Casually treading water in Astoria Resort’s heated outdoor infinity pool, face tilted skyward, a rosy glow colours my cheeks.
The skin-tingling Austrian air is probably about 80% responsible for this. The other 20%? Oh, that’ll be shameless, smug delight.
A super-scenic half-hour taxi ride from Innsbruck Airport, takes you to the he Astoria Resort Seefeld.
The Astoria is perched 1,200m above sea level at the top of Seefeld, a picture-perfect Alpine village in the heart of the Austrian Tyrol.
The altitude and mountain air are practically a spa treatment in themselves, credited with playing a key role in why guests so leave feeling gloriously revived.
That’s not to say luxury lounging is out. The resort completed a major refurb and restyle last year, with Elisabeth Gurtler, the current owner, giving the entrance lobby, bar and lounge area a stunning new look.
It looks good but, most importantly, it feels good.
The minute I arrive, I instantly want to curl up in a corner with a magazine and hot chocolate, phone off, and relax.
The refurb introduced 24 new suites. Splashing out on the best guarantees sprawling living space, panoramic views and tubs with room for two.
But my double, complete with mountain-facing balcony, walk-in shower and separate bath, and far too many sumptuously plump pillows than you could ever possibly need (joy!) – is ideal. Not that I want to spend too much time in my room. Here for a long weekend, my itinerary is packed with some serious R&R.
The spa is split into two areas, one of which is “textile-free”, meaning no clothes or swimsuits allowed (and yes, it’s mixed sex).
The two large swimming pools and outdoor salt-water whirlpool/Jacuzzi are in the textile zone, along with generous lounging areas, daybeds, sauna, steam rooms and treatment rooms.
Day one, I stick with the swimsuited section. But much of the modernisation work’s taken place in the textile-free area, which includes a gigantic sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the Alps, as well as a small outdoor infinity whirlpool.
By day two, it’s too much to resist and I cast my British prudishness and bikini aside, grab a towel and head for that sauna, a 42-square-metre box of bliss.
Sun floods in through the glass and, within seconds, I’m utterly engulfed by the heady scent of wood and heat, so absorbed in the moment that my fully-bare flesh matters not a jot.
There’s an impressive menu of treatments available too that are relatively reasonably-priced (from €45 for a 25-minute Fango Mud Bath For The Back treatment, while many of the hour-long massage-type treatments come in at under the £100 mark), plus a gym and timetable of free classes. I opt for a shiatsu session (€95/£85 for 50 minutes) with Markus, the lead therapist who, radiant and calm in equal measure, embodies holistic wellness and mountain-dweller fitness.
Rooted in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine, shiatsu literally means “finger pressure”, and involves lying on a mat while Markus releases blockages in my energy flow via gentle pressing, sweeping motions and some very light joint movement.
Markus tells me I’ll feel heat in my skin when the “unblocking” is working, and he’s right, but it’s hours later that night and the following morning when I really notice the benefits. I feel like I’ve had an almighty stretch, all lengthened and smoothed out. My joints, particularly through my spine, feel oiled somehow.
The spa tends to be pretty quiet in the mornings, as many guests head out after breakfast to make the most of the Alps, one of nature’s great playgrounds.
During summer months, there’s hiking, mountain biking, cycling and wild swimming to enjoy.
But drinking in those Tyrolean peaks from a bubbling Jacuzzi – knowing there’s a big glass of wine waiting to be enjoyed later – is pretty hard to beat.
Small enough to explore in an afternoon, Seefeld boasts a few streets of shops, a casino, a handful of bars and a pretty market square (just head towards the tall church spire and you’ll find it). And a 10-minute hike up the country lane tucked just to the left of the church leads to an open meadow and stunning views.
Doubles at Astoria Resort Seefeld astoria-seefeld.com/en cost from €175pp.
easyJet fly from London Gatwick to Innsbruck from £25.18 one way. See easyjet.com