Das Lindner, Bad Aibling, Bavaria, Germany

A conversation with the new proprietor of the “Das Lindner” hotel

Reading time : 9 minutes
More than six feet of Hanseatic elegance welcomes me in the foyer of the best hotel in town, the “Das Lindner” hotel in a central location - on “Bad Aibling’s Jungfernstieg”, according to Jost Deitmar, hotel manager, lessee, managing partner and thus proprietor of this traditional hotel with its 150-year history.

Jost Deitmar risked a courageous step into independence for the first time in his life, and let himself in for something he really wanted to leave behind him. Processing complaints, responding to grievances and solving problems.

And those were what he had to deal with – albeit rarely – including almost 20 years as manager of the Louis C. Jacob hotel on the Elbchaussee in Hamburg. I have used this hotel often – for business and privately – and there was never a visit without Jost Deitmar standing in the foyer, greeting me and every other guest most warmly.

A “beacon”, both in his physical size and in his elegant, friendly manner. And always there! Good humoured, eloquent and obliging.

If he didn’t give away to you the fact that he was born in Westphalia, one would imagine him to be the archetypical citizen of a Hanseatic town: blue blazer, grey flannel trousers, an elegant Hermes necktie, fine footwear, a Montblanc fountain pen in his jacket, and always a radiant smile!

His working hours – six days a week and a minimum of 14 hours each day. However, their effect is more like 24/7 throughout the whole week. Wonderful for us as guests and ideal for the staff. And for himself as well – this enormous work effort, among other things, also certainly helped him to cope with a terrible stroke of fate that befell him in 2013. The death of his beloved wife. The ground was cut away from under the feet of this loving husband and father of a young son.

Throwing himself into his work helped him in that situation, being there for regular customers and for the employees who idolised him, and showing an even greater presence on the Elbchaussee than in the past. The best kind of distraction.

For me, Jost Deitmar was born to be a hotelier, as though he had been predestined for the role of host, and an ideal person to interact with guests, customers and employees. 

That’s why I was personally shocked to hear of his sudden departure in 2017. A whisper went through the media jungle and it was regarded as a most un-Hanseatic “PR misfortune”, which the press reported as a “sacking” and a rift with the owner of the Louis C. Jacob.

I was not the only regular guest who reacted with horror, and could hardly believe it. The employees and all his colleagues in the hotel business were also shocked.

This ideal model of a hotel manager with such presence, and so popular with everyone that he seemed more like the owner of the business than “just” employed as a general manager… Jost Deitmar no longer on the Elbchaussee? Hard to imagine.
Unbelievable! He was still voted “Hotelier of the Year” in 2016, and now this has happened.

There was a lot of speculation, and much scribbling, reporting and gossip… but the true story is more likely to have been an interpersonal one, and we were extremely sorry to be henceforth deprived of Jost Dietmar.
Everyone I spoke to had hoped to see him again soon with his usual charming manner at some other position in one of Hamburg’s 5-star plus hotels.

However – it was not to be.
The LOUIS C. JACOB was Jost Deitmar and Jost Deitmar was the JACOB! This hotel without him? - inconceivable. Regrettably, the sad truth emerged in late 2017. Jost Deitmar’s disrespectful “dismissal” was an incomprehensible insult to him, and the process was absolutely un-Hanseatic.

The unanimous opinion: “It’s just not the done thing!” Many employees left the hotel, and guests shunned it.
Some even said they would deliberately boycott the hotel. And what did we do? We had simply lost interest. We were also not pleased with the new furnishings in the restaurant… and we missed the beaming Deitmar smile in the lobby. The position in 2020: the Louis C. Jacob hotel has since been sold and is now in Russian hands.(Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that hotel remains closed until´July 2020)

I repeatedly tried to discover Jost Deitmar’s whereabouts. A prolonged silence surrounded him, and no-one knew where he was.
The loss of his beloved wife had now been followed by the loss of his employment, which had been more like a vocation than a job.
His son was studying abroad, the Airedale terrier had gone and the house was empty. It was tough, and called for a radical change.
He told me all about it when I “rediscovered” him in 2019. I had heard of his move to Bad Aibling, and was keen to find out what had happened to him in the meantime, and what life was like for him as a north German in Bavaria.

