Sue Farmer discovered that golf can be relaxing at Stegersbach, a tranquil retreat among the ruins of castles on the border between Austria and Hungary….
- Thermal spa treatments are great for the swing
- Explore the mind-body connection for better golf
- Strawberry Uhudler – a rare Austrian wine
- Discover the “spring of life” at Heiligenbrun
- Pinewood rooms for a purifying break
Just over 90 minutes’ drive from Vienna’s Schwechat International airport and 45 minutes from Graz, the Thermal Resort of Stegersbach sits alongside a community of the same name.
As the name suggests, Südburgenland nestles in Austria’s south east corner, in Burgenland district.
The area was part of neighbouring Hungary until the signing of the St. Germain Peace Treaty in 1919 following the close of hostilities in the First World War.
After the Treaty, Burgenland became an independent Austrian Province, with Eisenstadt as its capital.
This is typical farming and wine growing country, dotted with numerous castles and ruins – a legacy from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – and from which the name ’Burgenland’ derives meaning ‘Land of Castles’.
The scenery is idyllic with endless, tiny, privately owned and run vineyards, market gardens and apple orchards dotted between densely wooded areas.
Pure restorative air and Thermal Springs
The lack of heavy industry and factories means the air is pure, with many visitors drawn to the region to ‘take the waters’ at the health restoring public spas for which it first became famous.
Peace and quiet, mixed with birdsong are par for the course here.
The environment alone creates a general sense of physical and mental wellbeing and is the perfect place to create a resort with the emphasis on health and fitness.
In this naturally beautiful region entrepreneur Karl Reiter purchased a huge tract of land in 2008 and Stegersbach was born.
In the past five years it rapidly expanded into the unique and hugely popular wellness and golf resort it is today.
Take time out on Thermal Hill
Known as ‘Thermal Hill,’ Stegersbach is home to three magnificent 4 star (superior) and one 5 star Hotel, plus Reiters 4 star Golf & Spa Resort Stegersbach, one of the best golf resorts in Austria.
Focus on wellbeing
While each Hotel individually offers spa, sauna and health complex facilities, there is specific focus on fitness and wellbeing – both mental and physical – and beauty.
The sense of wellbeing is all around you, in the design of the rooms, the relaxing products on sale and in the attitude and atmosphere created by the staff.
Rejuvenation for body, mind and soul
The bijoux Falkensteiner Balance Resort Hotel offers rejuvenation for body, mind and soul and has an excellent reputation for metabolically-balanced cuisine.
Larimar Hotel – This Thermal Spa offers a seemingly endless range of spa and beauty treatments – including one guaranteeing to leave you looking at least 10 years younger.
Massage treatments include that of the ‘jewel of the Caribbean’, a blue stone, believed to have therapeutic properties and from which the Hotel takes its name.
Thermenhotel Puchasplus places special focus on the size and design of the individual rooms and their furnishings, in particular the use of stone pinewood, which Austrians believe has restful and curative properties.
In each hotel and resort, your stay will be focused on creating an overall feeling of wellbeing, lifting the visitor out of the humdrum stresses and strains of modern, everyday life.
Above all these hotels are presented immaculately.
They are the perfect example of how and why hoteliers in Austria have long been regarded as masters of the hospitality profession, providing exacting attention to detail and total awareness of their guests needs.
Golf in Stegersbach
On the outskirts of the Resort, Reiter’s Golfschaukel Golf Complex offers 55 golf holes – two 18-hole courses, the Panorama & Südbergensland layouts; a 9 hole course for beginners and ‘warm up’ 5 holer.
This is the largest golf complex in Austria.
The courses are all spectacular, crafted out of the natural contours of a dramatic landscape, offering panoramic views on every side. The entire complex was presented in tip top condition during my visit.
On this course, distance judgement and shot planning were critical, while the rise and fall of the land making choosing the right club a challenge on every shot.
The changes in elevation mean you have to be extremely fit to carry your bag here or pull a trolley and with the thin pure air you may find it easier to take a buggy.
There are some great practice facilities at the resort and the Simon Tarr Golf Academy is an ideal place to take a lesson and work on your game.
In a resort where fitness and wellbeing is everything, Golf shouldn’t be underestimated for its health giving benefits. Walking five miles around a golf course is prime calorie burning exercise and plotting your way around the course is great for the mind.
Even if treading the fairways isn’t your favourite, there are a wide range of other sports and outdoor pursuits available in the area, including the increasingly popular sport of nordic walking, cycling, mountain biking or plain old hiking.
The superb golf clubhouse is a good place to enjoy a post-round snack and local produce is high on the menu throughout the Stegersbach resort.
Burgenland is rich in local specialities, derived from locally grown crops, fruit and vegetables or locally reared stock.
Should you tire of the pampering, peace and quiet of Stegersbach itself, your Hotel can arrange for day trips to some of the local attractions, including energy self-sufficient Güssing, a stone’s throw from the Hungarian border, and Heiligenbrun – a hotbed for wine production.
An extraordinary variety of wines and liqueurs are produced right across the region – including the distinctive, locally deemed strawberry flavoured Uhudler, produced most famously in Heiligenbrun.
Spring of Life
2012 saw the 100th anniversary of production of this wine, last year achieved by around 120 tiny vineyards. Distinctive, thatched wine cellars line a 2.5 kilometre lane, leading from a tiny chapel, where water flows from a ‘spring of life.’
The spring has turned the town into a magnet for visitors.
Add to the wines, a variety of brandies and liqueurs, locally-distilled whisky and wicked chocolates and you have a place rich in taste sensations and gastronomic highs.
The locally grown hops produce strong ale and local orchards produce delicious apples used for healthy juices and thirst quenching ciders.
When in season, asparagus appears on every local menu, presented in many different ways and the vitality associated with this vegetable symbolises the health boosting benefits you’ll enjoy from a stay in the Thermal resort and spas of Stegersbach.
Visit the Hotels’ individual websites for full details of facilities, themed Packages and Special offers.
You can find out more about this region at the south Burgenland tourism Board website: http://www.burgenland.info
Hotels in Stegersbach
ThermenHotel Puchasplus 4*
This hotel offers golf packages from 3 to 7 nights, including green fees, spa days and pack lunches.
Balance Resort Falkensteiner 5*
Larimer Hotel and ThermeSpa 4*
Reiters Golf – Golf Schaukel – Austria’s largest golf complex
Voted Austria’s best golf club several times, the resort has partner links with many of the hotels in Stegersbach, so wherever you decide to stay they should be able to help you book tee-times or negotiate rates.