Grandhotel Schloss BensbergPhotos courtesy of Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg

 

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Prince-Elector Johann Wilhelm II first planned Bensberg as a hunting lodge for his second wife, Maria-Luisa de Medici. But after a visit to Versailles, he ordered his architects to to build something more imposing. He died in 1716 without ever having lived in his “Rhenish Versailles,” while Maria-Luisa returned to Italy, bringing the builders and craftsmen with her.

Never finished as a palace, it served over the centuries as a military hospital, school, and refugee center.

In 1997 a life insurance company took over the dilapidated estate and after a 75-million euro investment reopened it as a luxury hotel.

Pamela’s Perspective

Nothing irritates me more than exorbitant charges for parking your car and accessing the Internet. Here, you can surf the Internet with no charge for the first half hour in the reception area only. There’s no wi-fi in the guest rooms. Parking is 22 euros. That said, it’s a fabulous place to stay.

 

Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg

An 18th-century palace

Contact

Kadettenstrasse
51429 Bergisch Gladbach
Tel: ++49 (0) 2204 42-0
Fax: ++49 (0) 2204 42-888
Hotel website
Reserve with Booking.com

Fast facts

120 rooms and suites

Double rooms: 195–265 euros
Suites: from 325 euros

Open: all year

Getting there

Bensburg is just east of Cologne (Köln) and reachable by KVB rail U1 and bus. The subway stop is only a 3-minute walk away.
By car, from the motorway junction of A3/A4, follow the A4 east and take the 4th exit (Moitzfeld), turn left in the direction of Bensberg Centre. At the next intersection with lights, turn right (Am Stockbrunnen) and left on Kadettenstrasse. Follow around Bensburg Castle and turn right into hotel drive.

What to do

On site: spa; swimming
Nearby: golf; hiking; Cologne

Weddings

Yes. Inquire hotel for details.

 

As soon as you drive up to the front door of this opulent palace hotel, you’ll feel every bit the prince or princess. Everything here is grand, spacious, and first-rate, from the service to the guest rooms.

Elegantly appointed guest rooms are decorated in neutral colors. A menu offers different kinds of pillows that room service will bring up. Terrific views can look out over the gardens or inner courtyard. From some of the suites on the second floor, you can spot the dome of the cathedral of Cologne (Köln) in the distance. Bathrooms—lined in marble with gold touches— hold showers.

The palace is a popular venue for weddings and special events. Its renowned restaurants—the 3-starred Michelin restaurant “Vendôme” and the Italian restaurant “Trattoria Enoteca”—attract a following, so make sure you reserve a table far in advance. Afternoon tea is served in the Lobby Bar.

The hotel also operates a full day spa to smooth away all your travel stress.

Something special

curlicue Awarded 3 stars by Michelin, Vendôme is considered one of the best restaurants in Germany.