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During the summer months, the once crowned Monte Carlo of the Alps - spa town & resort Bad Gastein - plays host to an inspiring artists-in-residence cultural programme now in its 11th year: sommer.frische.kunst 2022 (Summer Fresh Art). Bad Gastein – a popular ski & spa resort in the winter – transforms itself in the warm summery months into a cultural hub of artistic brilliance set against the town’s abundant belle-époque heritage and dramatic mountain scenery that surrounds.
The brainchild & curators of sommer.frische.kunst, Andrea von Goetz und Schwanenfliess, sift through hundreds of applicant artists, finally selecting just a lucky handful to take up residency in Bad Gastein for 4 weeks based in the pop-up gallery at the old hydro-plant – a spectacular setting of nature, water and sounds – adds a theatrical edge to the studios. Their cultural inspirations are then showcased throughout Bad Gastein until late summer.
Owners, hotel pioneers and self confessed art lovers – Spa yoga guru Evelyn & architect husband Ike Ikrath call the festival “A cultural lifeline that brings a fresh new focus on the town but also allows young contemporary artists the opportunity to shine. The place becomes alive with culture, loved by us all, like one big family.”
Where should you take up residence in Bad Gastein – we’ve picked a choice of two cool pads of creativity run by the same family – one a chilled country villa for those feeling en-vogue and the stylish sister hotel up the hill, a cool, sophisticated and designer haven;
A real lovely traditional Alpine lodge that has had a chic refit of eclectic styling of quirky design elements, stacks of well positioned collectables and lively, modern takes on the heritage prints & textiles.
This urban family retreat is alive with positive energy as inspired by the Aveda spa & setting.
This sophisticated bolthole, oozing a fifties Vogue glamour, makes for a luminary getaway. A favourite of the creative scene, tastefully timeless, postmodern pieces feel perfectly at home in this Alpine masterpiece of chillax.
Travel tips – stop through in Salzburg at the Arthotel Blaue Gans – an edgy contrast of an aged coaching inn and a gallery of curatorial art that adds a flavour of an east-side gallery – this is all about a bold, contemporary art scene flanked by twisted beams and heritage thick walls.