Grand Hotel Heiligendamm: A German Seaside Escape Brimming With Art

At Germany’s First And Most Exclusive Seaside Resort Artists And Visitors Fuel One Another
A White Town By The Sea

In 1793 Duke Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin traveled to the Baltic coast, to a place now named Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, on the advice of his personal physician. The area’s noble people followed him, and he created Germany’s first seaside resort. Beautiful buildings were constructed that carried the most sophisticated offerings. It was nicknamed the white town by the sea.

What the Duke didn’t know is that his country’s citizens would find solace in the same place centuries later. It started in the 19th century when Heiligendamm, no longer Germany’s only resort but certainly the most exclusive, was a magnet for creative types; writers, musicians, and artists gravitated towards the peace and tranquility found at the secluded waterfront hotel. For them there was nothing quite as inspiring as waking up on the Baltic Sea. They also loved how spacious the hotel was. with its multiple buildings including a castle and palace.

Now the same truth holds. Writers, singers, poets, and painters regularly visit the resort. They find solace in the neoclassical architecture that makes it feel like time has stood still. When they need a rest they head to their rooms with the perfect mix of opulent design but cozy, luscious features. When they need inspiration or wish to mingle they head to Nelson Bar with its panoramic views and delicious cocktails. There is no better remedy for a jogged mind than a perfect cocktail on the water.

A sea-facing room at Grand Hotel Heiligendamm.
A concert on the Baltic Sea.
An exterior view of Grand Hotel Heiligendamm.
The distinguished resort invites Europe’s finest artists to hold private concerts or exhibitions on site.
An Ideal Artistic Backdrop

Grand Hotel Heiligendamm knows that art is not something made in a vacuum; It is something that requires collaboration and inspiration. The final product is intended to enjoy. Therefore an artistic management team was convened to make sure the hotel could fuel that process.

The distinguished resort invites Europe’s finest artists to hold private concerts or exhibitions in their remarkable walls. Well-known writers like Roger Willemsen and Zeruya Shalev have accepted their invitations. So have musicians like Daniel Hope and Sabine Meyer. Actors, painters, sculptors, poets, they have all called this seaside escape not just their home but their canvas.

But the art isn’t just on display to be seen or heard. Other hotel guests, lovers and patrons of the arts, are invited to mix with the creatives, getting to know them over a fine glass of wine or a multi-course meal. Throughout the year there are more than 100 events where this happens, meaning this experience is the rule not the exception. Even kids aren’t left out. There are special workshops and camps just for them. After all, the Grand Hotel Heiligendamm, does have to make sure the cultural torch is passed on to the next generation.

The hotel also seeks to cultivate other skills in its guests. There is a sailing school which the hotel collaborates with regularly. Guests leave with more than a tan; they get their skipper’s license so they can hit the high seas in the future.