It is one of those Fridays and we feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.
Thurgau is not the first getaway place that comes to mind, but it probably should! Because this canton bordering Lake Constance has much to offer, from castles to monasteries and biking routes.
And apples, lots of apples.
Is it a stereotype that Thurgau is dotted with apple trees? We are about to find out. Just ten minutes outside of Winterthur, the freeway heading north towards Kreuzlingen narrows down to two lanes. We are passing a wide valley with green horse pastures and charming villages. (And indeed, there are lots of apple trees.)
The Wellnesshotel Golf Panorama in Lipperswil
Our destination is in the small town of Lipperswil, best known for its theme park. But now that the Connyland park has closed its gates for the season, time is virtually standing still in this hamlet near the German border.
Set at the end of a small road is the Wellnesshotel Golf Panorama, a four-star superior house with stellar guest ratings. The hotel is built in a south facing, rectangular fashion, so our suite enjoys maximum sun exposure. To our surprise, the dense fog of Zürich is nowhere to be seen; Thurgau is secretly soaking in the warm late autumn sun.
The "welcome" sparkling wine contains... apple cider!
Perfectly reiterating the stereotype, we are welcomed with a glass of sparkling apple wine. What a refreshing start to an eventful weekend! We take this precious moment to internalize the hotel's name once and for all: Wellnesshotel Golf Panorama - not any other way around. As we are about to find out, there is a reason for each of the name's components.
Let's look at the "wellness" part in the hotel's name.
The aptly named wellness area, "Fleur de Pomme" or apple blossom, offers a variety of treatments with apple based oils and cosmetics. There is a large heated indoor pool with atmospheric lighting as well as an outdoor saltwater whirlpool, too.
We leave our bathrobes and slippers in the changing room and head straight to the sauna section. Hopping from the steam room to the Finnish sauna and back, we are soaked, then dried and soaked again... It is a good thing there is a relaxing room for an in-between nap!
As for the "golf"...
We are not golfers (yet), so we cannot judge the 27-hole golf course by any means. However, if we were golfers, we would surely love to walk among the soft hills and lush forests. What we do know is that the hotel's premise is exceptionally quiet with no airplanes overhead, cars passing nearby or church bells ringing every quarter hours. It must be the perfect environment to polish that handicap while at the same time enjoying nature. And who knows, we might return someday and sign up for an introductory golf course!
And finally, those panoramic views from our suite!
The suite is a welcome retreat for city slickers like us, feeling all warm and cozy. To our surprise, there is a free-standing feature bathtub located in front of the bed, allowing for a relaxing bath with views of grand nature outside. In any case, the large windows are pure bliss as they open up to let the sunshine in.
Important to know is that essentially, the entire suite is one open area. This means that noise and light are everywhere all at once. Or in other words: brushing teeth with an electric toothbrush at midnight or turning on the bathroom lights at night may wake up your partner... It is a good thing that Mamiko is a heavy sleeper, so I am able to type away on this article and get ready for bed without waking her up.
In only two days, the hotel staff have left a mark on us: they are exceptionally attentive, kind and always smiling. And wherever we turn, there is Instagramable design. Be it the green living wall in the lobby (see above), the color changing indoor pool or the floral wallpapering in the hallways:
About the 14-point Gault Millau Restaurant Lion d'Or
The entrance to the on-site restaurant is located beside the classy hotel bar. On this Saturday night, the bar is filled with the tunes of a talented singer and his acoustic guitar. We decide to stay and listen, meanwhile sipping on another glass of that sparkling apple wine.
The level of culinary finesse at the Restaurant Lion d'Or is exceptional. Coming in, we have researched Chef Peter Vogel with his 14 points on the Gault Millau scale.
But yet, we did not expect a refined menu featuring local Alpstein chicken or the typical Scharfer Max cheese from Thurgau. Or salmon confit with pumpkin noodles and fall vegetables. Amid the gold plated walls of this stylish restaurant, we enjoy a long evening of dining in the company of the friendly staff. It is an exceptional fine dining experience that we can recommend in a heartbeat.
The next morning, another culinary surprise: even the crèpes served at breakfast are a foodie's dream!
And the town of Konstanz in Germany is only 15 minutes away!
Curiosity got the better of us so we hop the border to Konstanz in Germany. There at Lake Constance, the horizon opens up and we feel like taking a mini-vacation while on a mini-vacation! There is too much to see and do for just a weekend in Thurgau, so we have already decided to return in the spring...
Wellnesshotel Golf Panorama
Phone +41 71 511 06 81
(As part of this research trip, the Wellnesshotel Golf Panorama has generously invited us for two nights, including dinner.)