It took quite a bit of talking to convince Dermott Brereton his assignment was to visit a tropical island in Germany. Sure enough, in Krausnick, around 100km south of Berlin, there is something for everyone, day and night.
The former airfield and a massive super hangar was the beginning of paradise for Germans craving some warmth without all the travel. Giant heaters keep the temperature at 26°C and humidity at a comfortable 60 percent.
The rainforest has around 30,000 trees, bushes and groundcover. There are carnivorous plants, banana trees, coffee bushes, jungle creepers twisting up 18m trees and other exotic plants.
A kilometre-long path winds through the forest and a bridge over the mangrove swamp gives great views.
The Tropical Village has been put together with authentic buildings from Bali, Borneo, Thailand and Samoa. Appropriate cafes and restaurants serve a wide range of meals, quick snacks and barbecues, and there are live shows throughout the day on the Wayang Stage.
Children are well catered for in the Tropino Club. The 4000 square metre area has a go-kart track, enormous climbing frame and power paddling boats. The restaurant has loads of favourite treats and co-ordinators arrange plenty of fun things to do.
The 25m waterslide tower has four slides, ranging from one taking you at a leisurely pace to a high-speed turbo slide reaching up to 70km/h.
South Seas Beach has a paddling area, sun lounges and plenty of sand for building castles under the palm trees. The water is an inviting 28°C and in almost all weather, sunshine gets through the roof so you can get a suntan. Take your snorkels, flippers and beach balls along with you. When the sun goes down, the island is transformed for the evening show.
Bali Lagoon is perfect for swimming, or enjoying the current canal, submerged waterslides and whirlpools. Sandstone, wood, palms, Balinese huts, watchtower, Monkey Rock and 32°C water could have you pinching yourself to check you really are in Germany! Where the lagoon meets the rainforest is a grotto and waterfall, and after dark, the pool is beautifully lit.
No holiday resort is complete without a mini-golf course and at Tropical Islands you can make your way around 18 holes with artificial lawns, crazy courses and putting greens.
After swimming, golfing and enjoying assorted other activities, a favourite thing to do is camp overnight in the rainforest. They have a range of tents with mattresses, sheets, blankets and pillows.
The Tropical Islands Dome is the largest free-standing hall in the world. It is 360m long, 210m wide and 107m high and large enough to accommodate the Statue of Liberty standing up and the Eiffel Tower lying on its side!
The only problem with eating and drinking is deciding where to go and what to have. A three-course meal? Spicy Indian? Burger and chips? Tropical barbecue? If you feel peckish in the middle of the night, there are snacks and full meals available around the clock.
The Tropical Islands balloon soars 60m above the rainforest, sea, lagoon and village, and on the horizon you can see the spa and sauna complex.
The rainforest sauna has six sections with architecture inspired by Elefanta Temple in India and New Zealand's Waiotapu Thermal Reserve. Steam baths, dry saunas, therapeutic baths and radiant heat rooms await you and a full range of Thai massage will no doubt totally relax you.