Driving from Baden-Baden to Hotel Bareiss brings you right into the heart of the northern Black Forest. While you gently climb uphill to the hotel’s entrance, it is a fairytale approach with red flowers overflowing from the balconies – the perfect southern German-style architecture reminiscent of medieval structures. Spread out over several separate buildings, this luxe resort complex even includes the abodes of the Bareiss family.
The hotel’s interior does not disrupt the fantasy, with heavy, carved oak furniture, rich reds, forest greens and golden hues. It has a feeling of coziness rather than grandness, although the hotel certainly fits into the category of a grand hotel.
Service was both admirable and warm during the stay. For example, someone from the hotel staff asked me one evening if I needed help in finding something. I responded that I was looking for the closest lounge to try the locally made, cult-favorite Monkey 47 gin. My plan was to sip on it while I packed. The friendly dirndl-draped staff member insisted that I head to my room while she got this juniper and herb delight for me.
The 99 rooms – traditionally decked out in a combination country house/regal salon design – are comfortable and large, with a double room starting at a mammoth 388 square feet. Whether a single room, double room, apartment or penthouse suite, each room also has a spacious balcony in which to take in the magnificent view. We suggest that you request a room at the front, in order to get a balcony draped in those bright storybook red flowers.
Hotel Bareiss is truly a resort destination, as they leave a daily program of activities in your room every evening similar to what you find on cruise ships. You can take an aqua fitness class, go on a day trip to Strasbourg, watch a fashion show in the library, take a guided tour of the hotel’s heat and power plant to learn what the hotel is doing to support sustainability, or see some local ruins on a guided nature hike. Your day can be as jam-packed or “loosey-goosey” as you desire.
If you do decide to go solo and hang around the hotel, it does not mean that you will be at a loss for things to keep you occupied. Hotel Bareiss has five restaurants, including the three-Michelinstarred Restaurant Bareiss. For only €99, you can enjoy a seven-course lunch here; this is truly a remarkable value with dishes that include the yummy goose liver crème brulée to start. This is where food and art meet. Additionally, if you are able to splurge for dinner, they offer a nine-course dinner for €178, or even an 11-course meal for €215.
You will also find three lounges, a salon, a spa that offers every treatment imaginable, the Sattelei Hiking Hut (also serving food and drink), bike rentals, nine indoor and outdoor pools, and a sauna circuit. There is even a kid’s club and a teenager’s club so that Mom and Dad can enjoy some alone time.
Hotel Bareiss also has something that no other hotel in the area has: the 300-year-old Morlokhof, a farm owned for generations by the Morlok family. For lovers of spirits, whether alcoholic or ghostly, Morlokhof has an eerie history that will feed your imagination. The Morlok family was known to be “healers” whose lotions, potions and spells were a combination of Christianity and paganism. Since 1789, when Johann Georg Morlok first purchased the farmstead, each successive generation of townsfolk would visit “The Morlok,” and these miracle cure stories were passed down all the way to the present day.
In 2003, Hermann Bareiss purchased the farmstead to simply ensure its preservation. During a renovation two years later, a hidden box was discovered under the floorboards, which contained the original Morlok’s recipes and concoctions that he had created using herbs from his garden. Inspired, the hotel went back to these herbal roots to make their own alcoholic concoction, the tasty Morlokhof Kräutelikör, in my non-expert opinion a more refined Jägermeister. Today, you can visit the farmstead and have dinner there in the original farmhouse… if you dare. A price for a single room at Hotel Bareiss starts at €216, which includes half-board (for those not familiar with this term, half-board means that your breakfast and evening meal is included).
Photography Courtesy Baiersbronn Tourism
Photography Courtesy Hotel Bareiss
Photography Courtesy Hotel Bareiss