Schloss Elmau - Wellness and Cultural Hideaway in the Bavarian AlpsSchloss Elmau  

The Schloss Elmau is a 5-star castle hotel near Garmisch-Partenkirchen that offers several luxurious spas, top-class concerts, libraries and bookstores, and rooms with glorious Alpine views.

Elmau Castle is located near the town of Krün in the Bavarian Alps, about 100 kilometers south of Munich. The secluded luxury resort can only be reached via a five-kilometer-long toll private road that leads from the town of Klais in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen district.

It lies in a valley at an altitude of around 1,000 meters in the heart of a beautiful mountain landscape between the Zugspitze and the Karwendel Mountains. The luxurious wellness resort comprises two hotels, the Schloss Elmau Hideaway and the Schloss Elmau Retreat.

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Type: Castle   Luxury   Spa
Location: Elmau  Germany  West Europe

The history of Elmau Castle

Schloss Elmau in the Valley with the Bavarian Alps in the Background

Elmau Castle was built between 1914 and 1916 by Johannes Müller as a special place for cultural life. The term "castle" does not stem from monarchical or aristocratic ownership but instead reflects the building complex's grand scale and architectural design.


Concerts, readings, and dances in the hall were a central part of life at the castle. Elmau Schloss also welcomed many important politicians and cultural figures from the Weimar Republic.



Schloss Elmau Sunrise

Müller had a mixed attitude towards National Socialism. Although he sometimes praised the ideology, the Nazis did not trust him. To prevent the seizure of the castle, he rented the house to the Wehrmacht as a rest facility for soldiers. After the war, Müller was found guilty in the denazification process.


Schloss Elmau was confiscated by the US Army and used as a military hospital for a short time. Under the administration of the Bavarian government, it then served as a convalescent home for tuberculosis patients. In 1951, Müller's children leased the house and set up a hotel. Since the end of the 1950s, numerous cultural events and political debates with prominent participants have again taken place at the castle.



Schloss Elmau Retreat
Schloss Elmau Retreat

The house suffered extensive damage in a fire in 2005. Dieter Müller-Elmau, the builder's grandson, reconstructed it as a "Luxury Spa & Cultural Hideaway Hotel".


Under the leadership of the current owner, Schloss Elmau also developed into a recognized forum for international debates and interreligious dialogue in the late 1990s. Particular attention is paid to events that contribute to German-Israeli and German-American understanding.



Schloss Elmau Hideway
Schloss Elmau Hideway

"Hideaway" or "Retreat"? The Schloss Elmau hotel complex has 128 rooms, suites, junior suites, and apartments, which are spread over the castle ("Hideaway") and the new building ("Luxury Suites & Spa Retreat"). Although the two buildings are only about 200 meters apart, some apparent differences exist.



Schloss Elmau Hideway - Lobby
Schloss Elmau Hideway - Lobby

Retreat: The resort was opened in 2015 to coincide with the first G7 summit in Elmau. It focuses on discretion and privacy and is situated in a hidden hillside location, offering breathtaking views of the Wetterstein Mountains. When staying at the retreat you can make use of all the facilities of the "Hideaway" and the "Shantigiri Adult Spa."


Hideaway: Built in 1916, the "Hideaway" was completely renovated after a fire in 2007. It is slightly larger and more affordable than the "Retreat".



Schloss Elmau Hideway - Bookstore
Schloss Elmau Hideway - Bookstore

In early 2014, Chancellor Angela Merkel chose Schloss Elmau as the location for the G7 summit during the German presidency in 2015 (and then again in 2022). The site was selected because it met all the logistical and security requirements needed for a G7 summit venue.



Schloss Elmau Hideway - Silentium Library
Schloss Elmau Hideway - Silentium library

The cultural and musical events for which Schloss Elmau was previously famous still continue to exist.



Schloss Elmau Hideway - Concert Hall
Schloss Elmau Hideway - Concert hall

These events include chamber music, poetry and literature weeks, as well as major jazz festivals featuring renowned musicians and young artists from around the world. All of these events take place here every year.



