Rugen Island’s northeastern peninsula is wild with spectacular coastal scenery. There are beech forests inland from the port of Sassnitz, from where ferries cross the Baltic Sea to and from Bornholm and Sweden. The peninsula became the Jasmund National Park in 1990, and two years later the Baumhaus Hagen opened as its only hotel. Baumhaus means tree house and that is an apt name for this 200-year old forester’s cottage hidden in trees on the Park’s southern edge. It is a cosy house, red-thatched with a wooden-lined Stuben. The restaurant walls are decorated with foresting scenes and the plain, white-painted bedrooms (which Frau Oberhardt keeps very spic and span) have forest views. The large garden might seem superfluous, were it not for the umbrella-shaded tables put out in summer to make a convivial Biergarten.
The Baumhaus attracts walkers, bird-watchers, wild flower-spotters, cyclists and people wanting peace and quiet. Chef Lugge caters for them with substantial but healthy food. Maatjes herrings, lox and Baltic fish dishes reveal a strong Scandinavian influence in these northern regions; stews and steaks of venison with red cabbage and potatoes in various guises will satisfy big appetites and there is a children’s menu for small ones.