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Review 3898: Erika Kuen, Agency Review
Apartments in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
June/July 2008, one week
We spent a week in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in June/July 2008, renting an apartment through Erika Kuen's agency. Erika lives in Garmisch and lists about 25 apartments there. The apartment we rented was sold not long after we were there and is no longer available for rent, but we had a very positive experience with Erika and the apartment and wanted to be sure others are aware of this excellent rental resource in Garmisch.
Erika speaks and writes English fluently, and she does have an English version of her website. The website includes lots of photos and information and is very easy to navigate. There are also layouts of the apartments and information on square footage. Our apartment was just as represented on the website -- no surprises. Although the buildings are traditional chalets, our apartment was furnished in fairly modern style, which seems to be true of many of Erika's rentals. However the beds are more traditionally German, typically a shared headboard with separate mattresses and bedding (duvets).
Erika responded quickly to my e-mail messages (even on weekends!) and was helpful in answering questions. I took about a week to make a decision on the first apartment I was interested in -- only to find that it had been rented. She assisted me in selecting another apartment, and I made a decision very quickly this time around.
It was extremely easy to make my deposit. I was able to send a check in US dollars to Germany. Erika estimated how much the deposit (25%) would be in dollars based on the exchange rate. She then deposited the check to her German bank. The bank had a small handling fee, and based on the actual euros deposited, she let me know the balance that would be due. We paid the balance in euros when we arrived.
We gave Erika our estimated time of arrival (we drove from Austria), and called her when we arrived in Garmisch. She met us at the house, traveling by bicycle, and showed us around. When we left, we just left the keys in the house. There were no additional charges beyond the rental price. We rented for a full week (Saturday to Saturday), but her website shows a daily price, so it seems that shorter rentals are possible.
Garmisch is a great base for a week in the Bavarian Alps. It is a larger town, but also has a village feel. We rented in the older part of Garmisch, and were amazed to see cows being herded down our street each morning and evening! But we were less than a ten minute walk to the pedestrian center where there are many restaurants and shops. There are free concerts every night in the Kurpark, a beautiful garden/recreational area in the center of town. Old Partenkirchen has a very different feel and is well worth a visit. (The two formerly-separate villages were unified prior to the 1936 Winter Olympics.) There are several supermarkets and great bakeries. We used an Internet cafe near the town center, and also found a drop-off laundromat with very reasonable prices.
Garmisch is surrounded by mountains, including the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. You can reach the mountaintops by taking mountain trains and cable cars in numerous directions, many of which are walking distance from the town center. Garmisch is a great base for exploring the Bavarian Alps. We especially enjoy the village of Oberammergau (known for its painted houses and every-ten-years Passion Play -- next in 2010). The village of Mittenwald is less than 30 minutes away. And you can easily reach the famous castles of King Ludwig -- Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau near Fussen and Linderhof on the way to Oberammergau. Munich and Innsbruck are easy day trips by car or take the train from the center of Garmisch.
Check out the Garmisch tourism website for more information. You can download their brochure or request an information package, including maps.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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