Since opening in 1872, Brenners has been part of a grand journey with an incredible story. Over the years, the hotel has hosted and catered to many celebs and dignitaries, most recently President Obama and Chancellor Merkel.
The original hotel rooms are reminiscent of an English country house which for me was a little disappointing. While very comfortable and spacious with high ceilings, original features and wonderful views over the park and the historic Lichtentaler Allee, they do not ‘wow’ at all. All individually decorated, they are old fashioned in style, with fiddly original door chains on the main door and balcony doors which are difficult to take off and could cause delays in an emergency evacuation.
More up-to-date inspiration is found when you book into the guest rooms located within the spa building, the Villa Stephanie, redone and relaunched in 2015. Covering an impressive 5000 m² (54,000 ft²), this villa has twelve rooms and three suites and offers the ultimate spa experience in what is an entire mansion devoted to the spa journey. Within, there is also a salon which operates like a club lounge, with refreshments served throughout the day: smoothies, fruit cups, etc.
I should mention that this hotel is perfect for single travellers. Very ‘zen’, if you’re on your own, you will not feel awkward here in any way. The culinary experience follows suit too, as the food is simply wonderful and is geared up to suit all dietary requirements; you are encouraged to speak to the chefs about any special needs that you may have, again with no issues over feeling uncomfortable if you are dining alone.
- Daily breakfast for two
- Continental breakfast in Salon Lichtental
- Room upgrade upon arrival
- Maximum upgrade level of accommodation applies
- Spa credit
- €85 for treatments at Brenners Destination Spa in Villa Stephanie (one credit per stay)
- VIP welcome
- Mineral water and fruits in room upon arrival
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Exclusive benefits may vary by hotel or hotel group. Exclusive benefits apply when booking the Best Available Rate and are not combinable with any hotel offers or special packages unless stated.
- Detailed Review +
- Facts & Amenities +
Pulling up to Brenners is an ornate affair, with the large gazebo style covered entrance complete with deep-red curtains and matching planters with topiary decor. As soon as my car came to a stop, I was greeted by the bellman who took my suitcase and escorted me inside.
The lobby is a spacious affair, with comfortable yet limited seating cleverly done up to give a feeling of space. The check-in is located here and the staff are charming and very welcoming. Formalities soon over, they handed me my keys and escorted me to my room.
On the way, I was taken on a quick tour of the main areas of the premises. There were a few guests milling around inside and the hotel has an immediate air of calm and tranquillity. The sun was shining and a number of guests were on the outside terrace having drinks.
Rooms and suites
The main/original hotel building houses the majority of the accommodation and has original features from the late 19th century. The rooms feel large and spacious. There are only 100 rooms in the entire hotel, yet as this is split over a couple of buildings, the hotel doesn’t really feel larger than an impressive country house in beautiful, carefully groomed surroundings.
My room, a deluxe with a park view, was around 50 m² (538 ft²) in size, with a high ceiling (around four metres) and a beautiful view to the gardens beyond. Antique furniture and a mass of floral prints, intermixed with more neutral carpets and fitted wardrobes creates a calming effect. The room isn’t overly feminine or particularly luxurious, but very comfortable.
Most of the rooms have a balcony and the one off my room, while tiny, overlooked the park towards the historic Lichtentaler Allee. There are suites with bigger balcony spaces and some rooms do not have the full park view, something which I think is a ‘must’ when booking here.
There was ample room to store my clothes, with both hanging and drawer space aplenty. Whilst the suites have Nespresso machines, there wasn’t one in my room. The soft drinks in the mini-bar are complimentary however, and you are able to request that it is stocked with drinks of your preference.
The beds are comfortable with lovely linens and fluffy feather pillows. The twin rooms are two beds pushed together so if you are travelling with a friend, you may wish to opt for your own room as they do have single rooms which are a good size for solo travellers.
The technology in the room was disappointing, but acceptable and actually probably better than some more modern-built hotels. There is nothing high-tech about the normal rooms but they do have sockets above each bedside table so charging your equipment is easy, although there are no USB sockets. The complimentary WiFi worked very well.
