SPREEWALD: BLEICHE RESORT & SPA
We took the train from Berlin an hour away to the lovely Spreewald to celebrate my birthday at Bleiche Resort & Spa. The resort is near the quaint town of Burg but completely tucked away from any busy city life. The minute you drive into the lush grounds of Bleiche your problems quickly drift away and relaxation mode is in full swing. I couldn't believe how vast the property was. All the buildings are connected in some way and you could spend your entire time there just exploring the marvelously decorated rooms, each entirely different from the next. There are cozy nooks for enjoying a coffee and a book, a vibrant bar where guests gather in the evenings for music and chatting before dinner, and trails around the property if you want to get some exploring and quiet time in. The resort is surrounded by the winding canals that make up Spreewald where you're able to rent boats to paddle around the enchanting region that is rich in history and tradition. The unique landscape that has been designated by UNESCO a "biosphere reserve," was formed by the ice-age and is made up of over 200 little canals that were used for traditional irrigation.
SPA& fitness center
The layout of the resort is sprawling. Quite literally- never ending. Even in the middle of the week, the hotel was at full capacity- but you would never know it. The spa portion has a few big main pools, a cornered off lounge and pool area for the kiddos, and then winding hallways through rooms with saunas, showers, relaxation rooms, and hot tubs. There are giant comfy lounge chairs with furry warm blankets next to roaring fire places. In each corner you'll find different flavors of citrus, cucumber, or fruit infused water. Guests wander around in their bath robes and slippers (provided at the hotel) from one pool to the other, from sauna to shower, and from reading in lounge chairs to swimming in the outdoor heated pool. People come with the intent of turning off the outside world entirely. At the spa, you can find a wide range of packages whether it be an oil or milk bath to body wraps and massages along with facials, nail treatments, and hair cuts. You can also get quite the work out at Bleiche beyond just swimming laps. There is a fully equipped work out gym with the newest, most modern equipment or you can hire a personal trainer or attend a work out course. Outside is a giant field with soccer goals and plenty of space for your outdoor fitness routine.
The entire eating experience at Bleiche was unlike anything I have ever witnessed. You can choose the "Halbpension" option which is all inclusive breakfast and dinner. Imagine your normal hotel buffet and then multiply that by 10x. You're given the choice of where you would like to sit for your meal whether if be in the luxurious dining room with floor to ceiling windows to watch the sunrise at breakfast, or tucked away in a rustic warmly lit "fisherman's cabin" with fur throws, antique furniture, and giant cushy pillows to sink in to. The restaurant is divided up into sections where you help yourself to whatever starters you prefer. There is a bread and sausage room called "Speis zimmer" (along with a local Spreewald Schnapps) and the famous "käsezimmer" which is the cheese platter room where you can find a giant selection of authentic cheeses and jams. Next you can head to the open kitchen to choose your main dish and watch the chefs preparing meals. They have a meat or fish option along with a full vegetarian and vegan menu, accommodating all dietary requirements. Dinner is a full 5 courses ending in your choice of dessert at the end. During the afternoon there is another cozy cafe that is flooded with light on a pretty day. You can snack on cakes, soup, fresh baked bread along with sip on a coffee or bubbly if you're in the mood. The best part is you're welcome to saunter on in wearing your bathrobe on the way to the pools.
There are plenty of different rooms to choose from, whether you're traveling alone or with your family. We had a gorgeous suite with a huge living room looking out over the property. It felt like being in a remote cabin or tree house but with plush linens and chabby chic touches. The bathroom had truly the largest bathtub I've ever seen, along with a sauna dividing the bathroom from the living room. The sauna came with oils to add to the water for the coals, making it virtually a steam room. No room is exactly like the next. Each room has antiques that have been tastefully chosen by the owners, each piece telling a story and bringing pieces of history from all over the world into the resort.