Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Schlosshotel Kronberg

Have you ever had the fantasy of living in a fairytale palace?  A stay at the Schlosshotel Kronberg im Taunus, Germany can fulfill that dream, at least temporarily.  

This magnificent property is located outside of Frankfurt. However, the grounds and surrounding environs are so bucolic you will feel much further away.  

Red Salon

This magnificent property is located 20 minutes away from Frankfurt. The sole reminder of your proximity to the city occurs as you drive the winding hillside roads and an occasional break in the forest provides a stunning view of Frankfurt's skyline in the distance.   Our family had the privilege of spending 6 heady nights here in the summer of 2016. 
Bibliothek (Library)

 This is a 19th century palace, designed by the royal architect, was built by Emperor Frederick III's widow, Victoria.
 (Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa 1840-1901)
 She was the daughter of Queen Victoria of England. She named her new home Friedrichshof in honor of her late husband. Palace intrigue surrounded the building of this castle.  

Blue Salon
The new Kaiser, Wilhelm II, had different political views from his progressive parents.   He viewed his father's legacy of promoting new constitutional rights to German citizens as as harmful to the monarchy.  

Palace Reception Foyer
  He was suspicious of his mother's politics and rejected her request to retire to the Sanssouci palace in Potsdam.  Using an inheritance of her own, Empress Victoria built her retirement castle, Freidrichshof, which is the present day Schlosshotel Kronberg  boasting original furnishings, artwork and 62 rooms.

Wilhelm II, German Emperor
Read Prussian Princesses: The Sisters of Kaiser Wilhelm II before you visit to get all the details of the family drama surrounding the palace.  

Green Room

The golf has its own fascinating history.  During the occupation of Germany after World War II, the US army turned the castle into an officer's club with a 18 holes golf course and driving range. 

Golf course
Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower reportedly played the course. 
 In 1954, the castle opened it's doors as a full service hotel-spa and golf resort. 

 OOur visit was in August which was a perfect time to see all the Hydrangeas in full bloom.  And they were abundant.  Not just on the property, but all over Kronberg

The property also has an exclusive "members only" golf association with private clubhouse on the premises. The golf course is opened from April to October and has a handicap of 36.

On the driving range
Not all American forces improved the property.  US Army Captain Kathleen Nash(club manager), Major David Watson and Colonel Jack Durants (The Hesse Jewel Heist) discovered a safe in a hole of the basement floor of the castle.  
Victoria balcony lounge

The outdoor lounge was the daily locale of card games between Papa and Daniel as I napped or explored the castle.

Inside they found the royal treasures the family hid before they fled the castle during the war.  The box contained loose diamonds,tiaras,rings,necklaces and other jewelry worth tens of millions.  

Enroute to the breakfast buffet
 Princess Margaret discovered the jewels were missing in early 1946 when the family went to retrieve the jewels to be used for the wedding of Princess Sophia. Eventually, they were apprehended and court martialed in 1951.  Unfortunately, the family only recovered 10 percent of what was stolen.
Main Dining Room
The beautiful main dining room is where fruhstuck(breakfast) was served every morning.  You could have your morning coffee or tea inside or out on the balcony overlooking the golf course.

Our international traveler hopelessly scouring the menu for anything with cheese and pommes frittes.  The wait staff accommodated his off the menu request.

For more information on the palace, visit Schlosshotel Kronberg.com