BERGLAND HOTEL SÖLDEN
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ARCHITECTURE / DESIGN
Wimreiter & Partner GmbH
Built in the 1940s, when few foreign travelers visited Austria’s Ötztal Valley, Bergland Hotel Sölden went on to gain a reputation as one of Sölden’s best hotels. But in recent times it grew tired and unwieldy, a victim of its years, and its aging clientele stopped reflecting the region’s reputation for active outdoor living. Sigi Grüner, a trained carpenter and one of Austria’s most successful deep-snow and synchronized skiers, took over the hotel in 1999. Unlike previous owners, he realized that the hotel needed to change considerably. So instead of opting for another refurbishment, he ordered the complete demolition of the old building.
The result was the new Bergland Hotel Sölden – an 86-room resort that is superior to its predecessor in terms of construction and perfectly equipped to allow active visitors to explore Tyrol’s ski slopes, cycle routes and hiking trails, whatever the time of year. Local craftspeople were brought in to help with the construction, which has more than 1,000 sqm of terraces clinging to its cream and slate-grey exterior. Near the covered main entrance, a 270m-long diagonal lift carries guests and their equipment up to the main skiing and biking area. From here the hotel blends seamlessly with the backdrop of pointy, snow-laden peaks.
Interiors respect the Alpine setting too, with the airy rooms and suites arranged into eight categories and designed according to the age old principles of geomancy – sometimes described as the European equivalent of feng shui. Visionary designers from Austrian interiors agency köck+bachler GmbH used old local materials like larch wood, natural stone and loden as the foundation, and then added contemporary stylistic elements like shimmering glass dividers and sparkly white washbowls to create spaces as fresh as the mountain air.
The hotel’s fifth floor hosts the vast Sky Spa, whose indoor pool and panoramic outdoor hot tub are filled with rejuvenating Grander water, which is said to energize the body. Both pools have views across the mountains. In the treatment areas, flickering fireplaces ease the mind while massages, body wraps and essential oils work their magic on guests’ aching muscles. Further spaces around the hotel invite guests to ‘actively relax’, including the 1,200 sqm of outdoor terraces. The Active Terrace has its own climbing tower, while the expansive Relaxation Terrace is designed for gentle yoga. Finally there’s the Refreshing Terrace, connected directly to the Finnish sauna, providing space for visitors to cool down and reawaken. Even eating is part of the hotel’s healthy, active ethos at the Hotel Restaurant, speckled with alcoves, where food can be tailored to help those with food intolerances. The poolside Sky Bar, lit by hanging, O-shaped lights, specializes in herbal teas and healthy raw snacks. Other options include Buggls Stuba, serving traditional Austrian dishes in an authentic Alpine setting; wine & dine, a gourmet restaurant only open in winter; the Wine cellar, with a focus on Austrian winegrowers; and the Cigar lounge.