What: Soho House, Hotel & Member Club Where: Istanbul, Turkey…
What: Hotel Bleiche Resort & Spa
Where: Burg im Spreewald, Germany
To encapsulate right away: with this story I’m neither looking for the not yet found hair in the soup, nor am I the investigative journalist finding something previously undiscovered. This text is my personal homage to a place and its landscape, which has grown on me over the years and my many visits: the Hotel ‘Bleiche Resort & Spa’ and the Brandenburg Spreewald.
Every time the rumble of wooden planks wakes me up when passing the driveway to the hotel grounds and the red-white boarded wooden facade in front of me opens, when I walk into the hotel lobby and hear the splashing of the fountain, then I know: I have arrived. My Berlin-stress I leave at the front desk, am grateful to not have to fill in any incredibly long forms, or being asked for either a credit card or if I had a “pleasant journey”.
“It’s great you’re here.” Here, I don’t have to do anything. Here I simply am.
By now, I’ve got my little rituals, which I sometimes pursue more, sometimes less: I let myself drift, I let go, enjoy the sweet idleness. Sometimes I swim my laps in the outdoor pool before breakfast; usually I sleep till all hours. The breakfast in the ,Grünem Gewölbe’ (‘green vault’), I am celebrating extensively with seven minute egg and morning tea ‘Morgentau’. Even at 12 noon that is still possible here. I read the newspaper (which I ‘m rarely able to do at home), which I can find by my bedroom door every morning.
One look into the eyes of my two four-legged travelling companions and it’s decided: Off it goes into the nature, past fields and canals. The network of adjacent trails can also wonderfully be explored by biking or jogging. When it rains, I confine my outdoor activities into the hotel’s private, 17-hectare park, in which my doggies have already chased one or two balls. Then I limber up with some tea and homemade cakes, discover an interesting book title in the well-stocked book shop or exceptionally check out my mails, which is only possible in this one area, because there’s no Wi-Fi in the rooms.
Then I slip into the bathrobe and keep wearing it for the time being. Here, everyone is the same wearing the bathrobes, whether they’re called Heike Makatsch, Model Eva Padberg or German actor Matthias Schweighöfer. My range of motion involved the route room – spa – room. By the way: with 5,000 square meters it is one of the largest spas in Europe. In my opinion, it’s also one of the finest.
Many spas reduce their appearance on the mere expediency, as if the applications were processed like illness certificates: indoor swimming pools with tiles up to the stop and above all a pungent smell of chlorine. In the Bleiche, it scents like fireplaces, like lumbers, herbs and apples. A treat for my nose, used to capital odors. Apart from this, there are plenty of chairs, cozy sofas, inviting sitting areas with comfortable wicker chairs, in which I do like to sink into, because a sauna, massages and Haman are well known to be quite tiring. My favorite room? Clearly and absolutely unrivaled: The ,Kräuterkammer’ (‘herbal chamber’), a around 45 degrees tempered sauna, very cozy like a mountain lodge. How many hours have I probably already spent here?
I lie and listen. Sometimes to the sounds of classical music – in the large indoor swimming pool also under water – sometimes the chirping of crickets, the inhabitants of ancient timbers. For me, this is the most beautiful way of meditation, even though it is also offered here professionally: With or without singing bowl. Speaking of lying: On the big screen of the professionally equipped cinema, there run three movies daily, many that I always wanted to see before. Here I finally get the opportunity in XXL wide loungers.
The decor is right up my alley: sophisticated country-house style, using French linen, rough wood and roughly plastered cob walls, combined with selected antiques and a pleasant lighting concept. It’s the passion for detail that I like so much and this is actually what’s the real secret of the Bleiche. Here and there are a couple of candlesticks, vases and stacks of books. All wisely collected in legwork and over the years by the Bleiche-owners – the Clausing family.
In the evening I preferably sit in the cozy ,Fischerstube’ (‘Fishers parlor’) or in the quaint ,Kahnschuppen’ (‘fishing boat shed’) – in the summer it’s also nice in beer garden under the old chestnut trees. Gourmets get indulged in star restaurant ,17fuffzig’. The food is delicious – I have never been disappointed. I love the Mosel Riesling from the winery ‘Kallfelz’ and especially a regional goat’s cheese at the end, which the rustic cheese chamber holds behind its doors. Maybe I treat myself with a nightcap at the bar. Maybe I’m still sitting at the large fireplace, looking into the fire and imagining how the linen fabrics for the ‘Old Fritz’* were bleached here more than 260 years ago. BvH
*nickname of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia
Especially in fall or winter a boat trip is an experience, as you mainly have the channels for yourself and the pasture- and moorlands of the Spreewald are worth a look at – even in the cold season. Ask for Hagen, he is the best tour guide and knows all secrets and things to know.
Almost like home
Bye, bye, stress!
You simply do not want to leave
Contact Bleiche Resort & Spa:
Bleiche Resort & Spa
03096 Burg im Spreewald, Germany