We started a tradition when I arrived in Austria of visiting Reiters Supreme spa resort at the end of each year. In winter, snow falls softly, all outside is quiet and the trees are tinged with frost… time to get some R&R!
Reiters Supreme is a 5-star plus resort located in Southern Burgenland in Austria with a spa area that makes you want to throw your clothes off in joy, a dining experience that destroys any plan of a pre-Christmas diet and beds that just make you want to… sleep.
You get free run of the facilities on the day you arrive as well as the day you leave. We always plan to arrive around 11am, so that after enjoying our welcome drink and changing into our swimmers and robes, we can immediately start to relax.
Whether you prefer swimming inside or outside, cold or hot, it’s all possible at Reiters. My favourite is the 36 degree thermal pool (outdoor) caressing you with water from a natural underground thermal source, filled with elements that soften your skin and reduce your age in just 20 minutes! No, really! My other favourite is the outdoor sport pool (26°C) – and although it’s only about 16m long, it’s long enough to do some half-decent laps in.
I was never a big sauna fan until I came to Austria. Reiters has a variety of options from steam, to infrared to bio to… well I guess whatever you need! The temperatures vary so you can choose from a cooler 50-60°C to the almost unbearable 95°C. This year we did three sauna programs held in the 95°C sauna – an epic experience which involves sweating up a storm, then standing outside in the cold rubbing in some kind of delightful cream – and then sweating it out again in the heat. This leaves your skin feeling amazing!
Most Austrians aren’t shy about being nude, but naturally the spa has a designated nude area. That doesn’t mean that people are prancing around waving their wangs and boobs about, or that dirty old men are slyly watching the young ladies – it just means that if you want to be nude, by all means be nude! It’s all very matter-of-fact and normal. In the nude area there is also a plunge pool and a warm pool (yin-yang) so after a very hot sauna, you can jump directly into the cold pool, squealing like a girl while crawling your way into the warm pool. Did I mention you get to be in the nude? How liberating!
For the ladies
Reiters also has a specific ladies area. So if you’re feeling a little bit squeamish about being nude around all those manly Austrians, you can relax here. Being nude doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but the great thing about the ladies spa is that it is usually pretty empty. Because most people visit in couples, you can generally get yourself a solo sauna in the ladies area. It’s just like a mini version of the mixed nude area – saunas and a quiet place to relax and drink a tea… even a Jacuzzi! It’s blissful and serene when you need some alone time.
After you’ve had some sauna time it’s important to chill for a while. Our favourite is the ‘whisper hall’, an amphitheatre style area filled with recliners and cushions, blankets and pillows, where you can relax, looking out through full length windows and enjoying the sunset while being lulled into sleep by the crackling of the fire. We generally ‘set up camp’ here and retreat to it in between our sauna and swimming sessions to read or nap. Another favourite is the dimly-lit water bed room, which is great for a quick snooze. Along with the specific rooms there are recliners and chairs littered throughout all the areas so you can choose exactly where you want to be, inside or out. There is also a snack station, with fruit, nuts and tea, so you can rehydrate and keep your sugar and salt intake up throughout the day.
Getting fat – the show kitchen
There are two options for dinner: the first is the show kitchen, which is basically buffet-style, with other parts cooked to order in front of you. First is entrée (buffet), followed by soup (two options), main course (choice of three dishes, cooked in front of you), and dessert (two options cooked for you, as well as a selection of cakes, slices, fruit and ice cream)… oh and I forgot the cheese buffet. The food is, naturally, of amazing quality and the great thing is, you can ask for a small portion of each course, which means you can essentially try everything without being too full. Notice I said too full.
Getting fat – table service
If you want to feel a little more upper class, you can choose the second option of dining with table service. The format is the same as above, but there is generally just a choice of two or three options, which you order and have served at your table. Again the food is simply outstanding, as is the service. But don’t worry if you have a hankering for something from the show kitchen that isn’t available as a dining option. You can just go and grab yourself a plate any time. Last year we fancied some ribs, so after our soup was served, we toddled over and grabbed a plate of ribs to share. The dessert also works in the same way: you can choose between the options on the set menu, or you can grab yourself a plate from the show kitchen or cheese buffet. Or you can do all three. Maximum food options! Maximum winning!
Getting fat – breakfast
After you’ve had a full night’s sleep in an amazingly comfortable giant bed, you wake up, hungry as a horse and ready to eat! Breakfast is… you guessed right… buffet. There are usually a number of egg dishes available in the show kitchen (omelette, scrambled eggs, steak and eggs etc.), and then you can choose from sides (hash browns, bacon, beans, tomatoes etc.) as well as cold options (cold cuts, salmon, cheese, etc.). If you haven’t had enough you can usually also taste waffles or crepes, and of course gorge yourself on pastries. Don’t forget to check out the dining room where you’ll find a tea buffet, a honey buffet, cereals, yogurt, fruit and a build-your-own-muesli area. And to drink, sip on a champagne or make yourself a freshly squeezed juice. Bliss!
The resort is located on 120 hectares so if you want to get outside and stretch your legs, there’s plenty of room. You can take a casual stroll in the sun, participate in a guided Nordic walk, play a round of golf and even enjoy a horse and carriage ride around the beautiful grounds. Inside you can join an organised exercise class, visit the beauty area for a massage or treatment and sip on a cocktail almost any time of the day!
After dinner there is a piano bar where you can order an after dinner drink, sit by the open fire and listen to whatever the night’s entertainment is, be it simply melodic piano tunes or, like we had this year, an amazingly good Russian choir! And although the supreme resort is adults only, the adjacent family resort has plenty of options for the kids, including plenty of sheep, goats, horses and other animals to check out.
A final word
Well, I have to say, I’m quite full, but also fully relaxed. My skin is soft like a baby’s and I absolutely do not want to go back to cooking my own food and working. But… if that’s what it takes to get myself back here, I’ll do it! See you next year, Reiters!