Amazing – and Vegan friendly - resort!
I learned about Schloss Elmau from 2 dear friends, who learned about Schloss Elmau from its resident yoga instructor (Johannes) while attending a yoga retreat together in India.
I am a well-seasoned traveller, having just completed my 107th trip to Europe. I have stayed in lovely hotels, average hotels, and awful hotels; therefore, I find Trip Advisor to be one of my essential travel tools. I love reading the reviews, but many just aren’t detailed enough for me (yeah, yeah, yeah – you love a hotel, but tell us WHY you love it so much). So here goes …
I really wanted to stay here, after hearing about Schloss Elmau from my yoga friends, and then learning that the shcloss is located just 30 km from Oberammergau, a beautiful little Bavarian village where I am lucky enough to visit (for business) twice a year. This last business trip called for a week in Brussels, then a week in Oberammergau – so what was I to do the weekend in between? Ah – let’s give Schloss Elmau a try …
The attention to service was evident from the moment I attempted to book my room. I was on their web site, but it would not take my VISA card; after 3 attempts I called the hotel directly. The nice gentleman who answered the phone explained they were having IT difficulties and apologized (rare this day and age). He explained the Reservations Desk was closed at that hour, apologized AGAIN, then took my phone number, and assured me the Reservations staff would call me the next day at a time of my choosing. After the phone call, I tried booking online again; this time I was successful using my AmEx. The next morning, the Reservations staff called at EXACTLY the time I had requested. I explained that I was successful in booking the reservation, but asked if I could move the charges to my VISA; the staff responded with a resounding “Of course!” Just from talking to those 2 individuals, I could tell the staff aims to please their guests – even the ones who have not yet arrived for their first visit. WOW!
After reviewing the Spa services on the web site, I e-mailed the spa with a massage request. The response was almost immediate; booking confirmed. By the way, the spa calendar fills up quickly, so book your spa services before arriving.
Value for money – sounds expensive at first, but when you get breakfast, plus 50 Euro to spend at the restaurants daily, musical concerts, water, tea, cake of the day, use of the spa areas (pools, relaxing area, Turkish Hamam, steam room, sauna, outdoor seating on beautiful days), gym, yoga classes (my personal addiction), free wi-fi throughout the hotel (room and relaxing area included), free mini-bar in room, all with a stunning backdrop of snow-covered Alps, etc – it is worth every dollar/euro!!
Driving time from Munich Airport to Schloss Elmau is 2 hours. The driving directions provided on the hotel’s web site are perfect (this coming from someone who gets lost going to the bathroom).
Room: I had the smallest, simplest room (travelling alone). The room was spotlessly clean, and decorated tastefully. Comfortable bed, TV, minibar, desk and windows that open. My room faced the inner courtyard; there was some noice, which I prefer (grew up on a busy street, need noise to fall asleep). If you need absolute quiet, you may want to request a room that does not face the courtyard.
Bathroom: Beautiful! Roomy shower, plush towels, and amazing amenities. Schloss Elmau offers their own brand of shampoo, condition, lotion and bath wash – of course, all are top quality.
Staff: Your every wish is their desire! Everyone seems truly happy to be working here. There was no attitude, no rolling of eyes when you requested assistance with something, etc.
Spa: Wonderful. I booked the Healing Blend massage (hot stone on the back, Lomi Lomi on the front). Highly recommended. Can’t wait to try other services on my next visit.
Relaxing areas: A-MAZ-ING!!! More comfortable lounges than one could possibility imagine, and so many different places to lounge (Turkish Hamam, ladies only room, family room, by the ground floor pool, by the roof-top pool, etc).
Pools: Three were open during my March visit: (1) ground floor heated salt water; (2) roof top heated salt water, and (3) family heated salt water. The weather was unseasonably warm (i.e., just perfect), so a quick dip in the heated pool did not leave you freezing upon exit.
Shops: There is a book store, a home furnishings, and a clothing store. All with beautiful, unique items.
- Dinner #1: La Salle dinner buffet. Impressive variety and so delicious!!! Too bad I’m a vegan, because the cheese selection was the best I’ve seen anywhere (located across from the cooking station) – don’t miss it.
- Breakfast #1: Ananda Spa Café. They cater to vegan breakfast requests, like a spicy tofu scramble.
- Dinner #2: Fidelio Italian Restaurant. Perfetto! While dinner was wonderful and the service outstanding, I felt a little conspicuous as a single diner; this place is VERY romantic.
- Breakfast #2: La Salle breakfast buffet. Just as impressive as the dinner buffet. It will take you one week alone just to work your way through the fresh juice options!!
- Vegan & GF comments: There is a gluten-free section of breads offered at La Salle for breakfast (at the rear of the restaurant, near the cooking station). I try to eat a plant-based diet whenever possible, which is very easy at home, but quite difficult when travelling – Schloss Elmau made it very easy – Thank You!
- BONUS INFO: Both mornings I started my day at La Salle with a Café Latte (happily made with soy milk), then attended the 9am yoga class, then ate breakfast afterwards.
I’m usually up and gone by 9 am on check-out day. NOT THIS TIME. Check-out was 11:30 am, which means you must vacate your room by that time. The staff retrieved my bags, then gave me a special key which granted access to the Badehaus / Spa areas; they told me I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted for the remainder of the day. I finally (begrudgingly) left at 4pm. A quick phone call to the front desk (from Ananda staff) and my car was brought around before I could change into my departure clothes.
My overall impression of Schloss Elmau? Well – I have nothing to compare it to, because this place in a class ALL BY ITSELF! Everything was so clean, you could eat off of any surface (including the floors), the staff are so friendly and accommodating, and it was so quiet (in 3 days, I never once heard a mobile/cell phone ring – or even vibrate). THIS is the standard by which I will measure all future hotels.
I plan to return to Schloss Elmau for a weekend, following each time I must work in Oberammergau. What a jewel – thank you Logan & Johanna for telling me about this little slice of heaven; and thank you, Johannes (Schloss Elmau’s resident Yoga Instructor) for making me feel so welcome before, during and after my stay – I LOVE my Jivamukti family.
In all my years of travel, I have only cried 3 times at the thought of having to depart an amazing destintation. The first was my first visit to Rome in 1997, the second was Pranamar Villas outside the tiny surfing village of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica in 2012, and the third was my first (but certainly not my last) visit to Schloss Elmau. One last note – for those of you out there who love to travel AND be pampered - what Schloss Elmau is to luxury in the Alps on a large scale, Pranamar Villas is to luxury in the tropics of Central America on a small scale – it is NOT to be missed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- THE SCHLOSS ELMAU EXPERIENCE Discerning globetrotters not only enjoy the magic location of Schloss Elmau in probably the most beautiful sanctuary of the Bavarian Alps, spectacular Spas and a liberating sense of perfect calm, hospitality without limitations & cosmopolitan restaurants, Yoga or Tai Chi Chuan with excellent teachers, phantastic sports as well as edutainment for their Kids, but also inspiring encounters with some of the greatest artists and authors of our time. The new RETREAT has been the Residence for the Heads of State & Governement during the G7 Summit 2015. 47 Suites, 2 Restaurants, Lounges, Library, Yoga Pavillon & Spa connect a wholly new dimension of space & casual elegance with breathtaking views of the monumental Wetterstein Mountain & roaring Ferchenbach Creek. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa & Cultural Hideaway Hotel Elmau
- Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa And Cultural Hideaway