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  • FROM AWARD-WINNING RESTAURANTS TO THE ALPINE HUT: TRUE CULINARY DELIGHTS IN KITZBÜHEL.

    The Gamsstadt is able to convince with an unmistakable combination of pleasure, nature, tradition and well-being. The culinary journey through the region leads from traditional local dishes to international gourmet cuisine. Down-to-earth, regional fare awaits in the mountain huts and the traditional inns in the valley. In gourmet restaurants, on the other hand, the culinary elite conjures up exquisite delicacies for you. Kitzbühel's variety of restaurants ranges from rustic Tyrolean inns to multi-award-winning international gourmet restaurants. HAUBENRESTAURANT RESTAURANT SEEBICHL: FASTING ELSEWHERE The Witzmann family's Restaurant Seebichl is a meeting place for gourmets and is famous for dishes such as rib eye tagliata and airy pot soufflee. Over the years, an independent cooking culture has developed at Seebichl. Uncompromising regional ingredients mix with new ideas and ancient recipes from far and near. One thing is certain: fasting is done elsewhere. http://www.restaurant-seebichl.at/ HAUBENRESTAURANT HALLERWIRT: AN ARCHITECTURAL JEWEL WITH HIGH FOOD QUALITY The Hallerwirt farmhouse is a historically valuable architectural jewel in the centre of the village, right next to the church - surrounded by meadows, forests and the Kitzbühel mountains. Monika and Jürgen Stelzhammer have been continuing the family history at the Hallerwirt since 2002. High-quality food and drinks, carefully complemented with modern touches, are part of the tradition. www.hallerwirt.at WIRTSHAUS MOCKING OFFERS CLASSICS OF AUSTRIAN CUISINE Mocking is the inn that refines classics of Austrian cuisine with fresh ideas and serves gourmets unique creations: original, genuine, natural. Carefully processed quality products from the region guarantee an intense, genuine taste experience in the rhythm of the seasons. https://mocking-kitzbuehel.at/

  • destilat - WHEN THREE FRIENDS SET OUT TO WIN THE "OSCAR"

    Life writes the best stories. For example, when three friends decided to shake up the architecture industry as business partners in the future, and how they managed to win the most coveted design award in the world. "We all had tears in our eyes," says Sophie Pfeffer of the architecture and design firm "destilat" to PANGAEA about an event in 2020, when they suddenly received the Oscar for interior designers in London. This is awarded by the online platform "Dezeen" among 4,000 submissions worldwide. MODERN WINE FACTORY FOR WINEMAKER CLEMENS STROBL The winning project in Kirchschlag am Wagram in the Tulln district in Lower Austria is a true architectural jewel. It is an old estate that was converted into a modern wine factory for winemaker Clemens Strobl. The work for the "destilat" team began with the search for a suitable property, where the architects accompanied the client - and found a 4,000 square meter ensemble of operating facilities, residential, and bathing houses during the inspection. However, the buildings were poorly preserved and had to be completely renovated and supplemented by new buildings. The two-story residential building presents itself on the outside in its historical appearance - inside, the convoluted building was completely redeveloped. The large main staircase was "reversed" for this purpose and a railing was developed in a complementary historical design. Authentic building materials and craft techniques were the focus of the object's revitalization: the antique herringbone and panel parquet floors were discovered in the 18th and 19th-century estate and the stone floor was made up of old, tumbled travertine; walls and ceilings were painted in traditional brushstroke technique, acoustic ceilings hidden under the tonnage of the historical walls and the original box windows restored and provided with "Histoglas". To ensure that all these rooms - from the wellness area in the cross vault to the converted attic - can be shown in the best possible light, destilat also developed the entire lighting system. RENOWNED AWARDS AT HOME AND ABROAD With the design of the Gut Wagram winery, "destilat" not only won the Oscar among interior designers but also many other renowned awards in the industry. Impact: "We have become known through this and are invited to competitions," says Sophie Pfeffer. She has been a junior partner of a male triumvirate since 2019, who decided in 2009 to make a business relationship out of a friendly one. Henning Weimer, one of the three business partners, was in retail and owned a furniture store. Harald Hatschenberger was previously involved in industrial design, and Thomas Neuber is a trained business economist who originally came from the music industry. Today, the "destilat Design Studios", which exist