Cruises are not really my thing. You’re always afraid that Florian Silbereisen will get lost and stupidly think he has to make my boat his dream ship, and then you can’t escape, because you’re endlessly at sea in quite manageable cabins, together with a few hundred other travelers, and the whole thing isn’t really sustainable at all. Quite in contrast to this landing stage in Bingen on the Rhine. When you take the exit in the direction of the harbor, your gaze falls first on the impressive river, and then on the Papa Rhein Hotel. It’s right next to the ferry dock and looks as if the bow of a cruise ship had been left out, the boring painted white replaced by charming wooden paneling, and the Aida eyes painted on the front were done out of a sense of style. The eye simply goes on vacation with you. Keyword sustainability: The Papa Rhein Hotel & Spa is located at the gateway to the World Heritage Site of the Middle Rhine Valley. Forests, meadows, vineyards and a landscape worthy of special protection surround the new hotel. The planning was carried out in close coordination with the nature conservation authorities and the regional conservation department in order to promote native animal and plant species in particular. In addition, recycled wood from Europe, for example, was largely used for furniture and fittings in the facilities. Wherever appropriate, antique furniture and materials are used instead of new products. All construction measures meet the highest standards of energy efficiency, are optimized for thermal protection and are thus particularly energy-saving. So you’re on the right track.
From the road to the river. With the BMW 7 Series we sail comfortably to the front door.
Embedded in the diverse “Kulturufer Bingen” pleasure port Papa Rhine fits very charming in the environment. In other words: absolutely inviting. And arousing curiosity. After all, this is where history meets modernity. Seafaring has shaped the Rhine, it was a transport route as well as a route for explorers. This history also lives on in the hotel. Thanks to its location, it is a perfect starting point for exploring wineries in the area and taking a closer look at the culture of enjoyment. On the other hand, the design of the interior pays tribute to the maritime idea and pays a lot of attention to it. This is already apparent at check-in in the lobby. Take your time to take a closer look at everything. It is worth it.
Docking, please. The Papa Rhein Hotel lies on the Rhine like a parked cruise ship.
14.30 p.m: Check-in into the bunk
At check-in, there’s a short language course. The hotel is on a first-name basis, and the rooms are called “bunks” or suites. The design is unagitated but super charming, antique seafaring touch meets modern shapes, surfaces and colors. Just walking to our River View bunk is a highlight: The floors look like planks in a pirate ship – but is actually harmless, fluffy carpet. In the room, real woods, light and soft colors create an inviting, casual vibe. The shabby chic is elegantly executed with a wink, plus nice touches like light fixtures made from old wooden paddles bolted together, and the bathroom features grooming products from Brooklyn Soap Company. The set course is pleasing. Here, one likes to go on a voyage of discovery. Of course, the first path leads to the balcony. You don’t have to clamber into a crow’s nest for a view of the Rhine, just open the door and bonjour, river. This place is an open-air cinema and real day-drinking spot, while in the background freighters, ferries and boats say good day to each other.
Bonjour, Rhein. Balconies with a view are infatuation at first sight.
Such a private balcony is definitely worth the investment, on and along the water is actually around the clock action, which you can relax with one, two, three glasses. To welcome us, there was a chilled bottle of the hotel’s own Secco, which the hotel – like another selection of its own wines – produces itself in collaboration with regional winemakers. Beautiful template, which we have transformed directly liquid.
The cold fruit salad to welcome us was also right on board.
However, in addition to Basic Bunk with harbor view (23 square meters, from 119 euros with breakfast), River View Bunk with view of the Rhine, River Front Minisuite with direct Front Row view of the river, the hotel has another set of creative accommodations in the house on board: a total of 7 different suites with very individual designs of different interior designers and brands, who were at work in the design of the concepts together with friends of the hosts. The suites start at area of 49 square meters and 219 euros with breakfast. For example, you can check into the “Kuehn Kunz Rosen” Concept Suite – complete with matching beer tap from the brewery. Or in the Korrell Suite by Haestens. This suite on deck 3 is furnished in the Nordic “Scandy” look and offers, among other things, a free-standing bathtub, a wine fridge with delicious Korrell wines (not included in the price) and a cozy living & sleeping area! With luxury beds from the Swedish brand, of course. In addition, an exceptional retreat has been created with the exclusive “River & Spa Lodge”: In the middle of the greenery with a view of the Rhine, this Tiny House is located directly next to the hotel and is quickly accessible via a footpath.
