satisfied, even though changes have been made since Elisabeth Tresch took over from her late brother. Her slight American accent was acquired at Cornell University, NY, but her family have been here since 1474 and she has a wealth of knowledge about the hotel and the locale. The last major event was 200 years ago, when the entire village burned down, so 1789 in Amsteg refers not to revolution but to the building of a new Stern und Post.
  After swimming in the Golzernsee or walking in the Maderaner Valley, where better to write your postcards than in the small salon or Stubli, with Duke, the Bernese mountain dog, curled at your feet. Antiques abound, the bar is full of villagers and the restaurant looks over the garden and river. Bedrooms are all different but if your stay is short, opt for an older room, such as the single with the bed rescued from the fire. Not all of these have private bathrooms but who cares when you are surrounded by 200 years of history.