in Vienna and Linz, employ 15 people nationwide and internationally in the fields of interior design and furniture design. How did they come up with the name "destilat"? "We consider the product the essence of every process - concentrated, reduced, distilled," describes Henning Weimer the company's name-finding. "Weimer believes that the current boom in the industry is also due to the pandemic. In an interview with PANGAEA, he said, "Corona was a catalyst for us; suddenly everyone wanted to change their living environment and had the time and inspiration to think about it." Weimer does not confirm that the customers who come to "destilat" must also have the necessary funds, he only said: "He should have a sense of beauty!" In the normal case, the customer states his budget for the project, after which an estimate is made of whether the implementation of his wishes is realistic. The winery at Wagram in Lower Austria was also an exception. LIKE A YACHT ABOVE THE ROOFS OF VIENNA On the "destilat" website, some impressive interior projects of the architect group can be seen. Notable is the "Penthouse L" in Vienna, where an exciting interplay of luxurious materials and simple forms runs like a thread through the apartment. The design takes inspiration from the location and characteristics of the approximately 165 square meters of living space and 380 square meters of terrace area, including an outdoor sauna, whirlpool, and infinity pool. As the 9th and 10th floors of a new building, the apartment, along with a three-sided terrace, floats like a yacht above the roofs of Vienna, and therefore a little "above things". Therefore, many of the custom-made wooden fittings appear to be floating - from the dressing room and bedroom with en-suite bathroom, to the boudoir with a luxurious dressing table. Plenty of storage space and some hidden doors were invisibly installed into the wall from laminated walnut wood. The earthy wooden elements provide a clear contrast to the floors: glossy bright and large-format porcelain tiles (with a marble look) in the representative rooms and high-pile velour in the private rooms. Materials that subtly reference the 1970s with backlit mirrors. The generous living kitchen also presents itself like a ship. Its interior was crafted to the smallest detail from dark walnut behind white high-gloss fronts. The central element of the living room is the bio-ethanol fireplace. Slightly raised and embedded in a light marble base, it is supported by a large-format, dark porcelain tile wall in a marble look that not only reflects the flames but also the material aesthetics of classic modernism. The base also forms the first step of the metal staircase to the upper floor, whose delicate bracing plays a supporting role and makes the construction appear weightless. "Once again, this project was about distilling the many ideas of the clients into a coherent whole, focusing their vision and guiding them in decision making," Weimer describes this showcase project of his company. SUITABLE FRAME FOR AN EXCLUSIVE AUTOMOBILE COLLECTION The "Lounge Z", realized for a private individual, is also exceptional. "Destilat" integrated an open lounge into the spacious garage for a lover of exclusive vehicles who wanted a suitable architectural framework for his automobile collection. For this purpose, a separate area was defined in the two-story structure that leads downwards via a three-step staircase and is thus spatially separated from the garage. The automobiles are simultaneously elevated and given a museum-like character by presenting the collection on a pedestal. The two fixed main elements, which serve as a hospitality and bar module and as a spatial separation element or shelf, combine teak wood bodies with green marble slabs, which are formally and constructively combined by a frame of black tubular steel. With its vertical teak wood slats, the shelf defines subtle boundaries of space, allowing for glimpses from the lower lounge into the actual garage area and vice versa. For Weimer of "destilat", a relaxed place in a stylish environment has been created with this project, which offers a clear view of precious collector's items and invites relaxed discussions among like-minded people. PRIVATE RESIDENCES IN SPAIN AND GREECE Among the clients of "destilat" are both private clients and hotels. "However, we also deal intensively with corporate architecture and the integration of brands and products into the respective architecture. At the same time, we support our clients in the joint development of series products in the furniture sector," added Henning Weimer, who, together with his team, is currently engaged in designing private residences in Spain and Greece. destilat

  • FIVE 5-STAR HOTELS IN VIENNA: WHICH IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE CITY?

