It was love at first sight. Even today, I can say that the hotel Gradonna Mountain Resort **** s, at 1350 meters above sea level, is one of the most beautiful hotels that I have ever had the opportunity to visit. I was here for the first time in June when, despite being in the mountains, temperatures were climbing above 30 degrees. The green color of trees and alpine meadows prevailed all-round, complemented by the gray shades of majestic hills where you could still see some white tongues of snow. I came here for the second time in early December. The weather was not very favorable when the hill with the hotel complex appeared on the left side of the road, so it looked like someone had stolen its colors…
The natural lake in which we bathed in the summer was covered with white duvets. If anything, the lake could only be surmised thanks to the railing we held onto during the summer heats, taking courage to dive into the cold water. Now, the iron railing was sticking out of the snow.
The terrace on which we had breakfast in June was empty. Somehow, it was quieter everywhere, just the snow-covered hills casting their reflection on the hotel windows.
However, the hotel was pleasantly warm, the natural decoration was complemented by Christmas decorations, which heralded the approaching Christmas.
Compared to summer there was another change as well – one of the busiest parts of the hotel has now become the ski rental – a well equipped one. The Hotel Gradonna has the huge advantage that as soon as you get out of it, you can put your skis on your feet right away, go downhill into the valley to the ski lift, and then enjoy a skiing paradise all day – Kals-Matrei – more than 40 km of slopes of varying difficulty. 14 modern cable cars and ski lifts, plus a new 6-seater lift with heated seats and a weather shield are available. The name of the ski resort comes from combining the names of the two villages at the opposite sides of the hill. The advantage of skiing in East Tyrol is mainly that the slopes are not overcrowded, however, the disadvantage is a relatively large distance – from Vienna almost 500 km.
The advantageous ski ticket „ski)hit” is valid for up to 66 lifts and cable cars in East Tyrol and Carinthia, children under 6 years of age are free, at 6-18 years of age, they have a 50% discount.
More information about the ski resort: here
Current ski pass prices: here
It is worth to go up the Cimaross hill (2621 m), just below the top there is the restaurant Adler lounge, and as its name suggests, in nice weather, one can observe the surrounding mountain peaks including Grossglockner, the highest peak of Austria, like an eagle in flight. And those who do not like skiing can at least go sledging, play curling or just wander around and admire the winter landscape.
If you are hungry, you can just ski down to the hotel, have a good meal (a light lunch is served between 1 pm and 4 pm) and if you don’t want to go back to the slope, you can enjoy the great wellness. Although the natural lake sleeps its winter sleep, the heated outdoor pool is open in winter as well. Never mind that your slippers and dressing gown will freeze a bit outside, the reward is an amazing view of the majestic hills.
In addition to the main building, the hotel complex is complemented by 41 log houses – chalets, scattered throughout the surrounding countryside. They have a similar design to the hotel, which is a unique example of design and strictly ecological housing. A pleasant atmosphere is created by the combination of local materials: spruce and pine wood, flax and woollen cloth. And for those who are still unable to relieve stress and suffer from sleep disorders, certified sleep counsellors (Schlaf-Sommelieren) are available.
Every year, the exclusive Connoisseur-Circle travel magazine evaluates with its readers 250 hotels from all over Austria. Gradonna won first place in the “Best Design Hotel” category for the second time. Come and see for yourself!
More information about the hotel: here
About 60 km from this resort, there is Sillian a Ski Resort and the Sporthotel Sillian**** that is also part of the Schultz Group. Read more about it in this article: Sillian – Attractive Skiing in East Tyrol
This trip was organized in cooperation with Österreich Werbung, thank you.
Text: © Copyright Ingrid, Travelpotpourri
Fotos: © Copyright Ingrid, Travelpotpourri + photos No. 12, 13, 14 and 16: © www.schultz-ski.at