Author: Nina Zeller

CultureAndCream Author from Munich As a graduated art historian and archeologist I know the stories of cultures, buildings and paintings - well, most of them. My job as a beauty editor has awaken my love for creams (and tons of nail polishes). I am currently writing about medical and health topics. My favourite activities? Discovering new trends and hot spots while traveling which I would like to share with you.

Hotel Schloss Dürnstein: The Most Beautiful Danube Panorama In Austria

Anyone who likes waterfront accommodation will love Hotel Schloss Dürnstein just outside Vienna. The only five-star hotel in the Wachau and Lower Austria delights guests with its box seat on the Danube as well as its history. Hotel Schloss Dürnstein is located in the small town of Dürnstein of the same name. The baroque building is one of the most traditional houses in the country. Guests can take a seat on antique armchairs in the library, explore the thick walls of the centuries-old wine cellar and spend the night under time-honored chandeliers. The 46 modernized rooms and suites are all individually furnished by the owners, the Thiery family, and are as exclusive as they are charming. Tip: The newly renovated suite number 8 offers plenty of comfort on two floors and a balcony with an unobstructed view of the Danube! Wellbeing concept at Hotel Schloss Dürnstein Calmer waters can be found in the hotel’s pretty inner courtyard in the form of an outdoor pool with a magnificent view of the ruins of Dürnstein Fortress, where Richard the Lionheart was once held prisoner. If the weather doesn’t play ball, the heated indoor pool in the spa area invites you to take a dip. Two saunas and an infrared cabin round off the wellness offer. Another important part of the wellbeing concept at Hotel Schloss Dürnstein: the cuisine. The talented Austrian Nadine Stangl has been in charge of the hotel’s kitchen since the beginning of 2024 and conjures up delicious dishes with a Caribbean twist at award-winning level. Be sure to try it: The homemade pasta with lobster and the tartare from the original carrot! You should definitely enjoy your dinner on the hotel terrace – it is considered the most beautiful on the Danube. Thanks to the adjustable panoramic windows, you can sit there even in bad weather and lose yourself in the view of the flowing waters of the (not always blue) Danube. Wonderful! Excursion in the hotel’s own boat The Wachau, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not only known for its enchanting landscape, but also for its excellent wines. Klaus, the sommelier, and his colleague Christina at Hotel Schloss Dürnstein serve these wines as competently as they do cordially. In addition to the terrace, the castle’s spacious wine cellar is also a good choice, as is one of the hotel’s own boats, which even allow tasting on the water when the weather is fine – fantastic!… weiterlesen

Beatus Wellness And Spa Hotel: Massages And Fondue On Lake Thun

Beatus Wellness and Spa Hotel: Water is considered an elixir of life. After all, the human body consists of up to 70 percent of it, and the mere sight of water automatically makes us calmer, more relaxed. A vacation at the lake is therefore like a freshness cure. You can find it in a particularly lasting way at the wellness and spa hotel on Lake Thun in Switzerland. The Beatus, a five star hotel, is situated in a prime location in the tranquil village of Merligen between Bern and Interlaken – with the longest private direct lake access in Switzerland at a length of 262 meters. It is only a few meters from the 12,000 square meter hotel park to the cool waters of Lake Thun. If you like, you can sunbathe on one of the loungers on the hotel’s own sandy beach under palm trees or in a hammock between 100-year-old beech trees, your feet caressed by the soft grass. Beatus massage boat on Lake Thun In bad weather, the 2,000-square-meter wellness area, including an indoor pool with direct access to the heated brine pool outside, is the ideal retreat. A special feature of the two beautifully designed sauna areas are the changing infusions with essential oils, whose scent mixtures such as “ginger oil mojito” or “7th heaven” were created especially for the Beatus Wellness and Spa Hotel. Always included: the unobstructed view of Lake Thun and the pyramid-shaped local mountain Niesen. Even more impressive is only the special spa menu of the Beatus. In addition to classic back massages, guests can enjoy innovative treatments such as “La Stone” with Merliger marble stones, a “Lomi Lomi” treatment with organic coconut oil, a full-body treatment with pure gold, or – an unforgettable highlight! – a massage in the middle of Lake Thun (possible between June – September). For this, you go from the wellness area onto a wood-paneled boat with a treatment couch, which sails out onto the lake and stops there to relax completely under the skilful hands of a therapist in the pleasant rocking feeling of the lapping waves. Certified bike hotel A perfect complement to the water-affine wellness part of the hotel is the versatile activity program. From guided hikes and bike tours (the Beatus is certified as a Swiss Bike Hotel!) to yoga or Pilates classes and in-house wine tastings, guests can explore both the surrounding landscape and the wonderful cuisine at the Beatus in a variety of ways.… weiterlesen

