Last weekend we officially started our yearly “Baltic Season”. After having visited Scharbeutz and Timmendorf a lot in recent years, we decided this year to try something new. So, we decided to give the Ostseebad Boltenhagen a try. We booked a weekend in the DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen, as recommended by my colleague Tom.
Before diving into this review, it should be noted that seasons in the DORFHOTEL start in April, so, despite a considerable occupancy, many premises were closed at the time. For example, the à la carte restaurant Strandläufer, the bar Trocken Dock and the beach bar Strandhuus.
Although the hotel’s name suggests something different, the apartment complex DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen isn’t directly located in Boltenhagen. Instead it’s on the artificial peninsula Tarnewitz, about four kilometers away from the Boltenhagen city center and Boltenhagen Pier.
To the north and north-west of the apartment hotel is the Tarnewitzer Huk. Nowadays a nature reserve and research project for protected natural development, formerly a Air Force test site of the German Wehrmacht and after that, until 1990, a military drill field to the National People’s Army (NPA). To the east, the DORFHOTEL sits directly on the Baltic Sea, to be more precise, the Wismar Bay.
The DORFHOTEL is about 280 kilometers from Berlin and about 140 kilometers from Hamburg, it can be reached by car via the highway A20 (E22/E251).
The Dorfhotel Boltenhagen
TUI AG opened the DORFHOTEL in 2008 and it’s the third of its kind, after the DORFHOTEL Fleesensee in the Mecklenburg Lake District and the DORFHOTEL Sylt in Rantum.
In total, the DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen offers 191 apartments with 550 beds in three different apartment types: The smallest with 43 square meters, medium-size with 57 square meters and the largest apartment having 65 square meters.
Due to the short length of our stay, we’ve opted for the smaller of the three with 43 square meters.
And so we stayed for two nights in apartment no. 806 on the first floor of house 8 Strandkorb. For the two days we spent there the apartment’s size was quite sufficient. For a longer stay I would definitely recommend at the very least the next size up with two bedrooms.
The outside of the apartment wasn’t very well-kept, especially the staircase which had seen better days. The walls were visibly damaged and the stairs also very dirty. In the short time we were there, it either didn’t seem to be cleaned, or when, only superficially.
The apartment had an open kitchen with a spacious dining area, a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom, a separate toilet and a balcony.
The entire apartment was tiled, which for cleanliness was certainly an advantage, except for the bedroom which had carpet. The tiles however were noticeably cold, and unfortunately, had no underfloor heating.
Our costs: 2 nights a 99 € -198 € // Breakfast, 9 € each – 36 € // Visitor’s Tax 1,50 € – 6 € // Total 240 €
Free Wi-Fi was available in all apartments. However, it only came with a maximum speed of 2 MB/s and was only available on a maximum of three devices. Faster internet was available if you wanted with a high speed internet connection being able to be purchased at reception.
The kitchen came fully equipped with a dishwasher and microwave, but strangely without an oven. Everything else you would need for a self-catered holiday was available: electric kettle, coffee maker, toaster, a variety pots and pans, dishes, cutlery and children’s set. Even rubbish bags, dishwashing liquid and dishwasher tablets. The dining area is integrated into the kitchen and offered plenty of space thanks to a huge corner seat.
The kitchen sat next a living room with a comfortable, large corner style sofabed, an armchair and a small Danish fireplace. The living room was however significantly smaller than the dining area and in my view even very cramped. Because of this whenever I wanted to move around in the living room or go out to the balcony I also had to move the chair and/or the coffee table.
The living room lead off to the bedroom, which was of sufficient size and even had enough space for an additional baby’s bed. As well as having a double bed and nightstands, it also had a large wardrobe, which covered one entire wall. So more than enough storage space, even for longer stays. The mattresses were comfortable and visually OK, even if they seemed to be a bit old.
The next issue is for me an absolute no-no, neither the double bed nor the sofabed had mattress protectors. From a hygienic aspect, mattress protectors are compulsory and should come standard. With that, when pulled out and converted to a bed, the mattress of the sofabed was noticeably soiled and spotted.
The balcony on the west side had a view of Wismar Bay and the harbor YachtWelt Weiße Wiek. On a clear day you can even see to the other side of the bay.
