What does a person need to be happy? Martin Hansen and Marieken Verheyen, an artist couple from Amsterdam asked themselves this question. In 2012, they completely changed their lives and bought the former Rutenberg rectory in the Uckermark. With a lot of patience and work, they peeled a jewel out of the dilapidated building and overgrown garden. The Verheyens answered the question of happiness like this: Good air, space and nature are a good start. Rediscover the simplicity of life and enjoy it comfortably. The former rectory became the Re: hof a modern country hotel that is free of all superfluous and focuses on important things.
The first glance in the morning falls on the clear sky, tree tops or the church tower, birds that bounce on the branches and vast fields. The extensive grounds of the Re: hof with two hectares of orchards and meadows border directly on the Uckermärkische Seen nature park; Lychen itself is a climatic health resort - shaken cities can literally breathe deeply here. And sleep! Because there is still real silence and darkness here: the street lights go out at 11:00 p.m. When the sky is clear, the sky is so black that you can even see the Milky Way with the naked eye.
Not only the surroundings, but also the accommodations are real eye-catchers. In the high rooms with lots of windows and clay plastered walls, you immediately feel comfortable. Each apartment has its own character. At the back, in the still overgrown part of the garden, there are three special wooden houses. Each house has its own realm, a nest in the blackthorn jungle with large windows and a fabulous view of the fields. A great place to relax is the sauna, which is located in the middle of the garden under a large oak tree. The heart of the Re: hof is the old barn - a monumental room with large windows that resembles a nave and can be used by guests for all kinds of activities. There is a WIFI hotspot here. However, it is very likely that after a short time at the Re: hof you will no longer want to expose yourself to the stress of the wide world and that you have arrived completely in sync with the country life.
ArchitectureThe old rectory was built as a classic three-sided courtyard between 1870 and 1890. In the 1970s during the GDR, parts of the courtyard were converted into a summer children's camp. In 2012, Martin Hansen and Marieken Verheyen, an artist couple from Amsterdam, bought the now very neglected courtyard with the aim of creating a holiday resort that meets the aesthetic demands of the city crowd. During the renovation, many natural materials such as wood and clay and building biologically sensible materials were used and waste was avoided as far as possible. The apartments are kept in a minimalist, modern style, generously designed and flooded with light through the many windows. The decor is simple but tasteful and gives the rooms a warm look. Each apartment has its own details. The garden houses by architect Peter Grundmann are something very special: functional in structure, the wooden cubes allow a view of the surrounding nature through panoramic windows.
FoodIn the small farm shop you can find many delicious things that you cannot get at the local supermarket. Depending on the season, the Re: hof offers vegetables from its own garden, organic products from regional producers as well as some specialties that come from further afield and good German and Italian wines. The aroused soups from hostess Marieken are particularly recommended. All you have to do is warm up the dishes and season with a few fresh herbs from the garden. For a good breakfast you can get fresh rolls and eggs from the local farmers as well as homemade jams, juices, muesli and also gluten-free products in the farm shop every day. The hosts can also cater for larger groups on request.
The Re: hof is not organized hierarchically, teamwork is preferred. Employees are trained in ecological behavior. “Maybe we are a social project, because we are constantly offering people who are unable to cope in the normal world of work, opportunities for learning and cooperation and self-reflection. We try to let the village participate in our project, for example by making the large barn available for meetings and celebrations. But the locals are very afraid of the newcomers. Something like that takes years, ”says Martin Hansen.
EnvironmentThe owners of the Re: hof believe that vacation, as a happy state of emergency, is a suitable moment to experience a sustainable way of life and to enjoy it. Because many things are so pleasantly simple and the fear of having to forego supposed comfort is often unjustified. The couple exemplifies this attitude in the Re: hof. During the renovation they made a sport out of it, to use everything they wanted to tear down or throw away. They also worked with building materials that hardly leave any waste. Attention was paid to ecological aspects, as well as recyclability of the materials, waste prevention, no toxic materials, orientation to the sun, energy-saving construction. In the long term, the farm should be as self-sufficient and energy-independent as possible. Wastewater is routed through a plant clarifier bed, in which the wastewater is converted into fresh water. This will water the plants. Solar panels heat the shower water. Composting toilets were installed in the garden houses. The Re: im Re: hof also stands for recycling. The guests also separate their garbage; Compostable is processed on the site. Almost everyone takes too much food with them on vacation. The Verheyens are trying to sell small, customized portions in the farm shop and encourage food sharing.
Well-BeingThe overall concept of the Re: hof can be summarized with art, cooking and contemplation. A special place of relaxation is the sauna, which is located in the middle of the area under one of the large oak trees. The ensemble consists of three buildings, the changing room and shower room, the relaxation room and the sweat lodge. Here modern architecture meets traditional earth building. The sauna is heated with a wood stove. The heat from the oven is absorbed by the clay walls and radiated evenly, which makes you feel pleasantly enveloped by the heat. At a temperature around 70 ° it takes a little longer to sweat, but it doesn't put as much strain on the circulation. The large glass front offers a meditative view of the old gnarled fruit trees. From the terrace in front of the sauna, a footbridge leads to a wood-fired hot tub, where you can relax in the warm water, it is particularly beautiful at night under the starry sky. Physiotherapist Kathrin Singer offers various relaxation massages on request.
Book without surcharge!
The Re: hof Rutenberg is about 100km outside of Berlin. By car you drive almost 2 hours. From Hamburg it is about 3 hours (266 km). You will receive the exact route description when booking.
The closest train station is in Fürstenberg (about 1 hour from Berlin). Pick-up is possible from there or you can continue by bus to Lychen Markt.
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