THE GREAT ESCAPISM

Time to get out of the city? Want to leave all your cares behind and immerse yourself in nature and culture? Always a good idea! COMPANION has put together some tips for excursions in the surrounds of our 25hours Hotels’ cities to give you ideas for moments of mindfulness in the cold season.

Hamburg

Sweat Yourself Happy on Sylt

Sylt is just a stone’s throw away from Hamburg and well worth a visit at any time of year. Not just for its brisk sea breezes and tasty fish sandwiches — neither are in short supply in the Hanseatic city — but rather because the island is a winter paradise for nature enthusiasts and wellness freaks. Both groups will find what they crave at Samoa, a beachfront sauna near Rantum. Tucked away in the heart of the dunes, the Finnish-style hut and steam room are perfect for guests wanting to warm up in winter. The panoramic window offers guests a calming view of the North Sea’s waves while they sit back to sweat their troubles away. Once that’s been achieved, brave souls can make the most of the opportunity and take a (very) refreshing dip in the water!

—> strandsauna-samoa.de

 

Düsseldorf

Let There Be Light in Unna

 The Rhineland is known for its art. For a pleasurable day out, there are plenty of museums and galleries within easy reach of  Düsseldorf. A visit to the Centre for International Light Art, located just 80 kilometres away in Unna, is a great choice for winter. After all, light is a necessary remedy for the soul in the darker months of the year. Besides hosting temporary exhibitions, the centre shows illuminating works by celebrated artists like Christian Boltanski, Ólafur Elíasson, and Rebecca Horn, as well as pieces by James Turrell, the undisputed master of light art. Turrell is known for making rooms glow, not only in white, but also in the mesmerising tones of the rainbow.

—> lichtkunst-unna.de

 

Berlin

The Tropics of the Spreewald Forest 

White beaches, crystal-clear waters, exotic plants: those who’ve missed out on booking a trip to the Caribbean this year can get that holiday feeling in the heart of Brandenburg, a short train ride away from Berlin and perfect for a day out of town. Set up in a former aircraft hangar, the Tropical Islands theme park entices visitors with the world’s largest indoor rainforest — situated in what is also the world’s biggest cantilevered dome. The expansive wellness and sauna area is equally record breaking and a wonderful place to lounge around doing nothing, without the massive carbon footprint of a long-haul flight. With a pleasant temperature of 28°C, the swimming areas feature a waterfall, grotto, and a huge slide. Prefer untouched nature? The nearby Spreewald Forest is a wonderful place in which to take a stroll!

—> tropical-islands.de

 

Zurich

Keep on Running Around Zurich

Tobogganing, skating, skiing… The area surrounding Zurich turns into a paradise for winter sports fans as soon as the first snow has fallen. More of a runner? No problem: there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment, says the crew behind the Swiss brand On Running. Its website showcases the most beautiful running routes in and around Zurich. From a three-kilometre jog around Lake Zurich to a 10K through Zurich Forest right next door — even in winter, gliding through the Alpine landscape is sports with benefits.

—> on-running.com/en-de/c/explore-zurich

 

Paris

The French Underwater Worlds

Fancy a trip to the zoo, but not the wet, cold, or windy weather? A visit to Aquarium Tropical in the picturesque Palais de la Porte Dorée, just a short trip from the centre of Paris, is a delightful way to escape the potential boredom induced by nasty weather — plus you get the opportunity to marvel at the creatures inhabiting its fascinating underwater worlds. Luminescent coral, shoals of darting fish, lolloping turtles and alligators from all over the world beckon guests into mysterious worlds. Only figuratively speaking, of course. Our favourite fish?“La Demoiselle des mers du sud.” Its glowing blue and yellow markings are enchanting.

—> palais-portedoree.fr

 

Vienna

Sampling the Charms of Burgenland

Don’t let its medieval name fool you: not far from Vienna, Burgenland satisfies even the most progressive of palates. If you know where to go, that is. Visit the Greisslerei delicatessen that adjoins the Taubenkobel restaurant — and the restaurant itself as well, of course. Run by the Eselböck family and their friends, the delightful eatery combines reinvented culinary experiences with seemingly forgotten flavours from the region. All of their offerings are made from the region’s fruits of nature. Perched right next door, Greisslerei’s Piedmontese delicacies provide stiff competition for the restaurant: the on-site shop sells delicious specialities and magnificent wines. 

—> taubenkobel.com

 

Cologne

Finding Nature in Hürth

What does a woolly pig actually look like? How about a racka? Put away your smartphone! Instead of googling funny animal pictures, a far better idea is to round up the kids for a visit to the Gertrudenhof adventure farmyard. Here, nature presents itself up close: besides enjoying the petting zoo, guests can pick up plenty of tips about (healthy) diets by trying their hand at sowing, harvesting, processing, and, of course, eating the crops. There are plenty of stalls selling tasty treats too, just like a regular farmers’ market. So while the little ones are busy stroking the rabbits or running around the barn, parents can tuck into a tarte flambée or hot waffles in peace.