Provence – Luxury Resort In The Lavender Fields

Provence is a paradise in Europe. If you’re looking for a vacation destination that can be reached without a ten-hour flight, you’ll find it in the south of France. Just under 50 kilometers from Avignon, where lavender fields meet vineyards and cypress trees, is the five-star Relais & Châteaux Resort La Coquillade. The Provence is famous for its endless blue lavender fields. But it offers much more. For example, La Coquillade. It is a hideaway with German-Swiss roots and the charm of a Provençal village. Thus, it was none other than the grandson of the wellknown German writer Hermann Hesse who had the present hotel built on the former stone settlement a few years ago. Where Cistercian monks once lived, La Coquillade founder Andy Rihs built 68 spacious rooms and suites in light colors and with natural materials. My tip: Number 15 is a particularly nice place to stay, with a large terrace, private Jacuzzi and sauna. Those who like it even more intimate, rent the vacation home Bastide Les Vallats belonging to the hotel with mini spa, XXL pool and six bedrooms. It is located 20 minutes drive from La Coquillade, guests can also use all the amenities of the hotel (in low season: 3 nights for 12 people from about 8,000 euros). By the way, the name Coquillade comes from the Provençal word for the crested lark – Coquilladou. Award-winning spa and own cycling center The Provence hotel La Coquillade opened in 2008; ten years later, sons Tobias and Oliver Rihs took over and have since continued to run it in the spirit of their father Andy. Surrounded by rose-covered vines, ocher-colored rocks and old windmills, the hotel in Provence impresses above all with its award-winning 2,000-square-meter spa. It has won several awards as the best French luxury spa. In addition to a fitness room, a large sauna landscape (including a hamam), and an indoor pool, there are also three whirlpools with a view of the vineyards – wonderful! Don’t forget to book it: The 90-minute Signature Ritual treatment, which combines hot stone elements with classic massage techniques. Lavender oil is used to ensure that the skin is also well cared for. What an experience! For facials, in turn, only products from the Swiss brand Nescens Cosmetics are used. Also part of the wellness offer at the hotel are two huge outdoor pools surrounded by an avenue of cypress trees and bathed in the southern French sun.… weiterlesen

Ortner’s Hotel In Bavaria – Longevity Thanks To Thermal Water

Longevity means aging healthily and living longer: More and more people are celebrating their 100th birthday today. How do we achieve longevity? Through a healthy lifestyle. Hotels with holistic medical wellness offers contribute to this. A pioneer in longevity in Lower Bavaria: Ortner’s Resort with its own thermal spring. But what has longevity to do with thermal water? The 100,000 liters of water that gush out of the ground every day in the Lower Bavarian spa town of Bad Füssing are particularly rich in sulfur. A kind of liquid super food for the body thanks to its many healthy minerals. Since 1938, the spring has been family-owned by Ortner’s Resort – and a is longevity guarantor. For example, sulfur water is considered anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving. It is said to preventively protect against burnout, alleviate joint diseases such as rheumatism, help against skin problems and strengthen the cardiovascular system. Even the Romans 2,000 years ago used the natural occurrence of sulfur water to keep fit. Longevity: Thermal water at all levels Particularly pleasant: The thermal water has a constant warm temperature of 37 to 38 degrees. Hotel guests at Ortner’s Resort can therefore enjoy the bathtub flair every day in the modern wellness area. A 400-square-meter water area is available, divided into two large indoor pools, two outdoor pools and, on the roof, a sky thermal whirlpool and a brine infinity pool. The multi-story spa world of the four-star superior hotel was only reopened in 2021, designed by the renowned Munich architect company Landauer. A gem of the complex: the extensive sauna landscape made of natural materials such as stone and glass. The offer ranges from the textile sauna made of stone pine, a pleasantly tempered bio sauna and a steam bath to the event sauna, where regular infusions take place, accompanied by music or short films. The Soleg grotto with salt stones is particularly beneficial for the respiratory tract. Infrared heat cabins ease muscle tension. Welcome in the „Quelle der Gesundheit“ As a perfect complement to the new wellness area, the “Source of Health” area offers physiotherapy and medical massages. Guests also receive innovative facial and relaxing body treatments in the newly designed “Source of Beauty & Balance” beauty spa. Especially recommended: The 65-minute signature treatment called Ortner’s Relaxation Ritual – from a foot bath to a full-body peeling with regional medicinal herbs and a neck massage to relaxation tips for home.… weiterlesen

