STUTTGART – When it comes to the pleasures of bathing in style, the people of SouthWest Germany have a thousand years of tradition to look back on. It was back in Roman times that thermal baths were erected here – and there are even public baths today which can trace their origins directly back to them. However, it is not only the historic Belle Époque and Jugendstil baths that provide aesthetic pleasure and well-being. Modern-day wellness oases also have something to capture the keen eye. This overview will show you where in SouthWest Germany you can bathe in particular style.
A Warm Breeze from the Orient: Palais Thermal in Bad Wildbad
Palais Thermal, which, thanks to its Moorish-looking architecture, generated enthusiasm back when it opened back in 1847, is a place of elegance. It has twelve spa water pools, plus various saunas and a plunge pool. Sculptures and oriental decorations draw you into the age of kings and princes and invite you to experience all-round relaxation. Today, the bathing area is located on what was the ground floor; on the floor above, visitors can find a modern wellness area with seven different saunas, a steam bath and an outside pool.
Roman baths: Friedrichsbad in Baden-Baden
Relaxing like the Romans did 2,000 years ago – you can do that today at the Friedrichsbad in the tradition-rich spa town of Baden-Baden. The establishment is not actually that old; the spacious baths were opened in 1877, along the lines of the Roman baths, the ruins of which, can be viewed nearby to this day. It creates a particular impression on you to relax in the domed hall under the 18-metre-high ceiling, richly decorated with wall-paintings and stucco plasterwork. Besides these visual delights, guests at the Roman-Irish Friedrichsbad can relax in hot-air, steam, jacuzzi, exercise and cold-water pools, or enjoy a soap and brush massage.
Jugendstil bathing: the Merkel swimming baths in Esslingen
It’s best to swim backstroke at these swimming baths; that will give you the best views of the wonderfully beautiful stucco ceiling. However, the Esslingen Jugendstil swimming baths also offer other beautiful architectural details to discover, such as the colourful stained-glass windows with their portrayals of mermaids. In 2005, incidentally, a thermal spring was tapped right next to the swimming baths, and this now feeds into the pool. The bathing establishment was founded here by industrialist Oskar Merkel just over a century ago; it was built between 1905 and 1907.
Casual luxury: Hotel Roomers in Baden-Baden
Hammam, steam baths and a sauna – all with an industrial look – along with a wide range of soothing massages and treatments using natural products – that is what the exquisite spa at Hotel Roomers has to offer. The source of the design for the entire hotel is the Italian designer, Piero Lissoni. Highlights are the bar and the pool on the roof with views over Baden-Baden and the Black Forest. And here’s a tip for you: non-hotel guests are also invited to spend a few relaxing hours at the spa.
In harmony with nature: Mawell resort in Langenburg
High above the river Jagst is this unique hotel with its 4,500 square metre wellness area. An infinity pool with a breathtaking view and a tower with sauna and pool to captivate guests. What’s more, the Mawell Resort in Hohenlohe offers multiple applications in the areas of beauty, wellness, slow movement and fitness – using only natural products. Active guests can also do a couple of circuits of the outdoor fitness trail over the roofs of the hotel.
The tranquillity of the Far East: Bora Hot Spa Resort in Radolfzell
The 8,000 square metre wellness area, which is, in part, open not only to non-guests, but also has direct access to Lake Constance, idyllic sunbathing lawns, multiple saunas and Japanese onsen baths with spa water. The interior decoration of the Bora Hot Spa Resort four-star superior-design hotel utilises natural materials such as oak, clay and linen. This is where body and spirit can find perfect tranquillity.
Prize-winning relaxation: Friedrichsruhe Forest and Castle Hotel
This former hunting château in Zweiflingen, Hohenlohe today hosts one of the most elegant hotels in the country. Slow movement isn’t just about Boris Rommel’s award-winning cuisine or the spacious castle park; a modern extension has a 4,400 square metre wellness and spa area – to satisfy the most demanding customers. There are all sorts of wellness testers who are convinced too; they regularly award the hotel top marks. You couldn’t be more relaxed!