Style: Wellness, Ski, Cultural
About: Schloss Elmau is the perfect year round, luxury alpine getaway at the base of the awe inspiring Bavarian Alps. It is favorably located a few minutes from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, an adorable German Alpine style town with painted frescoes and friendly people. This historic castle turned spa and resort shows the attention to detail and quality that has proudly been put in by the owners and staff. This peaceful retreat is one of a kind and meticulously cared for. One of the key features of this luxurious property is it’s location tucked in a mountain valley away from the rest of the world, and only an hour south of Munich. You can bike or hike the massive trail systems surrounding the area, you can indulge in their top rated spa, eat at their Michelin rated restaurant, read books in one of their many libraries, sip wine on the patio, or listen to one of their Orchestra concerts throughout the year. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a family excursion, this place has something for every traveler. This place will go on my “must return to” travel list.
Rooms: They have a few spacious options between the historic castle and the newer Luxury Retreat area. Both offer stunning views of the mountains and the valley, many come with balconies so you can enjoy the view and fresh air from your room. The decor is refined contemporary with images reminiscent of India.
Pool/Gym: There is no shortage of pools here. I counted 4 adults only pools and 2 children’s pools. The adult pools range from salt to chlorine and have different set temperatures based on their proximity either to the steam room and the Finnish Sauna, or the massage treatment rooms. We swam outside everyday, and it was such a luxury.
Their state of the art gym also has views to die for, but considering this is in the mountains, I would rather hike with one of their trail guides to burn my calories. They also have yoga daily and offer yoga retreats throughout the year with world renowned yogis. Bikes are available to rent, as well as many other recreation items, such as archery, bocce, and snowshoeing.
Restaurants: They have so many restaurant options. Their Michelin rated restaurant, Luce d’Oro is a work of art. They also have a Fondue restaurant with local cheeses, a family restaurant with buffet style meals changing daily, High Thai cuisine, Mediterranean, and spa restaurants with healthier choices. If you add on the half-board option, you will receive €50/ person credit for dinner each night at one of their fine restaurants. It was so worth it!
Spa: The spa is their crown jewel. Featuring the largest hammam west of Turkey, an authentic Finnish sauna, cold plunge pool, salt water pools, steam sauna, massage treatment rooms, tons of relaxation rooms, and even a spa for the kids. They also provide healthy snacks and refreshments for you to nibble on while you read your book or adore the scenery.
Kids: There is more than enough for the children to do, with a playing field, daily kids activities led by on site guides, kids club, hiking, swimming, a playground, and overall a very safe place to let your little ones roam around while you sit back and relax.
Why you should go: Garmisch-Partenkirchen is still not on many American traveler’s radars as a hot destination, but it is on the German’s. You will feel totally immersed in the local culture, stand in awe at the alpine beauty around each corner, cherish the cow bells clanking in the distance as it reminds you of how much simpler the pleasures are up in the mountains. The spa and cultural hideaway is the best way to experience the Alps in luxury and comfort.
Tips: Add on the half board package so you can taste a few of their many restaurant options on property. The resort is off the beaten path, so restaurants are a 15 minute drive back into Garmisch. The convenience and the deliciousness of the food on property makes it so worth it.
True North Amenities:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- $100 EUR Spa Services credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Getting there: I recommend renting a car and driving from either Munich or Innsbruck airports. It’s about an hour south of Munich and an hour north of Innsbruck.