Unique Sauna & Ski Experiences In The Ötztal Valley

The alternation of hot and cold, along with fragrant infusions and invigorating music: taking a sauna is a wellness ritual and health booster all in one. The new Crystal VAYA Unique Hotel in the Austrian mountain village of Obergurgl offers particularly unique experiences in this respect.  Sauna deluxe. In the 2,000 square meter modern, bright spa area of the chic four-star superior hotel, sauna master Rita creates several infusions daily – from modern to traditional. The names of her “sweat shows” alone promise wonderful wellness moments: Disco Hits, Alpine Life, Caribbean, Irish Pub, Magic, Flower Garden or simply, appropriately, Life is Beautiful. During each infusion, the sauna master swings fan and towel as passionately as skillfully to distribute the heat and give guests a sauna experience in a class of its own with charming explanations and varied music. During each infusion, the sauna master swings fan and towel as passionately as skillfully to distribute the heat and give guests a sauna experience in a class of its own with charming explanations and varied music. Pampering moments on 2,000 square meters In addition to the outdoor Finnish sauna with panoramic view, where Rita shows her expertise, there is a bio sauna, an aroma and brine steam bath, cozy relaxation rooms with water beds and three pools in the spa area. One of them is outdoors with a magnificent view of the mountains of the Ötztal. In the basement of the spa there are also elegantly furnished treatment rooms where products of the high-quality cosmetics brand ESPA are used. With the help of plant extracts, marine ingredients and essential oils, these products ensure soft skin and soothing all-round care. The facials, baths, massages and body rituals on offer (e.g. “ESPA Signature” with, among other things, body peeling and a hot stone massage) are, by the way, not only aimed at teens, expectant moms and women, but also at men. Tip for those who like detox: First a manual lymphatic drainage and then the ESPA Detox experience! Straight design meets mountain panorama The stylish, simple ambience of the entire hotel also contributes to the decelerating effect of a spa treatment at The Crystal VAYA Unique Hotel. Warm wood, lots of glass, leather and modern decorative elements characterize the contemporary, crystalline and cubic architecture in which the almost 100 rooms and suites are designed. All have a magnificent mountain view and most also have a balcony.… weiterlesen

Hotel Klosterbräu – Unique Bike’n’Soul Experience in Tyrol

The Hotel Klosterbräu***** & SPA in the Austrian Tyrol is one of the best wellness hotels in the Alps. But what makes the family-run five-star hotel so unique is not only the large spa area, the wonderful food or the magnificent location in the middle of the Seefeld region. Rather, as a guest, the warm atmosphere, the historic architecture and many other details give you the feeling of being in a very special place. How fitting that the Klosterbräu slogan is „Younique”. The Klosterbräu is more than a hotel. On the one hand, there is the ambience. Most of the rooms are lived in, eaten in, and even have a sauna in walls that were built in 1516. In the cellar, for example, where grain was once stored, you can now dine by candlelight or sample the abundance of delicious wines at tastings. The monks’ barren cells, on the other hand, have been transformed into luxurious wellness suites with their own sauna, private beer fountain, candlelit fireplace and cozy reading lounge. Centuries-old frescoes in the Klosterbräu The special atmosphere of the former monastery can still be felt when walking through the impressive monastery hallway. The walls are adorned with centuries-old frescoes that tell the stories of the origins of the Seefeld church, and in the evening the red-carpeted hallway is illuminated by over 500 candles! A wonderful, time-honored feeling, which host Alois Seyrling also conveys during his regular welcome tours. Generally speaking, the Klosterbräu is a hotel with a soul, now run by the sixth generation. The staff is virtually part of the family, doing their job with a lot of dedication and cordiality. Not put on, but honestly. The down-to-earth hospitality of the owner family Seyrling and their team goes beyond the aperitif several times a week, including a guided tour of the house. The varied activity program seeks to be close to guests and offers many great extras – from guided hiking tours, Hatha Vinyasa yoga (in the former refectory of the monastery, by the way!), aqua fitness, forest walks to cooking classes for children and pony rides. Cycling tours with stopover Especially recommended are also the bike tours with fitness trainer Thomas. Born in Wuppertal, he steers you confidently through the valleys and forests around Seefeld. A region that has already hosted two Winter Olympics and is known for its well-developed cross-country ski trails in the cold season and for wonderful hiking and biking routes from spring to fall.… weiterlesen