Traditional in style, the bathroom in my room was fully marbled, well laid out and spacious. A large tub, separate walk-in shower with a very powerful shower head, plus another alcove where the toilet and bidet was closed off with a door. There is a large vanity unit with ‘his’ and ‘hers’ sinks and a separate unit to place toiletries. Underfloor heating was very welcome, as was the good lighting and a separate make-up mirror.
The amenities were designed exclusively for the hotel’s own use, called Spirit of Nature, with the usual offerings plus a body scrub which I really liked.
Restaurant choices here at the Brenner are substantial, including the two-starred Michelin Brenners Park-Restaurant. But alone for dinner, I opted to head to the Wintergarten restaurant with its views over the River Oos and onto the famous Lichtentaler Allee.
This was a beautiful place to spend some time. During the warmer months, the doors onto the terrace are opened and they take the grand piano outside where the pianist tickles the ivories al fresco. As it was a bit early in the season when I visited, the music flooded through from the adjacent Oleander Bar instead. The furniture is wicker, comfortable and informal, with tables adorned by crisp white linen and top quality glassware.
The menu and daily specials change frequently to adapt to the freshest of seasonal ingredients and local specialities. During my stay asparagus featured prominently but I was told chanterelles of the region and Black Forest trout are also regular favorites.
Dishes that are gluten free and lactose free are well indicated, and there are several vegetarian choices. The food was excellent and the service was exceptional. I especially enjoyed dessert, the apple pancake with sour ice-cream was a true slice of heaven.
Travelling as a woman alone can often be a bit daunting, but here I felt the hotel staff went out of their way to be welcoming and charming and I didn’t feel uncomfortable in any way.
Other restaurant options
Salon Lichtental is where breakfast is served every day. The buffet is outstanding with numerous fresh juices, meats and cheese, homemade mueslis, breads, pastries, an egg station as well as an à la carte menu with a decent selection of specials.
As elsewhere, the Salon is surrounded with lovely views of the gardens and has large windows all around to let in the light.
Spa and wellness
I consider myself to be a true spa aficionado and have been disappointed many times by spas claiming to be world-class but are anything but. Here, however, the spa is definitely in a league of its own. Ultra-deluxe, it’s located in a separate villa and has fifteen treatment rooms, focussing on four distinct areas combining beauty, detox and nutrition, emotional balance and medical care. There are a plethora of facilities, remedies and programs offered to suit every living creature by a long shot, and then some.
Whilst there, I had the Abhyanga massage, a traditional Ayurvedic, full body massage with warmed oils. My therapist was a master, working my energy channels and at times I felt like I was floating on air. The spa beds are very comfortable, heated to differing temperatures which helps to create the perfect, relaxing experience. I left the massage feeling uber relaxed and completely re-energised.
Directly connected to Villa Stephanie is the Haus Julius which is a 1700 m² (18,300 ft²) medical care facility with holistic healthcare, aesthetic dentistry, ophthalmology, gynaecology and individual physiotherapy under the same roof.
Pool and beach
The full size pool in the spa is swathed in natural daylight with an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling French doors which can be opened during the summer months to let the outside in. Although a spa town, the pool here is not connected to the thermal waters, but is kept at the same temperatures of such. There is also a large plunge pool situated next to the sauna and steam area, complete with a fully equipped Hamman which even has its own signature treatment by a therapist who hails from Tunisia.
The fitness centre is large and exceptionally well equipped with the latest cardio and weight machines on the market, plus there is a private gym where a personal trainer can put you through the paces.
Staff and service
The service was exceptional throughout my stay; there was nothing to fault here at all and I loved that the staff always referred to me by name. German service, always impeccable, can feel a bit aloof but this is not the case at Brenners.
The hotel feels very intimate and discreet, even though it has about 100 rooms. The clientele was a mix of laid back guests, European and Middle Easterners, many of whom were there for the spa facilities.
Check-out was, quick, efficient and very friendly. Whilst I was checking out the bellman got my car from the garage and my bags were ready waiting for inspection by the time I had finished formalities. A nice farewell touch was the little snack bag they provided and left in my car, waters and muesli bars for the journey; hospitality that goes a long way.
How to get there
90 minutes from Stuttgart Airport
110 rooms & suites