Now a rather distinguished hotel garni (bed-and-breakfast hotel), the Residenz Bleichroder on Usdedom Island was built in the 1890s for Gerson von Bleichroder, who had been Chancellor Bismarck's financial advisor. It is one of a number of fine villas built along the beach promenade during Heringdorf's fashionable heydey in the 1880s which have become elegant hotels. In 1990 the villa was renovated, its pink sandstone neo-Baroque façade and Romantic interior restored to their former splendour. There is a magnificent salon with chandeliers suspended from high ceilings, a sun terrace with views across formal gardens to the sea; and behind elegant stone balconies on the upper floors, suites in period style, furnished with antiques. But the double rooms, while still elegant and most with balconies, are simpler. They are in the very modern annexe at the side, which does not have the same cachet.
Many guests come to indulge in special 'Relaxdays' and 'Beauty weekends' (details on the website), which feature stints in the sauna and indoor pool interrupted by manicures and massages. But what our inspector enjoyed the most about the Bleichroder was strolling in the sun in its lovely old rose garden after a luscious breakfast.