It pleased me greatly to learn that he was back in the hotel business. Albeit 800 km south of Hamburg. But he has returned, although it had been a rocky road.
But Jost Deitmar would not have been Jost Deitmar if he had not had a very exact plan in reserve for this period after the years in the Louis C. Jacob:
it was to be the pilgrim’s path from Lausanne to Rome. In his dreams, and being a Catholic, Deitmar had an idealised picture of this kind of self-discovery in nature – with Rome as the destination.
“I will find the answers to my life ready and waiting for me in St. Peter's Square.” Or so he thought.
After suffering blistered feet, a gastrointestinal illness and finally periostitis on his shinbone, his “pilgrim’s dream” ended in northern Italy, only a short distance from his intended destination.
His conclusion: “I did it the wrong way. Anyone who goes on a pilgrimage shouldn’t plan everything so meticulously, but rather take things as they come.”
That’s why his questions remained unanswered: “What should become of my life? Move to a different kind of business? Stay in Hamburg?”
He found answers to the questions about his personal life from Father Stefan in Anselm Grün’s monastery in southern Germany, while Fr. Josef in Nütschau Priory in northern Germany helped him to restructure his professional life. 

The time to make changes had arrived.
Somewhat exhausted, but chastened and wiser than before, he began for the first time to work for several hotel businesses as a management consultant. Independent, but without being responsible for a hotel of his own. He certainly had enough contacts.
One of his clients was the Greitner-Lindner family in Bad Aibling, Bavaria. Now in the seventh generation, this hotel is among the town’s oldest buildings, and one of the best-known hotel addresses in Upper Bavaria.

Built in a ruined castle in 1852 and enlarged as the years went by, the original castle is said to have once been the birthplace of a hermit and pilgrim. And now “pilgrim” Jost Deitmar is advising this 56-room hotel.
A coincidence or fate?
Among other things, the family that owned it commissioned him to find a managing partner for the business.
A really exciting task, finding and appointing an executive manager for this long-established traditional establishment.
The thought occupied him day and night, until the idea slowly dawned on him: “Could that be a job for me?”

I have known Jost Deitmar since the nineteen-eighties, when he still worked as Horst Brühl’s assistant. At that time, hotel legend Horst Brühl was the manager of the Hotel Fürstenhof in Celle, and managing director of Relais et Chateaux Deutschland. Since then, Deitmar has kept up the contact with his first boss Horst Brühl, who gives him advice and assistance as a fatherly friend up to the present day.
He played that role again when Jost Deitmar phoned him in 2018 to ask for his advice.
“Should I take over the LINDNER in Bad Aibling?”
After Horst Brühl had looked into it, his answer was quite clear: “If you don’t do it, you’ll only have yourself to blame.”
From then onwards, it all went very quickly. He soon reached an agreement with the owning family. Everything was drawn up and checked, and was signed in June 2018. Deitmar has been the managing partner, lessee and thus the proprietor of the LINDNER in Bad Aibling since then, and has thus given his life a new meaning. With Hanseatic reserve, he describes himself as the “host”.

From being a “pilgrim”, Jost Deitmar has turned into a “romantic” … the LINDNER recently became a ROMANTIC HOTEL, which he describes as “the Four Seasons of Bad Aibling”. Thus, although his thinking is still rooted in Hamburg, his actions focus on the Bavarian target clientele and the 50% regular guests.
“I want every event in people´s life to be celebrated in the LINDNER. That is my goal!”

He also aims to make it a social rendezvous offering a wide variety of services. Everything from a weekend jazz brunch or a weisswurst breakfast every Saturday to a champagne dinner and the organisation of family celebrations.

