Why hospitality establishments need not forget the value of wellness spaces

Lermoos, Austria – Every second bed in Austria’s Tyrol is a hotel bed, reports the region’s tourism board. The area is frequented by visitors during the height of the ski season and the summer alike. According to the European Commission, tourism accounts for 17.5 per cent of GDP in the region. So how does a hospitality establishment stand out amongst the crowd? Updating wellness offerings is certainly one way, as South Tyrolean practice Noa has done for Lermoos hotel Mohr Life Resort, whose impressive new space stretches out over 600 sq-m.

The hotel – which was already popular with guests who flock to the see and experience the impressive Tyrolean landscape – affords dramatic views of the Zugspitze, the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains, and the Ehrwalder Becken valley. The client tasked the Noa team to complement the existing hospitality offering by leveraging the surrounding nature to the (relaxation-inducing) advantage of the spa and outdoor area. For Mohr, turning to Noa for the job was a natural decision, as it has long displayed an adeptness for understanding and respecting the landscape it builds upon. That’s an especially valuable quality for a practice to have in the locality, where hotel guests presumably want and expect as little visual separation between interiors and exteriors as possible.

To play up the unique beauty of the site, Noa’s architects made a point to deflect from traditional typologies of wellness spaces. They instead conceptualized a sort of theatre, which effectively turns spa-goers into cinema-goers – the film, in this case, is the scenery itself. The reflective glass-and-cement structure housing the wellness area is completely new to the resort – development across two levels allowed for the creation of a swimming pool. On the ground floor, there is a private lounge, lobby, bistro, bar, and spa and sauna, which can accommodate 20 people. At the centre of this space is a spiral staircase that ushers guests up to the first floor, where they can find ten symmetrical relaxation areas designed to look like theatre stages. Each booth includes two deckchairs and closed balconies provide privacy, inviting guests to sit and enjoy the show. Those too entranced by the view to remain inside can make their way outdoors, where boxed ‘island’ structures surrounding the pool promise the ultimate lounge experience.

‘The Zugspitze generally – and its beauty, strength and formal complexity, specifically – was our inspiration and the project’s protagonist,’ explains architect Christian Rottensteiner. ‘The new wellness area is conceived as a theatre’s stalls, an ideal location from which to admire that extraordinary masterpiece. Guests are cocooned in a relaxing environment that harmonizes with the environment. Our challenge is to create structures that expand and intensify the perception of spaces. Restorative areas can stir new emotions in visitors.’


Location Innsbrucker Str. 40, 6631 Lermoos, Austria

Liked this article?
We've got more for you

Sign up to our newsletter for weekly updates. Or view the archive.