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A personal labour of love TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON  |  PHOTOS: SERGE LOHNER

Hotel & Spa 5-Terres is a hotel for lovers of great food and fine wine, of luxury pampering and striking design, deeply rooted in its locale. Sometimes, travellers in identikit international hotel surroundings can briefly wonder which region, country or even continent they’re in. That’s unlikely to happen in the extraordinary 5-Terres Hotel & Spa, a four-star MGallery Collection hotel in Barr, the wine capital of Alsace. It starts with the name, recalling the five soil types in which Alsace’s wines gain their individuality, and reflects the pride owner Jean-Daniel Seltz has in his property. “This building dates from the 16th century. We undertook a huge amount of work to restore it, so today our guests can 54  |  Issue 68  |  August 2019

enjoy an atmospheric mix of traditional and contemporary in a superb location on Barr’s historic Town Hall Square, surrounded by forests and vineyards, and at the foot of Mont Saint-Odile.”

Two builders Master mason David Kellerknecht constructed the building five centuries ago as a meeting place for Barr’s leading citizens, and thanks to its strategic location – within easy striking distance of Strasbourg, Basel, Freiburg and even Luxembourg and Flanders – and conference facilities to cater for select business gatherings, it serves a similar function today – albeit for a wider clientele. M. Seltz has another affinity with his medieval forebears too – his company, Seltz Constructions, rebuilt the place; he selected all the materials; and he designed

each room. “We have top-quality materials available locally: for example, all the leather comes from a friend’s tannery nearby – he also supplies Hermès.” The design retains the original site’s ambiance, with robust oak beams and Vosges sandstone, married with modern touches like a glass cover over the lobby that floods it with light, to produce something cosy and human. “Along with the functionality and the look of the décor, we wanted to build in the sensual,” says Seltz, “so the natural scent of wood blends with the luxurious aroma fine leather gives, and even the stone adds to that.” When it comes to the pleasures of the senses, however, it’s the restaurant and

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Discover Benelux, Issue 68, August 2019  

Discover Benelux promotes Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Our August issue features a candid interview with Dutch actor Fedja van H...

Discover Benelux, Issue 68, August 2019  

Discover Benelux promotes Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Our August issue features a candid interview with Dutch actor Fedja van H...

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