With his customary zest and full of fun – and together with his 42 staff – he looks after the guests in his 56-room hotel which, with its three buildings, looks like a small hotel village.
This is where he can now, at last, let off steam once more.
Jost Deitmar is in his element again, and has immediately rolled up his sleeves.
In culinary terms, the hotel has had a new chef and two restaurants since February 2020. The first of these is the “Stube”, for alpine haute cuisine with Austrian and South Tyrolean specialities, while the second is the rustic “Schwemme” with hearty Bavarian dishes, country-style but to a high standard and with organic certification. That’s more important to him than an award-winning kitchen.

He also arranged for changes to the rooms. They were all freshly renovated and distinctively furnished with antiques and modern accessories, using wallpapers and lamps from England, wall paint from Farrow and Ball, and many individually customised decorative items. Jost Deitmar tracked down many of them himself, acquiring them for example from Christopher Butterworth in the Pimlico Road in London.

The LINDNER ROMANTIC HOTEL in Bad Aibling, Upper Bavaria, has a truly romantic atmosphere, with room names such as the Forest Room, the Goose Room, the Rose Room or the Clouds Room.
I already know which of these rooms I shall book for myself this year … of course anyone whose name is Roosen will spend the night in the Rose Room, won’t they?
Deitmar himself lives not far from the hotel, and sometimes takes his meals home with him from the hotel’s kitchen, where he can keep an eye on his “hotel village”!
Has he changed? “Yes! I have become more relaxed!”
He will be able to celebrate his own lifetime events himself in the LINDNER in 2020. In June, he will have been responsible for two years for the management of this beautiful traditional establishment with its renovated rooms, a new kitchen and motivated staff. Every reason to raise a glass.

After a lockdown for several weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the LINDNER is open again since June 4th, following all health requirements.

Personally, the 57-year-old also has time now at last to take pleasure in his leisure activities, in addition to which he has a small apartment in Munich, where he enjoys cultural opportunities with concerts, the opera and art exhibitions. And he can also share them with his new life partner.

After years of hardship with many challenges, deprivations and ordeals, everything really has turned out well for Jost Deitmar - a Happy Ending at all levels.
So how has this man from Northern Germany settled down in Upper Bavaria? Does he now wear traditional dress called „Tracht"? “Never!” Jost Deitmar has remained true to himself. His “traditional dress” is still Hanseatic: a blue blazer, grey flannel trousers, a Hermes necktie and elegant footwear.  

And, always the host, he still uses a Montblanc fountain pen from Hamburg to sign the welcome letters to his guests.

Jost Deitmar’s excursion tips/recommendations for Bad Aibling and its surroundings:
“As a tip for an excursion into my beautiful new homeland, I recommend an easy trek from Bad Feilnbach to the Tregler Alm mountain meadow, where you can enjoy a wonderful view over the Alpine foothills and the Alps. Two restaurants are especially close to my heart: one is the Maxlrainer Schlossbrauerei’s brewpub; a magnificent location, excellent food, and of course equally good beer brewed by the brewery itself. I also very much enjoy driving to the August & Maria Restaurant at the Ayinger Hotel’s brewery beer garden, where the cuisine is down-to-earth but refined, and the wonderful garden is unparalleled. The Winkelstüberl Café in Fischbachau is also legendary. Several hundred delicious gateaux and cakes are prepared in its own confectioner’s bakery every day. Their “Bavarian Cream Gateau” warrants special recommendation. Every single piece can definitely replace a complete mealtime…

As a souvenir, I commend Bad Aiblinger Scio Moor Cushions to my guests. They are available in different versions for the back, throat and neck, or universal, and they relax and pamper at the same time.”

If you mention the keywords “ROOSENSTRAVELWORLD” or “ROOSENS REISEBLOG” when booking a reservation at the LINDNER Hotel in Bad Aibling, a Bavarian culinary welcome will be waiting for you when you arrive!

© Ingrid Roosen-Trinks
 June 2020

Ingrid Roosen-Trinks, like all our authors, pays privately for all accommodation, and no-one accepts invitations.