- Family Friendly
- Going Solo
- Thermal Facilities
- Kids club
- Personal training
- Pool – Outdoor
Just 100km south of Munich and 1000m above sea level is Schloss Elmau, tucked deep in the calm of the Bavarian Alps. A sanctuary, framed by dramatic peaks, whispering forests and rushing streams.
A spa retreat & cultural hideaway, a family escape & romantic haven. A place to experience unbeatable music, literature & poetry, to feast on outstanding food & service – to relax, breathe deep and discover.
Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa
In the award-winning spa you’ll find grand yet intimate relaxations rooms with open fireplaces and floor to ceiling windows offering breathtaking views.
Features include a rooftop terrace a spacious sole steambath & saunas with great view of the mountains.
- Cold plunge pool
- Infinity saltwater pool
- Relaxation room & terrace
- Tea lounge with open fire
- Spa lounge & restaurant
- Infinity lap pool
- Relaxation room with open fire
- Treatment rooms
The hotel’s new all-suite ‘Retreat’ boasts large rooms with a contemporary tilt: floor-to-ceiling windows, sweeping terraces and furniture by Patricia Urquiola and Andrew Martin.
Food is a highlight at the retreat. La Salle is the main eatery and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Buffet tables heave under an assortment of astonishingly good hot and cold gourmet fare.
Alternatively, there’s first-rate Italian fare at Fidelio, decadently cheesy fondues at Kaminstube, or foam, edible flowers and fancy at Luce d’Oro, Schloss Elmau’s two Michelin-starred eatery.
Facilities and Activities
- Taijiquan and Qigong
- Fitness gym
- Concerts / Readings
- Bookstore – largest hotel bookstore in world.
- Gourmet Cuisine
- Winter sports – skiing, snowshoe, cross country skiing, skating
- Summer sports – Nordic walking, tennis, archery, e-mountain bike, hiking, golf
For the Kids
Edutainment – Educational weekly programmes (taught in German and English) designed for kids. Programmes include film workshops, science labs, music academy, literature, chess academy etc.
Kids creative – Indoor/outdoor 2 hrs programme offered daily for kids aged 3-5. Activities vary day-to-day, but designed to inspire children with ages, sports, arts and crafts, dancing, singing and experiments.
Family spa – Indoor pool in Schloss and outdoor pool at the Retreat.
Winter sports – Skiing lessons, snow skates, snow scooters, ice skating, sledding, igloo workshop, dog sledding, snow tubing, geocaching, ice sculpting.
Summer sports – Tennis, golf, archery, trampoline, swimming, ping-pong, chess, soccer, baseball, geocaching, mountain biking, camp fires, archery, alpine hiking adventures, rope climbing in Gorge over mountain streams, kayaking, water polo.
From Innsbruck Airport – 45 minutes drive. Taxis charge €100 for up to three and €110 for four persons.
From Munich Airport – 1 hour 30 minutes drive. Taxis charge €200 for up to three and €220 for four persons.
The train from Munich to Klais via Garmisch-Partenkirchen takes about 1hr and 30 minutes. Trains leave every hour. One-way tickets cost about €16.
The train from Innsbruck to Klais via Mittenwald takes about 45 minutes.
Schloss Elmau, located in the lesser-trodden parts of southeast Germany (45 minutes from Innsbruck airport) is one of the swishest family-friendly hotels in Europe.
A wickedly indulgent spa-hotel-cum-castle with a roster of cultural events to rival the Royal Albert Hall, it’s not uncommon for famous authors to drop by, and when it’s not hosting the literati, presidents and prime ministers (the G7 summit has been held here) it’s the ideal spa retreat for fresh-air-seeking families.
Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa
Voted ‘best family spa’ by Tatler several years in a row, Schloss Elmau is home to four individual spas (three are adults-only and the other one is designed for families).
The main ‘Hideaway Spa’ is spread over three floors with a 25m-rooftop pool, a 35ºC outdoor saltwater pool, a dozen treatment rooms and endless places to flop out next to a crackling log fire. The ‘Family Spa’ has a large indoor pool filled with inflatables for kids to bounce off plus a spa menu tailored towards little-ones, and lastly, the snazzy new Retreat’s ‘Shantigiri’ spa has a similar treatment list to the Hideaway Spa but benefits from a more intimate, exclusive vibe. To top things off, there’s a vast hammam in the bowels of the main hotel.
Like the rest of Schloss Elmau, the spa is smashingly well-organised, and has treatments to suit all types, so once you get your head round the sprawling facilities, you’re in for a real treat.
For anyone who spends too much time sitting at a desk, the ‘physio relax massage’ is a must. Spa Director Dr König developed this full-body massage to treat patients suffering from burnout. It’s based on neurophysiological studies by the Touch Research Institute in America, which indicate that certain massage techniques lower the concentration of stress hormones and stimulate the release of endorphins.
Expect long slow massage strokes to start with, followed by gentle stretching techniques, shaking and oscillation of the major joints and intensive massage of the legs and feet. In other words, it will get the blood circulating, ease aches and pains and leave you feeling 10 years younger.
The Signature Facial Relax includes a deep cleanse, exfoliation, custom active ingredients and extracts, a soothing face and hand massage, hydrating face mask and finishing treatment and a relaxing heat pack for the shoulders and neck. You’ll also receive a personal consultation on the Signature Skin Care Series.
Make no mistake, this isn’t a dainty Bavarian boutique hotel. It’s big, bold, and following a fire in 2005, built to last. Heavy doors, wide hallways, swathes of wood, glass and limestone – it’s all very Germanic and functional but there’s also a distinctly Asian vibe. Think earthy colour schemes and cushions with elephant motifs.
We were assigned a junior suite in the main house, which comprised two generous bedrooms, a large bathroom with a deep round tub, a walk-in closet for stashing snow gear, and best of all, it had a lovely aspect overlooking Bavaria’s Wetterstein mountains – most enjoyed from the bath.
Note: The hotel’s new all-suite ‘Retreat’ boasts larger rooms with a contemporary tilt: floor-to-ceiling windows, sweeping terraces and furniture by Patricia Urquiola and Andrew Martin.
Food is another highlight. In La Salle, the main eatery (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner), buffet tables heave under an assortment of astonishingly good hot and cold gourmet fare. Trust us, the fresh-baked German breads like Bauernbrot, vollkornbrot, pfundskurbrot are well worth getting up for. This is where most couples with children opt to eat, and happily, there’s enough space in the restaurant for it to never to feel noisy or hectic, and the service is excellent.
Alternatively, there’s first-rate Italian fare at Fidelio, decadently cheesy fondues at Kaminstube, or foam, edible flowers and fancy at Luce D’Oro, Schloss Elmau’s Michelin-starred eatery.
Facilities and Activities
There’s no limit to the activities on offer at Schloss Elmau. In winter, skiing is an option: the hotel shuttles guests to and from the pistes at nearby Kranzberg (15 minutes away) but really there’s so much to do within the hotel’s grounds, you needn’t bother.
There’s a tobogganing slope and ice rink on site, for starters. Further afield, spectacularly pretty nature trails criss-cross the area, many of which lead to century-old Bavarian inns sporting checked tablecloths, wood burners and a wonderfully warm welcome (Elmauer Alm and Gasthaus Ferchensee are both within an hour’s walk from the hotel).
In summer, there’s yoga, Nordic walking, tennis and archery.
A calendar of classical concerts runs throughout the year (the hotel has its own concert hall and owns seven Steinway pianos), so make sure you catch one while you’re there and settle in for an evening of culture.