The island of Bali recreated in the centre of Berlin
The twelve-hectare area in Berlin’s Sportpark Poststadion is conceptually divided into two parts. On one side lies the Fritz-Schloß Park, on the other the Poststadion football fields and other facilities, including the Stadtbad Tiergarten indoor swimming pool. Once there was also an outdoor swimming pool, but it was closed due to excessively high running costs. For a while, the area around the swimming pool was used as a campsite, then the area was purchased by Theune Spa, which in 2013 set up the latest of their spas there, the Vabali Spa Berlin. With 20,000 sq.m of space at their disposal in the midst of the greenery, they decided to build a unique wellness centre drawing on their many years of experience in spas. This was the objective that brothers Stephan and Markus Theune and their architect, Jacob Post, set themselves in the design process. The result is an extraordinary 8,000 square metre oriental village with a modern architectural style and cutting-edge facilities inside and outside a complex of buildings constructed essentially from high-quality timber. After stepping through the anonymous entrance – which gives no hint of what lies inside – guests leave behind the chaos of everyday Berlin and embark on a journey towards the island of Bali. The village itself lies at the end of an 80 metre avenue with a tropical wood arcade where teak pillars are flanked by thick bamboo groves. The complex is large enough to host up to 500 guests, each with their own space and privacy – and all in the unmistakable Bali style. The village is decorated with the contents of dozens of shipping containers crammed with authentic artefacts, including sculptures, furniture, wood from demolished houses, refined ornaments and local artworks, all imported directly from the Indonesian island. The main outdoor feature is the 200 square metre open-air swimming pool (the water is heated to 30°C during the winter), built in place of the old abandoned swimming pool. The stylised frangipane flower that emerges from the floor of the pool is repeated throughout the complex, engraved into the teak columns and handrails. The pool is surrounded by wooden decking which facilitates access to the overhanging functional buildings with spacious interiors, raised terraces and pagoda roofs covered with shingles. In the central hall, the indoor pool is clad with porcelain tiles from Italgraniti’s Stone D, Quarzite Grafite and Barge Quarzite collections, which are also used in the foyer. Vabali offers a wide range of saunas, spa treatments and massages. The classic sauna can accommodate up to seventy guests, whereas two private day spas offer more exclusive services with the maximum discretion. But if all you’re looking for is relaxation, on cold days you can spend a few hours in front of the fire in the fireplace room or stretched out on a heated waterbed in one of the relaxation rooms. Members can also use the 2,000 square metre Fitness and Sport area.