I can still clearly remember the day I visited Heidelberg for the first time as part of a school trip. It was early April and the cherry trees were in full bloom. As a child who always dreamed of a trip to Japan, this city was the epitome of German for me Sakura and basically love at first sight. Heidelberg simply has a special holiday flair. So every year we go to the picturesque town on the Neckar. Without a doubt, Heidelberg is still one of the most romantic cities in Germany today and regularly enchants visitors from all over the world, and not just in spring. 

A hotel with history is a hotel with soul: The Grandhotel Europaischer Hof in Heidelberg

The Grandhotel Europaischer Hof Heidelberg is not just a place to stay overnight, but an integral part of Heidelberg's hotel industry and hotel history. A place that breathes history and elegantly combines the charm of bygone times with modern comfort and luxury. The central location in the heart of Heidelberg, with views of the majestic castle and the picturesque old town, makes it an ideal base for exploring the city. We spent an eventful weekend in this unique, family-run city hotel and immersed ourselves in its special history and atmosphere.

Romantic weekend in the warmest grand hotel in Germany: The European Court Heidelberg

The European Court of Heidelberg through the ages

It all started in the 19th century, when Heidelberg became a popular travel destination for European nobles and intellectuals. The appeal of Heidelberg Castle and its magnificent festivals and celebrations led to new inns being built around the castle. They were supposed to accommodate the numerous noble guests as there was not enough space in the castle itself. The “Gasthaus zum European Hof” offered its guests a noble and elegant ambience at this point.

Even back then, the grand hotel was always keen to keep up with the times and celebrate progress. As early as 1890, modern central heating and its own electrical power supply were installed under the new name “Hôtel de l'Europe”. The harmonious symbiosis of state-of-the-art technology, attractive architecture and sincere hospitality has established itself over the years as a traditional trademark of the Grandhotel Europaischer Hof.

And this tradition was maintained by the Gabler family and later successfully continued by their grandson Ernst-Friedrich von Kretschmann and his wife Sylvia. The European Court has not only established itself as a synonym for luxury and warm hospitality, but also as an exemplary employer that treats its employees with particularly appreciative treatment.

Romantic weekend in the warmest grand hotel in Germany: The European Court Heidelberg
The European Court of Heidelberg

Family-run & unique – The European Court Heidelberg today

Today, the 5-star superior hotel shines in nostalgic splendor and skilfully masters the balance between the most modern comfort and timeless luxury. Despite continuous modernization, the grand hotel has retained its historic soul. It conveys a warm atmosphere and makes every guest feel welcome. There are numerous luxury hotels, but the European Court Heidelberg is unique. This is mainly due to the charismatic owner family, who view their hotel as another member of the family.

Today the European Court of Heidelberg is run by Dr. Caroline von Kretschmann, the daughter of Sylvia and Ernst-Friedrich von Kretschmann. When it comes to change, she emphasizes the importance of not only focusing on what is new and changing, but also appreciating what is tried and tested so that changes can be successful and fit in seamlessly.

Rooms & accommodations at the European Court Heidelberg

The European Court Heidelberg has 119 rooms, including 94 single and double rooms, 16 suites, 3 executive suites, a penthouse suite and serviced apartments. Each individual accommodation is individually and lovingly furnished. With their elegant interior, high-quality furnishings and a touch of nostalgia, they offer the perfect retreat for guests who want to relax after an eventful day in Heidelberg. We stayed in a beautiful junior suite, consisting of two comfortable rooms connected to each other. Since there were originally two guest rooms, there are also two bathrooms in this suite.

City trip Grandhotel Europaischer Hof Heidelberg

The high ceilings and windows give the suite a classic touch. The stylish furniture and many loving details fit harmoniously into the ambience. A pleasant surprise for us is undoubtedly the adjustable bed, which allows you to individually adjust your sleeping comfort. Depending on whether you prefer to lie in an elevated position or prefer a flatter lying position for a restful sleep. 

City trip Grandhotel Europaischer Hof Heidelberg

Philosophy & Values ​​at the European Court Heidelberg

“Anyone who plants trees, even though he knows that he will never sit in their shade, has at least begun to understand the meaning of life,” said the philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. And speaks from the soul of the European Court of Heidelberg.

City trip Grandhotel Europaischer Hof Heidelberg

Social responsibility is just as much a part of the fair hotel philosophy at the European Hof Heidelberg as sustainability and resource conservation. The strong focus on sustainability does not go unnoticed and has been awarded the leading sustainability seal GreenSign excellent. Seven core areas are taken into account in the certification for sustainable hotel management. These include the areas of environment, purchasing, regionality & mobility, quality management & sustainable development, management & communication, social responsibility and economic responsibility. 

