Bad Gastein: Immerse yourself in another world

From Belle Époque palaces to exciting natural settings.

22 January 2021

Bad Gastein is one of the most exclusive ski resorts in Austria. Since this year's winter holiday will probably not be exactly as we are used to, we take you on a journey through the posh resort. 

Belle Époque palaces, excitingly designed hotels and natural settings tell the story in Bad Gastein special stories.

When a place touches us, we feel inspired. Nature and mountains ground us, architecture lifts us up. Bad Gastein can do both. Between the grandeur of the Kaiser Wilhelm and the coolness of the big city provided by boutique hotels, sophisticated turn-of-the-century buildings by Angelo Comini make up the fairytale-like, morbid charm of this town of 4,000 souls. In between, fascinating hillside locations and 18 hot thermal springs score points. Architect and host at the "Hotel Miramonte", Ike Ikrath, knows what makes the place so unique: "Although it is a spa town, it has no spa park, but promenades. A thundering waterfall thunders next to the ten-story Belle Époque buildings. It's all charming and creates a great density and theatricality." What artists and creative minds have always been drawn to is the area's mix of styles.

The "Hotel Miramonte" by Evelyn and Ike Ikrath embodies individual retro-chic with a large expanse to the valley and listed splendour in the 50s look.

Rock solid conviction

In the mid-1960s, architect Gerhard Garstenauer developed a vision for the Gastein Valley so that the glamorous spa would sooner or later not run dry. His coup in 1968: the Felsenbad, Austria's first public thermal bath. The exposed rocks integrated into the bath convey the feeling of swimming directly at the springs. A virtue was made of the lack of space by making way for 10,000 cubic metres of hard rock to create today's Felsentherme.

Monarchy meets modernity

On the Kreuzkogel in Sportgastein, in addition to the imperial view of the Tauern Mountains, there is also a reminder of the future of yesterday, where winter holidaymakers like to take a detour: Salzburg's Garstenauer's 1972 summit sphere looks like the hideaway of a Bond villain and was built when you still had to climb the Kreuzkogel by chairlift and drag lift. One of a total of four spherical buildings made of aluminium, the sphere with its bizarre snow and ice formations is an impressive contrast in the high alpine mountain landscape.Regardless of the style, Bad Gastein exerts a great attraction architecturally. Hoteliers Evelyn and Ike Ikrath put it in a nutshell: "The building fabric is gigantic. Each hotel is a small world in itself, not a copycat interior monotony. The buildings are high, but stand at a great distance from each other. This sloping density blends into a beautiful green space. It all does our heart so much good!"

The UFO on the mountain, the panoramic glass sphere, marks the highest point of the Ski Amadé area and dates back to the 70s.

Best of Bad Gastein

  • Wally Gastein: fashion of elegant casualness, from classic to contemporary, from cashmere to leather.
  • KWP Chalet and Concept Store: The stylish apartments are located on the car-free Kaiser-Wilhelm-Promenade, the shop is a "living room in the mountains" with the best coffee, wine and souvenirs.
  • Waldhaus Rudolfshöhe: A design dream of peace of mind and loveliness, hidden in the Gastein mountains.
  • Hotel Das Regina: A chic place-to-be with fresh cuisine, art, history, style and the best hosts.

Picture Credits: Gasteinertal TourismusgmbH / Manuel Marktl, Arianna Frickhinger

Scroll to Top