Deep from inside the earth

Updated: January 03, 2015 4:56 PM

One of Austria’s most spectacular Alpine landscapes is home to a truly special thermal spa

One of Austria’s most spectacular Alpine landscapes is home to a truly special thermal spa

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The Aqua Dome – Tirol Therme Längenfeld is in a class of its own. This luxury retreat is a paradise for spa lovers thanks to its spacious pool areas, deluxe sauna zones, four-star superior hotel and unparalleled views of the stunning Öztal Alps. Careful attention to detail means the resort is full of little touches which ensure that this picture postcard spa resort is a popular destination for all the family– there is even an underwater camera to immortalise those cherished memories.

An oasis of relaxation

20150115eh33The Aqua Dome – Tirol Therme Längenfeld is a self-contained luxury water world for children and families with play areas and family attractions such as the giant water slide. One of the most distinctive spas in Austria, the Aqua Dome – Tirol Therme Längenfeld also has its own child-friendly restaurant.

Guests can try something more active or simply sit back and enjoy the Austrian Alps from the comfort of the spa. The spa offers a full range of outdoor attractions from climbing to mountain bike tours. But if you prefer to take things a little easier, then countless spa treatments, curative massages and other signature experiences await in the spacious Spa 3000 – an oasis of relaxation packed with products from the local region.

The new premium spa zone on the roof of the spa building extends over two levels and 2,000 square metres – providing oceans of space for guests to experience the magical effects of some of the precious resources that make the Ötztal Valley special. Herbs, minerals and precious stones – fire, ice and water – combine to incredible effect, opening the door to a secret world of spa relaxation. Flowers, herbs and aromatic timber from the forests of the Ötztal Valley set the tone on the first floor.

Wild thyme, dry mountain hay and Swiss pine – the scents in the air at the Aqua Dome’s new spa conjure up images of an idyllic stroll through luscious Tyrolean pastures. The adventure begins in the Alpenkräutersauna or Alpine herb sauna where special infusions of achillea, lavender, mint and arnica mixed with the purest Ötztal Valley spring water await. Guests are free to choose from a full range of Alpine herbal pack treatments in the Kräuterpackungsbad. The absolute highlight of the exclusive new rooftop spa zone is the Ötztaler Kristallbad, where fine nozzles permeate the air with minerals and trace elements such as magnesium and selenium. After experiencing the delights of the sauna, the Kräutertee-Veranda provides an ideal setting for quiet reflection. Everyday worries soon evaporate here, as guests take time out to savour every sip of freshly brewed herbal tea and drink in the sensational views of the rugged Öztal Valley.

20150115eh34On the upper level of Spa 3000, spectacular views of the surrounding 3,000 metre high mountains open up behind peaked glass facades measuring eight metres from top to bottom. The names of the relaxation rooms – which translate as fire and tranquillity, pasture view, and floating calm – give a clear indication of the special charms that await within.

Visitors will be suffused with warmth and wellbeing as they take to the Ötztal Valley spa waters in the Längenfelder Badl’n pool. In the final stage of an unforgettable journey, spagoers take in the stunning mountain panorama as they recline on submerged loungers immersed in 36°C natural spa water.

Two big pools filled with 34° and 36° C warm, sulphurous thermal water, which comes from a depth of 1,865 metres, invite for healthy bathing throughout the whole year.

The stately waterfall, the two indoor pools, the relaxation room arranged like galleries in an opera and the view onto the nature through the big glass window front are simply stunning. Solaria and a heat oasis top off the range of offers in the thermal indoor area. An own water world with two big swimming pools on the deck of a ship, a 90 metre long gigantic water slide and fanciful playrooms are waiting for children and families.

The pyramid and the pools

20150115eh35The three seemingly levitating, futuristic bowl-shaped pools, connected with each other by a shining glass cone, convey a feeling of weightlessness in the outdoor thermal spa Talfrische.

In a bowl, the bathing pleasure is accompanied with underwater music and light effects. The massage bowl presents itself as a kind of oversized sulphur pool and the brine pool neutralises gravity. Watching the sun set behind the mountain tops covered with snow while floating in the bowls is an unforgettable experience.

A very special highlight is the moonlight bath until midnight, which promises pure romanticism under the star-spattered sky of the Ötztal every Friday night. The three bowl-shaped pools have already become an architectural landmark. In the sulphur bowl, pure sulphurous water runs to the thermal water every 15 minutes and all around the edge of the pool, you can find massage benches.

The brine bowl invites for ultimate relaxation with a salt content of five per cent, underwater music and light effects.

Bathers can swim towards the glass pyramid through the lock of the thermal dome and the Talfrische pool. From the Talfrische pool through the whitewater whirl, stairs lead through the soaring glass pyramid to the three levitating bowl-shaped pools, arranged in a shifted position. At night, the pyramid shines in the play of many colours.

The 25-metre pool meets all the requirements sportsmen need for effective training sessions: an invigorating water temperature of 28 degrees celsius, neutral water, sufficient water depth for the turn and much space for technical moves. On request, four lanes can be separated by dividing lines.

In the 15 square metres large activity pool, daily aqua gymnastics and aqua cycling exercises are conducted.

Healing waters

20150115eh36From the former Längenfelder Badl thermal bath in the 16th century to the foundation of the Aqua Dome four centuries later. The healing waters of Längenfeld in the Ötztal surface from a depth of 1.865 metres and at a temperature of 40° celsius. After the spring of the ‘Badl’, which had been known for centuries, had dried up in 1960, the water was rediscovered in 1997 via deep drilling. According to analysis, the drilled waters from Längenfeld are a sulphur thermal spring with a divalent sulphur content of 5 mg S–/l, sodium chloride sulphate thermal water and a legally recognised healing spring. Three to four litres of warm and pure water are spouting into the thermal spa through the 100 metre long pipe system every second.

In the 16th century, one could read the first time about a spring ‘with a distinctive sulphurous smell’ on the floor of the valley in Längenfeld. “Wherever water with an exceptional flavour of earth, iron or sulphur appears, people consider it a healing spring,“, the journal der Alpenfreund slandered in 1872 and further: “Beside farmers, now and then clerics of the surrounding area and some old spinsters are the only representatives of the female gender haunt there.”

Consequently, such a farmer’s Badl wasn’t necessarily considered a part of the upper way of life, but nevertheless: it was a bath. In 1897, the German travel writer R Flab was eager to take a bath after a long walk in the mountains and descended to Längenfeld. The putative ‘fine Badl’ turned out to be a wooden shack. “Beggars can’t be choosers. So, let’s jump into the sulphur puddle!” Flab disclosed to the newspaper Straßburger Post.

The farmer’s Badl was followed by a veritable sanatorium and afterwards by the ultra-modern thermal spa Aqua Dome. After farmers and spinsters, more and more hiking tourists visited the spring and with them grew the appreciation for the healing water of Längenfeld.

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