Will certainly also one of your favorite places: the balcony. Obligatory with the house Secco.
The picture below illustrates it quite well: The Papa Rhein looks like a wooden cruise ship, with the balconies taking over the railing. It’s always nice when a concept runs through from A to Z. But there are still more examples waiting for us, so let’s take a little tour of the hotel.
15 p.m: Welcome to the Rooftop
Pool on the roof? Anyone who knows me knows that I’m quicker at the start than a Formula 1 driver who has to go to the toilet. The rooftop plunge pool at Papa Rhein is a really smartly thought-out highlight, which was also the first thing that drew my attention to the location last year. The pool is very elegantly enclosed in a wooden deck with a step, so there’s plenty of room to have a drink or just relax there. The depth is also designed for just that: you can submerge yourself briefly, but actually sit in it, chill, hold your feet in while you hold out your glass for a refill. Because up there on the roof terrace is the Lido Lounge with restaurant and bar. Lounge music and Riesling – sounds nice, doesn’t it? The outdoor pool (up to 30°C, depending on the weather) is open from April to October and is also suitable for children due to its shallow depth of 60cm. And no matter how you prefer to relax there: The view of the Rhine is always omnipresent.
The dress code for the recreational lifeguard was simply improvised.
At the pool on the roof, new perspectives open up again and again.
Up here on deck, it’s definitely a good place to be. When the sun is shining, the cabanas are in high demand, but there is always a place to be found. No one has to take their towel out before breakfast. After all, there are so many ways to spend your time here – that must also have been host Jan Bolland’s thinking behind the Papa Rhein concept. The hotel conveys the region in a modern way and is a meeting place for locals and guests who want to actively enjoy – in the hotel, but also in the surrounding area. Keyword right environment: We hold that is the Rooftop Pool definitely a date from bathing and wine.
15.30 p.m: Little walk & Pool Date
A short walk gives you a good overview of the hotel’s location and the dimensions of the complex. These are pleasantly manageable, the building blends harmoniously into the riverside area. The ferry is directly opposite, and a path leads around the hotel along the Rhine toward the city center. There is certainly one or the other photo motif on the way.
For the entrance hall and the outfit, everything is casually coordinated.
Because the car ride was quite exhausting, our first thought was: pool date. You’ve already seen the rooftop pool, plus the harbor spa below deck offers 2 saunas, 2 steam rooms and an indoor pool. Here, too, it was never crowded. Everything is pleasantly open, the furniture modern, there is this one style that runs through from the entrance area to the restaurants and berths. No kitsch, no country house, just a relaxed day on the water with the design dress code to match. After the first dip into the very symmetrically designed bathing pool, you’ve also forgotten all about stress. Tip: In cases of stress, simply ignore the wall mirror opposite the stairs into the water.
19 p.m: Dinner
I wonder if a light will come on with this look.
Culinary delights are one of the main attractions why you should head for this pleasure port. For the crossing you have to pay accordingly a little more than in the good middle-class inn in the village, but is rewarded for it with an experience. For the kitchen management and the gastronomic responsibility of the restaurant boat house as well as the hotel host Jan Bolland could win the rennomierten expert Nils Henkel. Gault Millau named him Chef of the Year in 2009, and “Der Feinschmecker” magazine awarded him the same title in 2017. Since 2019, Nils Henkel has represented the German Relais & Châteaux chefs in the international World Culinary Council. His idea: imaginative cuisine with different textures and aromatic surprises. Even if the creations sometimes resemble small works of art, the intrinsic flavor of the first-class products is always the top priority. Fish and vegetables are the main focus, but there are also one or two creations with meat on the plate. Lots of wood, lots of light, plus tiles, ropes and sailing accessories define the decor. The ambience is so coherent that even pop music couldn’t spoil it.