    If guests are looking for a luxury hotel in Vienna, they are spoiled with choice. PANGAEA magazine took a close look at five 5-star hotels and investigated the question of what it takes to be a real luxury hotel. The Park Hyatt, the Imperial, the Sacher, the Ritz-Carlton and the Kempinski have one thing in common: they are all proud of their tradition and the famous guests who have stayed with them. They are among the top addresses for kings, politicians, acting stars and famous musicians. If one asks Stefanie Peter, Marketing Communications Manager Hyatt, what constitutes a luxury hotel for her, she answers: "A luxury hotel is a place that feels like a second home. A place where high-quality materials, noble interiors, high-quality food and beverages and excellent service result in an incomparable symbiosis." All this would not be enough, says Stefanie Peter, if it were not for a team that fills the house with life. This also includes charming service with a love of detail. The general manager of the Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna, Florian Wille, has a similar view: "Apart from the high standards of the international luxury hotel industry, which of course have to be met, for me personally a luxury hotel is a space that appeals to all the senses, that inspires, that people remember, talk about and want to return to." THE SOUL OF THE HOTEL IS SHAPED BY THE STAFF While the hardware of a hotel - especially in the luxury segment - is of course important and must be right, the software is also essential. According to the hotel director, a luxury hotel must have a soul and this is mainly shaped by the employees, their cordiality, service orientation and authenticity. The human element cannot be emphasized often enough in an industry like this. ANECDOTES MAKE THE HOTEL HISTORIC AND UNIQUE The Viennese charm of the staff, the traditions and high standards are what makes a player among the elite of luxury hotels. No manager of the hotels presented here would say they do not possess these qualities. So it comes down to small but perhaps essential details that can be decisive for guests to decide in favour of one hotel or the other. For some, it might be the specialties of the hotel restaurant or the sophisticated cocktails at the hotel bar, for others, it might be the service or the dining area. These five 5-star hotels in Vienna all have wonderful buildings. The interiors could not be nobler either. The guests and the anecdotes they share with each other are exciting. They make the properties, already steeped in history, even more interesting and unique. KENNEDY AND KHRUSHCHEV MEET IN VIENNA The Hotel Imperial has an interesting collection of anecdotes. For example, it is told that Nikita Khrushchev, former prime minister of the Soviet Union, came to Vienna in 1961 for a meeting with John F. Kennedy during the Cold War, and stayed at the Imperial and preferred to dine in his suite. Or that the silent film star Charlie Chaplin is said to have said that he had never had such a beautiful room in any hotel in the world as he had in the Imperial. APART FROM THAT, THE IMPERIAL HAS CREATED A UNIQUE SELLING POINT FOR ITSELF WITH ITS BUTLER SERVICE Anecdotes of famous guests could probably also be told by the Hotel Sacher, were in fact secrecy is the top priority. Who needs to divulge secrets of their guests to get attention when one has a cake as a trademark and worldwide advertising medium? It is no secret that celebrities such as opera star Anna Netrebko, Queen Elisabeth, Hollywood actress Sharon Stone or top model Naomi Campbell have also stayed at the Sacher. A HACKNEY (HORSE-DRAWN) CARRIAGE IN FRONT OF THE DOOR FULFILS THE CLICHÉ OF VIENNA VISITORS The Palais Hansen Kempinski also lures guests to its hotel with a dessert. Here, the famous apple strudel is served and heavily advertised in the description of the hotel. As a guest, you cannot help but notice how the staff strives to combine modern luxury with Viennese charm. A "Servus"is heard as soon as one enters, creating the desired atmosphere, and a “Fiaker” in front of the door also ensures that the cliché of Vienna visitors is fulfilled. When the Park Hyatt Vienna wants its guests to bathe in gold, this describes the miraculous transformation of a bank building into a luxury hotel. The spa area, including the swimming pool, is housed in the former vault of the Länderbank. The fact that the Park Hyatt is located in the middle of Vienna's most exclusive shopping district, only a few steps away from the Graben and Tuchlauben, could be decisive for some ladies when booking. OF ALL HOTELS, ONE HAS THE LONGEST INDOOR POOL IN VIENNA'S CITY CENTRE The Ritz-Carlton doesn't let its guests bathe in gold, but it does have the longest indoor pool in Vienna's city centre, 18 metres long. Surpassing this, guests will probably be attracted to the former palace by the variety of culinary experiences that can be enjoyed in the Atmosphere Rooftop Bar on the 8th floor with its breathtaking view over Vienna. Clearly, each of the five 5-star hotels has more to offer than "just" luxury. But that may not make the decision on which property to choose any easier. COMMENT: There are certainly one or two hotels in the world that offer even more luxury than those in Vienna. Rarely, however, can a property look back on such impressive history as the five luxury houses, whose walls could tell exciting anecdotes about numerous celebrities of world history. Guests are attracted by the architecture of the former palaces alone, the furnishings reminiscent of imperial splendour and the many culinary specialties of Viennese cuisine.

