The Almhof Spa is built around unhurriedness and lingering.
In 2015 the Almhof was turned upside down to make way for a generous, light-flooded, and spacious zone for treatments, exercise, and utter relaxation. The result provides easy orientation, natural light, and fascinating views of the garden, village, and old church. The Almhof is far from a wellness hotel, but this soothing spa invites you to relax, slow down, and find physical and mental well-being.
As always, we’ve steered away from fads. The Almhof Spa may be new, but bathing culture dates back to antiquity, and its tradition here in the mountains is relatively young. Two thousand years ago, Greece, Rome, and the Middle East had already developed a body culture so sophisticated that we’re still amazed by it today. And it’s striking that from a modern perspective, the needs of the body and mind—regeneration, meditation, cleansing, toughening, and conviviality—have changed very little since then.
We’ve drawn our inspiration from antiquity and its wealth of knowledge and experience in bathing practices. In addition to ritual processes, we focused on specific climate qualities and the spaces’ potentials. We’ve replaced the ancient hypocausts with modern, precisely controlled radiant heating in the walls and floors. But we only apply modern technology to achieve the qualities of the ancient baths. So when you enter the laconica (steam baths), don’t be surprised that despite the high humidity you’re not engulfed by steam, but swathed in gentle radiant heat. This reduces condensation, providing a more pleasant climate that encourages you to linger and let the moist hot-air bath have its desired effect. For the full bathing experience, take advantage of the temperature and humidity and proceed through the rooms in the recommended order.
In the materials, we have remained true to the existing swimming pool, choosing bush-hammered and sanded Austrian limestone. This textural, soothing material was used surfaces exposed to water, while those expected to remain dry—floors, ceilings, and walls—are made of oak. In addition to the classic bathing facilities, our spa is now equipped with a fitness room and a room for yoga, Pilates, Antara, TRX, and much more. Both are stunning spaces with plenty of light, high ceilings, and marvelous views overlooking a garden that will continue to grow in the years to come.
After bathing, unwind in the relaxation room or fireplace salon, where you can curl up on a pillowy couch as crackling flames emit enveloping warmth. The treatment rooms, in which we offer everything from reflexology to Tibetan massage and hot stone therapy, have been intentionally placed apart from the bustling cosmetic room to ensure utter peace. In the cosmetic room, however, do enjoy the Biologique Recherche methodology’s facial methods and detoxifying body care treatments – as well as goodies from Nectarome and Royal Fern. Aesop products are used throughout the spa, beginning with Austria’s first Aesop kiosk at its entrance.
After thinking about it long and hard, we have come to a decision we feel reflects the bathing practices of ancient times and various cultures. In the nude zone (which we want to retain as an inherent part of Germanic bathing customs) are separate areas for men and women. Those who are sad about this need not despair—by the time bathers reach the tepidarium and warm bath, the genders are reunited, albeit clothed. We prefer to keep the nude zone off-limits to guests under 15, but children may enter if they are accompanied by a parent.
— Gerold Schneider