3 Winter Wellness Journeys in the Bavarian Alps



Discover winter wellness in the Bavarian Alps set amongst the country’s highest peaks, Christmas markets, fairytale castles, alpine wilderness, and the unique culture and architecture of Deutschland.



Last December, on behalf of Kind Traveler, Sean Krejci and I had a unique opportunity to visit Germany and uncover what Bavarian winter wellness looks like. We were selected as a finalist by Lufthansa Innovation Hub to compete at its first Changemaker Challenge in Frankfurt. Overjoyed for the opportunity, we immediately started to plan our first-time visit to Deutschland. Not only were we ecstatic for the chance to pitch Kind Traveler to major players in the travel industry – including high-level execs from Expedia, Google, Uber, and Lufthansa Innovation Hub, but it was also a chance to do what we love doing most in life – experiencing new cultures through travel and discovering new inspirations for opportunities to travel kindly in the future.

As I write this in the midst of a global health pandemic, travel looks very different today than it did a year ago. And while there are many restrictions in place today, we believe it’s important to continue dreaming of future travel that considers kindness to local communities, the environment, and you.

After a little research, it was clear that we were going to Germany during one of the most nostalgic and enchanted times of the year: Christmas market season! A tradition of over 500 years, we could not wait to be part of the Yuletide festivities taking place throughout Germany (hello glühwein (mulled wine)) and the lovingly hand-crafted treasures and décor made by local vendors.

We also discovered that the Germany’s largest state, Bavaria, offers the most opportunities for sustainable wellness resorts and experiences, set amongst the country’s highest peaks, alpine wilderness, crisp mountain air, and unique Bavarian culture and architecture. 

Next, I’ll take you along three winter wellness journeys we discovered in the Bavarian Alps along with ‘must do’ experiences along the way to ignite the magic of winter. While the three wellness resorts we explored are not yet part of the Kind Traveler collection, we do aspire to partner with them to empower you to positively impact the local communities within Bavaria, Germany.

With Kind Traveler’s focus on both wellness and sustainability, we felt drawn to explore the Bavarian Alps to find alpine bliss and renewal amongst its many wellness resorts.

WELLNESS JOURNEY #1: Hotel Klosterhof Alpine Hideaway & Spa

Location: Bayerisch Gmain

Just two hours from Munich and one hour from Salzburg, Austria, nestled in the unique beauty of the Bavarian Alps, beholds Hotel Klosterhof Alpine Hideaway & Spa. We were immediately drawn to Klosterhof for its sustainable design, nature-inspired setting, and focus on wellness that is owned and managed by a local family, Henrike and Dr. Andreas Färber, who have made their lifelong dream come true.

“It is the connection to nature that grounds us and gives us perspective,” says host Dr. Andreas Färber. “Together with my wife Henrike, we have combined our expertise in hotel management, medicine and health.”


With just 65 unique rooms & suites with panoramic views, we were thrilled to experience the Panorama Loft known for its 17-foot ceilings, a large, private balcony and unspoiled views of the mountains and rolling fields. I particularly enjoyed the open bath with views of the countryside and the cozy reading nook, perfect for restoration after a day exploring or unwinding at the spa (more on that, later!).


Each piece of fabric, each shingle, each item of furniture was hand-picked by the Färber family, especially for the Klosterhof. Sustainable woods, including apple and Swiss pine, evoke a sense of warmth and comfort.

You’ll appreciate the unique amenities that come with every stay including access to its Artemacur Spa along with an extensive breakfast buffet, afternoon snack with a small salad bar, gourmet dinner with your choice of dishes prepared by Chef Sascha Förster and much more.



This is not your everyday spa – which makes the journey to this off-the-grid destination worth every single minute.

Plan on spending multiple days absorbing the many wellness experiences and restoring your mind and body throughout the 16,000 square foot Artemacur Spa (artemacur is a philosophy that represents the art of taking care of yourself and paying attention to your own inner needs).

A Finish sauna with mountain views.

A few of the standout features of this little slice of heaven include a bio reclaimed wood sauna and a Finnish panorama sauna made of fragrant Swiss pinewood. Enveloped in glass, soak in the views of the forest and rolling hills while you detox, reset, and renew. Afterwards, head to the Oriental hammam steam bath and refresh with a natural shower.

One of the most memorable experiences of our wellness journey was being part of a sauna infusion experience led by professional sauna master, Andi.

Herbal infusions, exfoliations, and music were baked into the 200-degree Finnish sauna for an experience like no other.

Alpine Soledom: another rare feature of this wellness haven.

Float in a private, warm saltwater pool made from the region’s “white gold” – the alpine salt mineral spring around Bad Reichenhall Bavarian State Baths.

For more than 250 million years, the salt of the prehistoric ocean was hidden in the depths of the mountains. With a salt content of 12% and rich in mineral content, it has a healing and relaxing effect that you can enjoy in the feeling of weightlessness and time standing still.


