“Just think of it this way”, Hannes Wagner says, lowering his voice. For more than two hours, we find ourselves hooked on his words, filling us in on the stories about Loipersdorf spa resort and its many surrounding hotels. “The farmer back in the old days, who hasn’t done anything but work hard his whole life, suddenly watches people arrive here from the city. People who have time. Who come here to take a bath. Now can you guess what they must have been thinking? Obviously, they thought that they were crazy.”
It really appeared to be crazy to turn a rather poor, rural farming area along the Styrian-Hungarian border into what is now one of the largest spa resorts of the entire country. The Loipersdorf spa resort today is one of the most prominent ones of Austria, its history rooted in the search for Black Gold. “That was in the early 70s. What they found wasn’t oil, but water”, Hannes continues to tell his story, Hannes, easily one of the most light-hearted hotel managers I have met recently on my travels. During our first meal in his hotel, the spa hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, my travel writer friends and I are literally hooked on his words – he has such a knack for good local storytelling. “Water rich in minerals from a depth of well over 1.200 metres! Imagine that. It shoots out of the ground at 62°C and needs to be cooled down first. Soon, the health benefits of these healing waters have been recognised, hence an early spa industry was able to take hold.”
Joining us is Wolfgang Wieser, the managing director of the Loipersdorf spa resort, offering us an interesting “look behind the scenes” of one of the largest spa resorts of Austria.
“Nowadays, we count less visitors”, Wolfgang Wieser explains, offering us one of his modest smiles. He still refers to well over half a million visitors per year, that is. “Around the turn of the millennia, we had well over 800.000 guests – a size we simply did not wish to hold nor increase. Today, the business has undergone a major rebranding process. We focus again on local sustainability, regional product cycles, and a large farmers’ market right at the entrance of the spa.” Like another Genussregal gourmet shop, close-by in Southern Styria, I am left thinking of my last visit there not too long ago.
Wine, wellness, wellbeing: Loipersdorf at the crossroads of the gently rolling hills of Southern Burgenland and the creative hub of interesting micro-entrepreneurs in Eastern Styria really benefits from its location.
My last visit here easily dates back some ten years. “Yes, we have changed quite a bit since then”, Wolfgang Wieser muses and invites us to take a look: AlphaSphere Cocoon-ing it is!
“Let go – Discover – Strengthen”, this is what the experience concept of the Loipersdorf spa resort feels like, hinting at a union of body, mind and soul. Indeed, all facilities and treatments offered come with a local twist, such as the modern “Schaffelbad” built on the very grounds of the historic spa, the local mineral-rich salt grotto (perfect for the respiratory system) as well as the treatments using local mud, called “Steirasul”.
But what exactly is this thing called AlphaSphere?
Well, this is exactly what we thought as well, looking at the shining dark blue cube in the middle of the spa water world in Loipersdorf. What is this thing? And above all: What can it do to make me relax in the middle of such a busy spa place?
Well, nothing but a personal experience that can answer that. AlphaSphere is a closed, blue space where comfortably shaped deck chairs invite you to lie down, measuring your heart beat through a special sensitive membrane. Your very own heart beat then commands a kind of music that produces alpha waves in your brain, allowing you to relax deeply and fully, even within only 30 minutes. It is absolutely fascinating, as I have not been tired upon entering, but really able to relax deeply and let go within barely a few minutes. You then resurface as your own heart beats slows down, ultimately commanding a musical crescendo that “wakes you up” again – a truly special, sensual journey. Hard to describe it really, as what you should do, is enter the AlphaSphere for yourself.
“To be honest, we are actually unable to motivate our guests to do much more than disappearing into the spa. Perhaps you are more willing to explore the surrounding area, too …?”
… Hannes Wagner, at the local spa hotel Vier Jahreszeiten smiles at us. Well yes, we are curious to see a bit more, and gladly take up the offer of another friendly hotel owner nearby: Franz Strobl, of the Panoramahof hotel, suggests driving to the nearby nature park Raab in order to do a lovely canoeing trip down the river Raab. Both hotels, by the way, have been awarded the Austrian Eco Label for their care and excellence in dealing with the natural environment, and local sustainability issues. Not only do they mind about all processes in their hotels, but also beyond: Driving to the river Raab, we only take one car together, and also encourage travelling to and from the spa resort by train. Franz Strobl even has a drone registered with the AustroControl, shooting a beautiful nature video of our experience from high up in the air. Watch out for the video coming soon!
The true gourmets among you will not be disappointed by Loipersdorf, either. Here are some top foodie travel tips, provided by the spa resort itself, the hotel Vier Jahreszeiten as well as the Heurigen wine bar right across the hill.
And this is how I would like you to remember Loipersdorf. With all its idea, spheres, tips for a fun afternoon and above all: With an idea of how it “tastes like”. The entire region around Loipersdorf really is worth the visit, as I have already mentioned in my previous posts about the clever local chocolate manufacture Zotter, the Vulcano ham experience or the Gölles vinegar production. But first, let us …
Read more here what my friends & fellow travel writers have written and published about their trip to Loipersdorf:
- Monika & Petar Fuchs (TravelWorldOnline): “Hotelsuite mit Sauna in Loipersdorf” & “Therme Loipersdorf ist Wellness pur“
- Jeanette Fuchs (FollowYourTrolley): “Loipersdorf, Steiermark: Ein tiefenentspanntes Wochenende in der Therme“
- Lucia Täubler (DieKremserinOnTheGo): “Loipersdorf abseits der Masse: Einatmen und Kraft tanken“
Disclaimer: We have been invited by the Loipersdorf spa resort as well as the spa hotels Vier Jahreszeiten & Panoramahof on this trip to Styria, supported by the Austrian Eco Label. All opinions are my own.