Situated in the enchanting Tannheim Valley, hotel Jungbrunn is an Austrian paradise enraptured by soaring snow clad mountains and malachite undulating hills. On arrival at the Best Wellness hotel, the interior design exudes quality and panache, from the Anne Jacobson chairs and stylish stripey wallpaper in the reception area, to the handcrafted wooden fixtures on the walls. The name Jungbrunn translates to youth fountain, reflecting on the hotels fixation of life-style and health.
Originally used as a small cafe in the first ski lift station, the hotel has come along way since its early skiing days and is currently run by couple Marcus and Ulrike Gutheinz. Marcus was passed down the hotel from his father, Raimund Gutheinz who was the inventor of the regions first ski lift. Since owning the hotel, Marcus and Ulrike have spent 5 years refurbishing the interiors and exteriors, expanding on the land from its original size, yet remembering to pay tribute to the history of the building by implementing an in-house ski museum with the original ski lift.
The refurbishment has recently won the couple an award for the best Austrian spa hotel, as the hotel’s facilities are impressive with its striking unique designs and vast choice of spa treatments. The spa area of the hotel is of exceptional quality and uses local natural elements to furnish the rooms, including Jagged crystal like glass covering the treatment room doors; which glistens with the reflecting sun rays and real breathing moss, camouflaging the walls in the relaxation area. These features not only aim to aesthetically please, but function in different ways benefiting health and room temperature.
The spa area includes several different types of saunas that help relieve stress and therapy rooms offering an expansive range of treatments. The hotel’s facial treatment, involved having a light skin peal, face mask, eyebrow shaping and a hand massage. For part of the facial, your entire face is covered in a mask, which is quite a strange feeling but nonetheless relaxing. The facial lasts approximately 1 hour and leaves your skin feeling smooth and regenerated. The hotel also has an award winning signature spa treatment, which uses coloured light therapy, rock crystal salt scrub and creams that are massaged onto the body whilst lying on a waterbed, for a totally relaxing full body experience.
With all of these excellent facilities, the hotel is perfect for romantic getaways allowing couples to escape into the peaceful and tranquil environment that includes an outdoor nudist area, where guests can be at one with nature and swim in the pools filled with refreshing natural water. However if this doesn’t sound like an option for you, then there are many other pools and spa areas in the hotel to enjoy… clothed!
The spa area and interior design of the hotel is not the only feature that represents how life-style and quality focused the hotel is, but also with their exceptional food. The food is cooked by Austria’s youngest yet very talented head chef, who with the help of the other chefs in the kitchen, prepares a different 6 course meal each night, showcasing traditional Austrian favorites with a modern twist. The presentation of the food is extremely trendy and the succulent veal cooked in two different ways, accompanied by yellow patty pan and parsley mousse was deliciously mouth watering. The veal was presented on a plate that represented a black board and the appearance of contemporary art that belonged in a prestigious art gallery. For guests that suffer with food intolerances need not worry, as the hotel restaurant caters for all as the chefs will specially prepare your meals to your requirements on a daily basis.
For those that want to explore the area, the hotel takes advantage of the surrounding mother nature by organising nature watch guides and hikes through the serene wilderness. One of the nature watch hikes takes you to Lake Vilsalpsee, accompanied by the hotel’s nature watch guide Andy and his enthusiastic border collie Simba. Unfortunately Andy didn’t speak English, so hotel staff tried their best at translating the entire trip. Throughout the nature hike, Andy taught us about the different types of flowers that grow on the mountains and which ones are poisonous. Thankfully we didn’t get to meet any poisonous flowers in person. To reach lake vilsalpsee, we hiked through the naturally kept forest, scrambling over the craggy ash-coloured rocks and pausing by the refreshing waterfall that tumbled sheets of crystal clear water. Upon arrival at the cerulean blue lake, it truly was awe inspiring. Andy explained that Lake Vilsalpsee is a nature preserved area, as the lake contains rare algae which is only found in this area.
The lake is a great place for families to enjoy picnics on the meadow, witnessing the birds bathing in the water and deers grazing in the distant gently sloped mountains.
For skiers, paragliders and those who enjoy breathtaking scenery, mountain ‘Neunerköpfle’ is a 10 minute walk from the hotel. To reach the top of the majestic mountain, visitors can either hike or take the ski gondola which allows you to take in spectacular birds eye views of the Tannheim Valley. The mountain is popular for winter sports such as alpine and Nordic skiing. Paraglider’s also take full advantage of the height and breathtaking scenery by launching themselves into the fresh alpine air. For those less adventurous, the location is perfect for long gentle strolls rewarded by the abundance of greenery and wildlife.
With the predominant religion in Austria being Roman Catholic, every year the Alps are occupied by the religious tradition of the Sacred Heart fires. The fires took place in the mountains of Nesselwängle, which is a short drive from the hotel. This religious festival originates from the nineteenth century and involves men lighting fires in the mountains, in the shape of Christian symbols. The burning embers from the fires glimmer in the smoking mountains, representing outlines of the cross, candle, praying hands and a communion challis. These symbols can be sighted from a distance showcasing a spectacular view.
Hotel Jungbrunn is an exceptional hotel with first class facilities on offer. The location is perfect for adventurous thrill seekers or for those who want to absorb the Austrian culture and life-style. Although the hotel is mainly suited towards couples, the surrounding area is a great place for families to participate in outdoor activities.
- Alpine wood positively affects the health, as it lowers the heart beat dramatically, due to the oils in the wood. Scientists researched why Austrian farmers had long life expectancy considering their poor diets, research showed it was because the farmers chalets were made out of pine wood.
- The trees in the forest near Lake Vilsalpsee are left to grow naturally, however once a year someone will evaluate which tree must be cut down due to particular reasons. The chosen tree is marked with a number and local farmers participate in a lottery draw, where they can win the tree depending on the number they pick. If their number is chosen, it is then their responsibility to cut down the tree within a year and use the wood how they wish.
- The pines from the trees near Lake Vilsalpsee are made into pine schnapps, which is a very strong alcoholic liqueur.
- Visitors to Lake Vilsalpsee can arrive and leave by coach, train and traditional horse and carriage.
- The ‘fountain of youth’ is represented in the hotel, by obtaining its own water source that guests can drink from and swim in.
- Due to increased interest of the hotels design and decorations, Marcus and Ulrike have future plans to manufacture their own furniture and fittings and sell them to hotel guests.
Prices of the rooms start from €128 per person per night on half board basis For more information and current prices for hotel Jungbrunn, visit their website: www.jungbrunn.at