A short half-hour drive from Innsbruck, nestled at the foot of the majestic Bavarian Alps, Schloss Elmau sits in a stunning valley with flowing rivers, snow-capped mountains and fairytale meadows. While the scenery evokes a rustic, back-to-nature aesthetic, the castle itself is geared up for full-on luxury and relaxation.
As the site of the 2015 G7 summit, the hotel has staff who are used to handling VIPs. During our stay, a global think-tank of physicists was using one of the conference rooms for its annual retreat (well, if you’re going to crack Grand Unification Theory, you might as well do it somewhere glorious).
The original building is a century-old castle, a national monument built by the philosopher Dr Johannes Müller. The 123 suites are enormous, with hardwood floors and incredible views. There’s also a concert hall where classical musicians and jazz stars come to perform year-round.
The Retreat is a newer building with 47 equally vast rooms, a beautiful yoga pavilion, several indoor and outdoor pools and tennis courts, which is why Schloss Elmau is ranked as one of the best spas in the world.
The 10 restaurants here mean you’re unlikely to go wanting. There’s the cosy fondue restaurant, tasty health food at the spa, classic Germanic meat-and-potatoes fare, as well as pop-up restaurants from around the world. There’s even the Smokers Lounge.
If fitness is your thing, there are miles of spectacular cross-country mountain trails for hiking in summer and skiing in winter. And the yoga retreats with yoga star Patrick Broome attract devotees from all over Europe.
Right on time
INN / MUC
While you’re Out There
Don’t forget your hiking boots, the area around the property is perfect for hikes and the scenery is spectacular. When you get back after your walk, treat yourself to a pedicure at the hotel’s delightful spa.