Ski & Spa in Austria: From the Slopes to the Pool
Winter holidays with a wellness bonus: Spa hotels in the Alps you need to know!
Whisk down the pistes during the day, then relax your body and mind in warm thermal water after the sun goes down: Austria’s mix of ski and spa becomes more and more popular by the year, including with holidaymakers from the U.K. And it’s easy to see why: Who would say no to an open-air hot tub amidst snow-covered mountains after all, or to a traditional sauna, and a massage after a long day on the slopes?
And it’s not just the feel-good factor that makes Austria’s spa hotels so popular with winter sports fans. Skiing and snowboarding put a lot of stress on our muscles and joints, and the heat from saunas, steam rooms or whirlpools helps soothe sooth, warm, and relax them – an effective (and very comfy!) way to reduce or prevent joint pain and sore muscles during a winter holiday. Hot tubs with jets are even more effective as they double as massages.
Four- and five-star hotels in Austria’s winter resorts all feature pools or/and spa areas. Need some recommendations? The following hotels are best-practice examples of how to successfully combine skiing and relaxing in style.
5 TOP SPA HOTELS FOR WINTER SPORTS FANS
Five-star Das Central is a top-notch ski-in/ski-out hotel in Tirol’s Sölden surrounded by more than 250 three-thousanders. The luxury place has recently been refurbished, with a brand-new Summit Spa on the two top floors opening at the end of November. The highlight is a spectacular infinity pool with a glass casing, overlooking the snow-covered roofs of Sölden. Plus, there are new additional saunas, an outdoor whirlpool, treatment and relaxation rooms, as well as a gym. Guests can access five different ski resorts with one pass. And apart from the slopes and the spa, there’s also an award-winning restaurant and an in-house wine cellar with over 30,000 bottles, including some of the world’s best wines.
Nature Hotel Forsthofgut in Leogang, SalzburgerLand, a sustainable farm-turned luxury hotel run by the fifth generation of the Schmuck family, who aims to spoil their guests while operating in harmony with nature - another ski and spa resort not to be missed! The five-star place has direct access to the surrounding slopes, as well as Europe’s first forest spa, with an adults-only area (old-wood sauna, herbal and steam baths with natural essences, 25-m-long sports pool with mountain views), and a separate kid’s part with a 70 m long slide. Romantic break? Couples can rent a private whirlpool under the starry sky, champagne included. The hotel cuisine is Alpine-Mediterranean, regional, and mostly plant-based.
Aqua Dome in Längenfeld in the heart of Ötztal valley features a whooping 12 indoor and outdoor pools, seven saunas and a generous relaxing and treatment area, making it Tirol’s largest spa – and a long-term favourite among holidaymakers looking for a mix of skiing and wellness retreat. The four-star hotel’s signature highlight are three futuristic floating bowl pools, each of them with underwater music and light effects, where guests can relax their muscles amidst a spectacular mountain panorama. Aqua Dome is a great destination both for romantic getaways and family holidays, with a separate child-friendly spa area. Guests have direct access to the slopes and can book ski courses right at the hotel reception.
Family-run Green Spa Resort Stanglwirt in Going am Wilden Kaiser, near Kitzbühel, has some of the most famous slopes in the world (including the Streif!) at its doorstep and a gorgeous spa within its premises. The luxury five-star hotel and organic farm is Austria’s first sustainable resort. It features a 25-m-pool, a saltwater and rock pool, and a waterfall grotto, as well as five saunas and three steam baths. Travelling with little ones in tow? There’s also a special kid’s water world. Holidaymakers needing some extra-care for their body after a long skiing day can try a massage, a gemstone bath or a body wrap, then head to the Gasthof Stanglwirt for hearty Tyrolean food or say hi to the horses at the hotel’s very own Lipizzaner stud.
Last but not least, there’s Hotel Nesslerhof, a four-star hotel in Großarltal, SalzburgerLand, where skiers and snowboarders can relax and rewind in style after their daily workout in the snow. The hotel’s spa includes an indoor swimming pool with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains as well as a heated, 25 m long outdoor pool, eight saunas, a saltwater steam bath, a gym, and regular yoga classes. Guests can also make use of soothing massages and other spa treatments. Afterwards, the hotel restaurant awaits with a modern take on traditional local dishes, all made of regional, seasonal, and mostly organic ingredients, making the stay not only pleasant, but also more sustainable.
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