“Life in harmony with nature.” This was the creative vision of Austrian artist, ecologist, and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who called himself a “doctor of sick architecture,” redesigning and reinvigorating buildings around the globe by infusing them with the lush greenery, soul-soothing serenity, and lively movement of nature. He dreamed of a space where humans and nature interacted peacefully and synergistically, where there was fresh air and buildings blanketed with green grass, where the architecture unfolded with the same unexpected and mystical beauty as nature itself, with curving lines, rolling hillsides, and vibrant pops of patchwork color. This dream became a reality in the early 1990’s when he was asked to design Rogner Bad Blumau, a luxury spa and hotel built around natural thermal hot springs in Eastern Austria.
Arranged like a city with various neighborhoods, the extravagant ring-shaped spa sits at the center, surrounded by six buildings that make up the hotel, which branch out into the hillside in a staggered formation, each boasting a unique design and partially dug into the natural lay of the land, so that when you take in the landscape from the center all you see are glimpses of color peeking out across acres of pristine nature. Grass covered rooftops, golden domes, a plethora of windows, and a staunch disdain for straight lines (“The straight line is godless and immoral,” Hundertwasser once famously wrote) instill this inhabitable work of art with a surreal and dreamlike whimsy that is as inviting and inspiring as the hot springs it houses.
Nicknamed a “hotel with a soul,” a stay at the sprawling Rogner Bad Blumau ushers you into a fairytale world where everything flows as organically as nature, with three healing thermal springs including the medicinal Vulkania, a piping hot and highly mineralized blue lagoon. Indulge in multiple saunas, pools, and a spa that utilizes holistic and all natural skin and body care, featuring roses and marigolds harvested from their own fields. By way of lodging, the hotel offers studios, suites, and apartments, all of which are one of a kind and harness the sparse and sun-drenched serenity of nature itself. It’s a rejuvenating reprieve from the constant chaos and cold concrete of urban cities, yet that doesn’t mean they’ve skimped on the sumptuousness of their accommodations (one mouthwatering example: instead of minibars, they have a snack room that is stocked with goodies from around the globe and open 24 hours a day, for whenever a craving strikes).
Thirty years ago, when he designed the almost entirely sustainable compound, Hundertwasser was ahead of his time, imagining a world where nature and the human spirit could co-exist to create living, breathing art that allows both to survive and thrive. Three decades later, Roger Bad Blumau represents a soul-soothing escape into a lush landscape of natural and manmade luxury, embodying both an optimistic vision of the future and the serene stillness of a simpler time. It’s a rare thing to find someone’s dream fully realized, yet tucked away in the Austrian countryside remains a sliver of pure magic, alive and thriving in a world that needs it now more than ever. Book your stay here.