My “AquaX” food experience
Contributed by feature reporter Jens Hoffmann.
I had a lovely 4-Hands Dinner by two three Michelin star cooks.
Sven Elverfeld & Rasmus Kofoed at the “Aqua” in Wolfsburg.
4-Hands Dinner with Rasmus Kofoed from restaurant Geranium in Copenhagen, Denmark as a guest chef at restaurant Aqua.
On the occasion of holding three MICHELIN stars for ten years in a row, Rasmus Kofoed and Sven Elverfeld prepared a unique eight-course menu.
Since its opening the luxury hotel has been enchanting me and guests from all over the world.
Extravagant ambience and delight in the seamless blend of industrial art and technology at one of the finest boutique hotels built by Germany’s industrial ingenuity.
With contemporary architecture that unveils a striking open circle as a symbol of welcome, guests of the 5-star hotel find themselves drawn into a sleek, modern embrace, softened by artistic elements of delight. I enjoy white wine in the Lobby Lounge, where a “glass forest” sculpture inspires a sense of tranquility and gives you a view on the big outdoor pool (40 m long) and the “Kraftwerk”.
The industrial VW location is enough to make my “design fetish” heart leap for joy.
The factory building and themeparc with lots of industrial flair vaguely remind tourists of eg. Battersea Power Station in London but on a far bigger scale, alongside the original brick towers you will find the Ritz-Carlton, my hideaway for three days.
After entering the lobby you feel like at home. The lobby extends the atmosphere of the Autostadt park landscape into the hotel. A curtain of illuminated glass tubes embodies an abstract forest and serves as a visual anchor point. In the centre of the room, a large white marble fireplace divides the lobby into an intimate oasis of tranquillity. With no trace of a draughty foyer, guests feel as if they’ve arrived at a very special place.
Developed by the Autostadt in cooperation with Paris based American architect Elliott Barnes, the design instils an atmosphere of luxury and comfort through a sense of cosiness and warmth. French designer Andrée Putman decorated the guestrooms and suites, combining a purist signature with a clear sense of ambience. I checked in on fourth floor in room 410.
Instead of decorative flourishes and heavy plush, guests were greeted by a contemporary interpretation of luxury. You can feel that the goal was to establish the hotel at the high end of the global industry.
The design was developed in cooperation with Elliott Barnes, who worked with Putman on the original hotel concept. The focus of thedesign concept is on the well-being of hotel guests. A cosy atmosphere is created by an interplay of colours, shapes and textures. Wood, leather, glass, stone and other natural materials are prominent, combining pleasant, sensuous surfaces with exquisite quality. The architecture and interior should never call attention to itself. Much more important are the personal interactions and the impressions people derive from the space.
This is also felt in my bathroom, the rooms are all quite big around 30qm and furnished with all the latest modern conveniences.
Each of the four floors of The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg follows a unique colour scheme that extends from the corridors into the rooms and suites. Working together with the Autostadt team, Elliott Barnes developed a unifying theme – an imaginary ascent to the top of a mountain. Starting in the valley (ground floor) with warm, earthy tones, the colours become increasingly lighter towards the slope (first floor), glacier (second floor) and peak (third floor). At the top, the fourth floor symbolizes the clouds with light, airy tones lending an atmospheric counterpoint to the hotel entrance foyer.
A new room-in-room concept was developed high, leather-covered headboards and sideboards frame the beds and the sofas on the opposite side of the room. Gently contoured edges parenthetically extend from the walls to create a more intimate space. The large desk that dominated the space in Andrée Putman’s interior design concept has been replaced by a multi-purpose oval table. As the communicative heart of this temporary residence, it can be used for meetings, working and dining.
Implementing the new concept, the Autostadt design team and the specialists working with Elliott Barnes created and built new furniture specifically for The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg. A mix of old and new design classics were integrated into the furnishing to create a unique overall experience.
Andrée Putman’s most famous signature design feature can still be found in both 220-square-metre Black & White Suites on the fourth floor. In honour of his mentor, Elliott Barnes integrated the original black and white checkerboard tile pattern into the new design concept.
On the new Club Level located on the fourth floor, hotel guests can enjoy personal concierge service with a separate check-in and access to the Club Lounge with its selection of different menus throughout the day.
Comfortable lounge chairs, sofas and a library with fireplace accentuate the living room character of the Club Lounge, which serves as an extension of the rooms and suites on the fourth floor.
The atmospheric design is carried over to the hotel’s restaurants and bars. Newman’s Bar on the ground floor entices guests in an oval room surrounded in cognac-coloured glass tubes. In an interplay with metal curtains, the main room features private retreat areas. Walls lined with papyrus leaves in the adjacent smoking lounge add a sense of ambient warmth. The interior of the award-winning Aqua restaurant was redesigned with an additional window that opens the space into a private garden area, where a large shell filled with water creates a quiet Zen-like atmosphere.
The gracious, friendly hotel staff members play a key role in creating an atmosphere of well-being. Each guest is treated to personalized service that intuitively meets all of their needs.
Luxury used to be superfluous. Today, the focus is on attention to detail.” The landscape, architecture, interior, design and service create a complete package at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg. These factors combine to offer guests a comfortable home away from home.
Finally, just a last photo from the fantastic dinner: “Marbled”, Hake, caviar and buttermilk by Rasmus Kofoed.
Check-in and take a look:
The press trip was supported by Ritz-Carlton.
Photos: Claes-Bech-Poulsen, Uwe Spörl, The Ritz Carlton & Jens Hoffmann