“What was the highlight of our trip to Retz for you?”, I ask Marc over lunch. He pauses for a moment, then looks up at me and smiles: “The winter wonderland, straight out of a fairy tale! As well as the views upon the country around Retz from the warm waters of our Infinity Pool …!” I smile, equally recalling the memory of bathing in that pool, the warm colours of red and yellow around Hotel Althof Retz as well as the recently built wellness area with all kind of modern facilities available. Beautiful. But a house does not make a home. Therefore, I answer Marc: “For me, the highlight has been the happy, heartfelt hospitality expressed by all employees at the hotel, their palpable excitement at the re-opening of this traditional house in Retz.”
Hotel Althof Retz offers heartfelt hospitality for sure. The fact that they also have access to one of the largest, subterranean wine cellar networks of Austria, is clearly not a bad thing either.
“What would you like to drink?”, I’m asking Marc now. “A glass of wine or ..?” He gently refuses, and I can see why. Yes, we have been drinking many a glass (or two) during our visit in Retz. The wine tasting menus in the evening, the Heurigen snacks served with wine, the wine tastings after the wine cellar tour or our visit of the ancient wind mill in Retz have all left their “gentle marks” on us. To what extent wine reigns and rules the fortunes of Hotel Althof Retz is my focus in my earlier article here (including some tips on how to work and walk off those wine & foodie calories, too).
First of all though, let’s take a look at the so-called “Winzerzimmer” (wine rooms) of the Hotel Althof Retz, because …
“Take your time”, is the motto of the house up here in the north of Austria, right by the border with the Czech Republic, a country marked by gently rolling hills perfectly suitable to the ancient tradition of viticulture.
Slowing down is a natural occurrence at the Hotel Althof Retz. The clocks just go slower. The corn takes its time to grow, as does the wine to mature. Retz up here in the north of Lower Austria is home to one of the last, fully functional wind mills of Austria, whose magic I have already come to explore several years ago. The newly built “Infinity Pool” now offers magnificent views over the wind mill, as well as 360° views over the country and city of Retz.
Up here, high above the rooftops of Retz, you can let your thoughts run wild – or simply silence them in the hot waters of the pool. If what you manage is only small talk with your pool neighbours, then that’s just fine – everybody is the same up there in this warm water paradise. Check out the infinity pool in the early morning, as you are likely to be first (and only one) to come up here. Swimming “right into the landscape”, or simply closing your eyes, daydreaming away …
Last but not least, all that is left to do is to be in and celebrate the moment. Relax and enjoy the fresh air, the peace and quiet, the great wines as well as a walk across the land. I am already planning on taking my winelover friends back here on a visit. This VinoSpa at the Hotel Althof Retz: A true #winelover hideaway!
Want to know even more about the local Weinviertel area as well as the Hotel Althof Retz? Head over to my Flickr photo gallery and click yourself through a really nice piece of home for me – right here in Lower Austria!
Disclaimer: We have been invited by Hotel Althof Retz in order to enjoy Retz and explore the local area surroundings. All opinions are my own.