First blink of an eye at seven in the morning. A pastel yellow stripe mixes with the sky blue outside our window to a sunny day. Ice flowers entwine on the windows. For our little winter wellness break on the first Advent, we have chosen the Hotel Eisvogel in Bad Goegging, Lower Bavaria – and truly picture-perfect weather.
Away from home and yet feel at home, is written on the door. A promise kept from start to finish by the family hotel team: a plate of fruit and nibbles in the room (gingerbread, hmmm!), the loving decoration in the house, a lush landscape of pillows on the bed immediately give us a feeling of welcome. As well as the personal but unobtrusive attention of the staff. At the reception we are greeted by name and accompanied to the room with a short house tour.
Warm colors, fluffy carpeting and modern design
At 45 square meters, this is very spacious and comfortably furnished, with wingback chairs and a couch, as well as a small hallway – almost like a suite. Other plus points: large daylight bathroom and spacious shower. There’s also plenty of storage space in the built-in cabinets in the hallway to keep suitcases and clothes out of sight.
Late riser breakfast and plenty of space to relax
But now let’s get out of bed and have breakfast in the light-flooded winter garden. The selection is rich and varied. From almond croissant, muesli to cheese and hearty sausage from the butcher, the buffet leaves nothing to be desired. Omelet and Co. are prepared from freshly beaten eggs (and not from liquid egg) directly in front of our eyes according to our wishes. The soft-boiled eggs are also perfect to the point. The coffee comes in the thermos flask on the table and thus remains hot, which I like very much, because I like to drink it only after the meal – while reading the newspaper. Late risers are welcome at the Hotel Eisvogel: The breakfast table stays up until 10.30 o’clock covered.
Outside it is sunny and icy on this day. Just right for an extended walk or a short hike. The Schwefelbach path leads directly past the hotel to its spring, which we can smell from our balcony. Sulfur is a recognized natural remedy in the spa of Gogging, along with thermal water and mud.
We decide on the eleven kilometer long, well-marked asparagus round, on which we walk along the surrounding asparagus fields and hop gardens over meadows and through heath landscape. Especially in winter a nice tour (hardly any shade) and with about two and a half hours walking time just right to have enough leisure for the wellness area in the hotel afterwards.
It is not only large, but also very nicely laid out with various retreats for relaxing as well as the bistro for the small hunger in between (tip: homemade cake). The gourmet pampering board includes soup, salads, cakes and drinks during the day.
In the room a private sauna bag is ready packed for each guest with two towels and own cuddly blanket.
Sauna with sulfur pool and massages in the hop garden in winter
From the loungers in the pool we can see the garden with a large lawn for sunbathing, through the panorama windows we can also enjoy the sun a little inside and later watch a magnificent sunset.
Next door, Finnish sauna, steam bath and infrared room invite you to sweat with honey-ginger infusion – including a dive in the ice-cold sulfur pool. The water is milky and smells a bit like rotten eggs. But it should be healthy, so we close our noses and go in. And afterwards another glass for internal use at the drinking fountain in front of the sauna ..
The time until dinner passes far too quickly with dozing in the Schwefelbach relaxation room, drinking tea in the library and several sauna sessions. But before that, a real highlight awaits me: hops. At the Eisvogel Spa, Hallertau hops, which are mainly used for brewing beer, are the basis of the HopfenWell concept. Hops are said to have a health-promoting effect, and by no means (only) in the form of beer ;-). Hops seem to be a miracle herb (belongs to the family of cannabis plants) and is said to help against cellulite as well as sleep disorders and some other aches and pains. And smells even better than sulfur.
Quite gemach and all around pampered
After the 30-minute hop-salt peeling, my skin not only feels well supplied with blood, but also silky soft and perfectly prepared for a massage with freshly scented hop oil.
We start the evening deeply relaxed and enjoy a tasty four-course menu with fresh, high-quality ingredients from the region. In addition the dark baroque beer from the Weltenburger monastery brewery.
The atmospherically decorated hotel now shines in the clear, black night sky with countless stars. They take a few of them down at the Hotel Eisvogel the next morning – for their guests.
Our tips for an unforgettable wellness weekend at Hotel Eisvogel
- Hiking: At the reception you can get a map with hiking suggestions in and around Bad Gogging – from a short walk to a real hike. In the summer you can go for example the hop round. On the asparagus tour you pass several farm stores where you can stock up on freshly harvested asparagus and strawberries to take home. Short and sweet is the sulphur path that starts directly from the hotel, ideal as a “digestive” walk.
- Visit the Weltenburg monastery, which is about 15 minutes away by car. In summer you can take the ferry across the Danube and hike the Panoramaweg with a view of the Weltenburg narrows. In winter, when the ferry service is suspended, you start in Kehlheim. For five kilometers, the Danube forces its way between the up to 70-meter-high limestone cliffs in Weltenburg.
- Abensberg is six kilometers away from Bad Gogging and has a pretty old town. Worth seeing is the beer world of the Kuchlbauer wheat beer brewery including the Hundertwasser tower and exhibition. During the Advent season, a nice Christmas market is held in the beer garden. As one of the most beautiful Christkindelsmarkte in Eastern Bavaria is the Niklasmarkt in the Abensberg castle garden. Both take place only on weekends.
- By the way: With a little luck you can actually observe the kingfisher on the Abens, to which the hotel owes its name.