Schloss Elmau Hideway - La Salle Restaurant
Schloss Elmau Hideway - La Salle family & buffet restaurant

Schloss Elmau offers seven restaurants that serve a variety of dishes from around the world, including Italian, Asian, and international cuisine.



Schloss Elmau Hideway - Luce d'Oro restaurant
Schloss Elmau Hideway - Luce d'Oro restaurant

The gourmet restaurant Luce d'Oro, which has been awarded two Michelin stars, is especially popular.



Two-Michelin-starred food at Luce d'Oro
Two-Michelin-starred food at Luce d'Oro

You can also enjoy a digestif at one of the many bars and lounges, such as the "Retreat" lounge, the "Hideaway" lounge, or the Jazz Bar.



Schloss Elmau Hideway Terrace
Schloss Elmau Hideway terrace

Schloss Elmau Retreat - Lobby
Schloss Elmau Retreat - Lobby

The property features a sophisticated and consistent design, whether it's the castle, the retreat, or the bathhouse.



Schloss Elmau Retreat - Library Lounge
Schloss Elmau Retreat - Library Lounge

During the 2005 total reconstruction, 115 guest rooms and suites were added. In 2015, the "Retreat" opened, introducing 47 luxury suites.


Schloss Elmau Hideway: 115 rooms (20 - 55m²) & suites (65 - 200m²)
Schloss Elmau Retreat: 47 suites and junior suites (55 - 210 m²)



Schloss Elmau Retreat - Tutto Mondo Restaurant
Schloss Elmau Retreat - Tutto Mondo family restaurant

Schloss Elmau Retreat - Valley Suite
Schloss Elmau Retreat - Valley Suite

Extra-thick room doors, large windows, oiled oak floors, and elegant Lambert furniture define the atmosphere of Schloss Elmau's rooms.



Schloss Elmau Retreat - Summit Suite
Schloss Elmau Retreat - Summit Suite

While the castle's rooms impress with their nostalgic charm and elaborate gold interiors, the new retreat's rooms are more understated: featuring fine wood and muted colors, they offer a quiet, unassuming sense of luxury that isn't showy.



Schloss Elmau Hideaway - Spa Oriental Hammam
Schloss Elmau Hideaway - Spa Oriental Hammam

Schloss Elmau Retreat - Shantigiri Spa Sauna
Schloss Elmau Retreat - Shantigiri Spa sauna

Schloss Elmau offers special treats for wellness and spa enthusiasts. There is a spa dedicated to families and a large bathhouse for connoisseurs.



Schloss Elmau Retreat - Shantigiri Adult Spa Outdoor Pool with Alps Panorama
Schloss Elmau Retreat - Shantigiri Adult Spa outdoor pool

The multi-story, 3000 square meter bathhouse features a spacious hammam in the basement and an outdoor pool on the roof that offers breathtaking views of the mountains.



Schloss Elmau Retreat - Shantigiri Family Spa outdoor pool
Schloss Elmau Retreat - Shantigiri Family Spa outdoor pool

The Nature Spa's outdoor sauna is also very popular. It is located right next to a cold mountain stream, where you can cool off after a sauna session.



Schloss Elmau Retreat - Shantigiri Family Spa outdoor pool during summer

Schloss Elmau Yoga
Yoga shala

There are so many activities at and around Elmaui Schloss that it's hard to list them all, but some of them are yoga, mountain tours, hiking, mountain biking, tennis, boccia (a precision ball sport), horse riding, archery, golf, paragliding, rafting, canoeing, educational entertainment and outdoor camps for kids, Tai Chi (ancient Chinese martial art) and QiGong (the art of movement, breathing, and meditation), and winter sports.



Schloss Elmau Nature Spa
Nature Spa

Schloss Elmau Nature Spa Outdoor Relaxation by the River

Ferchensee Lake
Ferchensee Lake

There are countless hiking options, but one of the best tours starts from the Partnachklamm and goes via the Eckbauer down to Wamberg.



Partnach Falls
Partnach Falls

This 4-hour tour is the perfect day trip to explore the area around Schloss Elmau. Don't forget to stop at the Kaiserschmarrn-Alm!



Schafreiter Mountain Sheep
Schafreiter Mountain sheep

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In Elmau 2, 82493 Krün, Germany