The Bareiss, deep in the Black Forest, aspires to achieve the very highest standards of service, in every single detail. They do this very well indeed.
Every single member of staff was courteous, professional, helpful, and willing to go the extra step to exceed customers' needs. Food is very good and there is LOTS of it. We thought the breakfast was probably the best we have had, anywhere (easily beating the much-loved Sunday Brunches in the best Four Seasons hotels) - masses of variety and very good quality ingredients. The cakes (for afternoon tea) are spectacular.
Facilities are superb. There are endless dining areas, bars, pools, and the most gigantic sauna and spa area with wonderfully tranquil relaxation rooms. There is a lovely hour-long walk up the mountain to the hotel's own little cafe in the forest.
There is an entire village for children, fully staffed, and with an extensive programme of activities (although its success does depend on how many other children of the right age are in resident concurrently). There is also a beautiful little playground with a pirate ship to clamber over, a large teepee in which the children can sit and sing songs, and a campfire to roast a lovely outdoor dinner. Amazing.
Service is paramount to the Bareiss team. We left a feedback form with some suggestions for minor improvements - and a few days after we returned home we received a very kind, personal letter showing how they would act on every point. Very impressive.
Some suggestions for future visitors (especially those from outside Germany, who may not have stayed anywhere like this before):
- Be prepared for the decor. The rooms (and indeed uniforms) have a very particular style, traditional for the area - which is not in the slightest bit to our more metropolitan/modern taste, but although on first impact it was overwhelming, after a while it grew on us and it is really done very well indeed.
- Be prepared for the atmosphere. The hotel website shows the hotel spaces largely devoid of people, so it is hard to gauge how it looks when in use. We found that dinner was quite dressy, with quite a few wealthy Parisians and Germans of a certain age; a collarless shirt just doesn't work! Elsewhere there are other far more relaxed areas ... and in the sauna it's quite the opposite extreme, where the German level of comfort with nudity is somewhat confronting for some international visitors. Actually we soon found ourselves very comfortable and relaxed throughout the hotel, but we weren't quite prepared for what we found at first.
- There is a very extensive programme of activities, which again we weren't quite expecting - it was a bit like arriving on a cruise ship and being given a huge list of what you should do from hour to hour. Of course, again, we relaxed into this quickly and found that while there were a few things of interest we could also just put our feet up and relax in a hundred different ways
- Give yourself a long enough stay. We stayed four days - it took us a day to unwind and acclimatise to this very particular environment, but then we found dozens of ways to relax and we really didn't want to leave after just four days. We could easily have spent a week or more there. It is the sort of place where guests hand over their car and settle back for a deeply relaxing stay. It may not work so well for a very short stay.
- Book half-board, even if you never normally do this. You get a huge breakfast, rich cakes in the afternoon and a 7-course dinner (or a shorter BBQ by the pool if you prefer). Lunch is entirely unnecessary.
We had a wonderful time at the Bareiss, once we had got over a few initial adjustments. We came away very relaxed indeed. We will certainly seek to go back, in both winter and summer, and would heartily recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A family and holiday hotel set in the middle of the Black Forest, in which three generations can feel at home and spend their holidays. A whole range of possibilities for wellness benefiting both body and soul: from gourmet gastronomy to Black Forest snacks, from the Bathing Environment to Bareiss Beauty & Spa, from attractive living right up to leisure time programmes. Experience the genuine hospitality which makes Bareiss what it is - a hearty welcome! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bareiss Hotel Baiersbronn
- Hotel Bareiss Germany/Baiersbronn, Baden-Wurttemberg