Sleeping in a Granary? Yes, please! Hotel Speicher, Schwerin, Germany

We are delighted to welcome the Hotel Speicher in Schwerin into our Green Pearls family. A unique hotel in northern Germany, the Speicher (German for granary) is a listed building; a former granary that was skillfully and lovingly restored and converted into a sustainable luxury hotel with bags of charm.

Here are my top five reasons for adding the Speicher to your “Travel Hot List 2015”:

  1. Location, Location, Location!

Schwerin is located 1,5 hours east of Hamburg, and 1,5 hours northwest of Berlin. It’s perfect for a romantic weekend, a conference away from the office or an active family break. The hotel is on the shore of the Ziegelsee, one of the many picturesque lakes in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region. Schwerin’s old town is a leisurely 20-minute walk from the hotel, or hop on a boat from the hotel’s own pier and cruise to the iconic Schwerin castle. What I love: the Speicher offers a discounted rail ticket in cooperation with Viabono (a travel association for sustainably run tourism businesses). You can call the hotel ahead of your trip and book your reduced fare ticket – sustainable and done!

starnberger see, percha

  1. Sustainability

The Speicher demonstrates that high quality tourism and sustainability can go hand in hand. In 2005, the hotel was declared „carbon neutral“, the first hotel to receive this status in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. There is a strong commitment to further reduce CO2 emissions, and what remains is offset: one of the projects that the Speicher invests in is a certified forestation project in Panama. Forests the size of about nine football fields are being forested each year through the support of climate neutral hotels like the Speicher. Read more about the hotel’s sustainable activities and their philosophy here.

  1. Architecture & History

I was fascinated to read about the conversion from a working granary built in 1939 to a 4* hotel in 1998. The rich history is reflected in the atmosphere and character of this unique building. When the hotel opened, the street leading up to it was a dirt road and empty warehouses surrounded the hotel. A lot has changed since then: the port area around the hotel has been regenerated into a whole new neighborhood with modern apartments and a private school.

  1. Activities

There is a lot to do here: hiking, bike tours (you can rent bikes directly from the hotel), jogging around the Ziegelsee… Bring a picnic, rent a boat and go fishing, jump into the lake from the hotel jetty, spend some time in the sauna and book a massage at the hotel spa (do not miss the full body hot chocolate treatment!). And continuing in the spirit of sustainability: the hotel offers electric car rentals. The best thing about it? The hotel covers the cost for insurance and electricity.

  1. Culture

The National Museum Schwerin offers an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary treasures and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival has become the third largest classical music festival in Germany. The Schwerin Castle Festival with the stunning backdrop of the iconic castle is a unique experience and a cultural highlight. Alternatively, meander through the old town and marvel at the beautiful buildings.

Schwerin and the Hotel Speicher are my personal insider tips for your cultural break in a stunning region.