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DomeThe water feels like silk on your skin.”

That is how Rogner-Bad Blumau describes the thermal water at the Austrian hotel’s spa.

The supply is from the nearby Vulkania springs and is said to be the most mineral-rich curative water in the spa town of Bad Blumau.

And the healing water is just one of many features that make this hotel out of the ordinary.

Billed as the world’s largest habitable work of art, Rogner-Bad Blumau was designed by eccentric Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, whose last name literally means “100 waters.”

“Your name is Hundertwasser, I have water of hundred degrees,” businessman Robert Rogner told the artist as they began the work on the hotel in early 1990s.


Rogner-Bad Blumau is unique in so many ways – the most compelling being the architecture itself.

There are six “houses” connected by a maze of hallways and green roofs with golden onion domes.

In addition to supplies from the Vulkania springs, the hotel’s numerous pools and bathing areas get water from the Melchior and Balthasar springs.

Original roof tiles from old farmhouses have been used for the facade of one of the rainbow-coloured buildings.


The late Friedensreich Hundertwasser

They all fit well with the philosophy of Hundertwasser: A life in harmony with nature.

“The great thing about Blumau is the uniqueness,” said Jasmin Rogner, co-owner of the 312-room, four-star hotel.

“It’s a great artwork, which rather increases in value with time,” she wrote in an email.

“The biggest challenge is to interpret this great place consistently.”

Hundertwasser died in February 2000 in his adopted home country of New Zealand.

The hotel sits on the beautiful rolling hills of Bad Blumau, less than an hour from the city of Graz – a UNESCO City of Design and the hometown of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I stayed at the hotel back in March 1998, barely a year after Rogner-Bad Blumau opened its doors to first guests.


The 1998 launch of Opel Astra at Rogner-Bad Blumau. Photo by Abdul Latheef

I was among a group of journalists flown in from around the world for the launch of a new General Motors car, Opel Astra.

The hotel has since become a major site for product launches and corporate events.

The property is owned by Rogner International Hotels and Resorts.

Bad Blumau is easily accessible from Graz, Vienna and Salzburg. Austrian Airlines has direct flights from Toronto to Vienna while Lufthansa offers flights to Graz from several German cities.


 Images are courtesy of Rogner-Bad Blumau