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Perched over a private toll road originally created for King Ludwig II’s royal hunting lodge, this 131-room complex is surrounded by thick pine forests just outside the popular Bavarian Alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The property, centered around a British Arts and Crafts-style stone mansion built during the turn of the 20th century by a British heiress for her artist friends, has gotten new life in the last five years, with several new buildings. Now it is a contemporary spa retreat with interiors by the British designer Ilse Crawford, who incorporated a provocative mix of Dutch design furniture with Studio Job papier-mâché chandeliers, floating George Nelson lanterns, silver patterned wallpaper and purple velvet armchairs. But wherever you might be — eating dinner in the welcoming restaurant or getting cozy in the hotel’s stand-alone treehouse suite — you never lose sight of your natural surroundings. Almost every room has enormous windows with the awesome view of the encircling jagged peaks of the nearby mountains. Double rooms start at 136 euros a person, including breakfast, light lunch, tea and dinner; (49-8823) 928-000, daskranzbach.de GISELA WILLIAMS
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