There is no better way to explore an area than to actually live there for some time. And even if your stay is of a short duration, the eight destinations we have highlighted here will linger long in your memory. Let us provide some inspiration for your next visit by singling out eight extraordinary places to stay that will make the culture and history of Dresden and the Elbland accessible to you in a new and delightful way.
1. Designhotel Laurichhof Pirna
The location: Pirna is where big-city panache meets unspoilt nature. You are close to the vibrant baroque city of Dresden, and at the same time, right outside your window, is the Elbsandsteingebirge, the most beautiful rock and cliff landscape in Europe.
Special feature: 27 suites for a dream holiday to suit every interior design taste. From single-room accommodation to three-room apartments with 100 square metres of living space, there is something for everyone.
The wow factor: The hotel is also a large-scale showroom for modern living. From accessories to complete interior designs, you can take the concept home with you: the hotel’s own design partners will help you realise your own dream interior.
Insider tip: One of the main attractions further up the Elbe valley is Festung Königstein. The 800-year-old fortress is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and is now run as an open-air museum.
Designhotel Laurichhof // Hauptplatz 4, 01796 Pirna
2. Schlosshotel Pillnitz
The location: The hotel overlooks the Elbe and is situated in the actual grounds of Pillnitz Palace and Park, the former summer residence of the Saxon royal court.
Special feature: Pillnitz Palace was built and extended between 1720 and 1826 as a pleasure palace in the oriental style.
The wow factor: The extensive, baroque palace park is home to a wealth of rare plants and shrubs, including a Japanese camellia that is approximately 230 years old. The camellia is pampered like a real princess and, by way of a thank-you, produces around 35,000 bell-shaped, crimson blossoms every spring.
Insider tip: Right next to the hotel is a landing stage belonging to the Saxon Steamship Company. You can therefore make the journey into Dresden city centre by historic paddle steamer. The outward journey takes about an hour, the return journey (against the current) a little longer.
Schlosshotel Pillnitz // August-Böckstiegel-Strasse 10, 01326 Dresden
3. Schloss Eckberg
The location: On the slopes of the Elbe, with wonderful sweeping views over the city and the valley. Its next-door neighbours are the Lingner and Albrechtsberg palaces.
Special feature: The castle was built between 1859 and 1861 on a rocky outcrop. It owes its highly individual exterior to the English Tudor style which was popular at the time.
The wow factor: The spacious, romantic gardens are a feast for the eyes at any time of year.
Insider tip: On the terrace is the bronze sculpture of a sun worshipper. The work of art was created by Sascha Schneider (1870-1927), an artist friend of Karl May.
Schloss Eckberg // Bautzner Strasse 134, 01099 Dresden
4. Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden
The location: In the historic old town, looking out onto the Semper Opera House, the Residenzschloss (Royal Palace) and the Zwinger.
Special feature: Augustus the Strong had the magnificent Palais built out of love for his mistress Anna Constanze, Countess of Cosel. Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, the master builder who oversaw the construction of the Zwinger, was given charge of the project in 1706. The Palais was ready for occupancy in 1711.
The wow factor: From mid-November to mid-January, the inner courtyard is transformed into an enchantingly illuminated 500m² ice rink, open to skating fans of all ages.
Insider tip: Kastenmeier’s fish restaurant. The gourmet and TV chef serves up sophisticated and top-quality fish dishes accompanied by exquisite wines here every day from 5pm onwards.
Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden // Taschenberg 3, 01067 Dresden
5. Villa Sorgenfrei Radebeul
The location: On the outskirts of Dresden, at the foot of the Radebeul vineyards.
Special feature: The stately villa was built between 1783 and 1789 and is considered one of the most beautiful, historic wine estates in the Lössnitz district.
The wow factor: The almost 7,000-square-metre park also includes a beautiful baroque garden that has been reconstructed according to historical records.
Insider tip: The Atelier Sanssouci restaurant in the former festival and garden hall with seven-metre-high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Michelin-starred chef Stefan Hermann, who also manages the hotel, creates modern country-style cuisine here.
Villa Sorgenfrei Radebeul // Augustusweg 48, 01445 Radebeul
6. Fährhaus Meissen B&B – The art of living
The location: Only 150 metres from the banks of the Elbe, offering a magnificent view of Albrechtsburg Castle.
Special feature: The hotel doubles as an art gallery: harmonious colours and shapes, precious materials, designer furniture and works by international artists abound. Between the spring and autumn months, the fantastically beautiful inner courtyard, surrounded by a sea of blossoms, invites you to tarry awhile.
The wow factor: Here, your breakfast is served on Meissen porcelain. Erlebniswelt Meissen, where the porcelain is made, is in the immediate vicinity and definitely worth a visit.
Insider tip: We recommend an evening in the pavilion in the hotel’s own vineyard with a well-chilled bottle of Meissen wine. From here, you have a beautiful view of the Elbe valley and the illuminated Albrechtsburg Castle.
Kunst- und Designhotel Fährhaus Meissen // Hafenstraße 16-18, 01662 Meissen
7. Hotel Goldenes Fass
The location: Right in the heart of the 1,000-year-old city of Meissen, looking up towards Albrechtsburg Castle, which is only a 10-minute walk away.
Special feature: This heritage-protected hotel is a cluster of rustic buildings centred on a 17th-century winegrower’s house. The unique spa facilities include a 90°C Finnish barrel sauna, a straw and clay sauna with daily changing infusions and a steam bath with hay flower infusion.
The wow factor: Some of the rooms and suites are equipped with bio sauna, infrared sauna and whirlpool tub and have their own outdoor area.
Insider tip: The hayloft with herb chamber and heated straw beds to relax on after the sauna.
Hotel Goldene Fass // Vorbrücker Str. 1, 01662 Meissen
8. Rittergut Rottewitz in Meißen
The location: The Rittergut is in the hills above Meissen, only three kilometres from the city centre, surrounded by vineyards and the beauties of nature.
Special feature: The place name Rottewitz, which is Slavonic in origin, was first documented in 1074 as ‘Rothiboresdorf’.
The wow factor: The beautiful rooms with views of the Elbe valley are named after the wines of the region, and the colour schemes have been chosen accordingly. So you can select your room according to your taste.
Insider tip: Enjoy the beautiful surroundings on a horse-drawn carriage ride.
Pension Rittergut Rottewitz // Rottewitzer Strasse 5, 01662 Meissen