  • WINTER IN THE ALPS: THE ARLBERG, KITZBÜHEL AND THE VILLAGE IN THE BERNESE OBERLAND

    Travel journalists often have many curious stories to tell. For those who were there, the surprising offer from the tourism manager of the Arlberg in Tyrol, Austria, to a well-known travel editor, who wanted to know which ski resort the tourism manager would consider the most beautiful in the Alps, will probably remain etched in memory forever. The latter of the pair, spontaneously grabbed his car key, offered it to the travel journalist and said: "I put my car at your disposal, take a look around for yourself, and if you find a more beautiful ski resort than the Arlberg, my car is yours." This anecdote is still fondly told between travel journalists to this day. It is a scene that happened a decade ago. Incidentally, the journalist at the time did not accept the tourism manager's audacious offer - he decided he would rather stay there with his colleagues and drive down the deep snow-covered slopes with them. The story shows how much commitment and self-confidence the people in the Arlberg region have for their work for tourism - and perhaps there really is no more beautiful ski area in the Alps than the slopes in St. Anton, St. Christoph, Zürs, Lech and Stuben which belong to the Arlberg. But as with art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What the Arlberg ski area has to offer, however, is certainly enough to impress the eye of many a beholder. ARLBERG - AUSTRIA'S LARGEST CONTIGUOUS SKI AREA In any case, one thing is officially confirmed: The Arlberg is the largest contiguous ski area in Austria and one of the five largest in the world. More than 300 kilometres of slopes are available covering over 750 hectares. Additionally, you can explore the high alpine winter landscape on around 200 kilometres of deep snow slopes. A total of 88 cable cars and lifts provide access to the extensive ski area. Both beginners and demanding winter sports enthusiasts get their money's worth here. Lech Zürs offers incomparable deep-snow fun. There is hardly any other place in the Alps where you can experience the pinnacle of skiing in such variety. Tourers trudge through untouched nature, enjoy the majestically varied landscape on the ascent and the turns in the glistening powder snow on the descent back into the valley. Lech Zürs is also a paradise for freeriders. The US production company "Warren Miller Productions" used this for their daring ski film "Wintervention". In breathtaking perfection, the best freeriders in the world chase through the high alpine snow landscape of Lech Zürs. Lorraine Huber, one of the top stars of the scene and 2017 Freeride World Champion, also loves to train in her hometown of Lech. She is the official ambassador of Lech Zürs and carries (and promotes) the name out into the world. If that's not adventure enough for you, you can experience a very special adventure on the Arlberg: Heliskiing is arguably the ultimate snow fun and in Austria is only offered in Lech Zürs. ALMHOF-SCHNEIDER: BEST HOTEL IN AUSTRIA 2022 Lech Zürs am Arlberg is one of the pioneering sites of winter sports. For more than 100 years it has been one of the top winter sports destinations in the Alps: perfect tourist infrastructure paired with warm hospitality amid a paradisiacal landscape? -- that is Lech Zürs. This holiday region is one of the most innovative tourism regions of all and thus sets the standards time and again. Tradition and modernity, identity and innovation are harmoniously combined on the Arlberg. A sense of pride combined with the openness to the wishes and desires of the guests shape the self-image of the population. Here it really is "more space, more time". It is no wonder, then, that Lech Zürs belongs to the select circle of the twelve "Best Alpine" places. And not only that: with the 5-star "Almhof Schneider" hotel, Lech also has the best hotel in Austria in 2022. Those who check into the five-star superior vitality resort in Oberlech am Arlberg