Located at the foothills of the Black Forest in south-west Germany, Baden-Baden’s bathing tradition dates right back to the Romans who discovered the mineral springs 2,000 years ago and built the first thermal baths in the town. For centuries, royal guests travelled to ‘Europe’s summer capital’ seeking the therapeutic properties of Baden-Baden’s thermal springs.
Nowadays, its two thermal baths are popular with both locals and guests from all over the world. The modern Caracalla Spa, with more than 43,000 sqft of bathing and wellness space is a dream location for a soothing, relaxing dip in thermal water. Adding to the effect is a rock grotto with hot and cold-water pools, marble whirlpools, an aroma steam bath as well as a stylish wellness-lounge.
Meanwhile, the historic Friedrichsbad can boast 140 years of bathing history – when it opened in1877 it was considered the most modern bathing establishment in Europe. The Friedrichsbad combines Roman bathing culture with Irish hot-air bathing traditions. Guests experience a rejuvenating therapy on a circuit of 17 stations with changing temperatures – perfect for mind and body.
Baden-Baden is home to a variety of spa and wellness hotels, ranging from 5-star Superior to romantic family-run boutique hotels, many offering exquisite spa treatments. The jewel among them is the Villa Stéphanie, part of the 5-Star Superior Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa. The luxury spa, which opened in 2015, is a mansion solely devoted to the spa experience. A holistic approach focusing on beauty, detox and nutrition, emotional balance and medical care make the Villa Stéphanie very special indeed. The Radisson Blu Hotel Badischer Hof has a wellness facility with thermal water swimming pools. Guests at the Heliopark Bad Hotel zum Hirsch will even find access to the therapeutic water in some of the rooms and suites.
Beyond the thermal pools
Apart from spa and wellness facilities, Baden-Baden is much loved for its rich cultural heritage. The Festspielhaus, Europe’s second largest opera and concert hall, hosts prestigious opera, ballet and concerts. Known for its incredible acoustics, the concert hall presents world-renowned artists, including the Mariinsky Ballet, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Art lovers can enjoy a visit of the Museum Frieder Burda, built by New York star architect Richard Meier. The fascinating museum has a private art collection that includes classical and modernist masterpieces.
The Fabergé Museum is the first museum worldwide dedicated to the life’s work of Carl Peter Fabergé. With more than 700 masterpieces, the collection includes the famous imperial Easter eggs made for the Tsar’s family, luxurious pieces of jewellery and other selected creations by the Russian jeweller.
In the picturesque streets and avenues of the neo-baroque old town of Baden-Baden, exquisite boutiques invite visitors on luxurious shopping trips. Guests looking for luxury products, designer labels, unique antiques and jewellery will find they are in the right place.
Baden-Baden’s restaurant scene ranges from Michelin-starred establishments, such as the Brenners Park-Restaurant and the restaurant Le Jardin de France, to cosy little taverns, offering both international and traditional Badian cuisine. Baden-Baden’s Rebland, located six kilometres outside the city, is the second largest Riesling growing district in Germany and an insider tip for food lovers and connoisseurs of fine wines.
The Kurhaus Baden-Baden is home to Germany’s oldest casino, and according to Marlene Dietrich “the most beautiful casino in the world”. Guests can indulge in a world of roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines set within belle époque arcades and magnificent state rooms.
After making the most of Baden-Baden’s spa and wellness scene, golf enthusiasts can hit the greens in one of Germany’s finest golfing regions. The Baden-Alsace golf region combines eight championship courses in and around Baden-Baden and guarantees a real challenge amid fantastic scenery.
Historic and beautiful, Baden-Baden is an oasis for spa, beauty and wellness therapies and is perfect for those who like to unwind and enjoy the good things in life. ✱