I am usually not a fan of trip reports or hotel reviews. However, I felt the need to talk about Berchtesgaden in general and the Intercontinental Berchtesgaden after taking a trip there recently.
It’s funny that sometimes points take me where I may have never gone otherwise. I had 80,000 IHG rewards points burning a hole a my pocket. That was the bonus from what is now the Chase IHG rewards mastercard.
I actually learned about the town of Berchtesgaden, Germany after hearing a lot about the Intercontinental Berchtesgaden. With rooms going for 250 Euros a night, it’s not a hotel I would have ended up at without points. At 35,000 IHG Rewards points a night, it was a good redemption.
My wife and I stayed there for 2 nights. To start, Berchtesgaden is a magical destination. Being there feels like you are in a fairyland. The views are simply breathtaking.
I use the site Rome2rio to figure out how to get to places. Leaving from Vienna, we hopped on a train to Salzburg and then bus 840 to the main Berchtesgaden bus station (Berchesgaden Hbf). From there, we took a cab to the Intercontinental Berchtesgaden which was about 14 euros plus tip.
If you have a rental car, it’s all the easier as you can easily drive up to the hotel. Since we didn’t have a car, we had to rely on public transportation to get around. The hotel actually gives you a card that allow you to use the public transportation buses for free which was nice. However, we realized that we wasted quite a bit of time waiting for these buses. Also, the last bus to the hotel is at 6:30 pm, so if you decide to stay out beyond that, you will have to take a cab.
In hindsight, it would have been quite advantageous to have a car as it would have saved a lot of time and money spent on cabs as well.
The Intercontinental Berchtesgaden
The hotel is one of the top 5 hotels in Berchtesgaden. In fact, it seems to be the only “chain hotel” there. If you are looking to stay with loyalty points, this seems to be the only option. With all others, you will have to pay cash.
The hotel has an uphill driveway, and is a beautiful multi-stone building.
As you walk in, there’s an open area which is part of the bar with nice views looking out.
We got a standard room since IHG doesn’t give upgrades on award stays. The room was comfortable with a beautiful view from the balcony.
The mini bar is complimentary, but only contains juice and water. Still, not bad considering water can cost an arm and a leg in Europe
Perhaps one of the best features of the hotel is the outdoor heated pool. Again, the view from the pool is breathtaking.
Top 2 Attractions
The number 1 attraction in Berchtesgaden is Königssee which is a glacial lake. You can get there by taking a short bus from the main Berchtesgaden bus station. The boat tour (a must do) takes you on a 35 minute tour of incredible beauty ultimately taking you to the main attraction of Bartholomew’s Church. There is a longer boat tour you can take as well.
One of the other attractions is Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest). You take a very short walk from the hotel (~5-7 minutes) and then take a bus from there. Technically, it’s a chalet style structure on top of a peak which was intended as a 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler (history lesson). The views you see from the elevation are some of the best I have seen.
Berchtesgaden is a beautiful place in the Bavarian Alps with a lot of history. It should definitely be on your bucket list. If you don’t want to spend cash for staying there, consider staying at the Intercontinental Berchtesgaden for 35,000 IHG rewards points a night. You could also use the free anniversary night from the Chase IHG Rewards mastercard to book this. It’s a 5 star hotel, very romantic and great for a honeymoon. You won’t regret it!