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BARGAIN LUXURY TRAVEL - GERMANY

WALD & SCHLOSSHOTEL FRIEDRICHSRUHE
Spa and Golf at the Prince’s Park
By Susan Manlin Katzman

Wald & Schlosshotel  Friedrichsruhe  photoThe Wald & Schlosshotel (Forest & Castle Hotel) Friedrichsruhe covers all the bases – a resort hotel which is at once historic and contemporary, luxurious and casual, healthful and indulging of the spirit. Its top-notch facilities provide an ideal venue for both business and leisure travelers, gourmets and dieters, and active folks as well as those who just want to relax. No matter what the interest, Wald & Schlosshotel delivers a multidimensional, mega-pleasurable getaway that can be structured as the individual desires. Located in southwest Germany’s Hohenlohe region, about 70 kilometers from Stuttgart, the resort maintains the ambience of a retreat deep in the secluded heart of nature---as was its original function. The name of Friedrichsruhe, basically means Friedrich’s place of relaxation - the prince’s retreat.

Wald Hotel Friedrichsruhe Hunting Lodge photoGroundwork began in 1712 and completed in five years in 1717 when Count Johann Friedrich II (later to become Prince of Hohenlohe) built a Renaissance-style hunting lodge (Jagdschloss) on family lands ravaged in the Thirty Years War, and cleared the forest surrounding the lodge to create a majestic royal park. The prince’s park, graced with ancient trees and songbirds, serves as a serene location for today’s resort, and his palace lodge, adorned inside with stag antlers from its hunting legacy, first converted to a small castle hotel in the 1950’s. The property was converted to a luxurious spa hotel destination in 2006. The ultra modern spa resort facilities are seperate from the historical palace on the site so the experience offers a range of accomodations for guests in its sylvan setting.

Room Intrerior at Wald and Schlosshotel photoThe five-star, superior property offers 66 rooms divided among four different buildings. In addition to the Hunting Lodge rooms, decorated with elegant antiques, guests can choose to stay in: the Gatehouse, the former half-timble stables with rooms dressed in Laura-Ashley fashion; in the Garden House, an ideal choice for a family as it holds one double room and one suite; and in the Main House, which offers classic rooms with English country-house charm as well as spa rooms featuring hi-tech sophisticated minimalist design. Although each building showcases specific style elements, each room is individually decorated and graced with art from the owner’s own private collection. All rooms have been designed to maximize guest comfort and each includes a flat-screen television, mobile telephone and fragrant toiletries from the resort’s own SanVino product line.

Restaurant ad Wald & Schlosshotel photoGuests at the Wald & Schlosshotel of Friedrichsruhe also have a choice of where to eat on property. Michelin starred Chef de Cuisine, Boris Benecke, brings refined and creative dishes to the upscale elegance of the Gourmet Restaurant. Regional delights show up on the menu of the charming traditional country style Jägerstaub Restaurant. The Spa Restaurant serves light fare to guests in a casual dining room separated into two parts, one entered through the spa reception area and open to all, the other accessed through the spa and available only to spa guests who are free to eat in their bathrobes. As an extra treat for foodies, the resort has a dedicated Chef’s Table seating 10 in a one-room dining area with windows that overlook the active kitchen. But restaurants don’t account for all of the dining delights. Spend an overnight at the Wald & Schlosshotel for the breakfast alone, served buffet style in the Conservatory, a beautiful, graceful room lined with windows overlooking the woodland park. The Terrace in summer, the Fireplace Lounge in winter, and the Bar in all seasons provide lovely settings in which to enjoy afternoon tea or coffee and cake as well as cocktails and drinks. And last but not least, Cigar aficionados will find a dedicated space to enjoy in the Laura Chavin Master of Cigars Lounge.

For visiting Germany castles see Favorite Castles of Germany.

Spa Pool at Wald  Castle Hotel  Friedrichsruhe photoAs wonderful as are the setting, the rooms and the restaurants, the jewel in the crown of Wald & Schlosshotel has to be the spa, introduced to the resort in 2008. Covering 4,400 sqm, the spa holds 13 treatment rooms, large indoor and outdoor pools and a KLAFS-sauna area plus a ladies only sauna. Although the spa utilizes several different products in health and beauty treatments, their own line of SanVino products, made from grape seeds of nearby vineyards, take first place and a must try. Even Bacchus would glow with a SanVino facial and/or massage. A fully equipped fitness center with personal trainers as well as cooking classes feature healthful spa foods, and beauty salon to supplement the spa. Its adjacent 18-hole golf course, tennis court, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and attentive staff offering extraordinary service add to the Wald & Schlosshotel experience, as does the surrounding area full of castles, idyllic little towns and nature trails – though I can’t see why anyone would want to leave Wald & Schlosshotel even to explore the region, as the resort itself, provides a perfect oasis of peace and pleasure. © Bargain Luxury Travel

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These articles are copyrighted and may not be copied or reprinted without permission. All photos by Susan Manlin Katzman . See Susan's food and lifestyle blog Sweet Leisure

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