At Ecophiles, we’re always looking for that one-of-a-kind travel adventure. With these hotels in Germany — their unique concepts, quirky designs, sustainability and immersion in nature deliver an awe inspiring eco-experience you’ll never forget.
Hang in port-a-ledge
Thrill seekers, head to Pfronten in Southern Germany’s Bavarian Alps and sleep in a port-a-ledge dangling from a branch high up in a free standing tree. At the aptly named Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht (hell’s gorge forest rope climbing course) families can indulge in tree climbing, slack lining, take archery lessons. Adventurous travelers can also spend the night in a port-a-ledge hanging off a cliff at a height of 6,600 feet. Now that’s flirting with danger.
Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht also provides a rare experience where intrepid travelers can spend a winter night in a self-built Igloo on the summit of Breitenberg Mountain. You travel by cable car to the high alps, and trek with snowshoes through the mountains to a building site. With equipment, trained guides and blocks of ice at your disposal, you build a Bezugsfertiges igloo, where the temperature is always plus four degree Celsius, regardless of the outside cold. With a sunset meal, sleeping mat, a special winter sleeping bag provided visitors can spend a winter night in the great outdoors like the indigenous people of the Arctic have done for millennia.
Photos: Courtesy of Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht
A night on the square-rigger Alexander von Humboldt, with its giant green sails made famous in German beer commercials, won’t make you swear like a sailor. But the modern comforts will have you swearing by it. The former light vessel now returned to the naval city of Bremen, where it was built in 1906, offers 16 newly built cabins with double beds, bunk beds, and private bathrooms. Guests can enjoy a fabulous dinner aboard and let the waves lull them to sleep.
Photos: Courtesy of Alexander von Humboldt
Sleep in a wine barrel
If you enjoy the authentic vineyard experience, you’ll love sleeping in a real wine barrel in the middle of an actual vineyard. In the Black Forest, near the picturesque village of Sasbachwalden, lies Ferienhof Wild. Here, giant wine barrel rooms are hidden among the vines for privacy and can only be reached on foot. The barrels come with heating, room for two, and separate bathrooms. Savor a glass of local wine while enjoying the beautiful views over the Rhine Valley through the barrel’s large glass windows. Yummy.
Photos: Courtesy of Ferienhof Wild
Around the world in one trip
Kids love adventure and a ton of it is on offer at the Hofgut Hopfenburg. Deep in the Swabian Alb Hills, at this camping ground you can pick your accommodation from any part of the world. Sleep in a North American-style teepee or a yurt from Kyrgyzstan; stay in a restored circus wagon from France or a Tuareg tent from North Africa. Instead of the usual petting zoo for children, the owners breed endangered animals. Youngsters are also taught skills such as weaving and felting. This glamping option is dripping with culture.
Photos: Courtesy of Hofgut Hopfenburg
All aboard the rail hotel
Situated in the north-east of Hamburg, Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg is based in the nature reserve Lauenburgische Seen. The railway accommodations are spread over three villages, with six types of wagons depending on the size of the group — from tree house style rooms, to wagons with double deckers, and cute huts — all suitably spruced up.
The hotel allows a plethora of activities to keep you entertained like arrow shooting, paddling, and kayaking. You can ride a railway handcar on a 13 km stretch of disused railway track, or enjoy some quirky bikes like a group-bike with six people, or a hydrobike over the water. All in all, a ride to remember.
Photos: Courtesy of Erlebnisbahn Ratzeburg
Live on Culture Island
On the German border to Poland, a two hour drive from Berlin, Kulturinsel Einsiedel is one of the eastern-most destinations in Germany. A mix of an amusement park and a tree-house experience hotel, it allows you to choose between nine tree houses in the thick of the forest. With treasure hunts, little tunnels, natural swings, Labyrinths, Tretauparcours, a life-size doll house, tree paths and animals this village of tree houses is a dream come true for kids.
Kulturinsel or ‘Culture Island’ also has on offer a sculpture garden, workshops like wood handicraft courses and art galleries with frequent exhibitions of graphics, paintings, ceramics, glass, wood treecrafts as well as sculptures and much more. A mosaic of culture, art and nature.
Photos: Courtesy of Kulturinsel Einsiedel
If you like quirky hotels, you’ll love our collection of unique green hotels.