The wine selection is international, but places a special emphasis on the surrounding wine-growing regions of Nahe, Rheinhessen, and Rheingau. I think it’s good that at such a location, with such a winemaking tradition, the focus is not on wines from Australia or Chile, but on the truly unique top wines of regional vintners. And there is a lot to discover – by the way, even as open wines in the glass.
The 3-course menu kicks off with the Bootshaus Salad and Vitello Tonnato.
Simple. One. Poem. Chicken breast in vadouvan broth and mashed potatoes.
Well, you can interpret panna cotta so elegantly.
The pictures already make it clear which course the kitchen is sailing. Every detail is well thought out, flavors are coordinated, the arrangement is artistic – yet you never have to look for your food on the plate. The portions could be a tad larger, but in combination as a 3-course menu and the very good side bread, you will definitely get your fill. The menu can be booked in advance on top of the bed & breakfast rate, simply bookable during the day at short notice, prices are 50 euros per person. Of course, you always have to budget for this, but the dishes, such as our Vitello Tonnato, score points with surprisingly animating details such as intense lime pieces, which give the whole thing an impressively fresh twist.
21 p.m: Wine & Drinks
It doesn’t have to be a whole ship christening, but one or two drinks to toast the day’s experiences are definitely in order. The Lido Bar on the roof terrace offers the best views. Whether you choose Riesling, Rosé or Pinot Noir or let the bartender take the wheel for a drink is up to you, of course – the way home is not far.
The mooring for drinks: the Lido Bar at the very top of Papa Rhein.
9 a.m: Breakfast
A good breakfast doesn’t need many ingredients at all when the few are made to such high quality.
Guests of the suites have the option of taking breakfast on the “Lido Deck” with its very special view of the Rhine, while everyone else can find their way to the boathouse without the captain. No matter what is on the schedule for the next few hours, everyone will find something to eat at the carefully stocked buffet. There is a large muesli area with various yogurt and quark options, plenty of fresh bread and pastries, plus a small station with appetizers such as salmon or other fish, sausage and ham, spreads, hummus and much more. In addition, a galley that prepares scrambled eggs, fried eggs, etc., as desired, plus bacon, sausages, fried tomatoes and mushrooms. Juices are available at a separate station, which even has a detox bottling program that tastes quite good. Crazy, isn’t it? You can’t get lost at the buffet, less is more when the quality of the individual ingredients delivers like this.
11 a.m: Wine tour – visit to winemaker Martina Bernhard
Wine of the dear Martina can be found on the map at Papa Rhein Hotel, so the visit was of course a great opportunity to meet the winemaker, who I had already introduced to you in the portrait (Klick here for the article), to meet for a quick chat and some wine. After all, their winery is less than half an hour’s drive from the hotel. Around the hotel are countless wine and sparkling wine estates to discover, just take a look at the wine list, and if something tastes good, just contact the winery. Many offer guided tours or tastings by appointment. In your bunk, you will also find a Papa Rhein ABC including discovery tips around wine and pleasure. But now back to Wolfsheim. The lively winemaker wants to bring the terroir of the village and its surroundings into her wines and your glass.
Martina Bernhard or: probably the most charming wine knowledge source, who has an answer to every question, even despite stress.
Martina has been running the Bernhard Winery in Rheinhessen together with her father Jörg since 2015. What does the young winemaker pour? A love of experimentation, courage, skill, and fairly affordable wines that simply put you in the mood. I have rarely met someone who lives for his vocation as Martina does. I already knew some of the wines, but to see the cellar live and to get an impression of how little space she actually uses to produce so much fun in glass was a lasting and impressive experience. Martina’s drive is the connection with her homeland. The philosophy at Weingut Bernhard: to bring the beloved home of Wolfsheim and Rheinhessen, the land of a thousand hills, into the glass with character. “I just love nature,” she says, “always wanted to make organic wine. Nature is unpredictable, not only in the vineyard, but also in the cellar. I’m a small piece of the puzzle of it all, a part of this ecosystem that needs to be nurtured and protected – and by the way, it makes for some pretty delicious wine. ” And it’s not just pretty tasty, it’s just as uncomplicated-casual-entertaining as Martina. No matter how different Scheurebe, Riesling, Silvaner or Chardonnay come into the glass, you can feel the honest signature that they all have in common. And I have investigated this hard as a bottle detective.
