Whether you want to get away for a short relaxing spa break or are looking to mix and match healthy activities, a mountain getaway is the perfect setting for a wellness retreat. Together with my brother Kai I went on a little road trip to discover a magical secret spot in East Tyrol: the Gradonna Mountain Resort in Kals am Großglockner.

img_4765Forget about the overcrowded ski resorts and touristy locations such as Kitzbühel, Saalbach-Hinterglemm or Ischgl. If you are looking for quiet and peaceful surrounding, untouched nature and total relaxation, the Gradonna Mountain Resort in Austria is your place to be.

img_4784The name Gradonna comes from the Romance language and means “big, hard rocks”. The Gradonna Mountain Resort Châlets & Hotel really is located in a place of power. The healthy location is a little above the mountain climbers’ village of Kals, on the edge of the Hohe Tauern National Park, surrounded by unspoilt countryside where countless herbs flourish.

img_4260The Gradonna Mountain Resort Châlets & Hotel lies at a healthy altitude of 1,350 metres, looking out on an “invigorating” panorama of the Großglockner range. You can feel the mountains doing you good.

It is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders as well as hikers. Nestled in the breathtaking mountain landscape of East Tyrol, the green resort has unobstructed views of Austria’s highest peak – the mighty Großglockner. The green hotel was designed to resemble a mountain village, meaning guests have no need for a car. At Gradonna tradition and modernity coexist in harmony, the resort has a modern design built using traditional Alpine materials including linen, loden, spruce, and pine creating a relaxing, luxurious, and welcoming environment for guests. All the chalets have been situated to provide incredible views of the mountains. Gradonna is set at the base of East Tyrol’s largest ski resort, Kals-Matrei. If down hill skiing isn’t your idea of fun, there are cross-country ski trails and toboggan tracks at the resort.

img_4261Sustainable Design and Architecture

Nominated for the State Prize for Architecture in 2014 for tourism and leisure, listed as one of the top 1,000 hotels in the world and one of the Geo Saison “100 most beautiful hotels in Europe”: The Gradonna Mountain Resort Châlets & Hotel sets new standards in quality vacation.

img_4887In spite of the size of the resort it is built on the particular value: sustainability. The facades are clad with wooden shingles. Pine was chosen for the bedrooms because it demonstrably creates a pleasant atmosphere, enhanced quality of sleep and wellbeing. With wooden chip and pellet boiler and their own spring water Gradonna generates almost all of its own heating and water. During construction local wood was used and even the bread plates come from marble mined during construction.

img_4806The materials and colors of nature also characterize the interior to the last detail. Native spruce , pine, linen and loden create a good living environment. Kals marble and wooden sculptures give the halls an indigenous and simultaneously exclusive touch. All rooms have a separate relaxation area with mountain or valley views , a balcony or terrace. The 42 Châlets (4 to 8 persons) have spacious living-kitchen areas with fireplace, four bedrooms and a panoramic bath overlooking the mountains, a sun terrace, a small private spa, and a little atrium with lounge furniture.


img_4593Standard Double Rooms

The owners of Gradonna Mountain Resort have put a lot of thought into creating a stay that offers wellness and relaxation in huge doses. Upon entering the room, the fresh wood smell will hit all your senses at once. A beautiful touch of natural colors was poured into the Scandinavian style interior design of this luxury resort. Our 30 sq m Classic Double Room had jaw-dropping views!


Breakfast & Dining

Apart from offering world-class spa and sauna experiences, Gradonna Mountain Resort also boosts a sophisticated restaurant which serves delicious and nutritionally sound cuisine. Their bar and restaurant reveal a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy the peaceful surroundings.



img_4441Our opinion

The hotel, with its 40 metre-high tower, surrounded by 41 chalets, is laid out like a mountain village. Its clean lines, which predominantly use wood and stone, and generous glass frontages, are far removed from the clichéd image of an alpine village. The atmosphere in the spacious rooms is dictated by pine, larch, linen, loden wool and Kals marble. The Gradonna Mountain Resort is one of Europe’s 10 best mountain hotels.

The Gradonna Mountain Resort is the perfect place for all mountain and winter sports enthusiasts. The hotel is a place of power and lets you experience the magic of the surrounded mountains – a magical nature experience starts just outside the front door. Whether guided hikes with national park rangers, gentle mountain tours or alpine powder fun, there is something for everyone.

Especially impressive is the attention to detail – from the modern & minimalist décor to the incredible 3000 sq m wellness area. Make sure to check out our review on their luxury spa!

_dsc1706The service is excellent and we totally digged the car-free atmosphere. Located in the resort is a small Osttiroler deli, which covers all the requirements of everyday use and moreover offers a variety of souvenirs and local specialties. Furthermore, guests can rent the latest leisure and sports equipment at the sports shop “Alpine Sport Gratz”. All in all, the Gradonna meets every need and no wish is unfulfilled. – Also, the eco-friendly journey is pretty neat – the shuttle to and from the Lienz railway station is free.


img_4350So, if you are looking for a peaceful mountain getaway, not too far from Munich (a 3-hour drive) – this is your place to be!


photo credits: V’s World

My brother and I were kindly hosted by the Gradonna Resort. Thoughts and opinions are our own and we also paid for our own amenities including the spa & renting some winter gear.