For seventeen generations across a more than 400-year history, the family-owned Stanglwirt hotel in the foothills of the Austrian Alps has served as a cozy respite for in-the-know travelers in search of a low-key luxury getaway, including a fair number of royals and celebrities (from Gwyneth Paltrow to Arnold Schwarzenegger). While the hotel, and its surrounding town of Kitzbühel, may not have the name recognition of Switzerland’s St. Moritz or Gstaad, the remote location within the pine covered Wilder Kaiser Mountain Range and the lack of pretention—case in point, female staffers still wear traditional dirndls—have added to the charm of this Alpine destination. Now, guests have more reasons to check-in: a newly-renovated, 129,000-square-foot sustainable spa, a sprawling 160-acre organic farm and an array of unique new wellness offerings.
Following a multi-million-euro renovation in 2019, the hotel’s Green Spa Resort now houses state-of-the-art facilities. At its core is a sprawling complex featuring five saunas (including one made of organic pine and stone), a rock crystal steam bath, salt steam, waterfall grottos and a spacious rock whirlpool with panoramic views of the Wilder Kaiser mountains in the distance. The facility is also home to the largest privately owned saltwater pool in Europe, while the resort’s herb garden provides seasonal ingredients that are used in oils and lotions made for use in the spa.
Sustainability is also at the heart of the new complex. “Among the highlights at the new spa is a green moss living wall, which you see throughout the entire spa area, as well as a (dedicated) water source that supplies the spa and wellness area,” says Spa Director Maria Hauser, who is also the eldest daughter of the owning family. “The resort focuses entirely on using its own resources for the energy supply of the new wellness area, through heating mountain water from the Wilder Kaiser.”
As for the newly expanded treatment options, the 40-page spa menu is as creative as it is comprehensive. Along with Stanglwirt signatures like the Lomi Lomi Nui and local Alpine herbal pouch massages are molecular facials and diamond microdermabrasion by doctor to the stars Barbara Sturm, as well as the chance to go on a mountain hike with an “herbal witch.” “We really aim to create an interactive and inspirational experience here,” Hauser says, “and embarking on a hike with resident herb witch Ave Annama will allow guests to learn about the power of the native plants, and provide an experience that combines the modern and the traditional.” Stanglwirt is located one-hour from Salzburg and about 90-minutes from Munich airport. Suite rates start at €800 per night.