In the geographic center of Leogang, it is 105 degrees. The heat burns on the skin, in a matter of seconds the water from the wooden bucket evaporates hissing on the hot stones. Through floor-to-ceiling window panes, the view inevitably goes out to the Steinberge, around whose majestic peaks there are clouds and one whose foot cows feast on lush green meadows and damp grass. Philipp Madreiter is sure that.
Now names of wellness oases, restaurants or fitness centers are more of a marketing gimmick than real promises, but in the Puradies nature resort the bathhouse is an example of the idea that the two brothers developed to make a name for themselves in the capital-intensive race for luxury hotels in Austria do. The “Inner Center” wellness building with its four saunas cannot compete with the huge beauty and spa landscapes of other establishments, especially in Tyrol, but it doesn’t want to. The Madreiter brothers have decided not to take part in the clumsy quantity or grueling cost competition, but rather to want to focus on quality. You could call it smaller, but finer.
Michael Madreiter is sitting in the hotel bar and runs his finger along the edges of the fast, magic cube-sized block of ice that sways back and forth in his gin and tonic. The fast, transparent cuboid is one of those little things that give the Puradies a character. The same thing was gilded for the bar, which has already won several design awards, “The greatest art in a hotel is to create an atmosphere, to give it a character,” says Madreiter, who with his dark gray beard and hoodie doesn’t seem like the hotel-typical.
But even if this is exactly the term on their business cards: “At heart we are innkeepers and farmers,” says Philipp Madreiter. He grins mischievously when he says that here, where whiskey, wine and gin from our own production are now served, pigs lived a good five years ago. “Yes, right here,” repeats Madreiter, pointing his finger at the high ceiling, “and up there was the hayloft”.
The history of the Madreiter is the basis for what the family has built up here, on a plateau above the 3400-strong community of Leogang in the Austrian state of Salzburg. Already in the middle of the last century the Embachhof, from which the nature resort Puradies arose and whose history goes back to the 14th century, was a pioneer of tourism because every room had its own bathroom. The grandfather of the Madreiter brothers realized early on that agriculture was not enough to achieve a certain level of prosperity. Aware of the location of the farm in the midst of the lofty Steinberge, the family gradually expanded the Embachhof. At the beginning of the millennium, he was one of the first to not only die their guests in rooms in the main building, but also in their own chalets, in order to offer the individuality, seclusion and privacy that are becoming more and more popular in times of Corona and digital acceleration.