Baden-Baden: A City So Nice, They Named It Twice

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Picture an elegant, fairytale-like town situated in the sun-drenched southwest corner of Germany at the foothills of the Black Forest – a classically refined retreat that’s historically world-famous thermal spa resort, a cultural metropolis and a culinary paradise, not to mention a place where stress is non-existent and where yesterday’s elegance can be savored in 21st century comfort.

So what makes Baden-Baden so special? “I think first of all it’s the whole atmosphere in Baden-Baden. It’s a very special, very small tiny town, but you still have all the offerings the big metropolitan cities have. Besides that, the word ‘stress’ just doesn’t exist in our vocabulary,” explains Anne-Greth Paulus, marketing director for Baden-Baden tourism.

“We’ve got just a little more than 60,000 inhabitants and once you arrive, you can do everything by walking—you don’t need a car, you don’t have to worry about a bus or a subway. It’s not just walking, it’s walking in the most beautiful nature because we have the almost 350-year-old Lichtentaler Allee—it’s like a park and garden—which connects the five-star Brenner’s Park Hotel & Spa to the city center with about a 10- or 12-minute walk,” she adds.

Indeed, the city is justly proud of its five-star properties and they do have an impressive collection. The Brenner’s Park Hotel & Spa, for example, is a 135-year-old grand hotel with all of the modern amenities, boasting 100 rooms, jr. suites and suites, including a Royal Penthouse Suite and all offering individual decor and furnishings enhanced by elegant antiques and marble bathrooms.

It’s listed as number one on the top 10 list of Germany’s best hotels and due to its exclusive spa with an indoor swimming pool, solarium, sauna, steam bath and beauty treatments, it was named as the top “Wellness Hotel” in 2003. The spa offers a variety of wellness opportunities—from medical consultations and medical massages and treatments, to Thai, shiatsu and Swedish therapies, as well as a variety of facials and beauty treatments.

The Brenner’s Park-Restaurant is also an award-winning gourmet dining experience with two Michelin stars and 17 out of 20 Gault Millau points since its opening in spring 2002. The latest accolades—the second star in the Michelin Guide and 17 points in Gault Millau—both happened in November 2010.

The 156-room, five-star Dorint Hotel Maison Messmer Baden-Baden is one of the more modern hotels and spas in Baden-Baden, but no less traditional in terms of service and style, boasting one of the best spas in the city. But this is a traditional spa town and like most of the other hotels and spas here, there’s an emphasis on medical consultation and health prevention.

As a result, the spa offers unique treatments such as wraps and vacuum pump massages for firming, lifting, regeneration and targeted fat reduction. They also offer programs such as abdominal and intestinal massage, breast augmentation and firming with ultrasound treatments and mechanical lymph drainage utilizing a gentle energy wave that detoxifies and unblocks swollen tissue and removes accumulation of fluid in the legs. Needless to say, there’s also a huge menu of conventional massage therapies, beauty treatments, nutrition and fitness programs and activities, including golf.

Room and suite amenities include a choice of whirlpools, fireplaces and balconies depending on room category, as well as top-end bath amenities, while the gourmet restaurant J.B. Messmer offers upscale cuisine by award-winning chef Tino Kruger. For guests seeking more regional flavor in terms of menu and decor, tell them to try the Theaterkeller restaurant in the side wing of the Maison Messmer, located directly opposite the theater. The open-show kitchen presents Badian-Alsatian specialties, with a variety of both local and international wines.

The third five-star offering is the Steigenberger Europaischer Hof, which has been presenting its world-famous brand of elegance and hospitality to Baden-Baden visitors for over 165 years and has become literally a part of the townscape. Its spa, in fact, has entertained royalty and famous personages such as Mark Twain since its inception.

The wellness and beauty arrangements of the Europe Spa at the Steigenberger are unparalleled with its Roman-inspired wellness area with a warm brine pool with massage jets, a sauna area with its Finnish sauna, tepidarium, steam bath and hydro-massage showers and the fitness room for a workout. The Golden Touch massage team offers an incredible array of treatments, while a staff of trained beauticians and skin specialists offers an equally broad array of skin and beauty treatments. Guests can also register for a comprehensive medical check-up at the Max Grundig Clinic through the spa.