Gradonna Mountain Resort, Kals, Austria: A modern take on nature
The Gradonna Mountain Resort in Kals am Großglockner is proof that a luxury resort can sit harmoniously in the Alpine landscape of a national park.
The mountain landscape in East Tyrol is imposing – imposing to the extent that even in this small corner of Austria, you’ll find 241 3,000-metre peaks. Together, they create a breath-taking backdrop that absolutely must be protected. Around one-third of the total area of the Hohe Tauern National Park is located in East Tyrol, which is why the Schultz Group, who opened the Gradonna Mountain Resort here in 2012, made the architecture of this special place their top priority.
The entire resort, with just over 100 rooms and 42 chalets, has been designed in such a way that guests don’t need a car. It’s a mystery as to how the Schultz Group managed to arrange everything within such short distances, with the cosy atmosphere still conveying a sense of space and tranquillity – a mystery that reveals itself gradually with every visit through the use of many natural materials such as wood and loden cloth.
Traditional raw materials from the Alpine region lend the modern low-rise buildings a rustic, safe and warm appeal. The architecture itself is striking, visionary and yet still in touch with nature. and it is this spectacular experience that the Group has achieved with the design alone. "Only those with the courage to evolve are able to offer their guests a spectacular experience" ,believes co-owner Martha Schultz
It is this spectacular experience that the Group has achieved with the design alone.
A building like this ultimately needs to blend in harmoniously with the mountain and ensure that tourism doesn’t clash with the National Park in the resort. The foundation of this clever interplay is clear design language paired with the rustic mountain charm that is present throughout the location.
Large glazed façades allow guests to view the beauty of the nature that surrounds this modern yet traditional resort, meaning they feel connected to nature inside the building, yet in an unobstructed way. Be it from the rooms, the panoramic pool, the sun terrace or the spa, the view knows no bounds.
This experience awakens the senses during your holiday and you find rejuvenation in both relaxation and movement.
Very few people can avoid the healing magic of nature in the power place where the Gradonna has been built – it
strikes you from the first moment you take in the incredible entrance hall with its Kals marble and wooden statues.
Adventure and fun? Absolutely
The well-considered balance of the resort ensures that there’s a right option for everyone. For some it might be an active schedule in the mountains, while for others it might be undisturbed bathing time in the hotel’s focal point: the solar-heated bathing pool. On the high, sunny plateau, children can explore the magical kingdom of flora and fauna in the forest kids’ club, or practise their beginner routes in the bouldering hall. Adults can hike or cycle through the National Park and enjoy treatments in the spa.
All in the context of the nature-inspired architecture of the Gradonna Mountain Resort at 1,350 metres above sea level. With no stress. No compromises. And of course, no cars.