snowy weekend getaway
I used to be a firm believer that vacations needed to be far, far away (preferably overseas) in order to be a real vacation. And that at least 2 weeks away from home were necessary in order to feel relaxed. Over the years, that has changed…
“Jobs fill your pocket, adventures fill your soul”
Nowadays, Mike and I prefer multiple shorter trips throughout the year rather than one super long holiday. We flew to the Maldives for only 5 days last March, but it was perfect. We barely spent a week in Miami to celebrate our 10-year anniversary in September, but it was perfect. And last week, we only spent 2 days at the PURESLeben Altenbach Stadl, but guess what – it was perfect! Fact is, it is not about how long or how far away a vacation takes you, but what it does to your soul.
where Austrian tradition meets modern luxury.
The concept behind the PURESLeben Ferienhäuser (vacation homes) is simple but spot on: the most beautiful locations in Styria, homes that are special but calming with outstanding design, culinary delights from the region and homemade wine. An equation that adds up to an incredibly relaxing weekend.
- the home away from home: there are 2 categories of vacation houses offered by PURESLeben. Premium houses (2 or 4 persons) and location houses (couples or families). We stayed at the Stadl in Altenbach, which is a premium house for 2 people and was love at first sight when I spotted it on their website.
- tradition meets modern luxury: the “Stadl” refers to an old Austrian barn. The base of the house is formed by said Stadl, with modern upgrades and additions made. A free-standing bathtub, lots of glass, flat-screen TV and more. With the original wooden walls of the Stadl, a super cozy bedroom, lots of natural materials, a fire place in the open living space and the setting in the middle of nature, it instantly becomes the ultimate hideaway.
- amenities: where other vacation homes end, PURESLeben starts. Aside from the super stylish houses, the amenities take it to the next level. A panorama sauna (our highlight), natural habitat, pool, wooden oven & scenic views the Altenbach Stadl really can’t be topped when it comes to vacation homes.
- food & service: now this is where things get really special! Unlike other vacation homes, the PURESLeben Ferienhäuser offer a very special and personal service. Their philosophy focuses on guaranteed personal space and feeling “alone”, while taking care of their guests with local produce and regional meals, offering massages by the cozy fireplace or in the middle of nature and organizing activities, such as a vespa picknick or hot air balloon rides.
So, what did our weekend at PURESLeben look like? We arrived just before 10pm on Friday night with the lights dimly light, music playing and an Austrian “Jause” (= dinner snack) of fresh bread, local ham & cheese, vegetables, homemade apple juice and more waiting on the table. It totally felt like coming home! For the next morning, the fridge was stocked with eggs, yoghurt, oats, honey, jam, apples & much more. Sometime in the wee hours of the day, someone placed a basket with fresh pastries and rolls by our door.
We spent most of the day in our sweats, lounging by the fire, watching the ski race in Kitzbühel on TV, taking walks in the snow and hopping into the saune. By late afternoon, Mr. Silly himself (the owner) stopped by to drop of our homemade dinner, a 3-course meal prepared in mason jars for us to heat up and enjoy at our leisure.
The next day, we simply hit repeat.
I can truly say that it was a magical experience. I have never been to a place that felt so far from home while feeling so much like home at the same time. Every corner of the Stadl was perfectly thought-through and designed. The food felt like it was made by mom and the natural surroundings gave of that calming feeling of pure relaxation. I personally loved the snow-covered scenery, but I can imagine how stunning it must also be during Summer with the pool for an occasional dip and a BBQ waiting on the deck!
*thanks to PURESLeben for the wonderful stay