Schloss Elmau, Germany
What’s so great about this pool?
Well, it’s more than one pool. In fact there are four large pools in the complex and they are all lovely. This is an incredibly luxurious hotel, run as a traditional spa. The pools are deliberately aimed at revitalising the hotel guests. Three of the pools are outdoors – since the hotel is are in one of the loveliest parts of the Bavarian alps, you only need to raise your head out of the water to see incredible vistas. In fact there are two pools in the spa just for adults – an infinity rooftop pool, and a saltwater infinity pool. There is also a family spa, where children are allowed and which is open 24 hours a day. And just 150 yards from the hotel is a lap pool which is great for anyone who enjoys a long swim.
- The infinity rooftop pool at the spa is 25 metres long and kept at a very pleasant 32 degrees Centigrade in winter and a slightly more refreshing 30 degrees in summer. This is just for people over 14.
- The saltwater infinity pool at the spa is 20 metres long and is pleasantly soothing at 35 degrees Centigrade – ideal for soothing tired muscles and weak joints. This is also just for adults.
- The family spa pool is 24 metres long and kept at 32 degrees Centigrade. It is for all ages and is open 24 hours a day. It is indoors.
- The lap pool is 25 m long and is kept at a refreshing 27 degrees Centigrade. It is open from June to Mid September. It is about 150 metres from the hotel.
- The various pools have large numbers of plunge pools, cold pools, saunas, steam baths and just about everything that you’d expect from a top class German spa.
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So the pool’s fab – what about the hotel?
The hotel complex – there are actually two hotels – is in the middle of the Bavarian alps and was initially built as a private home around 100 years ago. It’s now a top class hotel aimed at a slightly older clientele. It’s very lovely but relatively remote and is regularly used for international political meetings.
The hotel is not just about luxury, but is also about healing. There are regular yoga retreats, cultural and music events held in the hotel’s own concert hall. There are libraries, silent reading rooms and therapists trained in various types of massage and pilates. It’s a great place to bring together mind, body and spirit.
There are six restaurants. The Summit specialises in fine dining. The Tutto Mondo is for family eating – great pizzas and burgers, pastas and steaks. And there is the Ganesha spa restaurant which is ideal for health conscious eaters.
If you’re feeling active, there is plenty to do. You can hike or go mountain biking on the hotel grounds or in the local area and the hotel has three tennis courts.
What else is there to do around there?
Elmau is a wonderful place to walk in summer, to ski in winter or simply to enjoy the fresh air and tranquility. And if all these pools are not enough, you can also swim in the clear waters of the Ferchensee lake, which is only 3 kilometres from the hotel.
There are some famous tourist sites, such as the fairy tale castle built by ‘Mad’ King Ludwig of Bavaria. In winter there is a shuttle bus (20 minutes) to the ski slopes of Garmisch and Seefeld and there are top golf courses within a short distance of the hotel.
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