The very idea of a spa getaway was born in Germany. Spa towns like Baden-Baden, Wiesbaden, and other 19th-century wellness retreats became the models for resorts across Europe and the United States. Some of those original grand old hotels are still operating today, like Brenner’s Park Hotel in Baden-Baden and the Grand Hotel Heiligendamm, where German aristocrats gathered in Europe’s oldest seaside spa town. At these hotels, however, don’t expect 19th-century treatments. At Roewers on the island of Rugen, the elaborate turn-of-the-century mansions have been carefully restored, while a hamam has been added to the spa and the menu of treatments updated to include ayurvedic ones as well as therapies using the latest research on our immune systems and stress reduction.
The country’s tradition of health and wellness retreats has roots that go back even further. Visitors to Trier can explore the Imperial Thermal Baths and the St. Barbara Thermal Baths, once among the largest bath complexes in the Roman empire. (The city is also home to the largest existing Roman basilica, the Aula Palatina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is now used as a church.) If in the Roman era and even the 18th and 19th centuries, it was necessary to travel great distances in search of the healing cures at grand baths or in spa towns, visitors to the country today will find luxurious options at hotels and day spas throughout Germany.
Sponsored by German National Tourist Board
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