Christian Stan, at 3 Feb. 23, in Boutique Hotels, Hotels, News, Where to go next

The Cōmodo, a newly opened property in Bad Gastein, a picturesque town in the Austrian Alps, strikes a perfect balance between creativity, rejuvenation, and nature.

The year-round destination is framed by forested cliffs and gaping valleys, with an overarching design vision to echo the beauty of the surroundings and honor the timeless aesthetics of 1960s and 70s. Vintage mid-century modern furnishings are thus expertly curated among bespoke pieces, unique artworks, and site-specific lighting installations. The hotel’s 70 rooms come in a range of sizes to meet every guest’s needs, while the onsite farm-to-table restaurant, spa, boutique cinema, and summer garden round out the luxe offerings.

Throughout history, Bad Gastein, a town located in the Austrian Alps just outside of Salzburg, was known as a refuge for emperors and empresses seeking the healing powers of nature. They frequented the town for its landscape, thermal baths, and nearby caves that are said to stimulate the metabolism of cells, among much else; however, the town declined in popularity starting around the 1970s. But in recent years, it has reclaimed its place on the international cultural map, as impassioned artists, architects, and restaurateurs have been striving to reawaken this magical place from its slumber. The latest addition is The Comōdo, a new property helmed by Berlin-based designer Piotr Wisniewski and architect Barbara Elward, along with their agency weStudio.

The Comōdo was reborn from the bones of an old clinic, with Wisniewski and Elwardt translating a mid-century modern vibe into a contemporary mountain escape. The result is a striking property with historical and geographical references, evoking the nostalgia of a 1960s-70s Alpine resort, as well as contemporary art and design pieces by some of today’s most exciting up-and-coming and established European talents. In the lobby-lounge, for example, is a red Camaleonda sofa by Mario Bellini—a nod to the history of the nearby brutalist congress center, designed by Gerhard Garstenauer, where public areas were furnished with Camaledona sofas when it opened in 1974. On the wall close to the sofa is a ruby-red Rondo mirror made of highly polished stainless steel by designer Oskar Zięta. And the surface of the mirror reflects breath in breath out, an installation by internationally renowned artist Jeppe Hein that hangs on the opposite wall. Other standout pieces in the common space include Joe Colombo’s Elda chair and Gae Aulenti’s seating arrangement for Knoll International, both of which meld seamlessly amongst 117 bespoke designs by weStudio. Such bold shapes and pops of color create a warm and inviting atmosphere, a feeling that is heightened through an abundance of books and curios lining the space, as well as a grand piano.

An overarching color scheme of rich wine and bottle green offsets the original terrazzo floor, while local materials like oak and pine wood offer a timeless aesthetic—all of which extends into the hotel’s 70 guestrooms and suites. The rooms range from 19 to 50 square meters in size, although all of them feature unique tapestries, carpets, prints, and wall designs by artisans selected by weStudio. For instance, Amberdesign’s Gosia Warrink and Katja Koeberlin conceived 140 unique designs inspired by the colors and contours of the Bad Gastein mountains. One is a series of rugs that, following their designs, were then produced in Uttar Pradesh, India, during the pandemic using a mixture of Indian and New Zealand wool. In rooms, guests will also find vases and candleholders created specifically for the hotel by the design agency Fundamental. Other in-room highlights include floor-to-ceiling windows, which offer views of either the pine forests or Gastein valley, as well as rain showers lined with deep green tiling and oak parquet with floor heating. The four suites are also each equipped with a freestanding soaking tub, a living room with a working desk, a couch, and a chaise lounge, plus record players, a small selection of LPs, and spacious balconies. Luxury bath amenities are provided by Saint Charles.

Saint Charles products are also used in treatments at The Cōmodo Spa, which draws on the town’s history to create its own wellness traditions. Treatments—ranging from traditional massages and facials to concentrated plant power shots and soothing magnesium treatments—are tailored to the individual and performed using Gastein thermal waters, which are said to have regeneration, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving effects on joints and muscles. Beyond the five treatment rooms, the spa also features two saunas, an indoor pool, and a spacious sundeck. Elsewhere, guests will find a fitness center and yoga studio, as well as a boutique cinema.


Bad Gastein is an Alpine town steeped in soothing qualities: Since the 19th century, it has been recognized for its healing powers, beckoning emperors and empresses thanks to its mineral-rich waters, restorative hikes, and abundance of nature. In the winter season, nearly 220 kilometers of ski slopes bend and twist throughout the Gastein valley, offering long, steady runs for the experienced skier. Come spring, the sun-drenched peaks offer a playground for nature lovers—and plenty of solace for those seeking peace and quiet. The Cōmodo is an 80-minute drive (100 km) from Salzburg Airport, a three-hour drive (215 km) drive from Munich and its airport, and a five-minute taxi ride from the Bad Gastein train station.

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