Late this summer, my husband, Julien, and I were contacted by the Germany Tourism Office in France. They invited us to spend 3 days in Baden-Wurtemberg, a state in the south-west of Germany that borders France and Switzerland. The aim of this 3-day adventure was to create a film and document our time there. As you can imagine, we jumped at the opportunity. We didn’t know a lot – ok, anything – about this this part of Germany, except they were known for producing some very delicious German cuisine, and that the Black Forest lies within this state. That seemed reason enough to partake in this adventure for me.
We later discovered just how wonderful Baden-Wurtemberg would be. Each night we stayed in a different location. This allowed us to see how diverse the region is. Every part of Baden-Wurtemberg amazed me. The locals were kind, the views of the Black Forest were stunning and the hotels we stayed in were like a dream come true. The area was so picturesque, I often felt like we were in a Fairy Tale.
Our holiday started in Heidelberg, a charming university town that instantly captured my heart. We were lucky enough to have a personal tuktuk tour that started in the university quarters, continued through the old town and eventually made its way up the mountain to Heidelberg Castel. Perched high on Mount Königstuhl, the castle that was first constructed in the 1300s, glows a deep, dusty shade of pink. It’s home to the world’s largest wine barrel, a 221,726 litre, oak barrel that was once guarded by an Italian Court Dwarf who apparently liked the wine a little too much. The castle was full of fascinating history and we are looking forward to returning in the future to find out more.
From the castle, a winding path leads into the old town, where we found large fountains, colourful houses and many cafés. Here, we enjoyed a leisurely stroll and watched locals go about their business over a cup of coffee before heading to our hotel.
We spent the first night in Europäische Hof, a luxurious hotel in the heart of the city. Our room was incredible. It was the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary. I particularly liked the marble bathroom that featured a large bath with a tv just across from it (is there anything better than watching your favourite series in a bubble bath!?).
The hotel facilities were equally impressive. We spent a fair bit of our time lazing by the indoor pool or enjoying the view of the Black Forest from the sun deck. As lunch time approached, we made our way downstairs into the hotel’s large terrace and garden area where lunch awaited.
We enjoyed both lunch and dinner in the hotel’s restaurant and found it to be very delicious. Our Lunch was simple and made the most of the season’s freshest ingredients. The wine accompanying our meal was outstanding and totally changed our perspective of German wine.
The next morning before checking out, we indulged in a copious, room service breakfast. Coffee, fresh juice, pancakes, croissants, we had it all. Everything was so fresh and delicious. It was the perfect way to start the day before driving to our next location.
As we arrived at Hotel Bareiss, we could not believe our eyes. The hotel was picturesque to say the least. It was difficult to see where the hotel started and finished, but we later realised the entire area was dedicated to the enormous hotel complex. We spotted everything from natural swimming ponds to tree houses to tennis courts. I instantly realised 1 night clearly wasn’t enough to test all the hotel’s facilities (it does, however, give us a good excuse to return).
As we entered the hotel, I felt as if we had stepped back in time. The décor was elegant and traditional, even the staff wore traditional German dress. Our room was gorgeous. Everything from the bathroom to the carpet was pink. I know many of you may imagine that to be slightly tacky, but trust me, it was done in a very refined, elegant way. The view from our balcony overlooked the Black Forest and the nearby town. It was the perfect spot to have a coffee, disconnect and just relax.
For Lunch, we were very lucky to be invited to dine at Restaurant Bareiss, a 3 Michelin star restaurant, run by renowned Chef, Claus-Peter Lumpp. The meal was indescribably good. The presentation of each dish was immaculate and each and every mouthful burst with opulent flavour. It’s one of the most memorable lunches I’ve had to date.
The great thing about Hotel Bareiss is the variety of restaurants available. If you prefer a more casual lunch, there are other restaurants on site. For dinner, we tried the Dorfstuben, a cosy, rustic restaurant that dates back to the 19thcentury. The food is regional and of course, less refined than Hotel Bareiss, but I think it’s just as enjoyable.
When we weren’t eating, we spent our time there enjoying the 30°C heated, outdoor pool and exploring the hotels facilities. We even managed to sneak away to visit the hotel’s own trout farm, which can be easily accessed by bike.
We started day 3 of our adventure in Baden-Wurtemberg with a tour of Ettlingen. The old city is very charming with its’s winding medieval alleyways and brightly coloured, pink palace. We had a relaxed stroll along the canals and learnt a lot about the town’s 2000-year-old history as we went. It was the perfect spot to spend the afternoon indulging in ice-cream and doing a little shopping in some of the many independently owned boutiques.
Hotel Erbprinz, our hotel for the night, also had a fascinating history. The 220-year-old hotel once welcomed kings and chancellors. Today, areas of the hotel have been modernised in a way that embraces its past but provides clients with luxurious facilities.
We stayed in one of the hotel’s newest rooms, which was located on the top floor. It had a very Scandinavian feel and breathtaking 180° views of the black Forest. The room’s enormous terrace featured not only incredible views but also a private sauna. It was a dream come true! I serious could not believe how lucky we were to stay there.
We ate both lunch and dinner at the hotel. We opted for a light, Mediterranean lunch, before trying the Michelin Starred menu for dinner. The food was exceptional, as was the accompanying wine. Late in the afternoon we also enjoyed a glass of champagne and tried some of the cakes and delicacies at the Erbprinz café. This was my favourite spot in the hotel. The café was very Instagramable with small marble tables and plush, green seats. The cakes on display were not only photogenic but serious yummy, and when you add a glass of champagne, well, what more can you ask for?
With a very full belly, I made my way toward the spa. We spend the rest of our time at the hotel between the spa and sauna. I left Julien and snuck off for a 1 hour relaxation massage. Honestly, it was just what I needed. The massage therapist was highly qualified and always made sure the pressure was right. It was the perfect way to end 3 days in Baden-Wurtemberg.
Both Julien and I feel so lucky to have been chosen to partake in this project. We would like to say a huge thank you to the hotels mentioned above for welcoming us and ensuring that we had a wonderful stay in Baden-Wurtemberg. We would also like to thank the Office Nationale Allemand du Tourisme, the Best of Southwest Germany, and Visit BaWu for sponsoring this trip.
To all my dear readers, although this trip was sponsored, all options remain my own.