Gradonna Mountain Resort, Kals, Austria: a natural spectacle
Gradonna – the very name sounds like a force of nature. In fact, it is a 4-star superior resort named after a nearby prehistoric archaeological site.
"Party animals be warned, this is not the place for you",says a smiling Martha Schultz, co-owner of the Schultz Group, which runs the Gradonna and a number of other properties and facilities.
That is how it should be, for the greatest spectacle is the breathtaking scenery that guests at the Gradonna Mountain Resort in Kals am Großglockner can enjoy. What you might call an Alpine amphitheatre has been created at an altitude of over 1300 m, and the most engrossing drama to unfold here is that of nature itself. The hotel and chalets are laid out like one of the region’s typical hamlets, and the timber and glas structures fit in perfectly with the high Alpine surroundings.
“I would almost go so far as to say that this location and this architecture are unique in the Alps",says a proud Martha Schultz.
Ski in, Ski out
A perfect location right beside the downhill run for a genuine “ski in, ski out” experience. You are just one push of your ski poles away from a great day’s skiing. Guests in the chalets can watch the first skiers in the morning gliding down the slopes. The Großglockner Kals-Matrei ski resort is the largest in East Tyrol and has 15 cable cars and lifts and a large number of pistes. It has something for everyone – from endless pistes to small freeride paradises. Ski passes can be obtained from the reception, and the hotel also has its own ski hire and sports shop.
Responsible approach to nature
Culinary delights are not far to seek either. Gault-Millau head chef Michael Karl serves East Tyrol specialities with Mediterranean touches – against the backdrop of Hohe Tauern National Park. A responsible approach to nature and its produce and materials is key not just in the kitchen, but throughout the hotel. For example, guests will find the Gradonna’s own vegan cosmetic brand, MAGDALENA’S, produced in Tyrol, in both the spa and the bedrooms.
"We create natural beauty using natural ingredients only. We harness the power of nature. Skin is our body’s largest organ and we need to take care of it. Our MAGDALENA’S products do exactly that: they preserve and protect the natural beauty of your skin",Martha Schultz explains.
For winter skiing or a great spa break, with the family or as a couple, the Gradonna offers a perfect and authentic experience. The only question that remains is how to secure the best seat in the house. That might be the window seats in the bedrooms, where you can curl up in the morning or evening and let your gaze and mind wander into the distance. Or it might be the cosy relaxation areas in the spa with their huge windows looking out onto a mountain panorama. Then there’s the outdoor pool or the lawn beside the natural bathing pool … In short, no easy decision!
Text: Nina Prehofer