Refugium Lunz

Lunz am See, Austrian Alps, Austria
Book from GBP Book from £211 per night

Refugium Lunz

Lunz am See, Austrian Alps, Austria

A 17th century townhouse lovingly restored as a stunning designer hotel and restaurant on the banks of the Ybbs river in Mostviertel, Lower Austria

A 17th century townhouse lovingly restored as a stunning designer hotel and restaurant on the banks of the Ybbs river in Mostviertel, Lower Austria

For a property with such a rich history, the first thing that strikes you walking through the doors of the Refugium Lunz is its utter modernity. Nestling in the town square of the picturesque medieval town of Lunz, it looks from the outside a classic chocolate-box Austrian chateau. But the interior is a masterful restoration that nods to the past yet is very much a contemporary 4-star hostelry. The vaulted arches, wooden beams and exposed brickwork remain, but everything else has been brought bang up to date – a veritable Scandinavian-style symphony of marble, iron, steel and glass, concrete, natural woods, clean lines, all accentuated by the highest of high-end furnishings.

This is no sterile designer project, however. The emphasis here throughout, including in the 23 rooms and suites, is on upmarket comfort. Gastronomy is a highlight, indeed the heart of the Refugium is the salonküche, the open kitchen where head chef and co-manager Christian rustles up international and traditional dishes, while you watch with a glass of wine. Alternatively, grab a book and nestle down beside the roaring fire in winter, or in summer head to the terrace pool, taking in the fabulous views of the old town, the canopy of forest or the sweep of the Ybbstal Alps in the distance.

Highs

  • The barnlike wellness area features a heated outdoor pool, sauna, relaxation/massage room, and yoga and fitness room. Beautiful, calming and spacious
  • The view from the restaurant over the town and forest must be one of the best in the area – particularly during the day – perfectly framed by the full-length sliding glass doors
  • Instead of a classic hotel bar, there’s a cute ‘vinotheque’ wine cabinet, espresso bar and a small shop selling local specialities
  • Great outdoorsy destination for all seasons, with snowsports, hiking and biking in the mountains, as well as watersports by the river and the emerald Lake Lunz
  • All rooms have private terraces, some also have saunas

Lows

  • Most of the rooms are for couples so not especially suited to families – although one or two have an extra bed, and some of the rooms are connected
  • The area itself, although beautiful and great for exploring, with lots of adventurous activities on the doorstep, doesn’t have much in the way of attractions or tourist sites
  • Lunz is a hidden gem in the centre of the country, equidistant from Vienna and Graz; international airports are at a distance

Best time to go

It’s a great destination all year round although it does get very cold in winter. It has the dubious distinction of being the coldest place ever recorded in Europe (-52C, although that was back in 1952!) Typical European seasonal temperatures apply most of the time, however. Warm and sunny in summer, mild and pleasant in spring and autumn.

Our top tips

For something different, take a visit to the Hammerherren Museum in town. It’s small but wonderfully curated and tells the history of the Black Counts – the traditional iron workers who used to produce the area’s most valuable product. The guides are passionate and welcoming and full of useful insights about the region’s heritage.

Great for...

Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 23 rooms
  • Restaurant & bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry Service
  • Electric car charger
Room:

Rooms

There are 23 rooms in total, each individually (and beautifully) designed. The best is considered to be the Suite, which is around 46m, with a large terrace overlooking the church, a small living room, a library, two bedrooms and a private sauna.

On the first and second floors of the old house are the small but comfortable Sun Salutation Room with its yoga mat (and more importantly morning sun), and the sought-after Sauna Rooms, which have fabulous views of the river Ybbs and their own saunas on a private terrace.

The newer Garden Rooms in the basement are next-word chic (brushed wood, marble tops, neutral tones and king-sized beds) and come with their own private entrances and gardens. These are perfect if you're bringing a dog, affording easy access to walking and hiking trails.

Rooms vary in size from small and cosy to full suites, and each has a different view, either onto the terrace or across the river and forest. There’s something here for most tastes and budgets.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Terrace/balcony
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast tends to be an international affair, all freshly made onsite using as much local produce as possible. There are a wide variety of dishes including the traditional American breakfast (bacon, eggs etc), although the Refugium also offers vegetarian and vegan options.

Lunch and dinner are also available in the salonküche restaurant with an ever-changing daily three course menu according to what’s in season emanating from the open kitchen – we hear good things about the signature dish of roasted liver. It's a popular destination for locals, unsurprisingly given the magnificent views of the river and mountains from the dining room.

Lunz itself is small but does have some lovely restaurants and a couple of quaint bars. Head down to the river’s edge for the most popular (more for their views than their gastronomy). The cuisine in these parts heavily favours traditional Austrian, so expect lots of schnitzels and spätzle, hearty meals and heavenly cakes.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Kids' meals
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The great outdoors beckons! Lunz is an official "Mountaineering Village" of the Austrian Alpine Association, and emerald Lake Lunz is Lower Austria's only natural swimming lake, located at the foot of impressive Ybbstal Alpine mountains, the focal point for most activities
  • In winter the lake is a great spot for ice skaters as it often freezes over. Skiers also flock here to take advantage of the cross-country courses
  • In summer this a destination for fishers, kayakers, swimmers, snorkellers and lovers of the water
  • In spring, hikers take to the forest and mountains. Bikes are available on request and are a great way to explore the countryside
  • The Mostviertel region is named for the many fruit trees grown for cider and Perry production; the Perry tree blossom in April is a highlight
  • The architect-designed House of Wilderness (Haus der Wildnis) museum next door is the perfect state-of-the-art introduction to the Rothwald ecosystem, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage protected primeval forest; guided hikes depart from here
  • Check out the Three Lakes tour or the Ötscher nature reserve
  • Enjoy the heated swimming pool, the sauna, relaxation/massage room, and yoga and fitness in the wellness area year-round

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Ice skating
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Skiing
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

All ages are welcome, and kids will enjoy the terrace swimming pool. Some rooms are available for three people and other rooms are connected, so ask before booking. Changing mats and children's discounts are also offered.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Some Garden Rooms can interconnect.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

High chair; baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Distances:

  • Airport: 2 hours
Kid Friendly:

Location

Refugium Lunz is in the centre of picturesque town Lunz am See, based in the Mostviertel region, which is in the SW of the state of Lower Austria. It lies between Vienna, Graz and Salzburg (around 2-3 hours to each).

By Air:
Linz is the closest airport (about 90 mins away), but there are no direct flights from the UK. You'll need to fly to Graz (153km), Vienna (175km) or Salzburg (241km).

By Car:
You'll probably want to hire a car to reach the hotel - see our car rental recommendations. From Graz and Vienna, the journey time is approx 2 hours. There is reserved parking in a garage 50m from the main entrance.

By Train:
The nearest railway station is Scheibbs. A pick-up service is available via the hotel (25-minute drive).

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Graz Airport 153.0 km GRZ
  • Vienna Airpot 175.0 km VIE

Other:

  • Beach 200.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Rates for Refugium Lunz

Arriving on: