This year I’ve had the pleasure of discovering some parts of Brandenburg. Not because Berlin isn’t sufficient anymore, but because sometimes you just need to escape from the city. A short road trip can clear your head as much as the landscape of Brandenburg.
On my last trip to the countryside, I took my lovely (and dangerously pregnant) friend Maria to the Fontane Therme Neuruppin, a day spa that is part of the hotel Mark Brandenburg, where we spent a night to unwind.
One Night At The Resort Mark Brandenburg
The Fontane Therme in the little municipality of Neuruppin can be visited independently of the Mark Brandenburg hotel, but if you want the full experience of a relaxing day spa, then it’s probably just more convenient to pitch your tent for a night.
The Mark Brandenburg is large, with comfortable and clean rooms, friendly services and a restaurant buffet that definitely caters to the Berlin crowd (gluten-free, vegan options are available), but which isn’t exactly 5-star. For whatever reason, we also had a mini-sauna in our hotel room, which was weird and great at the same time.
The location of the Mark Brandenburg resort and the Fontane Therme is stunning. Set directly at the lakeside of Ruppiner See, water is all you see through your panoramic windows, from the swimming pools and from the glass elevators of the resort. If anything, the view was definitely worth it!
Don’t expect the Mark Brandenburg hotel itself to be pretty, though. The architecture is polite enough, but some of the interior is just downright creepy. The price for an overnight stay is alright. One night in a double bedroom at the Mark Brandenburg resort starts from around 200 Euro, if you include the entrance to the Fontane Therme, breakfast and dinner, you may get out with 300 Euro.
Fontane Therme Neuruppin
But the Fontane Therme Neuruppin are worth a visit either way. Entrance is around 35 Euro for a day pass, and you can get there either by car or directly by train from Berlin Spandau in 1,5h. I would actually recommend getting the 50,- offer which includes a bathing robe, a locker, a reserved lounge area, towels and so on.
The Fontane Therme Neuruppin are a conglomerate of a day spa for massages and manicures (obviously not covered in the entrance fee), various hot saltwater and sweetwater pools, a very elaborate and spacious sauna area (“Saunalandschaft” as the Germans call it), and most importantly: outside pools and lounging areas.
Steaming hot water pools, even in winter, invite you to take a cozy bath with a beautiful view out on the lake. You can then walk on a wooden bridge to enter a wooden sauna which is on top of the water. The view is mesmerizing. Unfortunately, since I was basically naked, there was no way for me to take a picture of the Seesauna, but here, let me Google that for you.
Unlike vabali spa here in Berlin, Fontane Therme are not exclusively clothes-off. Saunas, pools and the gym can be visited with your bathing clothes as usual. But there are areas – including the lake sauna – that will require you to strip down. But listen to me: Fontane Therme are nowhere near as crowded as their counterparts in Berlin (you’re not going to meet your boss there, I promise). In fact, we visited on a rainy weekend, but both Saturdays and Sundays were very calm. In the morning, I was alone for most of the time. Powerful sauna infusions are scheduled for every hour, and there’s also some more program depending on the weekday.
One of my favorite experiences of our trip took place in the chill-out library of the sauna area, called the “Klangerfahrung”. While it sounds tacky – a staff member plays on foreign, exotic instruments for you – it was incredibly relaxing and I ended up drooling all over myself in my trance.
I can definitely recommend taking some time out to visit the hot springs and saunas of Neuruppin when the cold seeps through your skin come January. That said, don’t expect to be pampered in a luxurious fashion. What I liked about it was how down to earth it was, with no fuss and no frills. We didn’t have much time or patience to visit the little city of Neuruppin on this trip, but I really enjoyed what little I saw: a charming old city and lots and lots of green.