GRAND PARK HOTEL, BAD HOFGASTEIN
What’s so great about this pool?
You will not have a moment’s hesitation getting into this uniquely designed panoramic swimming pool – it’s so warm! But we’re talking thermal water here, from deep within the nearby mountains. Nestled in a small town about an hour from Salzburg, this surprisingly sumptuous swimming pool is an absolute gem. In winter you can sit snuggled up on your loungers at the poolside safe from the snow of the mountains; and in summer the doors are flung wide open, or you can lie out in the idyllic gardens beyond and nip in for a dip at any time. This is the swimming pool for you if you want a truly therapeutic dip in a beautiful, luxurious setting.
The Grand Park Hotel
The Grand Park Hotel is a luxurious home away from home – it’s cosy and elegant with wonderful food. When we visited, the staff were friendly and always helpful. The treatments here are seriously good – we tried a facial, a thermal bath and a massage with Tibetan bells and all three were out of this world. Dinners on the terrace in summer are lovely. And the buffet breakfast is one of the best we’ve experienced in Europe.
More reasons to visit
Head here for mountain walking in summer and skiing in winter – and come all year for the healing radon waters at the hotel’s fantastic spa. Bad Hofgastein is a charming town with a church and a river running through it and with quaint houses, complete with their classic Austrian flower-decked balconies. There’s a funicular railway up into the mountains and some wonderful little fooderies along the way, most of which sell great beer and local sausages. The hotel has bicycles for use by guests and it is an absolute pleasure to cycle along the flat and charming riverside with a view of the mountains before you. A ten-minute drive away from The Grand Park Hotel are the famous Gastein Healing Caves – which are popular among those with arthritic and rheumatic conditions. We took a quick trip there to witness the train which goes right into the mountains – there are beds on the train for those too weak to walk. Even if you’re not feeling ill, it’s an amazing experience. It’s a very medical affair – they have doctors on site who give you a quick consultation and check up before you go in. Inside the caves there is up to 100% humidity. When you’ve had enough of the relaxing spa, the natural scenery and the wonderful air, you can head to the city. You’re an hour’s drive from the beautiful pedestrian shopping streets of Salzburg, plus its operas and culture (Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart).
- The thermal spring water in the swimming pool comes from the Gastein Valley and is mineralised and enriched with natural Radon – it feels so soothing on aching bones and is known to have curative effects on many conditions such as arthritis. Studies show that bathing it reduces pain and the need for longterm medication. Doctors recommend taking 20 minute dips in the pool with breaks in between of around an hour at a time. But you don’t need to have arthritis to enjoy it – it is a beautiful pool to immerse yourself whether you have aches and pains or not. And if you want to book some radon therapy thermal bath treatment at around 27 degrees Celsius, you can do so at the Grand Park Hotel’s Spa.
- There is a whirlpool in the centre of the swimming pool which is a few degrees hotter than the pool itself.
- Right by the pool is a ‘Vital lounge’ which serves free drinks and snacks all day for those on half board.
- Spending the day by this gorgeous swimming pool? You can nip to the terrace to sample some of the Grand Park Hotel’s wonderful food for lunch.