A sporty weekend in Gladbeck

by Jane Hughes
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I recently came back from a weekend in Gladbeck, Germany. You’re probably wondering where that is, and rightly so – it’s not up there with the likes of Paris, London, or Berlin, but it has its charms. From the moment I arrived at Van der Valk Hotel Gladbeck I felt at home. The friendly, welcoming staff put us totally at ease.

The helpful receptionist greeted me in English, pulled up my information, and within moments I had my key in hand and was making my way upstairs. I stayed in a Comfort Room, which was spacious and featured everything I needed, including a safe, internet access and a large desk. I really don’t like to be working when away on a trip, but I have to stay connected.

Having checked in, I relaxed for a while before heading out to see what the rest of the hotel had to offer. I made my way back to the main entrance and checked out a map of the facilities.

The Rose Garden Spa offers a wealth of treatments, a thalassotherapy pool, a fully equipped fitness area and a nail studio. You can choose from an extensive menu of massages, facials, body exfoliations and more. I tried a Hot Chocolate Massage, which lasted an hour and left my skin feeling nourished and moisturised.

For a quick three-day break, Gladbeck served up more than enough activities and new experiences to occupy my time. Located in North-Rhine-Westphalia, this city is surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside – perfect for active holidays.

Having never skied indoors, I had to check out the ‘alpincenter’ in Bottrop for myself. The slope is a whopping 640m long and 30m wide. The following day I fancied a change of pace, so I headed to the nearby Wittringer Castle Park. I walked around the attractive moated castle and just enjoyed the peace and quiet.

When I had exhausted my appetite for the quiet life, I decided to head back to the Van der Valk Hotel Gladbeck for some much needed sustenance. The restaurant offered a good selection of local and international dishes that I’d never tried before.

Don’t miss the Movie Park Germany theme park (just 10 minutes away by car) if you fancy a fun day out (April–October). With its own film studios and lots of changing attractions, the Movie Park brings you a little slice of Hollywood. But if the weather is nice, I’d suggest renting a bicycle from the hotel and riding down the scenic wooded paths next to the waterfront. It’s a simple but effective way to explore the area.

Don't miss
  • Movie Park Germany
  • Rose Garden Spa
  • Bicycle rentals
  • ‘alpincenter’ Bottrop
  • CentrO Oberhausen – nearby shopping centre
  • Mining Museum
  • Rhine Industrial Museum
  • Zollen Coal Mine
  • Grugahalle Essen
Hotel facilities
  • The hotel’s restaurant offers delicious German and international food
  • When you’ve satisfied your hunger, visit the Terrace bar where you can check out the extensive drinks list
  • Internet access is available for a small fee
  • If sports are your forte, be sure to visit the Wittringer Tennis Club. You can also rent bicycles and explore the local area
  • The 500sqm Rose Garden Spa offers a wide range of body treatments and massages

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