Escape: Bleiche in the Spreewald

In case you’re familiar with my Instagram, you probably unfollowed me three weeks ago when I was posting too many stories and pictures of me and friends relaxing at a gorgeous spa, basically lavish exposure of extensive spa-ing in the middle of a random week. But let me tell you more about this wondrous place about 1,5 hours South of Berlin, tucked away in the picturesque biosphere reserve Spreewald. It’s a stunning spa hotel called Bleiche.

The spa with a Japanese dipping pool outside.

To be honest, it’s quite hard to find beautiful hotels in Brandenburg, many resort to a cheap Ikea-inspired look, opting more for efficiency than comfort, as if Berliners never look for an all-around pampering. Bleiche is the noble exception to the rule, with it not only being a hotel, but a gigantic spa with fireplaces by the pool, several saunas, and the coziest of resting rooms.

We arrived on a sunny afternoon from Berlin, moved into our rooms and immediately hit the spa, spending the rest of the day on the plush resting chairs. Awarded with the Spa Star for general concept, the interior is country style with natural materials and a simple yet chic feeling, including the occasional gaudy decorations. There’s a Finish sauna, a saline, a steam bath, a hammam, a herbal sauna, and obviously loads more that I didn’t even discover in the three days we spent there. Because all I wanted to do was snuggle into the plush couches in front of the fire place, have a tea, and read; or relax on the day beds in the winter garden, wrapped in a soft blanket, overlooking the outdoor pool; or enjoy the complimentary (!) cakes and coffee in the spa restaurant while flipping through the many books on display.

The very pleasant herbal sauna with lower temperatures, hay, conifers, and herb wreaths all around.
THE cheese room!

Yep, I focussed more on the very relaxing, aka sleeping part of the trip. While my friends hit the gym, and the saunas so many times, I preferred to enjoy my time reclining, with the hood of my robe deep into my face, finally reading all those issues of the New Yorker, that had been piling up at home.

Before and after our spa-sessions came a very long breakfast, and probably an even longer dinner. And while I’m usually not great with buffets, this one I really liked because Bleiche’s morning and night buffet features a room dedicated to cheese. Because, yes, cheese needs a special temperature, and certainly a dedicated display including fig mustard and other condiments. And a sausage room! I kid you not, sausages are a big thing in Spreewald, so they get their own room to cosy up to sourdough bread and other deliciousnesses. Also featured in their best quality are pickled cucumbers, a very important cultural artifact, and best when prepared in artisanal and traditional ways, and delicious for lunch, dinner, and, obviously, breakfast.

And while I’m at it, don’t miss out on the fresh linseed oil, so healthy, it puts the important chias to shame, and are just the better choice considering linseed has a long history in Germany, and are, well, local. Our waiter told us the oil is best had when fresh and loses its aroma in just two weeks. I believed his words, tasting the fresh one they served for dinner with our bread was a completely new experience. Don’t forget to let the waiter know you’ll take a small bottle home.

The family pool and sauna
The lounge

What else can you do while at Bleiche? You can book a boating toor with a ferryman poling you around the many canals while you enjoy a delicious snack, take a hike in the vast Spreewald forests, have one or two drinks in the hotel bar, read all the books they have in their library (and store), finish your own book while seated in the comfortable chairs in the lobby, and… so much more. Just relax.

Prices for a small room including spa, breakfast and dinner, start at 280 Euro per person and night – but the service and quality make it worthwhile, and they have a lot of package deals for the winter. Here’s more info. You can travel to the closes village, Burg, via train, or how about renting a car through CarUnity, an app that allows you to rent private cars found close to you.

Disclaimer: we were invited to stay at Bleiche for two nights free of charge.

Zur Bleiche

Zur Bleiche

Bleichestraße 16

03096 Burg im Spreewald