Bavarian gets four-diamond award from AAA

March 29, 2002|BY RICHARD F. BELISLE

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. - The Bavarian Inn, one of the Tri-State area's most popular resorts, added a little more sparkle to its shine Thursday when it received its 19th AAA Four-Diamond Award.

The lodge has won the designation 19 times, but this is a first for the restaurant, general manager Christian Asam said.

The auto club is stingy with its diamond awards. According to a press release announcing the Bavarian Inn's latest honor, less than 3 percent of the country's estimated 27,400 lodging establishments and 4 percent of the 12,400 restaurants are awarded four-diamond designations.


The Bavarian is only one of four establishments with a four-diamond rating in the Mountain State, according to the AAA.

West Virginia's only five-diamond establishment is the Greenbrier Inn in White Sulphur Springs, Asam said.

His parents, Erwin and Carol Asam, opened the Bavarian Inn in an old stone house on the banks of the Potomac River in 1977. It had been operating as a restaurant under the same name at the time they bought the property.

Several major expansions have been completed at the inn. The first of four chalets opened in 1985. Today, three of them provide a total of 45 rooms while a larger, fourth chalet, completed in 1997, added 27 more rooms and a conference center, Christian Asam said.

"We've been a three-diamond restaurant before this," he said. "It's a big achievement for us and it's recognition for our hard-working staff."

The Bavarian Inn employs about 100. Most work full-time, Asam said.

Bavarian room rates run from $85 to $125 a night during the week and from $115 to $155 on weekends, Asam said. The inn's two suites cost $250 a night each on weekends. Entrees in the restaurant range from $18 to $25.

By comparison, guests during the week at the Greenbrier pay $526 a night for a regular room, $590 for an intermediate room and $644 for a superior room, a woman at the Greenbrier reservations desk said Thursday.

The same rooms on the weekend go for $576, $648, and $710, she said.

A walk-in dinner guest at the Greenbrier will pay $100 for an entree, she said.

Asam earned a degree in hotel-motel management from James Madison University. Before coming to the Bavarian, he worked at an upscale German restaurant in Vail, Colo., for 18 months, then did a six-month stint at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia.

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