Zillertal: Discover The Most Beautiful Places Around The VAYA Resort

A mix of adventure and relaxation on vacation usually makes for the best stays. After all, excursions broaden one’s horizons and create unforgettable experiences that can then be reviewed at leisure – preferably in the wellness area. The Zillertal, a valley in the Austrian Tyrol, just two hours away from Munich, is the ideal destination for such a successful break from everyday life, where relaxation and thrills can be wonderfully combined. For action lovers, there are hiking and biking trails in summer and winter, and thanks to three-thousand-meter peaks, there are even ski slopes that can be skied all year round. Room with a view The most beautiful starting point for exploring the diverse region: the resort VAYA Zillertal in the tranquil community of Aschau. The modern four-star superior hotel, which opened in 2021, is within walking distance of the train station, but you live there in nice quiet thanks to the slightly elevated hillside location. This also allows the great view of the Tyrolean Alps from all 82 rooms! Each of them scores with a balcony or terrace, and some suites also have a free-standing bathtub and their own sauna. But you can relax not only in your room, but also in the 300-square-meter spa area. This is divided over two floors (one sauna, one pool) and impresses less with its spaciousness than with its appealing furnishings. After all, nature plays the leading role at VAYA Zillertal. This is evident in the charming alpine-chic interior with natural materials and muted tones, as well as in the hotel’s excellent regional cuisine. As part of the half-board service, chef Maximilian Fankhauser, who learned and perfected his kitchen craft at the Haubenrestaurant Landgasthof Linde, creates a fine five-course menu every evening. His range extends from international and vegetarian dishes to vegan variations and traditional Tyrolean cuisine and Austrian home cooking. The “most active valley in the world“ During the day, the hotel’s surroundings provide variety. After all, the Zillertal is the longest valley in Austria and bears the epithet “most active valley in the world”. Winter sports fans particularly appreciate the nearby Hochzillertal-Hochfügen-Spieljoch ski area, to which a shuttle bus runs not far from the VAYA Resort. The Hintertux Glacier at an altitude of over 3,500 meters is even available all year round for piste adventures. Another 125 kilometers of cross-country ski trails invite you to glide through the snow. In addition, there is a total of 45 km of perfectly groomed toboggan runs, a large part of which are also illuminated in the evening.… weiterlesen

Prien at Lake Chiemsee – Where Castles meet Star Cuisine

Visit lake Chiemsee. Some places in the world are like movie sets: surreal and particularly impressive. This includes the tranquil region of Chiemgau in Upper Bavaria with its opulent Herrenchiemsee Castle. However, all that gold, exquisite marble and luxurious stucco are not the brainchild of a Hollywood director, but owed to the not entirely uncontroversial fairy-tale king Ludwig II of Bavaria. He acquired the island in the middle of Lake Chiemsee in the 19th century as a residence and had the stately New Herrenchiemsee Palace built there. Surrounded by water Unlike the French original – Versailles Palace – the imposing building is surrounded by water. It is located in the middle of Lake Chiemsee on Herreninsel, where neither cars nor bicycles are allowed. The journey is therefore exclusively by boat, for example from the pier in Prien am Chiemsee. This makes a visit to the magnificent building a unique experience, especially since you can even get there by horse-drawn carriage instead of on foot.. This is open almost all year round for guided tours. In summer, you can also enjoy exclusive evening events outside the regular visiting hours, such as the Herrenchiemsee Festival in the impressive Hall of Mirrors! Another seasonal and charming spectacle is a ride on the historic steam streetcar from the pier to the Prien train station. The two-kilometer ride in the green vehicle from 1887 takes you past nice little cafés, beautiful old house facades and modern boutiques. Yachthotel at Lake Chiemsee: oasis of peace If you want to continue listening to the waves of Lake Chiemsee and still live centrally, you should stay at the Yachthotel. The four-star hotel is close to the town center of Prien and yet away from the hustle and bustle, surrounded by woods and meadows. A large sunbathing lawn, two restaurants, a spa with indoor pool and direct access to the lake make the hotel an ideal place for those seeking peace and quiet. Art and cuisine Due to its idyllic location, the yacht hotel is also a good starting point for hiking and biking tours as well as cultural excursions, for example to the nearby gallery in the old town hall of Prien, where you can admire the naturalistic art of the Chiemsee painters as well as special exhibitions. Also worth a visit: the small village of Aschau in Chiemgau. Just under half an hour’s drive from Prien amt Lake Chiemsee, this climatic health resort has its own castle, a picturesque landscape and one of Germany’s most prominent chefs.… weiterlesen

