The Schloss Lubbenau's best claim to a page in the guide is its peaceful, English-style parkland setting, with views, winding paths, tranquil lake and orangery, plus easy access to great walking in the Spreewald. It comes highly recommended by our East Germany editors, and was recently described as one of Germany's best hotels by Der Feinschmecker magazine. It's privately owned and managed by the family who have lived here for centuries. Beyond that, we stray, with some anxiety, outside our usual criteria to suggest such a large and imposing place (two wings, two turrets, four storeys) with more than 40 bedrooms.
The furnishings and decoration, in public areas and bedrooms, though smart and in keeping with the building, are just what you'd expect, and they lack the kind of flair and individuality we value. Though care has been taken to avoid pomposity or excessive formality, the overall feel is hotel-like rather than home-like, and the place pitches for conferences and weddings (more than one room can be set up for business meetings). We rate this a useful but conventional choice for a weekend away with a new girlfriend who values creature comforts more than something a little different.