The 5-star Schloss Bensberg Hotel, near Cologne & Düsseldorf, Germany, is a quite majestic, and quite enormous, 300-year-old Baroque Palace with gorgeous gardens, a host of superb facilities, and what many consider to be Germany’s very best restaurant; the 3 Michelin Star winning, Vendôme.
Everything about Schloss Bensberg is of the highest quality, it is an extremely elegant property that has added modern features and facilities carefully and with great style, and it retains, for the most part, a wonderfully old-European, Belle Epoque era ambience.
Their rooms and suites run from basic doubles and singles right up to 120-meter square suites, the most opulent of all being the Presidential, which has a private sauna and hot tub, and stunning views of the Rhine Valley and Cologne Cathedral.
In between are various ‘deluxe’ & ‘superior’ rooms, and smaller suites all of which will not disappoint in terms of space, comfort, interior design, or features. If budget allows, avoid the basic single and double rooms as they are the only ones that may possibly disappoint in such a fabulous hotel.
In-room facilities include some wonderful marble bathrooms, WiFi, cable TV, free minibars, plush soft furnishings, incredibly comfortable beds, seating, work desks, 24-hour room service, and all the comforts and standards you would expect from a 5-star hotel.
Check out all the details – prices, reviews, and more photos – on the booking page here.
FACILITIES & THING TO DO:
Schloss Bensberg is very much on the map for being one of the finest hotels in northwest Germany but also, even more so possibly, for having what is possibly the country’s best restaurant, the Vendôme. It has been awarded 3 Michelin stars over the years for its adventurous modern German cuisine under head chef Joachim Wissler and there you can enjoy a remarkable education in food with multi-course gourmet offerings such as four-course lunch menus and up to ten-course dinner menus.
Other food options include the Italian traditional style Trattoria Enoteca, which earns extra appreciation for its extensive wine collection. You can indulge yourself in Sunday champagne brunches in the old-fashioned surroundings of the Jan Wellem restaurant as well as breakfast and daily brunches throughout the week.
Enjoy too the relaxed, friendly atmosphere of the retro-chic Salvador Dalí Bar, which has a broad drinks menu and serves innovative Catalan-inspired snacks and small dishes. It can get quite lively and fun as the night wears on, and it has regular live music performances.
Then there is the elegant, old-style classic, Lobby Bar which does aperitifs, snacks, and afternoon teas, and is a wonderful place to watch the world go by at any time of the day or night.
Schloss Bensberg also has a huge, 1000-meter square, spa centre, the 4 Elements Spa, which features a whole range of health, beauty, and relaxation treatments, a sauna area, a fitness centre/gym, indoor pool, and hot tub.
The hotel has a business centre and excellent concierge services, and in general, throughout the hotel, the levels of service are impeccable.
The castle is conveniently near Cologne and indeed has lovely views over the city and its famous cathedral, and it is also of course near Cologne’s neighboring cities of Dusseldorf and Bonn.
The drive from Cologne centre will take around 20 minutes depending on traffic and you can come by metro too, with the Bensberg Underground Station being just a 3-minute walk away, a journey which will take under half an hour from the city centre. Shuttle services are also available though of course from any of the nearby cities and from Cologne-Bonn International Airport just 20km away.
A LITTLE HISTORY:
Schloss Bensberg took a full six years to build from the years 1705 to 1711, was inspired at least in part by the Palace of Versailles, and became the second biggest Baroque Palace north of the Alps.
It was commissioned by Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine, as a gift for his wife, Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, who was a member of Florence’s infamous House of Medici, and therefore someone who, we can only imagine, may not have been impressed with anything less.
It served as a summer residence initially then as a full-time residence and saw some illustrious visitors over the years including Germany’s most celebrated poet, Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
It survived many troubles including the Napoleonic Wars in 1792 when it got caught up between the Austrian and French armies in the battle of Jemappes, and was commandeered by the city of Cologne to serve as a field hospital for the injured. Typhus broke out in the hospital though and most of the patients under its care didn’t survive.
From 1840 to 1918, the castle was used as a Prussian cadet school, and after World War I it served as a barracks for the Allied forces. It soon fell into disrepair though and was unoccupied from 1922 until 1935, when the Nazis set up a ‘National Political Educational Institution’ there.
After 1945, and the end of WW2 it was first used as a base by the American Army, then the British, and from 1946 on, the Belgian Army occupied it. It was officially under Belgian ownership for much of the 20th century and from 1965 onwards it served as a school, the Koninklijk Atheneum Bensberg, until 1997, when it was fully renovated and converted into the magnificent hotel we see today.
“Simply Perfect. The staff at Althoff Schloss Bensberg were simply wonderful. This hotel is a special place and we look forward to our next vacation there….”
“Superb. My first stay at Schloss Bensberg was more than 10 years ago. Since then I had the opportunity to enjoy my stay there several times. An incredible place! And the service is better than ever!…”
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- Schloss Bensberg