One thing I was looking forward to on last week's trip was staying in some local Gasthauses. Years back, before there were cell phones, Internet, travelocity, expedia, when we explored the countryside, we simply packed our bags, pointed the car in a general direction and lit out. We would explore various towns and villages with different objectives (cuckoo clocks, wine tasting, castle tours, volksmarches, etc.) and we did not have any particular place set aside for lodging. Most of the small villages had a couple of gasthauses - small, family owned inns with a restaurant and hotel rooms for rent (aka bed & breakfast). All are locally owned and run by a family. They are typically small, and cozy with genuine German flair. We've stayed in a couple of gasthauses where we were the only guests and the man and woman who ran the place treated us like their own family. In one place along the Mosel River, we had such a great time, I turned our overnight stay into 3 days. The couple even gave us some wine from their own vineyard.
My first few nights in Germany were in a local 4 Star hotel/gasthaus in Steinheim. Very nice, elegant place but a bit fancier than I was expecting. This was built 25 years ago from a local farmhouse and has been expanded/improved over the past 10 years. Now it boasts an excellent restaurant and spa included. As I said, it was a very nice place, but a bit more than I am typically used to.
Once I lit out on my own, I fell back on my earlier experience. Found an absolutely fantastic little Gasthaus in Boeblingen that was what I needed/expected. Simple, functional, clean, inexpensive, very nice. Breakfast was fantabulous.
Drove up to Weisbaden and stayed in one of the Continental Hotels that is more of an "Ikea" style European hotel. Clean, efficient, secure, utilitarian. has everything a traveler needs without all the bells and whistles. Nice hotel, but lacks the flavor/love of a local gasthaus.