—> erlebnisbauernhof-gertrudenhof.de

 

Munich

Meditating in the Kranzbach Forest

Meditation is an integral part of life in the Far East — and now also deep in the forests of Bavaria. Not far from Munich, the Meditation House — a kind of wooden pavilion in a forest glade — is connected to the Kranzbach hotel, just outside Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Commissioning Kengo Kuma, Tokyo’s star architect, to lead the project certainly paid off: his artistic structures are always in balance with the surrounding nature. Built under the auspices of Studio Lois from Innsbruck, the Meditation House attracts guests looking to replenish their spirits, architecture enthusiasts, and yoga groups who book the hut for special sessions.

—> daskranzbach.de/de/meditation-house.html

 

Frankfurt

Red Wine Tourism in Rheingau

The Rheingau wine region near Frankfurt am Main is actually famous for its Riesling grapes. But the clocks tick differently in Assmannshausen, a hillside district of Rüdesheim: the red wine village and self-proclaimed “Ace on the Rhine” is an outpost of pinot noir. Countless wine growers are strung next to one another along Lorcher Straße, so red wine enthusiasts can sample their way from cellar door to cellar door. Wine tourism aside, the medieval town, with its magnificent panoramic views, has plenty more to offer, like the chair lift that, from March onwards, whisks guests high above the vines.

—> assmannshausen-am-rhein.de

More Articles

More Info

Diving into The Forest

Nature, awareness, deceleration, meditation: 'shinrin-yoku', meaning 'bathing in the forest', is a recognised treatment in Japan. It's also spreading to Germany as a by-product of the general mindfulness trend. Why is it so popular? What does the bathing part involve? Accompanied by two guides, partners Carlos Ponte and Emma Wisser, COMPANION headed off to the Mangfall Valley, close to Munich, to test the waters and discover what this activity is all about. Between the trees and wet earth, we learned something about the healing qualities of the forest - and about ourselves as well.

More Info

The Science of Scent

Subtle and seductive, the aroma molecule Iso E Super was created in a laboratory in 1973. In 2006, the master perfumer Geza Schön bottled it pure to create Molecule 01 - a fragrance that fast gained a cult following the world over. Many more scents later, COMPANION visited Schön at his Berlin apartment and lab to get a whiff of the chemistry behind his 'anti-fragrances', and glean his take on the wellness industry's obsession with nature (hint: it's overrated).

More Info

Happy Go Vienna

Once again, Vienna has been named the most liveable city in the world. Horse-drawn carriages, Sachertorte chocolate gateau, 'Küss die Hand' - really now? Oh yes, says Zara Pfeifer. Thirteen years ago, she came here from Cologne to study and, bar a few short hiatuses, has stayed ever since.

More Info

Petit Paris

In all its sophistication, Paris often feels very grown up. But the pleasures it holds for pint-sized bon vivants are manifold, if you know where to look. Xavi Vega, general manager of the new 25hours Hotel Terminus Nord and father of two-year-old Sofia, helped us plot out the city's treasures for les petits. The Catalan-born Francophile first moved to Paris in 2009, and returned in 2016, after a short intermezzo in Madrid. Together with his wife, he delights in raising his daughter amidst the culture, cuisine, intellectual rigour, and simple pleasures the city so elegantly embraces. Here are his secrets to sharing the Parisian art de vivre with your little ones on a weekend in and around Paris.

More Info

Marseille Mon Amour

A Mediterranean climate and laid-back urban flair on the Côte d’Azur: Marseille certainly has more to offer than its reputation would reveal. The lively international port city, with its 300 days of sun per year and a particular passion for bouillabaisse and pastis, was long considered the French Naples, ruled by criminal gangs and the violence of its ‘French Connection’ mafia. Much has changed since then. In 2013, Marseille was named the European Capital of Culture, and pocketed significant subsidies that were invested in polishing up its appearance. France’s second-largest city now attracts growing numbers of creative minds and artists. Hot on their heels are the galleries, hip boutiques, and cafés. For the younger French generation especially, Marseilles is becoming a real alternative to the exorbitantly priced Paris due to its affordable standard of living — with a view of the sea included.

More Info

Night Fever

The fashion, music, and worldly feel of the 1970s disco era captivate imaginations to this day. DJ Nicky Siano was spinning the turntables back then, while the photographer Bill Bernstein prowled the legendary Studio 54. The trailblazers take COMPANION back to an era of glitz, glamour, and hedonism.


back to
top
now we are talking.

Special insights into the world of 25hours and local news – register here!