As cold weather takes over, the thermal baths of Styria’s Spa Region beckon for weekends of peace and warmth

Vienna is often called a “Dorf” (a village) albeit a cosmopolitan one – a place where everyone knows everyone else and things move at a slower pace. But it’s still a city, and despite ample greenery in the Prater, Schönbrunn park, or the Vienna Woods, there’s nothing quite like a weekend away to reboot the system. So what better way than 48 hours at a country spa for a good soak, returning home refreshed and cleansed to the core?

Luckily for us, Styria’s thermal region (Thermenregion) is full of places that specialize in just that, each with its own unique design and specialties. We’ve selected five that are just a few hours away, to make sure you spend most of the time relaxing in the hot mineralized pools and sweating out any stress in the saunas and steam baths.


 

spas
©Loisium.com

Loisium Südsteiermark
This is the place to go to really treat yourself. Designed by American architect Steven Holl, the ultra-modern hotel and spa has nothing nostalgic about it, but that doesn’t detract from the celebration of nature, regional cuisine and wine. In addition to classic saunas and steam rooms, it includes modern spa attractions like the Alphasphere and a plethora of popular health and beauty remedies. Most of all, this is a spa for wine lovers – the regional specialties, from the Gelber Muskateller to the Sauvignon Blanc can be discovered (or rediscovered)  during the regular wine workshops. They even offer special wine beauty treatments… Prost!

Good for: Design lovers, couples, sommelier wannabes

Distance from Vienna:
236 km (2.5 hours by car)
Loisium Wine & Spa Resort
Am Schlossberg 1a
8461 Ehrenhausen
+43 3453 28800


 

Heiltherme Bad Waltersdorf

Styria's Spa Region
©Bad Waltersdorf

After recent renovations, this spa has resurfaced with a fresh face and plenty of new reasons to visit. They have trademarked their own treatments called TSM®, Traditional Styrian Medicine, based on the healing properties of apples, pumpkin seed oil (Styria’s “black gold”), herbs, hay flowers and other natural regional products. The breakfast is ample but not fussy (don’t expect a 5-star egg menu) and the hotel restaurant boasts a great view over the gardens and pools, perfect for a sundowner dinner. The many pools vary in temperature, including one at 27 °C for non-shocking aprés sauna cool down (skinny dipping allowed). While the renovations have made the public areas much more snazzy, with a state-of-the-art fitness room, the sauna and pools exclusive to  the hotel guests are less crowded and the whirlpools are really hot. But don’t miss the massage pools in the public baths – they are some of the best. This is not the best place for lounging with a book, though, as the chairs are rudimentary, but there’s a great outdoor bar where you can sit under the stars or sip drinks in the warm pools. Also, while it’s not forbidden, few people bring children. So if you’re seeking peace and quiet, this is a good bet.

Good for: Couples, relaxation, pumpkin seed
oil therapy

Distance from Vienna:
140 km (90 minutes by car)
Heiltherme Bad Waltersdorf
Thermenstraße 111
8271 Bad Waltersdorf
+43 3333/500-1


 

Styria's Spa Region
© Linsberg Asia

Asia Resort Linsberg

The closest to Vienna on this list, Linsberg Asia’s minimalist, Japanese–themed décor and landscaping give this sleek adults-only establishment a modern and polished feel. Its proximity makes it an easy day trip, so keep in mind that the public areas are often crowded on weekends. The best way to experience this spa is to stay at the Hotel Linsberg Asia and reap the benefits of its exclusive use of certain pools, saunas and baths, as well as the treatments and massages on offer. Essentially, it’s a complete package for relaxation, dining at the China Grill (included in the room price) and the option to splurge at the Gault Millau decorated restaurant Das Linsberg.

Good for: Couples, friends
getaway, Asian flair

Distance from Vienna:
70 km (53 minutes by car)
Asia Resort Linsberg
Thermenplatz 1, 2822 Bad Erlach
+43 2627 48000


 

Parktherme – Bad Radkersburg

Styria's Spa Region
© Parktherme Bad Radkersburg/Harald Eisenberger

This spa is so close to the border that, even in town, signs to the spa mingle with those for neighboring Slovenia. Parktherme was named Spa of the Year 2016 for the therapy and health options, among other things. The property’s Sauna Village is extensive, from a 45°C infrared sauna, or a 70°C one with the healing benefits of volcanic rock, to the classic 90-degree Finnish variety. The Sauna Village is also the most attractive part of the spa. One sauna is even in a wine cellar, so guests can enjoy a glass of the regional vino directly afterwards. On a less positive note, despite the recent renovation, the décor is still very 1990s, with the poolside reclining chairs lined up so close together that on a busy day, reading or relaxing at all can be challenging. Nevertheless it has its strengths: It is a favorite for people taking the cure, doing physical therapy or recuperating after an operation. With a newly opened slide, Parktherme is certainly child-friendly, as are both of the restaurants on the property.

Good for: Families, recouperation, Slovenians

Distance from Vienna:
210 km (2.5 hours by car)
Parktherme
Bad Radkersburg
Alfred Merlini-Allee 7
A-8490 Bad Radkersburg
+43 3476 2677-0


 

Styria's Spa Region
© Hundertwasser Architekturprojekt

Rogner Bad Blumau

After you’ve stowed your car, the path takes you around a Celtic Tree Circle, an honor guard of regional varieties like a botanical horoscope, that reveals character through the unfolding year. Here, they spell nature with a capital “N.” Designed by Austrian artist and environmentalist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Bad Blumau fits seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, the playful buildings nestled in the hillsides. There are little firepits beside the outdoor pools, lit at dusk to provide a romantic flicker against the night sky. Somehow, even at full capacity, the spa never seems crowded. The nooks and crannies, winding stairways and long corridors make every lounge chair seem more private. If possible, reserve one of the Kuschelliegen (cuddling beds), shielded by sheer curtains. You can even order chocolate fondue or a cheese plate with wine or bubbly as you relax with a magazine after a session in the sauna. Bliss.

Good for: Couples, cuddling, tree huggers

Distance from Vienna:
130 km (90 minutes by car)
Rogner Bad Blumau
Bad Blumau 100, 8283 Bad Blumau
+43 3383 5100


 

Close to Home

Styria's Spa Region
© Therme Wien

Therme Wien

This surprisingly classy day-spa is an alternative to the weekender. While the extras are less elaborate than the other baths cited here, it is a great place to enjoy sauna and steam close to home. So if you can’t spare a whole weekend, warm up to this in-town variation on the theme.

Good for: Couples, families, when you forgot to make reservations

10., Kurbadstraße 14, Wien
+43-1-68009-9600