A little tasting was still necessary. Or in short: a date with Riesling and Pinot Blanc.
Personally, she never felt she was defined by her gender. Only according to knowledge and ability. If anything, age was more of an issue. But even that didn’t sway her. “My dad always said, ‘You know who you are and what you can do.’ I’ve always had a confident character, thanks in part to the support I’ve received, and people have quickly realized that they fall on granite with me with sayings or doubts. But I can imagine that it can be more difficult for female winemakers with a calmer character. It’s all about solidarity here. That’s why Martina is also happy and proud to be part of the Sisters in Wine Club, under whose banner she has put together five special wines that show the diversity of femininity. The female power is also reflected in the naming of the wines. They are then called, for example, creative Käthe, strong Anna, or playful Frieda, and are a tribute to strong women such as Käthe Kolwitz, Anna Haag, or Frida Kahlo.
13 p.m: Lunch Date
Here, too, at the entrance to the Bootshaus restaurant, details such as ship’s ropes and sand show the maritime reference.
At the bar, you can have a nice drink while while swinging.
The Boathouse Restaurant is open for lunch daily from 12:30 to 2 pm and then offers a la carte service. The menu has a nice selection that will make meat lovers as well as vegetarians happy. Currently, there are dishes such as beef tartare with tuna rillette, a rice bowl with marinated fjord salmon, wild shrimp in melon pepper sauce or a wild garlic risotto, who usually gets really hungry for cabbage at lunchtime, but would have to plan to order an appetizer, because the portions are already fair at price-performance, but reverberates in the total amount then somewhat smaller. That is then a question of budget, since many of the starters but rather go in the direction of 20 euros. But the promenade in the direction of Bingen City also invites you to discover.
Pork belly cooked for 24 hours meets peas and octopus: the kitchen experiments at the highest level of enjoyment.
15.15 p.m: Time to Relax
The Hafen Spa with its spacious indoor and outdoor areas, 2 saunas, 2 steam baths, relaxation rooms and the perfectly tempered indoor pool framed by wooden planks ensures that relaxation on the Rhine continues smoothly. The architecture is very clear and modern, with floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the pool allowing sufficient daylight to enter. The entrance area to the spa is also a great photo spot, I found details like the walls tiled with painted motifs or the lounge furniture very stylishly chosen. In the Papa Rhine’s machine room, you can take a relaxing dip in the pool, just let yourself drift, or take a nap in the hanging swings for two in between. Anything goes, because if something doesn’t get a mooring permit, it’s stress and hustle and bustle. That’s the way it has to be. Treatments and care applications are of course also available in the warehouse, the offer is varied, you should only book an appointment in time.
One of my favorite places: the tile painting wall in the spa area.
Mirror, mirror, which way is the wellness area?
Thanks to the beautiful lighting mood and the large window, great reflections are created.
Below deck you’ll find the indoor pool, with lots of wood and beautiful hanging swings.
Fun Fact: You can fish unsuccessfully for wifi or a network down here, but that’s also a very positive hook. The smartphone can then be used again during swimming and daydrinking at the rooftop pool, the impressions should be recorded in any case.
A bird’s eye view of the pleasure harbor on the Rhine.
19 p.m: Dinnertime
Curry is not only a dish, but also quite a nice color. And the spa area a cool background.
The menu sequence of the 3 courses changes of course through, that on our two evenings the boat house salad was one of the two starter alternatives is absolutely legitimate. Because a) delicious and b) a salad always goes. You just have to bring a little curiosity for discovery, then you sail with the dishes on a tasty journey. And there is enough choice on the wine list anyway, even if you only try the open wines. The fact that the cheese didn’t make it into the picture was because it was too good and gone too quickly.
Makrele Marrakesch with eggplant, taboulée and peppers.
Lamb chop and rump, chorizo jus, herb barley and beans.
