Are short weekend trips into the near countryside on your travel list?
In recent years, most of my own travels have usually led me to places father away from home. Even weekend travel meant extending the weekend for a day or two and getting on a flight somewhere new to discover.
Although I still continue to travel like this and I still love it, this year I have also re-discovered a slower pace of travelling, with more weekends spend away from home but limited travel time involved.
I found these short trips are perfect to unplug from your daily routine without a lot of planning ahead needed; and to stay more in tune with your own surroundings – which usually have a lot to offer but are often overlooked as places far off seem more interesting.
Here are my top 5 luxury country hotels in easy reach of Frankfurt, ideal to just relax or explore the beautiful surroundings they offer and off course enjoy excellent food.
This is actually one of the few hotels in my vicinity I have visited a couple of times in recent years. Located in the secluded hills of the northern federal state of Hesse right at the border to Thuringia, surrounded by 1,680 hectares of private forest, this is a place ideal to forget the world around you.
Going back all the way back to around 1600 when the property belong to the noble family of Treusch von Buttlar, the buildings spread across the compound that remain today originate from a later renovation around 1900 when the estate belonged to the family of a wealthy Germany lawyer and politician. It was later sold to a publisher from Hamburg who’s family still owns the hotel and working farm.
Part of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group, the hotel embodies what you could call ‘rural luxury’ with all the modern amenities you would expect whilst everything is kept to a minimum purist style. Hohenhaus offers spacious comfortable rooms, a gourmet restaurant focusing on regional and seasonal ingredients and during hunting season you will find game from its own hunting area on the menu as well as a Spa with indoor pool.
The hotel has recently undergone a redevelopment which saw the inclusion of the old manor house whilst previously rooms were located mostly in the former cow shed which was completely refurbished in the early 1980s when it became the original Hotel Hohenhaus.
On the third weekend in December, the hotel organized the regionally well-established Hohenhaus Christmas market with a number of stalls selling hand-crafted decorations and regional food from carefully selected local providers.
Ideal for: Relaxing under the large trees or the in-door Spa area, go for a hike in the surrounding forests, explore the nearby rural villages or the 15 minutes distant Eisenach and Wartburg castle.
37293 Holzhausen bei Herleshausen
Located in the perhaps most famous of Germany’s thirteen wine regions, the Rheingau, the hotel enjoys an excellent reputation for its award-winning cuisine and excellent wine list.
Indeed, Kronenschlösschen is the host of prominent annual Rheingau wine festival which brings together many Michelin-starred chefs and the best winemakers from around the globe.
The property was originally built in the 1850s as a private residence but just a few years later transformed into a hotel. Unfortunately, it was not taken care of very well and when bought by the current owner in 1990 it was at the verge of collapse. After a careful renovation, the building returned to its former splendour whilst also equipped with all sorts of modern amenities. Today Kronenschlösschen is regularly named one of the most beautiful and idyllic country hotels in Germany.
Alongside a fine dining restaurant offering a a-la-Carte menu as well as a year-round event calendar of themed tasting menus there is also a more relaxed Bistro with a seasonal regional offer.
Ideal for: Spending time in the tree shaded little garden, explore the surrounding Rheingau wine region with ist many leading/historic wineries, take a cruise down the Rhine river lined by many beautiful small historic villages and fairytale castles and off course enjoy the hotels excellent cuisine and wine-related events.
Rheinalle – 65347 Eltville-Hattenheim
Originally built as a small cloister by the Benedictine Abbey Amorbach in 1446, the carefully restored complex is tucked away in a secluded area in the midst of the lush forest and hills of the gorgeous Odenwald region; and yet just about one hour’s drive time from Frankfurt.
Hence it is the perfect getaway for a relaxing weekend in an totally unspoilt place that offers high standards, authentic and unique experiences, exclusivity, a friendly and approachable staff along with award-winning food.
The various old buildings today making up the hotel host 24 guest rooms, a Spa, a small lobby bar and two restaurants.
The Benedictine parlour restaurant offers Mediterranean inspired cuisine in a relaxed rural setting. Abbot and Shepherds parlour, the hotels fine-dining restaurant in the main cloister building now holds a Michelin-star for more than twenty years. It offers a French-inspired modern cuisine in an intimate setting with only few table available.
Ideal for: Extensive hikes around the Odenwald hills, exploring the nearby historic towns of Amorbach (with its renown Amorbach Abbey), Michelstadt and Miltenberg.
Der Schafhof Amorbach
Schafhof 1 – 63916 Amorbach
Nestled within the beautiful market square right in the middle of the historic old town of Frankenberg right next to the spectacular town hall, this 4-star hotel (a member of the Relais & Chateaux group) is part of a unique romantic collection of ancient half-timbered houses.
Comfortable light-filled rooms offer beautiful views over the market square and its lovely half-timbered buildings. Rooms are spread over a number of historic houses (most of which are now merged into the main hotel body, whilst the original buildings also boast a fascinating history. The old brewery house is where beer was brewed in the little town until 1892 whilst the town wine house was once home to the town wine keeper and the only place from 1294 onwards where wine was allowed to be served.
Today, the historic wine town house is home to the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant Philipp Soldan. Other on-site restaurants are the Sonnenstuben, serving a bistro-style regional menu and Philippo, serving Mediterranean cuisine.
During warmer months, you can settle on the lovely terrace right outside the hotel in front of the town hall and there is also a beautiful Spa.
Ideal for: Excursion into the Burgwald range, the Eder Lake area (with its Castle Waldeck), wildlife park Eder Lake and the Kellerwald National Park.
DIE SONNE FRANKENBERG
Marktplatz 2-4 – 35066 Frankenberg/Eder
Hotel Burg Schwarzenstein, a member of Relais & Chateaux group, is not your usual castle hotel. What appears to be an old, restored castle ruin was actually built exactly that way only in the 1870s by famous German vintner family Mumm as their summer residence.
Located in the little town of Geisenheim in the beautiful Rheingau wine region, the hotel offers breathtaking views over the surrounding vineyards and the blue band of the Rhine river winding through the valley below, paired with luxury accommodation and award-winning food and wine.
Spacious rooms in the park residence building boast delicate fabrics kept in elegant tones of cream, gold and dark brown. Large floor-to-ceiling windows create a sense of airiness and open the view towards the vineyards and Rhine valley below.
There are three different restaurant options on-site; the rustic Burgrestaurant (castle restaurant) offers a regional seasonal cuisine, the grill and wine bar is focused on bistro-style menu with most of the dishes coming straight from the charcoal grill and finally the fine-dining Michelin-star Restaurant Schwarzenstein Nils Henkel with its two seasonal signature tasting menus, of which one is fully vegetarian.
Ideal for: Explore the surrounding Rheingau wine region with its many leading wineries, a day cruise down the Rhine river and off course to enjoy the hotels excellent cuisine.
Hotel Burg Schwarzenstein
Rosengasse 32 – 65366 Geisenheim-Johannisberg