Every year in the summer I like to go the German Seaside at least once. I have been to many places for the past years but I always had the Grand Hotel Heiligendamm in mind. Even as a foreigner in Germany, I have heard about this hotel probably because of the G8 that was held there back in 2007.
For Germans, it is also known as the first seaside resort in Continental Europe, built back in 1793. I have seen pictures of this era at the hotel and had imagined the classy crowd spending their holidays there back in the time. Today, the hotel clients are still quite fancy. I would say a lot of older couples or family with young kids.
In terms of offerings, the hotel is situated by the seaside, and enjoying the beach in one of Strandkorb is one of the main things to do. However since you can’t count on German weather to do this the hotel also offers other options.
If you like to swim, the Spa will be your go-to. It has an indoor and outdoor pool as well as sauna and hammam options. We spent all Saturday there as it was raining quite heavily that day. This option is free of charge for all hotel guests.
If you plan to do some water or golf activities, it is possible as well, however, none of them are free of charge and are operated by external service providers. This is no big deal as I am sure that the hotel will be able to arrange it for you but a bit inconvenient regarding the fact that it is a seaside resort.
The hotel however organizes some events on-site, such as an outdoor movie night by the pool which I think is awesome.
Regarding the food options, the hotel has many food options depending on what you booked.
Many guests opt for half board, including the very big buffet breakfast with lots of choices and dinner at Kurhaus. If you opt for the half board menu, you will be given a menu for the evening. While I was very happy with what I was having for dinner ( I am really not difficult) and the quality was great, I found the menu a bit restrictive as only the main course was to choose (meat or pasta). a bit difficult for anyone having allergies or not being able to eat everything. I have been to many hotels offering half board but it is the first time there were much less choices on the menu. I would definitely expect a bit more here for a 5 stars hotel. Especially because a request to change something in the menu can be quite pricey.
If you are not booking your stay half board, the à la carte menu at Kurhaus is excellent. Besides this, there are other food options that we didn’t have the chance to experiment but there is a 1 star Michelin restaurant on site, a promising Sushi restaurant, and a food truck for lunch or afternoon snacks by the pool among others.
I spent a great weekend at the Grand Hotel Heiligendamm. It is an ideal destination for those who want to spend time at the beach while experiencing such a place full of history. Besides some low points, I can highly recommend this hotel for a weekend by the sea.