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Hotel Nesslerhof****S, Großarl

We had to take quite a number of turnings before we reached the Großarl valley in Austria’s Salzburg province and finally came to its main town of the same name, really more of a mountain village perched 920 metres above sea-level.

With each metre gained the rest of the world seemed a bit further away and our everyday lives paled into insignificance as we gazed at the peaks, clouds, trees, and flowers and inhaled the wonderfully clear air.

We arrived at the Nesslerhof to meet Christina Neudegger, its owner and director. She and her husband Hermann took a brave decision to convert a hotel in this marvellous location, combining implementation of their own ideas with fulfilment of a long-cherished wish. The 4-star de luxe hotel Nesslerhof finally opened in December 2012.

Planning the hotel centred on two particular considerations. First, its interior should reflect the natural world surrounding it in the form of the materials, colours, and shapes emanating from the mountains, forests and meadows. Secondly, the Neudeggers heeded their innermost convictions and gut instincts and asked themselves constantly what they themselves expected of a hotel when they were on holiday.

The result is a harmonious atmosphere that only develops when everyone is completely clear about the overall objective. One detects the unmistakable hand of Christina and Hermann Neudegger in the interior design, the service, the cuisine, all the hotel’s special features, and in thousands of details. She knew exactly how she wanted the interior of the hotel to look. Friends warned her that the choice of fabrics was the most difficult part, but “it wasn’t like that for us”, she said, “it was love at first sight for the fine fabrics we chose - and we still love them”.

She went on to say that “the names of the two collections which appealed to me the most were Cool & Cosy and Mountain deluxe; they manage simultaneously to describe our hotel’s style. Our main themes are nature, cosiness, well-being and serenity”.

Cool & Cosy are the fabrics with which we demonstrate our bond with alpine traditions - in loden qualities that have long been used in the mountains in designs and colours reflecting the natural world. Mountain deluxe refines the theme by adding a touch of luxury here and there. We ended up with loden, velvet and weaves of linen, wherever possible in natural materials and in many intricately detailed designs.

The hotel has gained many regular visitors in the short time since it opened. Often it’s been details that have captured their hearts, such as the fresh flower arrangements all over the hotel, the blog on the website that’s always up to date, or the newborn foal. There’s no trace of alpine kitsch. What one does find, though, is a relaxed approach to nature and a laid-back combination of the traditional and the modern.

Images from the Nesslerhof:

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