The Niche Traveller's
A hidden gem at Lake Wolfgang: Charming Villa Alma!
With the opening of the charming boutique hotel Villa Alma in St. Gilgen, the beautiful Lake Wolfgang becomes the perfect destination for a weekend-getaway.
Catharine von Witzendorff
From Salzburg, I set out on the tranquil journey to St. Gilgen on Lake Wolfgang, which is only about 30 kilometers away. Since the beginning of the 20th century, this remote village in the Salzkammergut has been known as a summer retreat.
On arrival I am already thrilled - in front of a breathtaking mountain panorama lies the wood-clad villa directly on the lake, into whose turquoise-blue water I would love to jump in immediately. But first I check in: the atmosphere is serene, the furnishings colorful. The aesthetic of the interior on the three floors is inspired by the 60s and 70s, pastel summer colors with bold accents and patterns make the rooms wonderfully playful and yet absolutely clear. Martina, the warm hostess, businesswoman and mother of two , leads me through the spacious breakfast room and the cozy Lakeside Lounge with books and games. Everything is furnished with great attention to detail and is definitely family-friendly - even if Villa Alma is not a designated family hotel, it definitely welcomes families and children.
The eight double rooms and suites all have balconies and lake views. Swimsuit, sunglasses and sandals - that's all I need for a courageous jump into the wonderfully refreshing waters of Lake Wolfgang! You have direct lake access via the hotel's own jetty, past the comfortable teak loungers. The associated boathouse houses colorful swimming hoops and SUPs for rent. It's a bit too deep here for non-swimmers, but alternatively there are public swimming spots to the right and left of the villa, one with a small sandy beach and the other with a stone beach. After swimming, I get myself an Apérol Spritz from the hotel's own Honesty Bar. I enjoy the evening atmosphere as the sun slowly disappears behind the mountains and the many small lanterns in front of the house come to light.
The next morning I am awakened by the good mountain air and a lively appetite. Looking out of the window, the lake pours out in front of me, the sunshades are already stretched out below - the day can come. At the lovingly prepared breakfast buffet there are regional and seasonal products, also pastries and vegan options. The freshly prepared coffee is served at the table. Afterwards, it's off on an exploration tour through the village on the hotel's own bike: quaint alleys, small shops, street music and bright flowerbeds - a summer fairy tale! For the kids there is also a large playground on the village square at the harbor.
Afterwards, I take the Zwölferhorn cable car to the summit of the 1522-meter-high mountain. The cable car was modernized a few years ago, families can even take the stroller inside. The view from the red and yellow gondolas is fantastic! For the easy hikers, there are hiking tours of varying lengths at the "12er Hörndl". I simply decide to start the way back on foot. Past the Mozart House (the birthplace of the composer's mother) I return to Villa Alma, where I fortify myself with fresh snacks, coffee and juice. For some souvenir shopping I head to Alma's Concept Store: Here there are seasonal lifestyle products, nice & practical things for the little ones, jewelry, accessories & cosmetics and selected decorative objects. On the short drive back to Salzburg airport, I review my days here at the lake and realise why I felt so comfortable at Villa Alma. The unique location and the tranquillity that this lake radiates is one thing, but what was really special was the warmth and openness that is passed on here, and this is above all thanks to the very present and sympathetic hostess Martina.
The rooms and suites at Villa Alma range in price from 175 to 325 Euros per night. Of course, the small and fine hotel with lake access can also be rented exclusively for family celebrations, retreats or corporate events. Click here for Villa Alma´s website and further information.
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