Own upholstery, carpentry, tailoring and painting workshop

A special highlight is the re-& upcycling concept at the European Court in Heidelberg. In the in-house carpentry and upholstery workshop, furniture is restored and custom-made pieces are made. This craftsmanship gives the hotel its unique charm and at the same time reflects its history. Nothing is off-the-shelf here: true to the motto “class instead of quantity”, the grand hotel proves that luxury, environmental friendliness and resource conservation are not mutually exclusive, but can ideally complement each other. 

Grandchildhood & mindfulness 

At the European Court, not only the guests have top priority, but above all the employees, who are affectionately called colleagues in the hotel. True to the motto: happy team members ensure happy guests. It's not just profit that counts here, but primarily the well-being of colleagues. And we felt that immediately as guests. Not only did we receive a very friendly welcome, we also immediately noticed the pleasant atmosphere among our colleagues. Team members benefit from a variety of amenities, including regular training, company health management and fair wages. In addition, they are actively involved in the processes to improve operations. The company is also a proud founding member of Fair Job Hotels and a member of the Association of Family Businesses.

Restaurants & culinary delights in the European Court: Fine-dining restaurant Kurfürstenstube 

The Kurfürstenstube is without a doubt one of the best addresses in Heidelberg. The restaurant has been making history for over 150 years and has retained its historical charm of the grand hotel era even today. But the Kurfürstenstube also moves with the times and successfully combines traditional and modern influences. Daniel Stelling has been leading the kitchen team since October 2022. The 39-year-old is responsible for all of the hotel's gastronomic outlets at the European Hof Heidelberg. These include the gourmet restaurant “Die Kurfürstenstube”, the “Summer Restaurant” and the “Europa Bar”. 

City trip Grandhotel Europaischer Hof Heidelberg

The fried Breton scallop with Périgord truffle foam, which we chose as a starter, is a real poem for the palate. For the main courses, we chose the Handschuhsheim celery braised on sea salt and the Breton sole. Both main courses turned out to be a delicious surprise with a perfect balance between delicate texture and intense flavor. Of course, dessert was a must at the end. The “Mont Blanc” with its tempting chestnut cream aroused our curiosity and tasted at least as good as the name suggests. 

Summer restaurant with the most beautiful interior garden in Heidelberg

The summer restaurant will open its doors from April 12, 2024 to September 11, 2024 and will provide a fresh Mediterranean ambience right in downtown Heidelberg. On sunny days, the large window panes can be completely lowered into the ground and open the way to the Mediterranean-style interior garden. In winter, the restaurant with its warm oak parquet floors offers an elegant and at the same time cozy living room atmosphere.

Hotel Restaurant

The rich breakfast takes place in the hotel restaurant and leaves nothing to be desired. If you prefer to have breakfast in bed, you can easily order the first meal of the day to your room.

Wellness weekend in Heidelberg
Wellness weekend in Heidelberg

Cinematic retro feeling in the Europa Bar

Another gastronomic highlight and an enrichment of Heidelberg's bar culture is the absolutely photogenic Europa Bar. With its elegant, red furniture, shiny gold tones and atmospheric lighting, the Europa Bar invites you to take a little journey back in time every time. 

Turn life into a celebration – weddings, private celebrations & conferences at the European Court Heidelberg

The European Court Heidelberg is also ideal as a beautiful event and wedding location. The grand hotel's six event rooms offer the perfect setting for events of all kinds. Whether weddings, conferences or social events - there is the right room for every occasion. Modern sliding doors allow the event rooms to be individually adapted to the size of the event.

The banquet halls can accommodate up to 400 people and some rooms open onto the terrace, creating a festive atmosphere with access to the outdoors. The European Court is also known for its excellent catering and gourmet catering for indoor and outdoor events. 

Get married at the European Court of Heidelberg

Nestled between a mountain panorama, a majestic castle, a historic old town and the Neckar, Heidelberg is undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in Germany. In the midst of this idyllic setting, the European Court Heidelberg offers a dream wedding location for couples who want to celebrate their big day in a truly magical ambience. 

With magnificent event rooms and first-class service, the Grandhotel in Heidelberg is the ideal choice for couples who want to celebrate their big day in a luxurious and stylish ambience. From the ceremony to the lavish celebration, the experienced team at the European Court of Heidelberg offers tailor-made wedding arrangements to design the day according to the couple's individual wishes and ideas.

