The Amazing View From One Hotel’s Rooftop Infinity Pool
A newly opened German hotel, Goldene Rose, invites guests to step back in time—800 years, to be exact.
A new, boutique hotel tucked away in a tiny German town along the fabled Romantic Road is reviving a rich architectural heritage, an 800-year old history and, an unspoiled medieval townscape.
Located in the Wörnitz Valley of Bavaria, Dinkelsbühl is one of the only remaining walled medieval fortress towns in Germany. A key port along the international trade route, the city was heavily fortified, surrounded by a one and a half mile wall studded with 16 watch towers and enormous metal gates. Many of the surrounding towns were destroyed in both world wars, but somehow Dinkelsbühl survived virtually unscathed—its towered walls, cobbled alleys, and half-timber framed houses standing exactly as they have for centuries.
Sitting opposite the late-Gothic Cathedral of St. George, Goldene Rose is a newly redesigned five-star hotel. The main structure has served as a hotel dating back to the 15th century, although written records place the town’s origins in the 12th century, and local lore says it was founded 300 years earlier, around the 8th century. It is rumored to have hosted Queen Victoria during her famed 1891 journey across Europe. Suffice it to say, these walls have witnessed empires growing and crumbling right on their doorstep.
As the four surrounding properties, each serving a different function—a casino, a brewery, and a warehouse— were put up for sale over the years, the current owners snatched them up, with the idea to combine them into one grand structure. They enlisted the internationally renowned design firm, noa*, to bring their vision to life while safeguarding historic details.
The mustard-yellow, half-timbered facade dotted with flower box windows has been preserved—but rather than trying to mold the interior of five distinct properties into one cohesive structure, noa* embraced the maze of original, uneven walls, each with a distinct former life.
As you step through the main entrance, the cavernous, dimly lit lobby makes it immediately clear that the storied structure combines perfectly with modern luxury. Wide, white-oak planks, interspersed with deeper tones that match the thick timbers on the ceiling, make up the floor while the walls are sheathed in a rough plaster with an antique finish, offering the space a bare, minimalist backdrop for the palette of cool, neutral grays. The guest rooms are outfitted in hushed tones of creams and grays, with quirky details like a hanging sofa and an open bathroom that flows into the main room.
On the top floor, the Attic Spa and wellness area has an expansive terrace, a fruit bar, a sauna, and a two-story relaxation room. But the true showstopper is the rooftop infinity pool topped with a geometric canopy and sunlights aplenty, offering stunning views of the cathedral against a bluebird sky to those floating beneath.
The internationally-acclaimed firm noa* designed Goldene Rose with a respect for its medieval history and a luxuriously modern interior.