Motti Verses

The true rumors of Baden Baden

Returning after a long time to the Schwarzwald, Germany’s Black Forest, was on my to-do list for a long time. This picturesque enchanting region offers unveiling activities and destinations to capture. Listening in our car to the Grimm brothers folk tales collection recordings, I remembered my twins when they were young. We spent hours in the close by Europa-Park in Rust, one of the biggest amusement parks in the continent. Those days are gone and we programmed our vehicle GPS to the area’s ultimate adult destination – the curative waters and air of old-world luxury of Baden Baden. This Black Forest town boasts grand colonnaded buildings and impressive art nouveau villas spread across the hillsides and framed by forested mountains. With well over 47,000 spa visitors in 1850, over the years Baden-Baden also recorded the largest number of foreign visitors among all European spa towns. However the war in the Ukraine is believed to reduce tremendously the numbers of an important source – Russian wealthy visitors.

Located in one of the most prestigious areas of Baden-Baden, we reached our desired destination – The Roomers urban hotel. This lifestyle property blows one’s mind from the moment of entrance. The receptionists sit in separate low coffee tables with their laptops and invite customers to join. While they scan the passports you notice the famous French photographer Sacha Goldberger gigantic portraits, that reimagine iconic comics superheroes with a Flemish Renaissance flair. ‘Superman’ Christopher Reeve’s face and Lynda Carter, the original ‘Wonder Woman’ flanked us during check-in. On the other side of the lobby an impressive collection of cuckoo clocks, symbolizing a Black Forest ambiance is also noticeable. ‘Is this a museum or a hotel’, I asked myself.

On our way to the room, using the elevator, we noticed that there were no floor numbers. Each floor is characterized by a different portrait of Berlin based photographer Kai Stuht. The figures reinterpret the Black Forest costumes with dark skinned models in regional clothings. A clear message to those who propagate racism and do not see human diversity as inspiration.

The Roomers in Baden Baden was opened in 2016 with 130 very spacious rooms (photo: Motti Verses)
French photographer Sacha Goldberger gigantic portraits that reimagine iconic comics superheroes with a Flemish Renaissance, dominate the lobby (photo: Motti Verses)
An impressive collection of cuckoo clocks, symbolizing a Black Forest ambiance, is noticeable in the Lobby (photo: Motti Verses)
Kai Stuht’s figures reinterpret the Black Forest costumes with dark skinned models in regional clothings and dominate the hotel (photo: Motti Verses)
Guestrooms are comfortable and unique, inspired by Kai Stuht’s figures (photo: Motti Verses)
‘Is this a museum or a hotel?’, a corridor in the Roomers (photo: Motti Verses)

This unique concept dominates guests rooms and all hotel facilities. Charming General Manager, Dieter Ulbricht reveals after a magnificent breakfast that this is all thanks to Piero Lissoni, the Italian renowned architect and designer. It struck me that Lissoni is the very same expert behind the Mamilla hotel in Jerusalem. Ulbricht, a German hotelier with a rich experience of 36 years in hospitality all over the world is my kind of a boss. He is charismatic, full of passion and just loves people. His mission is simple – to make his guests happy. Certainly not a manager behind a desk and a computer. ‘What is the meaning of the Roomers brand name’? I ask. “Oh, it’s a witty combination of rooms and rumors”, he smiles. At that moment the 1977 hit song ‘Go Your Own Way’ by the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, appearing in their Rumours (Rumors in American English) hit album was blowing in my mind. What an imaginative brand name.

The Roomers in Baden Baden was opened in 2016 with 130 very spacious rooms, 50 of which are suites and about 30 apartments. Its main attraction and ongoing happenings is undoubtedly the bar on the top fifth floor with the adjacent terrace and heated infinity pool and a spectacular view of Baden Baden. A magnificent spa and an exercise fitness room are also close by on the very same floor, making the roof floor busy with guests and positive energy. The Roomers and Grey Goose Vodka join forces and the alcoholic drink is dominant in the hotel, including the spa. The reader can imagine better now the energy transformed by the guests there.

Moriki is the top restaurant in the hotel. The rich elegant breakfast there is a jewel, however the Moriki dinner is a must. Executive Chef Stefan Walter Pan Asian food gastronomy creations are an experience to cherish. Even the German wines were at the highest quality.

The rooftop is the hot spot of the hotel with a magnificent view (photo: Motti Verses)
The top fifth floor with the adjacent heated infinity pool is an attraction (photo: Motti Verses)
Breakfast in Moriki is rich and elegant (photo: Motti Verses)
Dinner in Moriki – Executive Chef Stefan Walter offers an exquisite Pan Asian gastronomy (photo: Motti Verses)
With General Manager, Dieter Ulbricht (left) at the Roomers rooftop (photo: Motti Verses)

The hotel is part of the Marriott Autograph collection of hotels. A global assemblageֶ of distinctive independent hotels carefully chosen by the strongest hospitality brand in the world and crafted to leave a lasting imprint. Over 196 million members of Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program for 30 brands are exposed to the Roomers via its marketing channels. Who needs a better tool? According to Ulbricht, every third guest of the hotel arrives via this program.

The Roomers is within walking distance to Baden Baden’s main attractions. A significant part of the city center is the pedestrian street called “Langa Strasse” and it is indeed long and lined with beautiful buildings. One can easily find luxury fashion and art stores. Picturesque restaurants and cafes are available in every corner. We wandered along the pedestrian street and the stream that runs through the city, crossed beautiful and scenic bridges and observed with great appreciation the classy style architecture. The Kurhaus palace style structure with a garden is the main architectural masterpiece and a landmark  since the 18th century. Observing the Israeli flag hanging in it with numerous others provided us with pride and positive energy.

Next by stands the Baden-Baden casino, one of the oldest in Europe. Surely the most impressive in the world.  200 years of roulette, black jack and poker have been played in the richly Parisian interior decorated rooms, designed by experts that entrepreneur Edward Benazet commissioned with all his heart.

The Romans discovered the special effects of the thermal water and Emperor Caracalla led the bathing culture in Baden-Baden and paved the way for the spa and bathing town.Today’s modern Caracalla Spa here offers a great ambience for relaxation which one must visit for hours of mitigation and relief.

The Israeli flag hanging in the Kurhaus garden
provided us pride and positive energy (photo: Motti Verses)
The Kurhaus is a masterpiece and a landmark since the 18th century (photo: Motti Verses)
Baden-Baden casino is one of the oldest in Europe, an initiative of entrepreneur Edward Benazet-left (photo: Motti Verses)
“Langa Strasse” is lined with beautiful architecture (photo: Motti Verses)
Today’s modern Caracalla Spa offers a great ambience for relaxation (photo: Motti Verses)

Baden Baden can be a great base for the Black Forest daily tours, however staying within its boundaries makes visitors partly lost in time. I would recommend to slow down. Do focus on 3 days in this aristocratic environment before leaving and encountering reality again. Especially after experiencing that the extraordinary rumors about the Roomers are certainly true.

About the Author
The author is a hotel expert, traveler, writer, videographer and the former Head of Public Relations of Hilton Hotels and Resorts in Israel
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