Salzburg, the Festival City

The city of Mozart is just an hour away in Salzburg, Austria. If visiting during December, you will not want to miss the Christmas market on Salzburg’s Cathedral Square (also a World Heritage-listed Old City) known as the Salzburg Christkindlmarkt around the world with origins going back to the 15th century. 100 market stands share folk customs and traditional decorations that conjure up a festive atmosphere that brings the heart of Christmas to life.


Lake Königssee in Schönau

About 45-minutes from Klosterhof, discover Lake Königssee, one of the most photographed lakes in Berchtesgadener Land. No trip to Lake Königssee is complete without a boat trip to the St. Bartholomä peninsula by electric boat. A first chapel at the lake was built in 1134 by the Provosts of Berchtesgaden. Wear your warmest winter gear and hiking boots to explore the region to its fullest.

WELLNESS JOURNEY #2: AMERON Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa

Location: Schwangau, Germany

Your home base for a modern fairytale Bavarian adventure.

No trip to the Bavarian Alps can be made complete without a visit to the Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Magical Kingdom.

About three hours east of Klosterhof, at the foot of the two King Ludwig’s castles, Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein you’ll find AMERON Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa, your home base for a fairytale Bavarian adventure and restoration steps away from both castles.


No other resort in the region provides a chance to wake up to views of both castles. With a view of the Alpsee, surrounded by forests and an extraordinary vista of mountains, this new luxe hotel is a unique blend of nature and culture where modern design meets a 100-year old historic past. You can expect a gourmet complimentary breakfast before heading out for castle exploring – but turn your evening into a night of battery recharging at the 4 Elements Spa.


There’s a lot to cover when trying to get the most out of exploring the Bavarian Alps in a relatively short time period. It’s possible to balance your trip between adventure and relaxation when you consciously plan self-care time into your trip. You’ll appreciate Germany’s historic love for the sauna as many resorts include access to the spa as part of your stay. The 4 Elements Spa in the AMERON Alpsee Resort is divided into warm, calm and water zones – the Balance Spa features three different saunas, a 775 square foot pool with a waterfall, adventure shower, an ice pool, relaxation room and relaxation terrace.


Neuschwanstein Castle

Steps from AMERON Alpsee Resort, you’ll hike up an incline trail to access the Neuschwanstein Castle. Built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the “Fairytale King,” he was a great admirer and supporter of Richard Wagner, the world-renowned composer. Neuschwanstein Castle was built in his honor and many rooms in the castle’s interior were inspired by Wagner’s characters Neuschwanstein literally means “New Swan Castle” referencing of “the Swan Knight” one of the Wagner’s characters. You’ll uncover many other historical fun facts about the castle that inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle and much more.

Hohenschwangau Castle

Adjacent to Neuschwanstein Castle, you’ll find Hohenschwangau Castle, a 19th century palace where King Ludwig II grew up. Built on a hill above lake Alpsee, the castle was first mentioned in the 12th century.

Tour packages must be purchased ahead of time to access both castles.

WELLNESS JOURNEY #3: Werdenfelserei

Location: Garmisch-Partenkirchen

For a Bavarian Alps winter wellness getaway and mountain bliss that involves skiing on Germany’s highest mountain (Zugspitze), you won’t want to miss lodging with boutique hotel, Werdenfelserei. Just an hour from Munich, this eco-luxe alpine beauty is family owned and a solid wood hotel made from natural products – from the furniture to the culinary creations.


All rooms and suites are furnished in fresh Alpine design and radiate the atmosphere of the cozy wooden-bellied house. All bathrooms have underfloor heating and are equipped with loose leaf tea and a tea pot along with Alpienne body care products made from high-quality and beneficial plant extracts.


The warm, all-wood chalet atmosphere spread across two floors of panoramic mountain views of Germany’s highest peak, creates a sanctuary for harmony unlike any other at The Spa at Werdenfelserei. We particularly enjoyed the heated outdoor pool, high up on the roof terrace, with built-in lounge chairs immersed in the water.

Sit back, take in the warmth and the enchantment found in this extraordinary heaven above Garmisch. Take your favorite book or magazine and snuggle up with the cozy fireplace lounge after lounging in the snug infrared lounger and detoxing in the Finnish & bio sauna and steam bath. I’ve never felt more relaxed and cared for within this special haven that will never be forgotten. 


Let's hit the slopes! The Garmisch-Classic Ski Area and the glacier area of Germany’s highest mountain promise alpine adventure for passionate skiers and snowboarders. The three connected ski mountains Hausberg, Kreuzeck and Alpspitze offer an assorted winter utopia for the adventurous.


Photo Credit: Jessica Blotter & Sean Krejci of Kind Traveler, Hotel Klosterhof, Werdenfelserei, and AMERON Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa

Have you been to the Bavarian Alps? We'd love to hear about your experience and recommendations for future Kind Hotels. Feel free to email me directly at Jblotter@kindtraveler.com, thank you for reading and sharing, it is so appreciated. - Jessica 

Kind Traveler CEO, Jessica Blotter, is a kindness curator who dreams of a world where people, animals, and the environment are treated with love and compassion. Follow her to discover where kindness can take you and insights on what it means to travel kindly.