Purs — Andernach, Germany
Until recently, the sedate town of Andernach, in the German Rhineland, was best known for its cold-water geyser, which erupts some 60 metres skywards at regular intervals. Now, travellers between Frankfurt and Cologne have another reason to break their trip here: Purs, a handsome 11-room hotel in a 17th-century chancellery building, mere steps from the River Rhine.
Proprietor Rolf Doetsch enlisted Belgium’s elder statesman of interior design, Axel Vervoordt, to furnish the entire hotel as he saw fit, and the results are quietly captivating. Vervoordt has deployed his signature mix of the historic and the imperfect, pairing centuries-old Flemish tiles with white linen sofas and paintings by Japanese abstractionists. In the lobby, an antique French pharmacy counter serves as the reception desk.
Each of the guestrooms is unique: one has rich red walls and a fine stucco ceiling while others nest in the gabled roof. Sleek electronics and marble bathrooms (with free-standing baths and Aesop amenities) add a contemporary touch.
Come evening, repair to the property’s homey restaurant, which has already received two Michelin stars. Here, chef Christian Eckhardt – formerly of Villa Rothschild in Frankfurt – dazzles by combining disparate ingredients, such as Norwegian lobster with chimichurri and papaya.§