Global Hotspots: The German Riviera

Forget about overpriced St. Tropez, pay no heed to touristic Cannes, nevermind overcrowded Portofino! A new star on the map of luxurious holiday destinations is burning bright and it’sin… Germany! With high hopes Berlinagenten made the trip to the seaside resort Binz on Rügen, the country’s largest and most popular island in the Baltic Sea.

Known and appreciated for its well-kept resort architecture, the exquisite resort has been drawing the rich like and famous like a magnet of late. There’s good reason. The splendid waterside promenade is sheltered from chill breezes and has become Binz’s new walk of fame, a place where the wealthy show off the latest fashion and unsightly dogs, who faithfully follow their noble vocation as guardians of Gucci handbags. Binz has lately seen a boom of high class restaurants and many of the new establishments outside the hotels offer set menus for “value for money”, meanwhile the hotel restaurants can be a bit pricey. Overall, Binz has become an unforgettable joy for the culinary heart.

1872 hours of sunshine a year. The perfect conditions for relaxed strolls through the picturesque town. Getting away from the promenade’s hustle and bustle we found the resort’s art mile. Galleries,art&craft workshops and tastefully designed shopping venues offer satisfaction for the culturally interested. Of course you’ll also discover numerous fashion boutiques for every need, jewelries, wine stores and design shops.

Right, that much for the cozy part. Now get this: just 8km from Binz, sharing the very same beach, there’s a 4.5km long building complex called Prora originally built as a beach resort by the Nazis. Prora was a propaganda project of the German Labour Front and operated by the leisure organization „Kraft durch Freude“(„Strength through joy“), which became the world’s largest tourism operator in the 1930’s. Its monumental size is only exceeded by the madness behind the vision of the Nazi building authorities (they have a history of building monuments). So, what to do with it now, more than 69 years after the end of the second world war? Investors have been renovating large parts of the complex in the last years and now offer luxurious holiday apartments for sale, sitting right behind the sanddunes. Definitely worth a visit!

We’ve summed up some of the finest locations the resort has to offer:

 

Hotels

Cerês Hotel

Our top-pick! 5 stars, super luxurious, distinctive architecture and a valuable member of the „Design Hotels“cooperation. This hotel has won more awards than most hotels have stars. The in-house restaurant „Negro“serves great food and easily puts a good handful of other restaurants on the promenade to shame. The spa seeker won’t be disappointed either. In the basement you’ll find the spa with a small pool, steam rooms, saunas chill-out areas and treatment rooms.The place looks great (really cool sleek design) and serves great international food. Nothing to complain here. Fun gimmick: Cerês also offer a 400PS Porsche to drive yourself and private yacht to the customers with big wallets. Jetset life pure. Book a room on the upper floor with balcony and you’ll wake up with a smile every morning!

niXe Hotel

A nicely designed venue sitting right between the beach and a spa park. Expect style-conscious modern elegance and the finest restaurant in the whole of Binz. It’s one of the few restaurants on the island awarded with a Michelin star and received 16 Gault-Millau points (that’s a whole lot). Definitely one for the connoisseurs out there!

Hotel am Meer

Reopened after renovations in 2012, you’ll find Hotel am Maar to be another chique boutique- and design hotel, offering beach access, a spa and a handful of sport activities. If you haven’t noticed already: design hotels are the latest trend on the island. Not a bad thing if you ask us!

Rügen Beach House

Since you can’t always spend your time sauntering up and down the streets of Binz, here’s a very exclusive option that’s off all the hurly-burly of the rich and famous. Located on the edge of a nature reserve, the beach house features 130sqm of space divided into a double bed room, two twin bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a dining room and a living room. It comes in at a generous 1800€per week in high season. Boom!

Grand Hotel Binz

Now, of course, Binz would be nothing if it didn’t have its own Grand Hotel! Sitting at the lower and less busy end of the waterside promenade, the atmosphere surrounding the hotel is very clean and laid back. The mushroom-shaped private space for weddings or parties is an iconic building set in the sanddunes just in front of the hotel. They are also famous for their Thai-Bali spa (ranked as one of Europe’s best!). Enjoy ayurvedic treatments, massages, turkish baths, manicures, pedicures…anything you could ask for, really.

 

Restaurants

Negro

As mentioned before, restaurant Negro can be found in the Cerês Hotel. The food is great, the visuals are even better, especially the black columns dividing the big space into a restaurant and a bar in the evening. If the weather is nice, we recommend to dine „al fresco“on the promenade terrace, perfect for observing people and enjoying the sea breeze. It broke our hearts to leave after we were done eating (well, almost).

Strandhalle

The BEST fish restaurant in town. They make a habit of serving traditional regional dishes fused with a modern touch.

Fischmarkt

The Fischmarkt restaurant is part of the Strandhotel Binz. As the name says they also specialize in fish dishes, fresh off the hook and served in a nice maritime ambience.

Maxim

The Maxim and its french cuisine bring in some international flair. They’re mainly a breakfast & brunch restaurant but also offer a fine selection of wines to their gourmet food served in the evening. Mmm. Wine.

Hans im Glück – Burgergrill

YES! BURGERS! If you’re fed up with fish and all the classy restaurants Binz has to offer, swing by at Hansi’s. Quality burgers, crunchy fries, cocktails and the beach outside the door. Who needs a Burger King in Binz? We definitely don’t!

Caprice

A young, creative kitchen staff found inspiration in regional recipes and added a little mediterranean flavour. As with most restaurants on the waterside, their fish dishes are excellent. Style factor: bright white wooden interior.

Freustil

Another Michelin star candidate. Possibly the best restaurant on Rügen. They’re going with traditional nordic recipes and be assured – chef Ralf Haug has brought them to perfection. Yummy!

 

Day Trips

Prora

The giant 4.5km Nazi monument right on the beach, currently being turned into apartments. You’ll also find some of Rügen’s most interesting museums here, e.g. the documentation center, the culture & art institution and the Prora center.

Königsstuhl

Part of the UNESCO world heritage. A beautiful national park, easy on the eye and bound to keep you wandering for hours. This site can also be visited if you’re taking one of the many boat excursions from Binz.

GöhrenSellin and Sassnitz

If you get bored in Binz, there’s three other seaside resorts nearby to discover. They don’t really live up to the flair of the Riviera, but are nonetheless worth a visit!

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