The Cōmodo arrives in Bad Gastein, Austria


The Cōmodo, a newly-opened property – and member of Design Hotels – in the picturesque town of Bad Gastein in the Austrian Alps, seeks to strike the balance between creativity, rejuvenation and nature.

Framed by forested cliffs and gaping valleys, the year-round destination features an overarching design vision that echoes the beauty of its surroundings while honouring the timeless aesthetics of 1960s and 70s. Vintage Mid-Century Modern furnishings sit alongside among bespoke pieces, unique artworks, and site-specific lighting installations. The hotel’s 70 rooms come in a range of sizes, while an onsite farm-to-table restaurant, spa, boutique cinema and summer garden round out the offering.

Throughout history, Bad Gastein was known as a refuge for emperors and empresses seeking the healing powers of nature. They frequented the town for its landscape, thermal baths and nearby caves, which are said to stimulate the metabolism of cells. Despite declining in popularity during the 1970s, the town has in recent years reclaimed its place on the cultural map, with artists, architects and restaurateurs striving to reawaken the destination from its slumber. The Comōdo, helmed by Berlin-based designer Piotr Wisniewski and architect Barbara Elward, along with their agency weStudio, also looks to do just that.

The Comodo in Bad Gastein, Austria

“Here, in Bad Gastein, history is repeating itself,” says Elward. “For more than 40 years, the magnificent buildings faded away, but there is now this new beginning. Bad Gastein feels to me like Berlin used to; crazy and lively, a spirit of optimism in a historic setting.”

The Comōdo was reborn from the bones of an old clinic, with Wisniewski and Elward translating a Mid-Century Modern vibe into a contemporary mountain escape. The result is a property with historical and geographical references, evoking the nostalgia of a 1960s–’70s Alpine resort, as well as contemporary art and design pieces by emerging and established European talents. In the lobby lounge for example, is a red Camaleonda sofa by Mario Bellini – a nod to the history of the nearby brutalist congress centre designed by Gerhard Garstenauer, where public areas were furnished with Camaledona sofas when it opened in 1974. On the wall close to the sofa is a ruby-red Rondo mirror made of highly polished stainless steel by designer Oskar Zięta. And the surface of the mirror reflects breath in breath out, an installation by internationally renowned artist Jeppe Hein that hangs on the opposite wall.

Other standout vintage pieces in the common space include Joe Colombo’s Elda chair and Gae Aulenti’s seating arrangement for Knoll international, both of which meld seamlessly amongst 117 bespoke designs by weStudio. Such bold shapes and pops of colour create a warm and inviting atmosphere, a feeling that is heightened through an abundance of books and curios lining the space, as well as a grand piano.

An overarching colour scheme of rich wine and bottle green offsets the original terrazzo floor, while local materials like oak and pine wood offer a timeless aesthetic – all of which extends into the hotel’s 70 guestrooms and suites. The rooms range from 19-50m² in size, although all of them feature unique tapestries, carpets, prints and wall designs by artisans selected by weStudio. For instance, AmberDesign’s Gosia Warrink and Katja Koeberlin conceived 140 unique designs inspired by the colours and contours of the Bad Gastein mountains. One is a series of rugs that, following their designs, were then produced in India during the pandemic using a mixture of Indian and New Zealand wool.

The Comodo in Bad Gastein, Austria

Guests will also find vases and candleholders in the rooms created specifically for the hotel by the design agency Fundamental. Other in-room highlights include floor-to-ceiling windows, which offer views of either the pine forests or Gastein valley, as well as rain showers lined with deep green tiling, and oak parquet with floor heating. The four suites are each equipped with a freestanding soaking tub, a living room with a working desk, a couch and a chaise lounge, plus record players, a small selection of LPs and spacious balconies. Luxury bath amenities are provided by Saint Charles.

Saint Charles products are also used in treatments at The Cōmodo Spa, which draws on the town’s history to create its own wellness traditions. Ranging from traditional massages and facials to concentrated plant power shots and soothing magnesium treatments, the programme is tailored to each guest and performed using Gastein thermal waters, which are said to have regeneration, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects on joints and muscles. Beyond the five treatment rooms, the spa comprises two saunas, an indoor pool and a spacious sundeck. Completing the wellness facilities are a fitness centre and yoga studio.

A central, uniting element of the ground-floor lobby lounge is the in-house bar and restaurant. The restaurant follows a farm-to-table approach, pairing striking vistas with organic wines, classic cocktails and modern Austrian cuisine. Ingredients are sourced fresh from local farmers and producers, and menu highlights include braised beef in red wine sauce, perfectly scorched vegetables, cheese dumplings and apricot galettes with buffalo milk rice. The drinks, meanwhile, are crafted to complement the cuisine. Tastes range from sour to herbal, and a specific focus is placed on the classics alongside Winzersekt from local organic farms and small-batch vineyards.

The Comodo in Bad Gastein, Austria

Photography: © Fat Tony Studio

The post The Cōmodo arrives in Bad Gastein, Austria appeared first on Sleeper.


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