I’ve been to many „leisure“ hotels and I’ve never been a fan of this kind of retreats. I like action and I think that the SPA treatments are way overpriced. But when I stayed at Schloss Elmau, I started loving leisure hotels. The reasons for my change in my mind are easy. In Elmau just everything is perfect.
Coming from Munich and going south is never a good idea if you want to reach your destination anytime. I had to learn this once again when travelling to Elmau. The “Schloss” is nestled in a very rural location some kilometers behind Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
When going by car (you need to go by car or you need to be picked up by the hotel), you will have your first special experience at the road which leads to Elmau. You have to pay a special fee (I never paid anything like this in Germany before) to take the road that leads to paradise.
The fee is about four Euros, so nothing to think about for a longer time.
Driving to Elmau is kind of beautiful to the awesome location of the palace. When you are driving the way up, you feel kind of important. After arriving, you won’t do so anymore. No doorman, nobody in a suit.
I was kind of surprised due to the fact that I am used to these kind of experiences from other Leading Hotels. In Elmau there was just nobody present, so we left the car and went into the Lobby.
After seconds a very friendly woman was approaching us, asking if we had a good trip. They already called me by name, which was pretty amazing. The atmosphere was very relaxed, my luggage was taken out of the car without me even mentioning it, the car “disappeared” into the garage even without me realizing it. Everything went smooth, even the house tour was not boring (I do not really like the normal “hotel tours” but in Elmau there is just so much to see).
Even if Elmau has many good points, not everything is perfect. I ordered a “room away from the elevator”, what I got was the room next to an elevator. Overall, it did not affect me much, but it was kind of noisy anyway. Apart from that, the room was lovely furnished, but not too big at the same time (around 40 sqm). The Junior Suite had an amazing bathroom with two basins as well as a shower and a separated bathtub, also the toilette was separated.
The view was okay but nothing too special due to the construction site in the park. The welcome treatment consisted of chocolate, berries and nuts and was close to what I hoped for, so I was pretty happy. Moreover, there was a card welcoming me to the hotel. A very good thing in Elmau is the minibar, it’s well stuffed and is free of charge.
Yet the room in Elmau is boring in comparison to the SPA they offer. They offer not only two different areas, the areas are just huge. As we love tranquil areas, we decided to visit the Badehaus SPA only. It was a good decision because the SPA is by far the best I’ve ever seen in a hotel yet. At the ground floor you can find a big hamam which offers all you need to come down and enjoy the heat.
In the room next to the hamam, you can chill down and enjoy a cup of sweet tea as well as sweet fruits. On the upper floors are not only two hot pools, there are moreover many (I’ve never seen that before) relaxation areas. They all offer lovely chairs with woolen blankets on all of them.
After like ten minutes, I fell asleep while reading due to the relaxation areas being that relaxing. You may lose a thousand words about the SPA in Elmau, but it is way easier to sum it up with just one word: Amazing.
At Elmau you pay for kind of a full-board experience. Even though not everything is included, you may not pay much during your stay in the hotel. In the morning, you can choose between two different restaurants (I highly recommend having breakfast at the poolside, it’s pretty informal), at noon you are offered the free cake of the day (you may choose another cake as well for an extra charge), in the evening you can choose between several restaurants (not all are opened every day) and at midnight, you can have another snack if you are still hungry.
The only thing you pay for are special dishes as well as drinks. But even if you go for the “free” plan, you will enjoy it. The food tastes amazing, the selection is huge and the waitresses are well educated. The only thing that was not perfect at dinner was the fact that there are some bad tables in the “big restaurant” but apart from that, it was lovely.
Saying good bye is really hard in Elmau. While I usually find things which I don’t like at any hotel I visited in the last years, I did not do so in Elmau. Even the smallest things were kind of perfect, so I decided that coming back is a must. When you leave Elmau, the only thing you think of is when you will come back. The cordial stuff tries everything to even make your farewell an awesome experience. Just like everything in Elmau.