It was obvious that the apartment had become a bit long in the tooth and already accommodated a lot of guests. But on the whole, it was in good condition. Another thing we noticed was that the walls of our apartment were paper-thin. This allowed us to hear every game of musical chairs, all the running, playing, romping and even the showers of the apartments above and around us.
All in all, at almost 100 euros (106 USD/88 GBP) per night, it doesn’t really compare to the standard generally on offer. We have spent holidays in much higher-grade apartments at significantly lower prices. I assume that the high price is justified by the fact that many offers are for free and are thus subsidized.
The breakfast buffet was offered in the restaurant Windflüchter, actually very close to our apartment. We booked the breakfast in advance, but it can also be easily done on the day should you want to take advantage of the buffet. I would strongly recommend to book on the day just to try it out as we found it to be not that great.
For the breakfast buffet we paid 9 euros per person per day, making it a total of 36 euros for our entire stay.
The buffet was, if at all, manageable: A few cold cuts, a bit of cheese, some cereals, and a few pieces of fruit. The rolls were definitely pre-baked. The hotel didn’t make a secret of it, with the bread oven, for everyone to see, in the buffet area.
It was very disappointing that we should have to pay extra for food that elsewhere comes as standard. For example, the DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen charges for a portion of breakfast bacon or breakfast sausages at 1.50 euro each.
Bottom line, our breakfast buffet had unfortunately nothing which couldn’t also be easily bought in a supermarket. So it makes sense to think about investing the 9 euros, at the very least for a longer stay, due to the lack of variety on offer in the buffet. The 9 euro per day would be put to better use making your own breakfast in the apartment (just don’t hope to cook something that relies on an oven) for significantly less money.
Two things did strike us as positive though. One being the breakfast service staff who were very friendly, attentive and fast. The other was the kid’s corner in the restaurant. Thanks to that we had the opportunity to have a more or less peaceful breakfast while our daughter spent time playing. There was one downside to the play area though, it was also quite loud in the restaurant and reminded us a little bit of eating breakfast in a kindergarten. Due to the noise, we opted for a table away from the children’s corner and chose a more peaceful place by the sea side window instead.
During our short stay we actually only made it to the swimming pool, sauna and beach. Therefore, I mention all other offers of the DORFHOTEL only for the sake of completeness and for those that may stay longer and are able to make use of the full array of activities.
At the northern end of the hotel complex is a relatively small pebbly beach bordered by the nature reserve, Tarnewitzer Huk. Here “small” most certainly means small. I would estimate a length of 150 to 200 meters with a width of about 50 meters. In summer, beach chairs are also available for hire. I’m quite sure that it can become pretty cosy (by cosy what i really mean is crowded) during the peak season.
The beach isn’t – as I had first assumed – part of hotel area. Indeed it’s owned by Ostseebad Boltenhagen, thus accessible to the public and subject to a visitor’s tax.
Theoretically, you could have a nice walk from there around the peninsula to Boltenhagen Bay. Practically you can’t as entering the nature reserve is strictly forbidden. Part way around the peninsula is another beach with dunes that are also effected by this ban. So the only way to Boltenhagen is through the hinterland.
An alternative to the DORFHOTEL beach is the natural beach in Boltenhagen. But that would most likely require either a car or a bike to reach, here we dared our six-year-old daughter to a foot march. In total it took us about 4 hours, including some breaks and a short stay in Boltenhagen. For us it was OK, although we didn’t have an extended day on the beach in between.
Swimming Pool and Sauna
In the center of the DORFHOTEL is the Paddelhuus. It is home to a small indoor swimming pool with a separate kid’s pool as well as a sauna. For the warmer months there’s also a small external pool available.
My personal highlight of our stay was the sauna. “Small but nice” I would say. The two saunas, a bio sauna (60 ° Celsius) and a Finnish sauna (90 ° Celsius) were located in the outdoor area of the swimming pool and are each housed within a small wooden hut. Even though the sauna area itself was rather small, it offered everything necessary for relaxing sauna sessions. Towels and bathrobes must however be borrowed at the reception for a fee. The opening times are also very inconvenient: from 11am to 8pm.
