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A New Sleep Experience

DW staff (kjb)January 15, 2007

Bavaria's new Sightsleeping brand was designed to offer tourists more than just a place to crash for the night. A jury selected 12 hotels in southwestern Germany that have said "Auf Wiedersehen" to boring uniformity.

Eggersberg Castle was built in 1600 and now serves as a hotelImage: hotel schloss eggersberg

Have you ever spent the night in a castle? Have you ever dined on authentic Renaissance specialties following a live chamber concert? Or woken up just a few steps away from a 400-year-old chest or an original Baroque-era painting?

This month, Bavaria's state tourism office has introduced a new line of 12 hotels that aim to offer more than just a good night's sleep. The concept, dubbed Sightsleeping (sightseeing plus sleeping), runs parallel to the national German Center for Tourism focus on art and culture in 2007.

Jury selected first hotels

A seven-member jury of art, design and tourism experts selected the first 12 official Sightsleeping hotels.

Relaxhotel Nebelhorn
The Nebelhorn Relaxhotel is one of the hotels with a more contemporary atmosphereImage: nebelhorn relaxhotel

Only castles, manors, other land-marked buildings and houses with contemporary furnishings were taken into consideration. To be considered a Sightsleeping hotel, they had to offer visually appealing decor, which could include paintings, prints, drawings or sculptures.

In addition, the guest houses should offer extra events, like author readings, concerts or theatrical performances.

From Renaissance to avant-garde

At Schloss Eggersberg in Altmühltal, for example, guests can order a brass ensemble to play folk music, or even organize their own piano recital on a Blüthner grand piano from 1894.

Hotel Advokat München
The lobby in Munich's Hotel AdvokatImage: hotel advokat

For something slightly more modern, visitors to the 1960s retro-chic Hotel Advokat in downtown Munich can relax, work, sleep or dine among avant-garde works of art.

"Evaluating the authenticity of the locations was particularly important to me," said jury member Michael Pause, editor-in-chief of the leisure programs broadcast by the Bavarian public television. "Only something that doesn't come across as superficial can create an experience for the guest."