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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

#BloggerWellness in Bad Saarow: Hotel Esplanade & Spa as a creative hideaway near Berlin!


Creative Travel, Gourmet Travel, Travel With Locals, Germany, Europe, Travel Blog 0

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So what exactly is … Aqualana? Who had this idea to call Scharmützel lake a sea (“Märkisches Meer”)?! And does the whole local atmosphere not recall the nearby Baltic Sea Coast, what with the splendour of Hotel Esplanade & Spa as well as their surrounding estate mansions?

I am left wondering. After the excitement of visiting this year’s ITB Berlin, the largest travel trade show in the whole wide world, my dear travel blogging colleagues and I first had to “switch gears”. Switch into the quiet, Eastern Germany mode, into the peace & comfort of a Baltic spa town called Bad Saarow, whose name gives (linguistic) evidence to the nearby border with Poland as well as both countries’ proximity to the Baltic Sea Coast. Peace & quiet it is: Opening the window in the morning only to look at the pastell-coloured sky, you will be surprised to hear so many birds chirping away happily in the nearby forests.

 

Take a deep breath. Feel the underfloor heating gently warming up your feet. Allow the soft colours of the hotel’s interior to work their magic on body, mind & soul. And make the breakfast lady laugh … talking Austrian, as it is!

“Elena. We cannot leave you alone for one single moment … Everyone is always laughing!” But now, my friend & travel blogging colleague Janett Schindler has to laugh, too, Janett (Teilzeitreisender.de), who together with Monika Baum (Entdecker(G)Reise), Nicole Aupperle (Unterwegs&Daheim) and me has swapped home time blues for a creative spa weekend with the girls here in Bad Saarow. Together, we enjoy a wonderful wellness weekend, sample the best of local food available and are in for a creative travel experience of a kind – making our own home-made peeling as instructed by Frau Fröhlich (“Mrs Cheerful”, in German!).

Herzlich Willkommen: Die Stimmung ist Programm hier im Hotel Esplanade & Spa sowie dem angrenzenden Restaurant "Pechhütte".

A warm welcome: This is exactly what it feels like being welcomed at the Hotel Esplanade & Spa as well as their adjoining restaurant “Pechhütte”.

 

Bad Saarow ist ein Ort zum Genießen & Träumen ...

Bad Saarow itself is a cosy little lakeside resort that invites you to relax …

 

... das aufgrund seiner zahlreichen Villen am Ufer des Scharmützelsees etwas vom Charme der Bäderarchitektur an der deutschen Ostseeküste versprüht!

… a place emanating a certain heyday glory, as revealed by taking a look at those estate mansions nearby!

 

Angekommen im Hotel Esplanade & Spa ...

Having arrived at the modern, welcoming Hotel Esplanade & Spa …

 

... genießen wir den Ausblick auf das, was uns ein Wochenende lang im traumhaften Spa-Bereich des Hotels erwartet: Jede Menge Gastfreundschaft und einzigartige Wellness-Behandlungen!

… we enjoy a sneak preview of what we are actually in for over the weekend: A full few days of relaxing spa treatments!

 

“I feel like in a Turkish Hammam!” While the first treatment has still got me squeal with delight, “Aqualana” is a different story altogether. At best, it can be described as an underwater dream dance!

“Unique”: If there is one lady who truly deserves this much-used attribute, it is Gesine Ponto and her team, whose tireless efforts for our wellbeing have earned her a nomination for this year’s Best Spa Manager in Germany! Congratulations, dear Gesine! The so-called “Seifen-Schaum-Traum” treatment actually recalls my visit of a Turkish Hammam in Istanbul, leaving my skin feel like that of a baby. Beautiful. “Aqualana“, on the other hand side, is more of an “underwater dance”: A therapist is there to hold and gently pull you through the water, massaging your entire body in the way of this embrace / pull / massage dance. I love it, though it does require being open to the idea of close contact with your massage therapist.

Zur Begrüßung "serviert" der Spa des Hotel Esplanade hausgemachte Seifen, deren Duft uns bereits zu Beginn in eine andere Welt versetzt ...

Right at the spa reception, we are welcomed to the sweet scents of locally made soap …

 

... auch für kulinarische Leckerbissen ist gesorgt: Frischer Kuchen & Tee aus dem Samowar erwarten uns.

… as well as home-made crumble cakes and fresh tea from the large Samowar cup.

 

Los geht's mit Wohlbefinden & Genuss: Bereit für meine "Erholung auf der Entspannungsliege" ...

Wellness here we go: 24 hours after my UNWTO panel discussion at ITB Berlin, this is what I look like!

 

Sowie unter Bloggern üblich: Während der Ruhephasen "nackte Tatsachen" des Nachbarn auf Instagram zu entdecken - Janett beim Seifen-Schaum-Traum !!!

And others: Fun finding out about my friend’s spa treatments & experiences on places such as Instagram – in real time, of course, as befits the curious & sharing nature of us travel bloggers !!!

 

"Aqualana" beruhigt & begeistert gleichermaßen: Ich rate Euch, dieses einzigartige Angebot kennen zu lernen und auszuprobieren!

