They are warm and almost soft to the touch. And that is despite the fact that they’re made from marble and stone: The warm loungers at the Tepidarium. Tepidus is Latin and means ‘lukewarm’. This is about as much as Mr. Lucian senior knew about this kind of sauna 25 years ago. What he also knew was: It’s really healthy. ‘My husband Thomas’ father built Austria’s first Tepidarium, here in our house in Oberlech. That was a real sensation back then, believe me.’, Hannelore Lucian tells us. ‘He had his knowledge from many old books that he’d all read. What’s behind all this, what are the effects of a Tepidarium? He was quite fascinated. He met up with craftsmen and scientists and completely immersed himself in this world. And finally he built it’.
A CHANGE OF DIRECTION THAT CHANGED MUCH
Wellness & Spa – back then hardly anyone knew what that meant. But Hannelore and Thomas Lucian did. Doing yourself some good and enjoying it – that was the vision the two hosts had for their guests at Burg Vital Resort. ‘We simply sensed we had to change the concept we had back then. Make it more natural, focus on health and authentic enjoyment’, the certified tourist expert and the sommelier remember. ‘Back then we were a small hotel, more like a bed & breakfast. So, of course, our possibilities were limited, also when it comes to space. But still – we had a room for cosmetic treatments and massages, a swimming pool and the Tepidarium. ‘The preconditions and the omens were right’, the mother of five laughs. For a change of direction that changed much. ‘Not everything, but quite a lot. What remained the same is the normalcy, the down-to earth character, the comfort. What also remained are our values and beliefs, our love for nature. We remained ourselves, that’s it’.
BEING APART TO GET IT TOGETHER: THE CREATION OF THE VITAL-CONCEPT
What did change, however is this: The Vital-Concept with the three pillars – cooking, sport and therapy – was introduced. However, from the original idea to being able to put it into practise, quite a lot of hurdles needed to be overcome:
‘Like the licence, for example’, Hannelore Lucian remembers. ‘We already had a small cosmetics and wellness area but the licence for that had only been borrowed because originally we were just a restaurant with a few beds’. But the restless perfectionist was hell-bent on taking up the reins herself. ‘I knew, there was so much more we could do, things that could be done better. But I didn’t know how’. What followed then was month-long studying and a journey that is still going on. Despite the fact that Hannelore Lucian had two little kids she went back to school at 30. To Graz, as an extraordinary pupil. ‘Between the seasons I learned everything about cosmetics, pedicure and massage and my husband came to visit me with the kids. That was really tough, I must admit. Being away from the family for so long and going back to school, starting from scratch. But: I did it, I even did the exam for the master licence. And that while I was heavily pregnant with our third child and a friend had to drive me to the exam while I was lying in the back of the car’, Mrs Lucian still has to laugh about this today.