Finding Heaven in Seefeld in Tirol

Finding Heaven in Seefeld in Tirol, Austria

We boarded an early morning train from Innsbruck and as we wound our way up into the alps, through layers of fog, trees and mountain tunnels – my excitement began to grow. I hadn’t slept the previous night and the conference I had just attended and taught a workshop at had been wonderful, yet draining. 

What did I really crave? Rest and relaxation.

What was I promised in Seefeld? Relaxation.

The views alone inspire a feeling of rest in Seefeld. Everywhere one looks, a picture-perfect postcard view is a sight for sore eyes and a tired soul. It even reminded me of my home state of Vermont, in a grand way that put me at ease. I had a good feeling! But I needed some sleep before I was fully able to enjoy the mountain paradise I found myself in.

Luckily, the spa and my suite at Klosterbräu Hotel & Spa was very finely suited not only to allow me the sleep I needed but to convince me Seefeld might just be heaven. If such a thing exists on earth. Lit candles scattered throughout the property impart a distinctly romantic, calming vibe but it was the mud treatment followed by a rain shower in a steam room that I will actually remember forever. The drops of water seemed to wash away every care and worry that had been tensing my body. I remember thinking forward and wondering when I might be able to return.

Emerging from a peaceful slumber after the sun had set, I prepared myself for pure torture in Tirol. We (Sarah, Terry, Andy, Ken & myself) dined on 5 incredible courses at Astoria Hotel and had such a wonderful time where inhibitions were so non-existent that I do believe I might have faked a British accent and agreed to bath naked in beer the next day. It was either the high altitude or the Austrian wine. It was heaven. Laughter unlike any I had experienced in a long time filled our evening alongside the memorable dishes.

On my balcony that night, wrapped in a heavy blanket, bright stars overhead – I compared the Austria I’d imagined with the one I was experiencing. Some things were unchanged. I’d once imagined window boxes on every building, women in dirndls and lots of (euphemism-free) sausage. I found all of that in Seefeld. Yet there was also modern architecture, elegant cuisine reminiscent of the best restaurants in New York City, clothing representative of every style, warm people, smiles everywhere, church bells tolling the hour, a commitment to fitness and health and a laid-back vibe that I would have previously associated only with places like Jamaica.

Awaking to a dawn that set the alps aglow in light, I steeled myself for a day of deep breaths and long, contented sighs. My preparations were not in vain and though the amount of activities we fit into the day seems a bit manic in hindsight … relaxing was the point indeed. Moving to Krumers Post Hotel & Spa for a good breakfast, yoga on the roof, a walk around the lake breathing the clear mountain air and a hot candle wax massage that would have made my knees buckle if I’d been able to walk at all after (no exaggeration) … caused me to contemplate how I might miss our train and stay a few extra days. Or, forever. If I had a significant other to accompany me, it would have been truly perfect. Enjoy Seefeld as I did, I couldn’t help but wonder how much more I might be fulfilled if not alone. There are so many places in the world I’ve enjoyed alone without a second thought. Seefeld is a town well suited to a romantic getaway and not in the way so many holiday packages seem to schedule romance. Seefeld comes at you from the side and makes you long for someone to share it with. It isn’t in-your-face with pre-packaged champagne and chocolate. It’s more subtle. It’s more like heaven without claiming to be, than anywhere I’ve been.

On the train ride from Seefeld back to Innsbruck, I replayed the images of our quick weekend getaway in my head and vowed to one day return. As winter sweeps across the northern hemisphere now, I still want to return. Seefeld in the winter will be different than Seefeld in August, but I love to ski. And I would love to return to Seefeld in Tirol!

Perhaps you should plan your trip to Tirol for January 13 to 22 when Seefeld plays host, alongside Innsbruck, to the Youth Olympic Winter Games … I hope my images from Tirol inspire you to plan your trip soon. I can’t imagine you’d be disappointed.

This trip was sponsored by Seefeld Tourism following the TBU conference in Innsbruck. However, views and opinions are my own. You can tell by my overuse of clichés – that tends to happen when I really love a place!

  • November 25, 2011

    Beautiful photos, as always! It was a a pleasure to meet you at TBU, and I look forward to our next meeting.

    • November 26, 2011

      Thank you Marie! Yes, it was such a pleasure to meet. I really enjoyed that. Along with TBU generally. And Austria in particular. I have such fond memories of the whole trip.

  • November 28, 2011

    Kirsten,

    What I love about the Alps is that the summer is as beautiful and diverse in activities as what can be found in the winter.  There’s something about being in those mountains that are entirely calming; for me, I just want to hang around the cows with the sounds of the cowbells … and yodel to hear the echoes bounce back and forth across the peaks.

    Thanks for your post and the luverly photos!

    • November 29, 2011

      Henry, I agree with that. I think Austria is definitely a country diverse enough to truly be enjoyed year-round. I’d love to visit several times a year 🙂 Having been born in mountains, I always love to return to them. Or discover new ones. Random fact about me: I won an alpine horn blowing contest as a child!

      So glad you enjoyed the post and thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  • November 29, 2011

    Aaaaaah, a mud bath? Heaven!
    Sounds like my kind of place

    • November 29, 2011

      The mud bath truly was. I never thought I would enjoy getting so dirty, so much. And when the water washed it all away in a rain shower … I was genuinely surprised at how delightful it was. Such a fun, new, experience. I highly recommend that treatment and the whole spa.

  • November 29, 2011

    Oh, forgot to ask, how was the conference?

    • November 29, 2011

      TBU was a good conference. I think the best way I can recommend it is by saying that the classes were genuinely helpful and tiered to different skill levels and the ratio of bloggers to PR was small enough to allow a lot of individual time with organizations actively seeking to work with bloggers. I think this is so important.

  • November 30, 2011

    Cool, never heard of this place.  That second photo looks like something out of a fairy tale.

    • November 30, 2011

      The entire town looks like something out of a fairy tale!!

  • December 01, 2011

    Gorgeous photos! I’m heading to Innsbruck in a couple of weeks for the first time, and I’m really excited. Wish I could extend the trip and go to Seefeld as well. Next time! It was great to meet you at WTM in London, btw!

    • December 05, 2011

      I think you should extend the trip and also hit up Seefeld. It’s only a 45 min (?) train ride away. Not far at all. Though, I did really very much love Innsbruck so I know you will still enjoy your trip to Austria.

  • December 04, 2011
    Anonymous

    I love those kinds of places you describe, subtle, unpretentious and far from boastful of how close to paradise they may be. I love Austria but haven’t been to Seefeld. I love the feel of Austria. It is the perfect blend of German order and Italian exaggeration.

    • December 05, 2011

      That’s precisely what it is like indeed Suzy! Thanks for your comment, and for stumbling my post. I really appreciate it.

  • December 08, 2011

    These are stunning photos!

  • January 26, 2012

    Beautiful photos!

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