“Aqualana” has me calm down and be all enthusiastic about it at the same time: Do try this one-of-a-kind spa experience here – totally unique really …!

 

Und auch im Zimmer bietet das Hotel einen kleinen, persönlichen Spa-Bereich an, etwa wie hier mit Seifen & Feelings aus der hauseigenen Seifenmanufaktur!

And even on your room, the hotel has reserved a small “room spa” for you, inviting us to sample their home-made soap & peelings!

 

The soap shop is the local USP of the Hotel Esplanade & Spa. And Frau Fröhlich (“Mrs Cheerful”), their happy soap lady, is there to teach creative travellers how to make their own soaps & peelings!

“I have been doing this for many years now”, Frau Fröhlich smiles modestly, pointing at the collection of her “children”: Soaps & peelings for all kind of tastes and preferences. One of them is called “Pleasure without Remorse”, containing cacao with a sweet hint of chocolate! For the purpose of this creative soap-making workshop, Frau Fröhlich has even brought calculators and scripts with her: “Making soap is bit like chemistry, and takes a lot longer than to mix a simple peeling. Today, I am going to show you how based on some very simple ‘ingredients’ like essential oils, different types of salts, spices & crushed flower leaves, you can actually make your own peeling in no time: You’ll be amazed by what you are able to create in just 15 minutes!”

Frau Fröhlich begrüßt uns gemäß ihres Namens zum heiteren Seifen- & Peelingkurs ...

Frau Fröhlich happily welcomes us to her soap & peeling-making abode …

 

... bei dem wir ganz genau darauf achten, welche der erlesenen Zutaten ...

… where we are taught how to hand-pick the best ingredients …

 

... in unserem Peeling landen!

… to go into our peeling!

 

Im Handumdrehen ist selbiges fertig gerührt!

It takes a very short time to actually make this peeling – less than 15 minutes if you’ve got all the ‘ingredients’!

 

Und hinterlässt uns als stolze Kreativ-Reisenden zurück: Vielen Dank, liebe Frau Fröhlich, für so viel Engagement in der Vermittlung!

And leaves us with the pride of achievement well known to us creative travellers: Thank you so much, dear Mrs Fröhlich, for your support!

 

Creative travel adventures leave you feeling hungry. Lucky for us that the local cuisine has something to reward us there … My favourite: Sweet Soljanka soup!

Sweet indeed! A dish that carries so many juicy tomatoes (and sausages!) has you squeal with delight yet again! Breakfast, too, is all about local – regional – sustainable food: I love how everything just looks healthy and colourful, too! As if whispering: Go and enjoy! It’s good for you!

Erneut fühlen wir uns auf das Herzlichste willkommen & begrüßt ...

Have a happy start into the day … with our wholemeal breakfast selection!

 

... köstliche Obst- und Gemüsesäfte beispielsweise ...

As well as those delicious, freshly squeezed fuit & veggie juices …

 

... sowie der Farbentraum am Frühstücksbuffet ...

… and their matching colours during breakfast …

 

... lassen Reiseblogger-Herzen höher schlagen! Dazu gesellt sich köstliche Suppe ...

… soup it is in the evening, heart-warming in the most literal sense of the word …

 

... das "Bier des Tages" im Restaurant Pechhütte ...

… tempted to try the local beer? You should! It’s delicious!

 

... sowie deren herrlicher Pastrami-Beef-Burger, ein lukullischer Leckerbissen für alle Feinschmecker & Genießer (wie mich).!

Last but not least, I recommend you to enjoy a good old, remorse-free burger served with local fries and coleslaw salad. Yum. I am getting hungry again writing this. You?

 

Fortunately for us, nature is a “natural occurrence” here at Hotel Esplanade & Spa, inviting us to enjoy the surrounding landscape over a fresh springtime walk.

Even the great German poet & writer Friedrich Schiller knew how to romaticise about the local Scharmützel lake, calling it “as beautiful as the nearby Baltic Sea”: He is absolutely right about that! Taking a springtime walk recalls what he must have felt back in those days. We go looking for the first flowers sprouting from the soil as well as the sunniest spots for taking pictures: “Nature is really what attracts most visitors to this place”, Gesa smiles, who has driven us all the way from Berlin to Hotel Esplanade. “It is just so relaxing to come out here.”

Wo Gesa recht hat, hat sie recht: Naturgenuss am Scharmützelsee - Janett versucht's mit etwas eigenwilligen Methoden ..!

Relaxing, yes: Janett waiting on Prince Charming ..!

 

Rund um das Hotel und direkt am Seeufer begeistern eigenwillige Häuserarchitektur ...

Right by the lake, we take a look at some of the more interesting types of houses and architecture …

 

... sowie die ersten aufblühenden Krokusse am Wegesrand!

… observing the first signs of spring along the way!

 

"Märkisches Meer", Du siehst uns wieder!

“As if by the sea”: Happy times at Scharmützel lake with the girls!

 

Enjoy browsing through more creative wellness moments at the Hotel Esplanade & Spa near Berlin here on my Flickr Photo Gallery:

Check out my friends’ travel blogs for even more inspiration:

Disclaimer: We have been invited by Hotel Esplanade & Spa for this creative wellness trip out in Bad Saarow. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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