Lakeside Ensemble

Reviewed by Emily McDonnell

A collection of wooden huts with communal living, including a sauna, surrounded by an ancient forest and at the edge of a crystal-clear lake, the perfect place to clear your mind and restore your energy

Self-catering escape
From €85-120
Four huts for 2-4
Near Buckow, 1 hour from central Berlin


Lakeside Ensemble’s motto is “a house made by friends, for friends”, but this statement doesn’t start to do justice to the warmth and care that you’ll experience while staying at this woodland wonderland. 

Hidden amongst trees, and without a signpost, the handful of huts blend effortlessly into the landscape (wooden structures, topped with grass for insulation), so you’d be forgiven for passing by. Everything here is deliberate, especially the lack of signposts, in fact, you won’t find Lakeside Ensemble on social media - it’s a haven that needs to be experienced in person rather than via a screen. Owner Bernhard waited nearly a decade for the perfect place to create a retreat for himself and his loved ones, and he has begun to craft spaces that nurture the body and the soul. Each hut has been handbuilt by him and his friends, and are thus all completely individual. They are dotted across the sprawling piece of lakeside land, having been built in locations where there was a powerful energy pull. 

The heart of the ensemble is the main house, a quaint villa-style building that acts as the communal living area (all huts share a bathroom, kitchen and living room, which are in the main house; only Berghütte has its own toilet, bathtub and mini-kitchen). We ended up spending hours in the kitchen with the other guests, cooking, swapping stories and listening to music in comfortable silence. There is a magic here that allows for an openness and contentedness that is hard to achieve with strangers in your daily life. 

Start your day with a dip in the lake and end it in the sauna - the hours in between are yours to wile away in nature. We’ll be back here for sure, alone, with friends or we’ll book the whole location for celebrations.


I fell in love because...
  • There is a warm, calming energy here, plus the sprawling garden, cosy kitchen and wooden sauna encourage you to fall into a leisurely flow
  • Each hut is completely individual, designed over time by Bernhard with the help of friends; we want to return to experience each in turn
You must...
  • Spend time in the sauna; its huge glass window allows you to observe the wind blowing through the branches of the thick woodland outside (keep your eyes peeled for beavers, deer and wild boar)
  • Stroll around the river into the pretty village of Buckow, famous for having been Brecht’s home and a Kneippkurort
You might dislike...
  • If you are looking for utter privacy, this isn’t the place for you; while you’re in a small bubble, you share a kitchen and bathroom with other guests (unless you book the entire location)
  • Those seeking luxury should look elsewhere. Lakeside Ensemble has a laidback, “Berlin cool” feel to it
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Lakeside Ensemble


Introducing Bernhard! 

“I spent many weekends at my friends' place across the lake, and one day decided to look for a space in Buckow for myself. Luckily, after years, I found this little paradise. I didn’t think twice about saying yes: it was as if I found the house and the house found me. It was, and still is, pure magic.”

He loves…

“Lakeside Ensemble is evolving all the time. I’m following my gut feeling on what should be renovated next, in order to maintain the quiet restfulness of the place.”

Bernhard's insider tips 

  • Simply be here. You will be amazed at how time flows; you don't need to leave, simply be and you’ll find something to explore every day
  • I ice bathe through the winter! It’s tough, but wow do I feel energised afterwards. There’s a ladder at the end of the jetty you can use to get in and out (summer swims are also recommended!)
  • Cook a big dinner in the kitchen and chat with the other guests! There’s always an interesting conversation to be had (and meals to be shared) - in summer, please help yourself to fruit and vegetables from the garden
  • Nature, nature, nature. You’re at the heart of a nature reserve and therefore you should go on long walks and soak up the magic of the surrounding countryside

What people
are saying.

"You will be amazed, how close to Berlin you can feel so far away."

Sonja Heiss

“Stunning place with a special, warm atmosphere not too far from Berlin.”


The essentials.

  • Need to know: There’s a minimum stay of 2 nights for each hut. The property can be booked as a whole, either as a getaway or as a party location (Bernhard and friends will do everything they can to make it the most special occasion); note, when booking the entire property a cleaning fee is added on. Special mid-week rates are available in off-season, as are group discounts. Note that individuals huts can only be booked up to four weeks in advance, but the whole property can be booked for any future time frame. Over holidays, the property can only be booked as a whole.
  • Sleeping arrangements: Ulla and Berghütte both have a kingsized bed, Lilli has a kingsize plus a couch which can be transformed into a bed. Fischerhütte has two kingsize beds, and in the main house there’s a bedroom with a kingsize. 
  • Bathroom set up: Only one hut (Berghütte) has its own toilet and a stunning free-standing tub. There is a shared bathroom (shower only) in the main house. Bathrobes and towels can be provided on request.
  • Food: The kitchen is the heart of the property, and can be found in the main house. The kitchen is fully equipped, and you can help yourself to everything you can find in the kitchen from oils to spices. There’s also a smoker and a BBQ in the garden. The Berghütte has its own kitchen. If you are booking the entire property, you can book a cook. Buckow - a short walk and shorter drive - has some great cafes and restaurants, too, as well as a supermarket and organic store.
  • For families: Children are more than welcome here, but parents should be aware that the property leads directly to the lake, so young children might need close supervision.
  • On-site equipment: There’s a row boat and kayaks you can borrow. There are also some games and books that you are free to borrow, but Bernhard recommends you just come with time and enjoy this highly energetic place that feels like in a Brandenburg jungle. 
  • Help: There is always someone on-site unless you are booking the entire place.
  • Remember to pack: Yourself! Just come and be present.
  • Pets: Pets are allowed (mention when booking), but only if they are well trained and don't hunt wild animals, which are everywhere on this property (you are within a natural reserve). Two “house” cats roam the grounds.
  • Sustainability: The huts have been built by hand using only organic, natural materials. Food is gathered from the garden and trash reduction is encouraged.


Lakeside Ensemble is located in Buckow, east Brandenburg. 

‍You can easily drive and there are a few parking spaces that can be used. 

It’s easy to get here by public transport. Take the RB26 train from Ostkreuz to Müncheberg (40 minutes), then get the bus directly to Buckow (10 minutes). From there it’s a 20-minute walk.


Mention the Staycation Collection when booking, and get a little present (a specially made massage oil) on arrival to say thank you.
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