The Cōmodo: Where A Modern Alpine Resort Meets Mid-Century Nostalgia – ADC
In the idyllic setting of Bad Gastein, a new design hotel—the cōmodo—has opened its doors. Through a coherent design concept, the resort combines a warm 60s nostalgia with a contemporary alpine flair. Last month, we travelled to the small, snow-covered village in the Austrian mountains and were instantly captivated by its magical nature and latest hotel addition.
Only being open for a few weeks, the cōmodo has already stepped into the focus of a nature-loving and culturally interested audience. The hotel was built within the walls of a former health clinic and translates a timeless mid-century aesthetic into a modern alpine resort. From the color palette to the shapes and the materials, the cōmodo’s design language perfectly syncs with its roots while still communicating a contemporary flair. Thoughtfully chosen furniture classics and pops of color create an inviting atmosphere. Meanwhile, the hotel is an homage to the modernist style of the 1960s and 70s. Combined with custom-made furniture pieces and contemporary artworks, the entire space radiates personality.
The hotel is an homage to the modernist style of the 1960s and 70s
The black Elda Chair, designed by Joe Colombo in 1963, is one of the selected mid-century classics that can be spotted in the hotel.
Berlin-based creative studio weStudio has developed a furniture line for the cōmodo consisting of 117 custom-made furniture pieces.
The cōmodo is the passion project of designer Piotr Wisniewski and architect Barbara Elwardt, founders of the Berlin-based creative studio weStudio. It was born from a profound personal affinity for the village and a deep-seated love for design. It’s the first of several hotels planned to be opened by the studio in various locations throughout the coming years. The sincere devotion that went into the duo’s first joint project can be felt in every corner of the building.
Each of the 70 rooms—ranging from Mountain View Rooms to Garden Suites—has been designed with particular sensitivity and attention to detail. The focus was on finding a harmonic balance between nature and creativity. Inspired by the landscape’s colors and structures, weStudio created an exclusive furniture line for the hotel. Light grays, soothing tones of sandstone, nuances of warm browns and pine-green details run through the furniture and the visual concept of the interior. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow the spaces to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.
Original parts like this elevator have been preserved.
While the individual levels share a monochromatic theme, the selected hues vary per floor
The rooms are distributed over a total of four floors. Here applies: to each floor, its color. While the individual levels share a monochromatic theme, the selected hues vary per floor. A warm red, mustard yellow, bottle green and a dark shade of blue serve for the visual distinction between the floors and trigger associations with Wes Anderson movies. (A reference that doesn’t seem so far-fetched, considering that the nearby Grand Hotel de l’Europe, which inspired the Grand Budapest Hotel.)
While the rooms were designed as modernist retreats, selected artists were invited to create custom artwork for the hotel. The timeless aesthetic of the furniture stands in dialogue with a contemporary visual language, adding playfulness to the rooms. Gosia Warrink and Katja Koeberlin of Amberdesign created 140 artworks, as well as wallpaper designs and rugs that subtly reference local nature. A series of vases and candleholders can be found throughout the hotel, created by the up-and-coming Berlin design studio Fundamental. Artist residencies and collaborations with renowned art galleries are planned for the future.
Soft colour tones in the hotel rooms create a calm atmosphere.
The lobby, the heart of the house, is characterized by a welcoming and homey atmosphere. Red and beige tones, oak floors, and purposefully placed color accents define the image of the open space. Nothing is left to chance here. The burgundy Camaleona sofa by Mario Bellini is a direct reference to the former Brutalist Congress Center of the village. Above the couch hangs a red Rondo mirror by Oskar Zięta. Our gaze moves past a black Gae Aulentis seating group and a Serpente floor lamp before it stops at the artwork “Breathe in – Breathe Out” by Jeppe Hein. We take a deep breath. As our eyes continue to wander through the space, we notice purposefully placed details in every corner.
The Brutalist Congress Center of Bad Gastein, designed by Gerhard Garstenauer, was equipped with red Camaleonda sofas upon first opening in 1974. The same design can now be found in the lobby of the newly opened design hotel.
In the lobby, the Serpente lamp, initially designed by Elio Martinelli in 1965, provides atmospheric light.
The preserved terrazzo columns in the lobby tell stories of the former building and create a visual bridge through the bar, eventually leading to the open restaurant. The large windows, which we already know from our hotel room, once again open up a seemingly endless view of the breathtaking nature. However, the surroundings are not only of purely visual significance but are also reflected in the restaurant’s cuisine. Modern Austrian dishes, prepared with regional and sustainably sourced ingredients, are on the menu here.
The 17 meter long mosaic mural in the pool area was designed by the Berlin-based artist duo Amberdesign.
The loungers in the spa are part of the furniture collection exclusively designed for the cōmodo.
The town of Bad Gastein has a long-standing reputation for the healing powers of its local spring waters
Back on the fourth floor, we find the spa. The town of Bad Gastein has a long-standing reputation for the healing powers of its local spring waters—a tradition of wellness that the in-house spa of the cōmodo is now building on. Customized wellness programs tailored to guests’ individual needs combine the rejuvenating powers of the thermal waters with modern healing practices. The wellness area is completed through two saunas and an indoor pool featuring a fantastic view over the picturesque village.
For those who want to explore the surrounding area more actively, Bad Gastein holds a wide range of options. During winter, almost 220 km of slopes offer long ski runs. In summer and spring, the lush nature invites for reviving hikes.
A stroll through the streets of Bad Gastein provides us with further insight into the region’s history. The magnificent buildings tell of the Belle Époque when emperors and empresses spent their summer and winter retreats in the little mountain village. Later in time, movie stars followed the imperial example. From the 1970s on, however, the resort lost popularity, and more and more hotels had to close. The small town fell into what seemed to be a long slumber. Only recently has a dedicated community of creatives and gastronomes rediscovered this remarkable place’s magic. The modern hotel concepts, innovative restaurants, and increasingly growing cultural offerings bring new life to the village.
The village of Bad Gastein has blended into its surroundings with its characteristic architecture.
The former congress center in the city center.
Grand Hotel de l’Europe, the inspiration for the “Grand Budapest Hotel” movie by Wes Anderson.
So, it seems that the people of Bad Gastein have opened a new chapter in the history of the small alpine town—a chapter that the cōmodo and its guests will certainly help to shape.
5640 Bad Gastein