We stayed here twice in September 2007, one night early in the month, and then two nights near the end. I chose Friesing first because of its proximity to the Munich airport, and then because the town sounded interesting - quaint and historic.
We had spent a week in Hamburg at the World Triathlon Championships and were now starting three weeks of touring Alpine villages in Germany and Austria by train. With my husband's triathlon over, we did not want to have to tote around his bicycle, and so we were looking for a hotel with secure storage to keep it until our return.
The Grüner Hof Hotel replied very quickly to my email enquiry; their rates were good, and they offered storage - for free! Other hotels were more expensive, and charged a daily rate for storage. I could tell from the email, and from some of the not-quite-idiomatic translations on their website, that they had limited English-speaking staff, but enough to get by. So that was good too.
The hotel is composed of two buildings; the one on the street is a restaurant and pub. There is a beer garden/patio as well, but it was not open when we were there. The second building, also two storeys, is behind the first and has the guest rooms in it. We stayed in upstairs rooms both times. Check-in is done through the bartender in the pub, an older gentleman who seemed very welcoming - lots of smiles although he spoke little English. He called over one of the waitresses and she showed us to our room in the other building. She spoke some English and seemed genuinely friendly; she was helpful in answering our questions, giving information etc.
We had arrived in Freising late in the day and rather soggy, as it was pouring rain, and when we were shown to our room, it didn't do much to lift our spirits, as the room was very small with a tiny, attached bathroom. It was sparsely furnished, a double bed, a small table, a chair. There wasn't much space for our medium sized suitcases. However, it was extremely clean.
We knew that a glass or two of some local beer and a meal would go a long way to refreshing us, so we went to the restaurant. This was our first time in Bavaria, so the Bavarian-style décor was novel and interesting to us. The meals were very reasonably priced, with lots of choice on the menu. The place is billed, on their website, as a "Restaurant with good plain cooking"; the menu also had some cute translations in the English section. The same woman who had shown us to our room served us, and she was again very friendly, and answered our questions about the menu very patiently.
Our meals were very enjoyable - "good plain cooking", yes - not fancy, no frills, perhaps "just like Oma used to make" (assuming Bavarians call their Grannies "Oma").
While we ate, the rain stopped so we went for a twilight walk over the river through the old town area. The hotel is about a ten or fifteen minute walk to the Dom, the historic church on the hill.
Then when it started to rain again, we headed back to the Grüner Hof to have a drink in their pub.
The pub seemed like a locals hang-out and we seemed to be the only tourists on hand. Unasked, the bartender found some tourist attraction information behind the bar and brought it over to us. Besides myself and the waitress, there were only a couple of women having a drink. There was a tableful of older men playing a noisy game of cards, and a couple of younger ones sitting at the bar - all a bit scruffy looking, as if they'd just got off work. There was a lot of banter back and forth with the bartender who seemed to have a perennial smile on his face. We do not speak German and only understand a few words here and there, but we were enjoying just soaking up the atmosphere, while we tried to decipher the weather report and the news from the German newspaper sitting on our table. It was "almost sort of" just like home (a few friends having a beer), but on the other hand, *not* at all like home (because home has no authentic Bavarian neighbourhood pubs).
At one point, we became aware that the younger guys at the bar seemed to be talking about us - gestures in our direction etc.; probably, I thought, a "make fun of the tourist" sort of joke at our expense. That, too, seemed a bit like home - we live in a tourist resort town, and some of the younger workers can be a little snotty about the tourists, especially by the end of the busy season (which is exactly when we were there). But the waitress and the bartender both immediately hushed them up. That impressed me - the server and the bartender both knew that we could not understand what was being said; it seemed to show an old-fashioned kind of hospitality, not to allow someone to make a joke at another guests' expense.
A buffet breakfast was included with the room rate, served in the restaurant. We were surprised, on walking through the pub to get to the breakfast room, that there were already a few beer drinkers on hand - at eight o'clock in the morning! (We wondered whether he was someone just finishing a night shift...?) There was also the same large dog stretched out on the floor underneath one of the tables.
The buffet was pretty basic (in keeping with their self-proclaimed theme of "plain" food LOL) but enough to fill us up and get us going. (All I really need anyway is coffee!... and that was good.)
More friendly staff members helped us, stowing the bike in storage and giving us directions for getting the bus back to the train station (we had taken a taxi the day before because of the rain).
We stayed here again about three weeks later, this time for two nights. This time we were pleasantly surprised by our room: it was upstairs, like the first one - but about twice the size of the room we'd been in before, and with a large bathroom. And again, spotlessly clean.
We'd enjoyed our meal there so much the time before that we decided to eat in their restaurant again; the same woman served us. What amazed me was that she actually remembered us, and where we were from! (Maybe she remembered us as those crazy Canadians with the bicycle.) The meal, again, did not disappoint.... mine included cheese spaetzle... Yum!.... Bavarian comfort food, the German version of maccy-cheese.
We spent our last day in Germany sight-seeing in Munich - Friesing is only about 30 minutes away on the commuter train line and the S-bahn - and then returned to the Grüner Hof late for dinner (had to have cheese spaetzle again!) and a pint in the pub. "Our" waitress was working again and we had a nice chat about our families and other things, passing our pocket Germany-English/English-German dictionary back and forth to look up words when needed. She seemed happy to practice her English and to learn a bit about Canada, and we were happy to talk to someone and hear about her life in Germany. (And it's true: Moms the world over keep photos of their kids in their wallets!)
Because of the bike, we needed a larger vehicle for our taxi to the airport in the morning, and as a final kindness, she called and pre-arranged this for us that evening. If I recall correctly, it was about a twenty minute ride to the airport.
So if you are looking for a small, clean, friendly and reasonably-priced hotel with a restaurant and pub not too far away from the Munich airport; close to Munich and with convenient transit links; and that is in a small (but not TOO small), quaint, historic town - choose the Hotel Grüner Hof !