Berlin’s complex history, squat dwelling punks, tasty Currywurst, plentiful graffiti and 24/7 club scene are often what first spring to mind when you picture Berlin. But this is a city full of surprises.
vabali spa is one of those unexpected gems in this vast city. After arriving at Hauptbahnhof (Berlin’s biggest train station) and crossing a busy, beeping main road, navigating through schools and bustling apartments I wondered if we had taken a wrong turn, after all this is not a very tranquil area.
But from the moment you pass through the 80 metre teak wooden entrance lined with bamboo leaves and babbling fountains you begin to relax and forget that you are in a city centre.
vabali is an expansive private resort over 20,000 square meters in size. It has an outdoor area, a dining terrace, carved wooden statues, poolside lounging areas, cosy four poster beds for relaxing in, a heated outdoor pool (which is steaming hot at winter),a freezing plunge pool (I couldn’t do it but Nick tells me it was refreshing) and a variety of saunas. It is a real oasis and escape from the city.
My favourite things were the yoga classes and of course the treatments. I had a deep tissue massage and Nick chose the sports massage. But my all time favourite thing, which I cannot stop thinking about, is the heated water beds. They are situated in the relaxation rooms, or napping areas as I liked to call them. I had sooo many full on naps that day!
Here are a few tips if you decide to visit:
- Take your own towel and dressing gown. They have them there, in fact they have hundreds of them – all completely identical. It’s really difficult to know which is yours when there are fifty hung up on a peg and I ended up with someone else’s which was soaking wet. Argh! Not what you want when you’ve just emerged naked from the heated pool into the cold fresh air.
- Yes I said naked! vabali spa, like many German spas, is textile free. I must admit I was cringing on the way there imagining it. But once your there it feels totally natural.
- Take water with you. It’s really important to stay hydrated when you are experiencing the extreme temperatures of the saunas and ice baths. You can pick up a bottle from the bar but it’s pricey.
- Go early to avoid crowds and maximise relaxation. We went at the weekend and I imagine it would be even more dreamy mid week when most are at work.
As I write this I’m already planning my return! Let me know if you head over there.
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