Parkhotel Mondschein, a Design Oasis in Bolzano

Mondschein means moonlight and that sounds like cloudless summer nights, flickering candles and a romantic mood. The fact that the term has also been associated with retro design, urban flair and yoga sessions since May 2022 is due to the grand re-opening of the eponymous Parkhotel Mondschein in the center of Bolzano. The historic building of the Parkhotel Mondschein recently shines on the outside with a façade overgrown with ivy to the Art Nouveau balconies. Inside, shades of green, gray, and brown create a pleasant midcentury-era charm and evoke the surrounding mountains of the Dolomites, which can be admired from the total of 76 rooms and suites. Depending on your needs, different sizes are available – from 15m² petite or single rooms to 45m² suites. Once Bolzano’s first guesthouse The impressive house with its iconic white shutters and elegant stucco decorations is a listed building. It was built in 1330 as the first inn in Bolzano and was enlarged in 1890 with Belle Epoque-style additions to provide space for more guests to relax. The extensive renovation work was designed by the interior design firm Biquadra from Merano under the direction of Christina Biasi-von Berg. Special attention was paid to coherence, minimalism and subtle elegance. Materials such as wood and velvet, as well as wide corridors, high ceilings and stucco ornamentation, pay homage to the building’s long history. The furniture is dominated by clean lines and high-quality dark wood, along with comfortable upholstered beds and classic white lampshades. The original herringbone parquet flooring has been retained but refurbished, while the bathrooms have undergone a complete makeover. But here, too, the motto is: less is more. Elegant white tiles, frameless mirrors and retro-style silver fixtures blend seamlessly with the rest of the design. Parkhotel Mondschein: minimalism meets elegance To create a nice contrast to the retro design, the South Tyrolean owner family Dissertori also commissioned two artists: as part of an artist-in-residency program, they created paintings and photographs inspired by the house. Another centerpiece of the four-star hotel is the extensive palm-lined park. It is also open to external guests – whether for a sundowner, a sumptuous breakfast or a strong coffee for in between. Where life in the rest of Italy takes place on a piazza, in Bolzano it now does so in the leafy park of the Hotel Mondschein. “We wanted to create a place where people could come to rest and take time out.… weiterlesen

Healing Clay Therapy at Hotel BollAnts in the German Nahe Valley

Products and procedures for beauty and well-being are many. From creams with retinol or hyaluron to minimally invasive treatments or holistic health cures. A rather lesser-known therapy, as simple as it is original, is offered by the idyllically located Hotel BollAnts – Spa im Park in Bad Sobernheim near the city of Mainz. Healing clay – There, in the middle of the green Nahe valley, they specialize in precisely this natural raw material. As part of Felke Med, a natural healing process designed to revive body and mind, it’s all about baths and treatments with clay. Even the ancient Romans swore by it! The discoverer of healing earth therapy in modern times is considered to be the naturopath Adolf Just (1859-1936). The German pastor Emanuel Felke adopted the booming concept at the end of the 19th century and made it known beyond the borders in his time. He even went down in history as the “clay pastor“. Healing clay: holistic effect What is so special about healing clay? The natural ingredients it contains, such as minerals and trace elements, are said to strengthen the immune system, improve blood flow, and even relieve inflamed joints and skin conditions such as acne. When the weather is good, you take your clay bath at BollAnts quite unpretentiously in the open air in small pits filled with the brown beauty elixir. Immediately afterward, you can wash off the earth in the Nahe River, which flows along the spa garden. It is a lasting as well as unique experience! In bad weather and in winter, hop into the herbal steam bath of the spacious indoor wellness area instead and apply the healing clay there. Soft skin and a wonderfully light feeling of weightlessness are the benefits. After a Felke treatment, the rule is actually: drink a lot and rest. Not so easy to do, since the 3,500-square-meter bollant.SPA offers other wellness highlights such as two pools – one of them with a panoramic view of the valley and the large sunbathing lawn! -several saunas and an exclusive retreat with Far East flair: the Prana Spa (for an extra charge). Aerial yoga meets healing sound In Hinduism, prana means life force or energy. In keeping with this, the 220-square-meter facility includes a sauna, a sunbathing area and a sun terrace, as well as aerial yoga towels. The feeling of weightlessness after the Felke treatment intensifies as you sway back and forth in the colorful fabric.… weiterlesen
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