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!).
“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.
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!”
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!
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.”
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:
- Teilzeitreisender.de: “Vom Fallen-Lassen und einer Wassertherapie der besonderen Art – Aqualana” und “Fünf Tipps für eine Wellness-Auszeit mit Freundinnen in Brandenburg“
- Entdecker-(G)Reise: “Wellness im Hotel Esplanade & Spa“, “Kreativ-Zeit im Hotel Esplanade & Spa” sowie Tips zum “Kurzurlaub am Märkischen Meer“
- Unterwegs & Daheim: “Mädels-Wellness-Wochenende im Wellness & Spa-Hotel Esplanade am Scharmützelsee in Brandenburg“
Disclaimer: We have been invited by Hotel Esplanade & Spa for this creative wellness trip out in Bad Saarow. All opinions are my own.