From the wedding menu, to musical accompaniment with piano sounds, to the decoration: depending on the arrangement chosen, wedding couples receive everything from a single source at the European Court of Heidelberg. And after the wedding reception, the bride and groom can make themselves comfortable in the luxurious Penthouse Suite on up to 65 m². 

Getting married in Heidelberg

Wellness above the roofs of Heidelberg – pool, panoramic spa & fitness

In this small but beautiful luxurious oasis in the middle of the city, it's not just hotel guests who can leave everyday life behind and allow themselves to be pampered. External guests are also welcome with the Day Spa Ticket. In addition to day spa tickets, hourly, monthly or annual tickets are also offered. The spacious pool invites you to take refreshing swims, while soothing massages and wellness treatments ensure relaxation in the Panorama Spa. And with a view of Heidelberg's old town, visitors can get active in the fitness area. 

Heidelberg Sights

In addition to all the luxury of the Grand Hotel Europaischer Hof, the fascinating city of Heidelberg is also waiting to be explored. From the historic old town with the cobblestone streets, the oldest university in Germany to the famous castle to the idyllic Neckar meadows - there is something to discover and experience for every taste. Cozy cafés and numerous restaurants invite you to linger and enjoy, while art galleries and boutiques make the hearts of culture and shopping lovers beat faster. The city's vibrant atmosphere, coupled with its rich history and vibrant cultural scene, makes Heidelberg an unforgettable travel destination for every visitor. 

Romantic weekend in the warmest grand hotel in Germany: The European Court Heidelberg
Romantic weekend in the warmest grand hotel in Germany: The European Court Heidelberg

Heidelberg Castle & Castle Garden

A classic among the sights is the impressive Heidelberg Castle. Of course, when visiting the castle, you shouldn't miss a walk in the extensive castle gardens. Built in the 13th century, Heidelberg Castle underwent numerous renovations and expansions over the centuries, forming it into a fascinating mosaic of different architectural styles. As one of the most important Renaissance residences north of the Alps, the castle had not only cultural but also political significance. Scholars, artists, poets and thinkers such as Martin Luther and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once met here.

Sights Heidelberg
Sights Heidelberg

Even today, Heidelberg Castle is a place for meetings, education and cultural events.

Large barrel of Heidelberg Castle

The Great Barrel in Heidelberg Castle is not only an exciting relic of days gone by, but also a symbol of the humor and celebratory mood of earlier times. With an impressive width of 7 meters, a length of 8,50 meters and a capacity of around 220.000 liters, it was once the largest wine barrel in the world.

Sights Heidelberg

To top it off, the barrel was provided with a staircase to a platform that probably served as a dance floor. During celebrations, the wine could be pumped directly from the large barrel into the adjacent women's room building and further into the magnificent royal hall - a practical solution. Today, anyone can rent the adjacent Royal Hall in the Barrel Building for their own celebrations. 

Heidelberg old town

In our opinion, the old town of Heidelberg simply exudes an irresistible charm at any time of the year. With its winding streets, historic half-timbered houses and romantic landscape, it invites you to take a short journey through time. From the imposing Holy Spirit Church to the old town hall to the student prison - there is something new and old to discover on every corner. The cozy cafés, traditional wine bars and rustic pubs invite you to enjoy the city's atmosphere to the fullest. Not to be forgotten is the famous “Witches’ Tower”, which offers a fantastic view over the roofs of the old town and the picturesque Neckar valley. 

philosopher's path

A true postcard motif awaits you on the Philosopher's Path. The Philosophenweg in Heidelberg is not only a popular place for walkers, but also a well-known destination for those who want to see the city from a different perspective. From here you have a breathtaking view of the old town, the castle and the Neckar. In the 19th century, university professors used the Philosopher's Path to ponder life and draw inspiration from nature. Today the path invites locals and visitors to escape everyday life and enjoy the successful symbiosis of nature and city.

King's chair

At a height of 567 meters, the Königsstuhl offers an impressive view over Heidelberg and the Neckar Valley. Hiking trails through dense forests and along rocky cliffs make Heidelberg's local mountain a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. For those who prefer to reach the summit in comfort, there is the historic mountain railway.

Our experience at the European Court Heidelberg

The Grandhotel Europaischer Hof is more than just a place to stay - it is an institution that has made history and to this day stands for excellent service and warm hospitality. With its unique combination of tradition and modernity, luxury and comfort, it is undoubtedly one of Germany's leading grand hotels and an indispensable part of Heidelberg's cultural heritage. What we particularly liked: warmth and luxury are not mutually exclusive here. 

This article was created in collaboration with the Grandhotel Europaischer Hof Heidelberg. Thank you for that!