In addition, the DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen offers a lot of other activities. Including beach sports such as beach soccer and beach volleyball. You can also rent bicycles to explore the surroundings. For children, the beach-ready go-karts are certainly a lot of fun. In addition to a mini golf course, there are plenty of playgrounds. The kid’s and youth club offers plenty of indoor entertainment like crafts and painting.
From the Marina you can also book numerous boat trips: an excursion trip to the seal banks, to Island Poel, Hansestadt Wismar, Travemünde or Timmendorfer Strand. Or you can join an excursion on the fishing cutter Uschi and experience the traditional art of coastal fishing.
The environment close to the DORFHOTEL has several things to explore as well. Baltic resort Boltenhagen, the Butterfly Park Klütz, the baroque castle Bothmer and its park are all worth a visit. And if you play golf, you can book a round on the 18-hole golf course of the Golfclub Hohenwieschendorf.
Sooner or later you will be in the situation where you will need to go shopping. For the small things in life you can try your luck in the Kramladen, a small general store. The closest possibility for a larger purchase is the Netto supermarket at An der Wiek 6, about a kilometer from the DORFHOTEL. If you like fresh or smoked fish, you should give the Fischereihof Kamerun in the Yachthafen a try.
Almost 100 euros per night for the smallest apartment was, compared to the standard generally on offer and also possibly because of hindsight, simply too expensive. For the same price we’ve had significantly higher quality apartments, for example on Ruegen and in Kühlungsborn. However, DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen also offers personnel-intensive services such as free childcare. But at the end you’re paying these free services with the higher price per night – regardless of whether you make use of them or not.
Absolutely disappointing was the breakfast. Sure, for 9 euros per person and day one can expect neither oysters nor caviar. But a bit more variety would have been nice. Instead, standards incur an additional cost to be paid. At least the coffee was good. In hindsight I would have booked breakfast once simply to try it out before committing to the entire stay.
The DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen is “some kind of perfect” for a family vacation with (small) children because the amount of entertainment on offer for kids is very broad. However, you also need have the necessary cash. For a two-week stay in peak season, rates are between 3.380 euros and 4.440 euros, depending on the booked apartment type. This means 240 euros to 314 euros per night. From my point of view, what we paid for our stay and the shortfalls experienced puts the peak season price/performance ratio firmly in the realm of absurd.
If you don’t want to take the path to Boltenhagen Bay, you are “caught” in the DORFHOTEL due to its secluded location. Thus I recommend rather Scharbeutz, Haffkrug, Grömitz or Timmendorfer Strand. For me, the DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen is only just acceptable for a short trip. But definitely not for a longer stay. Also to singles and couples looking for a relaxing vacation, because of the obvious family friendly atmosphere, I wouldn’t recommend DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen.
Our apartment was for the most part, clean, and the fittings functional. there were parts here and there however that were slightly battered. The living area was too cramped and the apartment had paper thin walls, which allowed us to hear all the activities especially from the upper apartments. Going by what is generally available and especially if you don’t make use of the free services like child care, 100 euros per night is too expensive.
Because the DORFHOTEL is mainly designed for families with small children, the complex is spacious and offers a wide variety of activities like taking a short walk along the “in-house” promenade from the beach to the marina among others. From my point the hotel is, at 4 kilometers to Boltenhagen, too far away. Especially when you are traveling with children and would like to forgo using your car.
Zusammenfassung: Unfortunately the DORFHOTEL Boltenhagen did not meet our expectations. First and foremost, this is due to the location of the DORFHOTEL. Because we combine a Baltic Sea vacation with long beach walks. Here there is no chance – at least not easily. In terms of the room rates and the standard of the apartment, it didn’t convince us. In my opinion, our apartment was somewhat mediocre, not terrible but nothing special. Many of the free offers such as the child care weren’t important to us, but we nevertheless paid for them with the higher room rate, regardless of whether one actually makes use of them or not. If we should visit Boltenhagen once again, we would definitely book a hotel room or apartment directly in Boltenhagen.
What I did like
- Friendliness of the staff
What I didn’t like
- Breakfast offer
- Price to performance ratio