10 a.m: Breakfast
Remember this place. The view makes breakfast even more enjoyable.
The choice of seating at breakfast is free, so you can choose whether you prefer to sit directly at the window, even on the terrace or simply in a quiet, cozy corner. And it is always more pleasant when you have the free choice.
11 a.m: Check out, lunch at the Rhine and (unfortunately) departure
Keyword have the choice: Of course, one would always like to stay longer, but it doesn’t help. The day of check-out arrives, and unfortunately not in the context of tasting wine or flirting, but in the sense of departure. At Papa Rhein, the rooms should be handed over by 11 am. But to avoid stress, it is possible to have a quick look in the spa area and hop in the pool even after that. Depending on where you are going or how long the trip is, it is advisable to take a short walk along the promenade to stop for a snack. A recommendable tip is the Zollamt, where you can get everything from burgers to steak served right on the shore, including a direct view of the Rhine. However, this does not change the journey home.
Food with a river view always has something special. It doesn’t have to be spectacular on the plate to be good.
Hotel Papa Rhein: What you need to know
- On the day of arrival, the rooms and suites are ready for occupancy from 3 pm, on the day of departure they are available until 11 am.
- There is no dress code. As long as you don’t come to dinner in just a bathing suit or bikini, everything is fine – but of course it is appropriate to dress more smartly casual and a little more chic for dinner.
- Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Bootshaus restaurant. So that not all guests are in the restaurant at the same time, there are four breakfast slots, each of which can be reserved the evening before. In the evening there are two dates at 6 and 8 pm.
- There is an extensive selection of SPA offers, which are also described in detail in a spa guide in the room. Simply request an appointment in good time one day in advance or even before arrival, and it will work out.
- There are three parking lots with sufficient parking space, the one directly in front of the hotel is of course accordingly frequented and occupied. But the 3 meters to the next are no drama. Free: the view of great cars and classic cars.
- Fancy some music? In the rooms you will find Bluetooth speakers from Marshall – including operating instructions.
- Instead of a minibar in your room, you’ll find a trust bar on the Lido Deck, just fill in your name and take what you want. Minibars are available in the suites.
- Dare to ask. No question or request is too stupid, at the reception or in the restaurant they always help. The service team was always approachable and supportive.
- The Papa Rhine is a good starting point for relaxation days for two, the short trip with girlfriends or friends and small groups of friends.
- Plan a little more budget. The hotel is less aimed at thrifty beginners, you should already have a good conscience to strike there at the pleasure bazaar, without the account sour afterwards. Nobody wants that.
Trench coat and staircase: meets well.
Small work of art – here the view from the upper floor to the interior of the hotel.
Hotel Papa Rhein: What i love
- The Rooftop Plunge Pool – here you can swim – or cool off – in a unique panorama. And the next wine or drink is always close at hand.
- The culinary arts. At what for me is for the most part the highest level, the focus here is on flavor pairing, the best products and also sometimes the courage to cook more unconventional ingredient pairings. Before your vacation, be sure to have a clarifying conversation with your stomach about capacity – here you want to take everything that goes on your plate.
- The breakfast buffet. Everything you’d expect is there, but less is more, and the focus here is just as much on quality. A really good scrambled egg with bacon can make you so happy.
- The wine offer with a focus on winemakers and winemakers from the region. There is also a selection of open wines for a very fair price.
- The view – whether from the balcony, the Lido Deck with plunge pool on the roof or the parking lot: you will always discover new perspectives of the Rhine.
- The always helpful reception and service team.
- The charmingly and thoughtfully designed bunks and suites with modern, maritime design
- The balcony with Front Row Rhine view. Simple. Wow. Perfect for daydrinking and a good night glass, by the way.
Also one of my favorite spots: The glass window to the spa area.
Papa Rhein Hotel: Travel documents
Overnight stays with breakfast start in the hotel Papa Rhine in Bingen starting from 119 euro in the Basic bunk, can depending upon season and reservation situation however upward rise, more info finds you under www.paparheinhotel.de
*The contribution was made with the kind support of Papa Rhein Hotel and Wilde Communications, but as always 100% honest and critical of my opinion.