All shook up in Elvis's Germany: Visit the King of Rock's old haunts

All shook up in Elvis’s Germany: Visit the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s old haunts in the spa town where he lived while in the U.S. army (and you can even sleep in his bed)

  • Elvis served in Germany as a member of the 1st Medium Tank Battalion 
  • He stayed in Room 10 at Hotel Villa Grunewald in Bad Nauheim
  • READ MORE: What picture-perfect holiday hotspots can REALLY be like 

Armies of women — and perhaps men, too — have relished the idea of sleeping in Elvis Presley’s bed.

Check into Room 10 at Hotel Villa Grunewald in the German town of Bad Nauheim, just north of Frankfurt, and you can do just that.

What’s more, the Elvis Room, as it’s called, has been left in its 1950s incarnation, including the walnut wood bed that Elvis slept in and the loo seat (black Bakelite, no less) that he used while a guest, during his U.S. military service in Germany.

Each year, near the August 16 anniversary of the singer’s death, the town hosts an Elvis Festival — a riot of rockabillies, vintage cars, quiffs and, of course, impersonators.

You can’t sleep in Room 10 during the festival, although you can check it out on a tour. But there are many other ways to get close to The King.

Above is Elvis’s bedroom – Room 10 – at Hotel Villa Grunewald in the German town of Bad Nauheim

At Burgpforte, you can lean against the exact spot where the singer posed for the cover of the 1959 hit A Big Hunk O’ Love. Further up the street, beneath the archway seen in the background of the photo, a replica mural of the album image has been created by renowned street artist Gnasher.

Aged 23, Elvis served in Germany from October 1, 1958 until March 2, 1960, as a member of the 1st Medium Tank Battalion.

His wealth allowed him to live off-base. At Goethestraße 14, the house that Elvis and his entourage moved to when they were (in true rock ’n’ roll style) booted out of the Hotel Villa Grunewald, you can gawp at the modest structure from the street. He was asked to leave after the owner became exasperated by his entourage and the girls camped outside.

Elvis stayed in Bad Nauheim while serving as a member of the 1st Medium Tank Battalion

Elvis during his U.S. army service – his wealth allowed him to live off-base


Doubles at Hotel Villa Grunewald from £77; the Elvis Room is from £173 ( Return flights from Heathrow to Frankfurt from £111 (; it’s about a 45-minute drive from Frankfurt Airport to Bad Nauheim. European Elvis Festival runs from this Friday until Sunday, tickets from £15.50 ( 

Wander through the park opposite, and you’ll cross a bridge — not, more’s the pity, over a rivulet named Troubled Water — on which a bronze statue of the singer stands.

Beyond the park, the traffic lights at Parkstraße and Schwalheimer Straße convey ‘wait’ and ‘walk’ in red and green figures that are unmistakably Elvis. There’s more to Bad Nauheim than Elvis, however: as a spa town renowned for its mineral-rich waters, it has drawn notable guests including the Dalai Lama.

At the Art Nouveau confection of the Sprudelhof — currently closed for restoration — a series of original and ornate bathhouses are positioned around a central courtyard, in which a circular fountain shoots a plume of spring water into the air. The Sprudelhof is due to reopen later this year but, in the meantime, the spa town’s rich, saline liquid can be sampled at Trinkkuranlage, by Bad Nauheim’s Rose Garden.

Built at the beginning of the 20th century, its horseshoe of colonnades lead to an orchestra shell, to the left of which is a dome-topped rounded structure of decoratively gated archways. Venture down its cool stone stairs and you’ll find something reminiscent of a Faberge egg, with four golden taps emitting a constant stream of iron-rich water.

It doesn’t taste nearly as good as the Aperol I drank at Cafe Bar Phono — in what used to be a music store where Elvis bought a guitar case and records. But it’s good for you.

If your ‘feel good’ vibe tends more towards what you can inhale than imbibe, then head to one of Bad Nauheim’s five ‘graduation’ buildings, dating from the 18th century, when the area was home to the salt extraction industry.

Bristling with blackthorn twigs, spring water is pumped to the top and then evaporates, leaving salt crystals to infuse the air.

The one near the Elvis bridge has surrounding parkland and a sunbathing lawn, allowing you to enjoy the effect in comfort.

You may not leave with a set of pipes like The King’s, but you may just feel all shook up — in a good way.

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