Life’s a pill? Six remedies from Bio-Hotel Grafenast in Pill, Austria
Patschen. That’s what the woolly, grey, gnome like footwear is called that the host family Unterlechner casually hand to bemused guests while they check in. A quick look around and it’s clear that this is the indoor footwear du jour at the Bio-Hotel Grafenast (German for “organic hotel”). That’s if you’re not wearing hiking boots, the other footwear du jour here.
This is a homely place. Everyone is on a first name basis and travelers who are sojourning on their own are seated at tables with other guests at meal times (if they so wish, of course). This is a place to de-stress, where you’ll find remedies for all your little niggles through nature, culture and relaxation.
Here are six remedies that we are sure will cure all stress induced modern day ails:
- Mindful Hiking
Following our „quirky hiking ideas“ blog from last week, this fits perfectly: the organic hotel Grafenast has been run by the same family for four generations and the „Path of the Senses“ is Hansjörg Unterlechner’s passion. The father of the current hotel director Peter Unterlechner had a dream: to bring art to the mountain. The traditional Loas-Hike is now lined with 22 works of art, from Candolini’s Labyrinth to Ursula Beiler’s Garden of Stars. The hike is suitable for every skill level and a real experience. Guests can put together their „Jausensackerl“ (Austrian for snack bag) in the morning from the organic breakfast buffet. This hike is a great combo with the hotel’s „Hikable Mountaintours“ package.
- Artful Mountain
The Unterlechner Family are art lovers and it’s evident in every nook and cranny of the hotel. There are exhibitions all year round, curated around the theme of art within habitats. Hansjörg Unterlechner opened an art gallery in Schwaz in 2011, the Grafenast also boasts its own little ski museum. The exhibits range from the turn of the century until the 50s. The large, wooden slats are quite something in comparison to today’s ski gear. Peter Unterlechner loves taking the time to guide guests through the exhibition, his passion and enthusiasm for skiing is infectuous!
- Being and Creating
Many holiday makers want to spend their precious leisure time to learn something new, develop a new skill or simply indulge in a favorite activity such as yoga. The Grafenast offers inspiring courses and workshops all year round. There is the Creative Sewing Workshop for kids, or Painting Mountain Panoramas, or the Creative Natural Resources Workshop where kids get to create fairy tale worlds in the woods. For adults there are mindfulness courses, sculpture workshop or ayurvedic fasting. All these activities are skillfully aligned with the hotel’s philosophy.
- Natural Relaxation
The Grafenast boasts a forest sauna. It fits so beautifully into its environment, built in the style of a traditional yurt with large windows all round allowing unobstructed views of the surrounding trees. There is a room under the roof that’s used for yoga practice. It’s pure relaxation. The „Weekend-Cuddle Package“ includes the unique Hammam peeling and a selection of homegrown and harvested teas from the herbal lounge.
- Sensory Garden
The Unterlechner Family have always prioritized creating inspiring spaces that activate the senses. One such oasis is the Sensory Garden, a haven of quiet and peace. The pond with its sculptures invites to pause and center and the herb garden supplies the kitchen and the tea lounge with a steady supply of fresh herbs. Relax in the hammocks and forget all your worries.
- Culinary Individuality
Yes, we know, vegetarian options are available everywhere these days and most reputable organically run hotels will offer vegan options. But what the Grafenast does will make ever IBS sufferer’s heart skip a beat: just tell the chef what intolerances or allergies you have and they will adapt the menu accordingly, for example for a lactose intolerant guest.
The only remedy you’ll be looking for after a visit at the Grafenast is how to get back there as soon as possible!