Germany’s cities are world renowned, but there is more to the nation than meets the eye. One of the most noteworthy developments in German accommodation is the rise of farm-stays. These are popular with city families, who consider them a great rural escape for country pursuits like riding or walking, and can be classified as either urlaub auf Bauernhof (meaning farm holiday) or Landurlaub (country holiday). The former provides rooms on vintners and working farms, while the latter consists of country houses with conventional regional charm.
Most of the urlaub auf Bauernhof offer homemade produce for breakfast and occasional evening meals, but you will obviously cater for your own transport. Local tourists offices often recommend farmstays, but you can also check out farmstay organizations. Either of these sell guidebooks or brochures to make your travel easier. Here are five of the best country retreats in Germany.
1. Burg Schwarzenstein
The Burg Schwarzenstein is a posh hotel nestled in a nineteenth-century castle, overlooking the River Rhine valley. It neighbors the twelfth-century Ehrenfels Castle (just twelve kilometers away) and the Eberbach Abbey (just nine kilometers away). It features vibrant, opulent rooms and suites equipped with free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, cable TV, minibars, and room service. Some also feature exposed stonework, but there’s no air conditioning.
Amenities include free parking, a wine bar, a relaxed grill, a regional brasserie, and a gourmet restaurant. You will also get access to a ballroom and four meeting rooms. Virtually everything at the hotel screams luxury and relaxation. Inside, guests are treated to a haven of hospitality with excellent cuisine and beautiful rooms. It is composed of a charming guesthouse, light- flooded pavilion, modern Park Residence, and historic castle building that add up to provide an elegant blend of history and modernity. An exclusive candlelight dinner is provided at the contemporary Gourmet Restaurant.
2. Bülow Palais
The Bülow Palais is located just one kilometer from the Semperoper opera house and 1 ½ kilometers from the Baroque Church Dresden Frauenkirche, and is undoubtedly one of the finest country retreats in Germany. It is set in a modern building disguised in an eighteenth-century façade. It features elegant rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi, minibars, flat screen TVs, and sitting areas with chaise longues. The suites are equipped with nespresso machines and sofa sets, while the upgraded ones include antique furnishings and separate lounges. Those traveling with children will be glad to know that kids under 12 years accompanied with their parents are not charged anything.
Entertainment comes in the form of an atrium courtyard, a live music bar, a cigar lounge, and a fine dining restaurant. Additional amenities include five meeting rooms, a business center, a spa, and a gym. The Bülow Palais can be found in Dresden in the Baroque district, which is also home to the Frauenkirche, the Zwinger Palace, and the Semper Opera House. The residence offers a dash of paradise to elegant and demanding guests, boasting a contemporary atmosphere with a touch of authenticity. Breakfast is served at the halo-filled winter garden or you can enjoy German cuisine at the hotel’s Bistro.
3. Die Sonne Frankenberg
Formerly a sixteenth-century inn, the Die Sonne Frankenberg is a half-timbered hotel just thirteen minutes away from Frankenberg station. It neighbors the National park Kellerwald-Edersee (about nineteen kilometers away) and features warm elegant rooms with free Wi-Fi, minibars, desks, and flat screen TVs. It also offers upgraded rooms with excellent town views, some incorporating separate sitting areas and balconies.
Elegant suites are fitted with pullout sofas with some including whirlpool tubs, four-poster beds, and dining areas. The hotel also provides complimentary parking and breakfast buffet, as well as a cigar lounge, a terrace, a restaurant, and a bar/bistro. One of its most noteworthy amenities is the Moroccan- themed spa, which features a relaxation area (surcharged), treatment rooms, a steam room, and a sauna.
The Die Sonne Frankenberg is part of a brilliant collection of traditional half-timbered dwellings. Here, you’ll be treated to a luxurious atmosphere in the elegant suites, rooms, and common areas that feature vibrant, light-filled colors. After a relaxing session in the Oriental spa, spoil yourself with gourmet star and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as the 700 labels of wine at the half-century old cellar. The spa suite is adorned with elegantly designed hardwood floors that bring out a romantic atmosphere. It features a living room and bedroom equipped with a 4-poster queen bed and a miniature private balcony. The suite, which is 62 square meters wide, is complete with Bulgari toiletries, hairdryer, bathrobes, separate WC, luxury shower, and a hydro-massage bathtub.
4. Gutshaus Stolpe
This elegant hotel is set on a splendid manor house estate with elegant outbuildings along the Peene River. It neighbors the Otto Lilienthal Museum just twelve kilometers away, and features refined rooms with free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, flat screen TVs, and balconies (some). Additionally, there are upgraded rooms with private garden terraces, as well as suites fitted with sofa-contained living areas. Freebies include loaner bikes, parking, and breakfast.
Amenities include a fireplace lounge, a terrace, a wine cellar, a bistro, a wood-paneled bar, and an upscale restaurant. Additional facilities include boat rental, a tennis court, and a spa. Horses and pets are also welcomed, but at a fee. The beaver and the bald eagle will be your neighbors during your stay at the nineteenth century manor house. Enjoy an à-la-carte breakfast in the morning, courtesy of the Chef’s culinary delights, after which you can relax at the historic “Stolper Fährkrug” inn or the ten-hectare park before having your dinner at the restaurant.
5. Hotel Bareiss im Schwarzwald
Hotel Bareiss im Schwarzwald is nuzzled in the Black Forest and provides great access to the Wildsee lake (13km away) and the Reichenbach Benedictine Priory (7km away). It features posh rooms and suites with terraces or balconies, flat screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Some include sofas, while the suites are equipped with marble bathrooms and wood floors. The premise also offers free parking and buffet breakfast. Dinner is served in any of the five restaurants. Amenities include a poolside bar, a hot tub, and an aquatic center with five pools. Other facilities include a game room, an exercise room, and a wellness spa, as well as a business center and an airport shuttle.