New at Platzl: Our “Schwitzstube” Spa
Mr Buchta, we get the impression that there’s always something going on at the PLATZL. The beautiful spa renovation marks the end of yet another great building project. Where can guests find this new relaxation area?
In actual fact there has always been a spa in the PLATZL, but the so-called “Moorish Kiosk” was no longer being used very much. It was based on the pavilion of the same name belonging to King Ludwig II in his Linderhof Palace, was built several decades ago and had, of course, become very outdated, both in its look and its facilities. Our new spa, which we call the “Schwitzstube”, has now taken its place. Its location in the building – right at the top, just below the roof – is the same, but the rest is unrecognisable.
The name “Schwitzstube”, i.e. “sweating room”, gives it away: does it mean guests can now have a sauna in the PLATZL?
That’s right. The limited space available forced us to make clear decisions about what the focal point of the spa should be. Taking our existing fitness area and the general focus of our hotel into consideration, we are sure that most guests now also expect to find a sauna in a city hotel spa.
So you might say that any self-respecting Munich city centre hotel needs a spa and sauna area?
I do believe that, yes. The fundamental idea of carving out some me-time and following a healthy lifestyle has come very much to the fore in recent years. More and more guests consider it important for a hotel to have a well-equipped fitness area, along with facilities that enable them to slow down and improve their well-being. However, not all hotels need an extensive spa area; it depends on the type of hotel and the target group. As a city hotel whose guests are mainly business travellers and people enjoying a city break, we believe that a sauna with a comfortable quiet zone is exactly what a business person or city tourist wants to help them relax.
To what extent did the current “At home with the Pfisters” project influence the decision to modernise the spa?
Of course the new suite annex about the PFISTERMÜHLE also fuelled our decision to offer our guests a contemporary spa. Our 13 new suites will raise us to a completely new level, making an adequate sauna and relaxation area essential.
How will the new suites be linked thematically to the spa area?
The interior design of the spa complements that of the suites. Both projects were implemented with the phrase “A guest of the Pfisters” in mind, which, by the way, also applies to the renovation of our restaurant that we undertook a few years ago. We integrate handcrafted elements, many of which have come from, or were inspired by, the old Pfister mill. This means that when guests have dinner in the PFISTERMÜHLE RESTAURANT, enjoy a sauna in the SCHWITZSTUBE and spend the night in one of the SUITES, they can hardly miss the common theme running through all of them.
In other words, with all of these projects, it’s a balancing act when it comes to design – between the lifestyle of a Munich family of craftspeople, deeply rooted in tradition, and the contemporary notion of a spa. How does that work?
We use a mixture of classic materials, nostalgic decorative elements and a contemporary, almost minimalist, spa design. Exploiting the contrast between traditional materials and modern values, we play with colours and often find innovative ways to use local materials. I believe we have successfully achieved this balance in our restaurant, and will do so again in the suites.
How did the spa design make specific use of the materials?
For example, there is a shower made of natural stone, solid wood wall panelling, or the organic sauna clad with more than 800 slate tiles. The daybeds are separated by linen curtains, allowing the users to rest undisturbed. The hay wall hangings above the daybeds are meant both to imitate a hay loft and to reflect the traditional artisanal design, as well as making the guests feel connected to nature. These natural elements are also intended to enable people to mentally escape the confines of the city and transport them to the heart of the countryside.
Which amenities does the spa offer?
There are two saunas on the upper floor: an organic sauna heated to 65 degrees and a classic Finnish sauna at 90 degrees. In addition to this, we have rainfall showers clad in natural stone, comfortable daybeds in Alpine hut style, as well as a refreshment area for drinks, tea and fresh fruit.
What do you see as the absolute highlight in the SCHWITZSTUBE?
There are several highlights, but what makes it truly special, in my opinion, is the amazing view. Both saunas were deliberately built with a view across the rooftops of Munich, one of them even right next to the window.
Let me go back a little: while the hotel was closed during the Corona pandemic, I went up there looking for a quiet place to think. I sat down on one of the loungers and that’s when it struck me: why weren’t we making better use of this unique view?!
That’s why I’m glad we have now finished renovating, and our guests can also enjoy this wonderful view to the fullest.
Is there anything you’d like to say in conclusion?
Quite honestly, I have never seen a building site with so many people and trades working together simultaneously in such a confined space – that was pretty unusual! And I also found it fascinating to discover how much money can be spent on such a small area (laughs).
Apart from that, the renovation went completely smoothly, which shows me that we had done our advanced planning properly, and that our partners are now very experienced when it comes to collaborating with us. The work was also completed within the scheduled time frame. We planned to start when the weather got warm and to be finished by the time it was cooler, and we did. The SCHWITZSTUBE has been open for our guests since 15 September.
So far, everyone has loved it, especially the guests who remember the old SPA, just because everything is so different now!
Thank you, Mr Buchta. Then all that’s left to say to our guests is: the next time you stay with us, come and see the new spa for yourself.