Review: LOISIUM Wine Spa Resort Langenlois
Since I had travelled to Southern Styria in May for the first time, I was intrigued by the “ Wine & Wellness ” theme.
This is so Austria.
This is so Wellness in Austria.
Well then, looked like I had to explore the combination wine & wellness further, and I have picked the design hotel LOISIUM Wine & Spa Resort (a member of design hotels) to do so.
Although the homepage is a little confusing at first – as there are two sister hotels by the same name in different areas – I have to say contact with both, booking and spa office, was a very pleasant experience: prompt, friendly, informative, helpful!
An impression that was confirmed throughout our stay.
Langenlois in the Kamp valley, the small baroque town in which the hotel is located, is easy to reach and to find, as the motorway lies within a short car ride.
The Kamp valley also called the ‘valley of the wines’ is renowned for wine making with over 500 years of wine making history!
Avoid to stretch your stay over Mondays and Tuesdays, as the whole town of Langenlois is asleep: most restaurants and businesses are closed.
The modern room at the Loisium in category ‘Prestige’ with exposed concrete walls and a large floor deep window was quiet spacious. The glassy bathroom was small, yet provided a large window and hence natural light. A small toilet cubicle however lacked both, light and air.
The attached balcony offered space for two chairs and a great view over the vineyards.
The entire feel of the room was minimalistic and spacious. Unfortunately the room temperature was not ideal, way to warm for my taste, even with air conditioning on full speed or with the balcony door wide open (we only found relief sometime in the middle of the night).
The air conditioning system in the entire building did not seem to be sufficiently powerful, as all areas (corridors, restaurant, bar, room) felt hot and sticky. The only area where a proper ventilation seemed to work was the spa, even the basement area with all the heat experiences. I will come back to that.
We had dinner at the hotel restaurant the first night and were impressed. The food was excellent, service attentive and the wines superb as expected!
However what a different story was breakfast, that is served until 10am only. All hotel guest seem to try to get to breakfast at the same time, it is hard to get a nice table, the buffet is terribly crowded, and it was a challenge to catch someones attention in order to get more coffee.
Breakfast choices are ok, nothing special to write home about. My highlight were fruit juices (apple, pear and grape) from the area.
The space between two buffet displays is so narrow, that you literally have to squeeze between people. The chef at the open cooking station was very welcoming and helpful, yet service was challenging. We found some of the waiters very friendly and helpful, others terribly stressed.
What we noticed: there seemed to be a lot of staff interaction, however little customer interaction.
The bar and library are lovely areas!
For a ‘Heurigen’ *on the second night we opted for Steinschaden, a pleasant half hour walk from the hotel to the other side of town, as Steinschaden was the only Heurigen offering warm dishes as well that night. Although a little chilly, we sat outside, enjoying great views over the town and the valley covered with vineyards. Great food and wine, lovely experience overall with good value for money!
|* “Heurigen’ is a term for wine taverns of licensed local wine makers. Besides serving their most recent year’s wines they are renowned for their ‘gemütliche’ atmosphere where you can enjoy, wine, simple local food and sometimes even traditional music.|
The Loisium is just celebrating their 10th anniversary, and it shows somehow.
The Spa must have had the wow-effect 10 years ago, yet no longer has. It is a nice area with basic offers, almost entirely presented in light green mosaic tiles. This was great for a summer trip to the spa, I just wondered how much cosiness you would experience in winter.
The reception area is overwhelmed by merchandise of a product house and serves as the main corridor to all other areas of the spa, which makes it a busy space. Three small chairs serve as waiting area and do not enhance relaxation sensation.
What I enjoyed most: spa staff were very friendly and smily!
What I was missing in the spa:
- Panorama or Outdoor Sauna
- Water features such as underwater massage
- More wine themed offers
- Fire places for colder, darker days
- Music or other relaxing sounds pleasing the senses
- Lifestyle Showers
- Wellness Activities
Bad luck if you are a gym person. Outdoor’s running or walking options are excellent, not indoors though. The ‘gym’ is a small dark room underground with a handful of machines. Activities such as Yoga or water gymnastics are not offered. Shame really, as the outdoor pool would make a great venue for water exercises!
