TRAVEL GUIDE: LAM, GERMANY
The 26th May was a bank holiday in Germany, so we decided to make the most of it and take the long weekend off. Actually, our 6 year anniversary was coming up on the 8th June so we wanted to do something special. First of all we couldn’t decide where we wanted to go and looked at a lot of different destinations – but in the end we decided for… Germany! Yes, we decided to stay in Germany and do a spa/relaxation weekend somewhere in the Bavarian mountains.
We looked on booking.com for hotels and in the end we decided on a hotel in Lam, which is a village on the border with the Czech Republic. The hotel was called the Best Western Premier Hotel Sonnenhof and is a spa hotel located in the ‘Luftkurort’ which translates to something like climatic spa or air spa area. The hotel is located in the mountains and is around 700 meters above sea level. To reach the hotel by car, you leave the motorway at Regensburg and drive around 1-1.5 hours into the forest and hills. The hotel is located on the edge of the village of Lam and from the front of the hotel you have a fantastic 180 degree view across the landscape.
We arrived around 4 hours before check in and our room wasn’t ready, so we took a walk down to the village and through the main street. The village is beautiful and extremely old with lots a traditional bakeries, cafes and restaurants. Although you have to remember this is a very traditional part of Germany, way outside of any big cities, so the lifestyle here is of course very different.
The hotel gave us a call after1 hour to say that our room was ready, so we headed back to check in. Check in was simple, and we quickly got to our room which was located on the first floor. The room was nice, but not overly fancy or high quality. However the bathroom was a tick nicer. We did have a problem with noise at night, as there were a lot of kids staying at the hotel and they seemed to enjoy running along the corridors screaming. This wasn’t so relaxing!
We took the half board package which included breakfast and dinner. The breakfast was the same assortment every day. The food was good, but not really wow, and as usual it was a buffet. There was a selection of hot and cold foods as well as healthy options. Dinner was a little more varied and we didn’t eat the same thing twice. The hotel has a weekly plan which includes 2 speciality buffets, a gala dinner and on the remaining 4 evenings the food is served. However, there was a slightly odd set-up for the 3 course meal which was a buffet selection of starters and mains, then a served main course and either a served or buffet style dessert. The food was quite traditional, German orientated – to give you an example; their idea of a 3 country buffet was Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which we found hilarious by the way!
After we got back to the hotel, we decided to check out the pool and spa area. The hotel has 3 indoor pools – a 25m pool, a kid’s pool and a baby pool; as well as 2 outdoor pools. The outdoor pool was surrounded by loungers and was facing downhill so you had the fantastic scenery and mountains around you at eye level, even when in the water. The water was very clean and we didn’t see any hygiene problems.
The hotel also has a spa area with a number of saunas and steam rooms, and also offered various treatments and even had a salon. We did notice that we were probably one of the youngest couples in the hotel, but that isn’t really a surprise.
On our 2nd day in Lam, we decided to do some hiking in the area and asked at the hotel where to go. There is a mountain in that area called the Osser so we thought we’d give it a try – yes, we underestimated it! The Osser is around 1.200m high, which isn’t really a mountain, but the incline was very steep and the weather was extremely hot that day. Anyway, we stuck at it and after around 2 hours we realised we must be getting near to the top. Suddenly, the incline wasn’t so steep anymore and we reached the Osserwiese or the Osser Meadow, with an amazing view looking over the landscape below. For a minute we thought we’d reached the top, but there was a small peak with a crucifix on top. We’d come this far so we wanted to reach the top, and we did, but this part was more like rock climbing! From there the view was even better, and we sat there for quite a while and just enjoyed the peace and the scenery.
On the last day we decided to go to the local animal park, which was only a few minutes’ drive away. The park was quite big, and featured mostly small animals like goats, birds, deer, venison; but also beavers and raccoons. Our favourite part was feeding the goats by hand (especially the babies!) and watching the raccoons eat their breakfast.
In summary, we had a lovely 4 days in Lam, actually 3 days if you minus the day we spent in Prague and really felt like we could relax and enjoy nature. We would definitely go back to this part of Germany, but next time to a different area. For us as city people, we actually felt like this part of Germany was a different country, which added to the mystery and adventure and made our time there even more enjoyable.