With 70 lavish bedrooms, amazing views, an incredible spa, award-winning cuisine and one of the best wine cellars in Austria, the SPA HOTEL Jagdhof ticks all the right boxes
A wellness holiday resort should not just be a purpose built hub that takes you away from everyday life, but one which allows you to relax yet still appreciate the home’s cultural offerings. SPA-HOTEL Jagdhof in Neustift in the Austrian Tyrol has a special bond with its Alpine homeland and our senior health reporter Sabi Phagura went along in a bid to absorb every drop of it.
Stepping inside the emerald and red coloured building that is SPA-HOTEL Jagdhof, you could easily be mistaken for thinking you had gone back in time. From the reception staff to the owners, almost everyone working here is clad in traditional clothing. The outfit called ‘dirndl’ originated as the uniform for Austrian servants in the 19th century and was a more hardy form of the pretty dress donned by locals nowadays.
Many of Austria’s females working in the hospitality industry in Austria and Bavaria wear the dirndl which is usually made up of a bodice, blouse, full skirt and apron and, to my mind, a rather charming formality.
If the dirndl doesn’t make everyone feel at home, then the love in the form of bright red plump cushions pumped into heart shapes, coupled with the jolly atmosphere, most certainly will. Even my duvet was cleverly shaped into a heart. Try creating that one at home!
Talking of which, this 5-star Relais & Châteaux SPA-Hotel?feels very much like a home than a hotel. Located smack in the heart of the Tyrol and surrounded by the majestic Stubai mountains, the Jagdhof began life as a small café in 1977 run by Leo and Margot Pfurtscheller.
Today 39 years later – and taken over by their son and daughter-in-law Armin and Christina – it remains very much a family affair. I got a real cosy feel as I sipped my welcome drink and took a tour of the place. The wood panelled ceilings, walls adorned with decorative antiques, fine fabric covers placed over furniture dotted here and there, and a huge open fire gave off the right ambience for a hotel that promises total relaxation.
Such is the laid back and welcoming atmosphere that it came as no surprise that the 70-bedroomed hotel has a huge proportion of repeat guests – some have been returning, requesting the same room, for more than 20 years.
As for food, every meal is a delight. The gourmet breakfast, consisting of milk products from Tyrolean farmers, cereals and breads from local mills and my go-to breakfast staple – eggs prepared a-la-minute – is served until 11 am. This suited me just fine. I like to earn my food so as not to feel guilty about over indulging. Luckily I was able to squeeze in a couple of fitness classes offered to guests first thing in the morning.
The daily newsletter ‘Jagdhöfler am Morgen’ informed me of when the classes were on as well as giving me useful news of the day and hiking options. Instructor Julia Hoch teaches aqua, yoga, Pilates and back-strengthening classes and she definitely put me through some serious paces each time I turned up.