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The ultimate getaway: Five hotels for your next trip

Some hotels are a destination in themselves – their unique architecture, outstanding reputation or spectacular location alone make the long journey worth your while. Our collection of hotels for the ultimate getaway fall into this enviable category, and all of them have one thing in common: Each property is kitted out with elegant Gira switches.

1. Budersand Hotel, Sylt – A modern take on a traditional Frisian house

Budersand is proof that hotels can exist without damaging the environment – and can even be a positive addition to the natural landscape. The 70-hectare site that now houses the hotel was originally occupied by military barracks; when these buildings were abandoned, the site was rendered useless.. A private investor had the barracks demolished and used the construction rubble to rebuild the original dune landscape. She then added the elegant and minimalist Budersand Hotel – designed to work in harmony with nature – to the site.

Inside, the Budersand luxury golfing and spa hotel uses sustainable materials and has a clean, streamlined aesthetic: The patios and flooring are made of fine timber, and the bathroom surfaces of Bianco Perlino marble; matching decorative elements complete the elegant room design. The luxurious room aesthetic of defined lines and light colours is perfectly complemented by the coordinated Gira E2 design line. The balcony in each of the 79 guest rooms provides spectacular views across the North Sea throughout the year. From the outside, the Budersand building emits a subtle silver shine from beneath its cedar wood cladding, making the building shimmer on the horizon as you approach from afar. In addition to its 1000-square-metre spa and Germany’s only genuine links course (the oldest style of golf course, originally developed in Britain), the hotel library is a must-see. The collection was curated especially for the hotel by renowned German author Elke Heidenreich.

Outside of the Budersand Sylt Hotel
Golf course of the Budersand Hotel in Sylt
Spa area at the Budersand Hotel in Sylt

2. Hotel Gmachl, Bergheim, near Salzburg – Where old meets new

For most seasoned travellers, the words “hotel” and “Austria” immediately conjure up two images: The rustic lodges and huts of the mountains and – in stark contrast – the sophisticated luxury hotels of Vienna. Hotel Gmachl has made a deliberate decision to distance itself from these preordained Austrian tourism boxes. Instead, the Gmachl family has developed its own unique style, earning the hotel its four-star rating. The romantic hotel in Salzburg-Elixhausen fuses modern, streamlined design with various nods to tradition throughout the interior.

The hotel opted for the minimalist Gira E2 switch line, a flexible solution that is incredibly popular with interior designers. The flooring and furnishings of the Gmachl are all based on natural materials, with oak dominating the overall design concept. The iconic composer Mozart also served as an inspiration for the hotel interior: Sheet music adorns the walls of the 19 rooms, along with images from the Salzburg Festival and notes from Mozart’s Coronation Mass on the glass panes surrounding the shower.


The hotel also offers delicious cuisine in an elegant Mozart-themed setting: Its traditional “Gmachl kitchen” has been rated by French restaurant guide Gault Millau every year since 2008.

3. Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg – The king of St. Pauli

The Empire Riverside Hotel is part of Hamburg’s new “Hafenkrone” quarter, a major building project in the Hanseatic city. After countless drafts and planning discussions, the old Bavaria brewery site was finally divided into six construction zones, and the Empire Riverside Hotel now occupies a space on the western edge of the new quarter. The conference room, 20up bar and the hotel’s 327 rooms are a feat of modern design, dominated by a clean and streamlined look. The floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows provide spectacular views over the harbour, the Elbe river and the Hamburg skyline. The minimalist theme of the interior design continues through to the electrical installations. The Gira E2 design line is the perfect match for this interior concept. Using the Gira SmartSensor, guests at the Empire Riverside can easily adjust the lighting and room temperature to suit their needs. And thanks to the intelligent Gira KNX system, the Empire Riverside team can keep an eye on all of the hotel’s systems and respond rapidly to the needs of their guests.

Outside view of the Empire Hotel
A Hotel room at the Empire Riverside Hotel
Restaurant inside the Empire Riverside Hotel

4. A-Rosa Resort, Sylt – A prestige hotel on the island’s northern tip

Another addition to our list from Sylt, this time right at the heart of the seaside resort of List, is the A-Rosa Resort Sylt, which has 117 rooms. Behind the sand-coloured façade of the imposing building, visitors can enjoy the fresh sea air and the famous gentle Sylt breeze from cosy terraces shielded against the wind. If the views from the vast windows inspire you to take a trip to the beach, you’re just a few steps away from the Wadden Sea. The rooms are decorated with structure, with the light colour scheme offset by maritime-themed décor and finished with switches from the Gira E2 series. The hotel’s 35,000-square-metre spa and wellness complex has everything you could possibly desire for a relaxing break, including multiple pools and saunas, a full programme of spa services and a range of sports facilities. If you prefer to focus on your intellectual health, you can join one of the resort’s courses or talks on various health topics.

5. Bohem Art Hotel in Budapest – An art hotspot in the city on the Danube

If you’re more interested in city trips, the fifth hotel on our list is the one for you: The Bohem Art Hotel in the vibrant city of Budapest is one of the most popular hotels in the centre of the Hungarian capital. This hotel is all about art: abstract, modern and classic pieces of all forms and displayed at all angles decorate every space, creating a unique experience for guests. No two of the 60 rooms are the same. Gira’s E2 design line completes the Bohem Art Hotel’s elegant and chic look. From the outside, too, the hotel is designed to catch the eye: The façade of the listed building has been restored based on original architectural plans dating back to the 18th century. The building has a fascinating history: During the Holocaust, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg used the building to rescue persecuted Jews. The former courtyard is now used as a breakfast area.

Restaurant and bar of the Bohem Art Hotel in Budapest
Pink bar in the Boheme Art Hotel in Budapest
Decorated Lobby in the Boheme Art Hotel in Budapest

More than just a sea view

Hotels with sea – or river – views are in demand throughout the year, and these five exceptional hotels are great choices for any season.

Eastern Europe is always a great choice for a city trip, and the Riverside is the perfect base from which to explore the city of Hamburg. However you choose to spend your holiday, the team at G-Pulse hopes you have a wonderful break.

Which of our top-five hotels appeals to you the most? Do you have any hotel tips to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments.

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