T+L Reports: Austria's Holistic Hotel
Published: April 2009
By Michael Hannewacker
If you're looking for equal doses of style and comfort, head to the Tyrolean village of Zell am See, Austria. There, amid the lakes, mountains, and glaciers, architect Niki Szilagyl sets a new standard in holistic hospitality at Mavida Balance Hotel & Spa. In 47 rooms and suites, Italian and German design play yin and yang: egg-shaped lamps by Flos shed warm light on chairs and beds by Casamilano, while slate bathrooms come with edgy Hansgrohe fixtures and angular Dornbracht sinks. Elsewhere, nature takes center stage—in custom furniture made from native woods like elm and larch, artwork by Jutta de Bock (which uses actual sand from Lake Zell), and giant driftwood sculptures. In the open kitchen, cooks prepare healthful dinners using local produce seasoned with herbs picked from Mavida's rooftop garden. Guests can attain inner harmony in the basement spa through sessions in the Blue Box—an oval room outfitted with two glowing, vibrating fiberglass recliners—and the saltwater Floatarium, where sensory deprivation is the ultimate in decadence. Mavida Balance Hotel & Spa, 11 Kirchenweg; 43-6/542-5410; www.mavida.at; doubles from $255, including breakfast.