I specifically wanted to try the spa’s ‘wine’ treatments, as I am a great fan of local products and specialised treatments:
The Wine Special Riesling Treatment consisted of two parts: the full body massage with grape seed oil was pleasant yet not excellent. My therapist confirmed my treatment and preferences prior to starting the treatment, had a pleasant personality and performed all actions in a way that showed he was trained.
The massage on arms and legs resembled a training session more than an intiuitive massage. The moves were not really in flow and pressure rather soft, very segmented, almost as if the therapist was rehearsing the movements. The back massage, which took the major part of the about 60 minutes was much better with regards to knowledge of anatomy, pressure, and intuitive flow.
Followed by application of a body cream with grape ingredients, I enjoyed a head massage that was again not totally wrong, but could have improved much.
After the treatment my friendly therapist escorted me back to the reception desk, where I was asked to sign for my treatment. I was offered a tea that I was handed at reception desk and had to make my way to the infrared cabin myself, which my therapist had recommended as a suitable treatment following the massage.
The Wine Special Grape Elixir Facial later in the day was not much different in experience from the massage. Again, the beautician was very caring and friendly, explained the treatment steps and products, did a short skin analysis and looked after my comfort well.
However the design of the treatment was not very sophisticated, reason may partly be that Aveda, the exclusive brand at Loisium Spa, is not a high end spa brand. The facial contained all relevant steps such as cleanse, (no purification), peeling, massage and application of final skin care products, yet had no extra highlight, not even related to the wine theme. The only wine related aspects were that some of the products contained grape seed oil or grape seeds, and that I was offered a glass of wine at the end of the treatment. This however was not celebrated, but handed to me in form of a voucher that I was asked to void at the bar or restaurant at convenience.
Too many service shortcuts for my taste.
The Loisium offers two saunas, a steam room and an infrared cabin in the basement of the spa, as well as one relaxation area on the ground floor, that also serves as corridor to other areas, and an relaxation area (with a small and bare quiet room) on the first floor.
Simply by coincidence I learned that guests can ask for a body peeling product at the spa reception to use in the steam room. The steam room was spacious with adequate heat and steam, thus I enjoyed this experience.
The saunas were nice but basic, as was the infrared cabin.
The six heated stone loungers are a nice feature, particularly as the air quality in the wet area was quiet good.
A self service bistro offers waters and tea all day, as well as fruit, nuts and yoghurts. Conveniently self service, the area was well frequented, yet again, not very cosy and reminded me more of a canteen than a spa bistro.
I very much enjoyed the outdoor swimming pool, which makes a great lap pool due to its size and shape. A short access balcony is of great value in winter or rain.
The new natural swimming pond at the other end of the garden is nice, but not the greatest new invention.
The garden blends lovely into the vineyards and offers sufficient loungers and space for relaxation during nice weather.
This is really what you should go for!
Next to the hotel lies the Loisium wine world with a museum and a large shop. We greatly enjoyed the audio guided tour through the 900 year old wine cellars, where we learned about wine making in the area, the different grapes, habits and every day life of wine makers, anecdotes and more.
And of course we enjoyed the tasting afterwords which made us eventually return home with a couple of bottles in our luggage…
A more outdorsy experience is the ‘wine trail’, that takes you through the wineyards where again, you can learn more about the grapes, the different wines, different brands and names of winemakers of the area. Lovely views compliment the walk!
If you are not much into wines, this is not the place. However if you are keen on trying Austrian wines in one of the best regions, learn about wine making and different grapes, walk vineyards and go for a “Heurigen”, this is the place to be!
If you are an experienced spa person, you may be disappointed. Yet if you are happy to go for a nice swim in the lap pool and have a simple sauna session after a long day walking the vineyards, you will enjoy the Loisium Wine Spa Resort Langenlois.