at 1,700 metres above sea level are already very close to heaven. KITZBÜHEL - THE SPORTS CAPITAL OF THE ALPS Kitzbühel skillfully combines the contrasts of cosmopolitan lifestyle and idyllic nature, rustic tradition and modern lifestyle: The "Sports Capital of the Alps" became world-famous through the legendary Hahnenkamm Race, but that is only one facet of the Kitzbühel legend. It is the incomparable charm of the region, the excellent infrastructure offering top hotels and gastronomy, the multitude of sports opportunities and the fascinating landscape that make Kitzbühel unique. Kitzbühel also offers varied terrain away from the famous stretch of the Streif race track. Beginners and professionals alike can take their turns on 233 kilometres of slopes. The best way to enjoy the Kitzbühel lifestyle is to take a stroll through the 750-year-old town centre. A multitude of boutiques and shops will make your shopping loving heart beat faster. It doesn't always have to be the ski slopes that makes Kitzbühel unforgettable. LEGENDARY STREIF AND THE GANSLERN SLOPE One word, one legend: Streif! The most spectacular downhill run in the world can be conquered in the winter as well as in summer. But be careful: if you want to follow in the footsteps of the world's best skiers, you should be a very experienced skier. The key sections of the Streif, such as the Mausefalle, the steep slope or the Hausbergkante, are marked as "Extreme Skiing". But pleasure skiers can also have their own racing experience: On the "Family Streif" you can get a taste of World Cup air at a leisurely pace, as the most difficult sections are omitted. Beginners can try their hand on the "Mini-Streif", a skills course at the foot of the Hahnenkamm downhill run. Another highlight of the Kitzbühel ski area is the "Ganslernhang". You can emulate the technical skills of the professionals on one of the last classic slalom courses in the World Cup. ALPINE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE Kitzbühel's town centre with its short distances is considered the perfect ambience for shopping in the Alps. In the shop windows, you will discover international brands and Kitzbühel "fashion originals" such as Sportalm, Frauenschuh, Franz Prader or Helmut Eder. Exploring the handicraft businesses of the Kitzbühler Masters’ Guild is also worth the visit. INDULGENCE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL The culinary journey through the region leads from traditional local dishes to international gourmet cuisine. Down-to-earth fare awaits you in the mountain huts or in the rustic inns, while the culinary elite conjures up exquisite culinary delights in the gourmet restaurants. When it comes to culinary delights, the Gamsstadt always retains its authenticity and sense of tradition. The ten restaurants in the area (who were awarded a total of 13 Gault-Millau toques,) will surely whet your appetite. GSTAAD - A POPULAR DESTINATION FOR INTERNATIONAL CELEBRITIES Gstaad - the mountain village in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland invites its guests under the motto "Come up - slow down". In addition to skiing on more than 220 kilometres of perfectly groomed slopes, numerous activities and experiences await its guests in the destination of Gstaad. Gourmets can get their money's worth in the destination's 100 restaurants, while cross-country skiing fans will find a varied network of trails awaiting them. The Gstaad ski area is the only glacier ski area in the Bernese Oberland, and rising to an altitude of over 3,000 metres is considered extremely snow-assured. From the end of October until often into May, nothing stands in the way of six continuous months of skiing and winter sports fun. TOP HOTELS AND AN IGLOO VILLAGE WITH ICE SCULPTURES With its top hotels such as "The Alpina Gstaad", gourmet restaurants, luxury chalets and the nearby Saanen Airport, from which the charter company "Haute Avation" flies its private jets all over the world, the traffic-free holiday village is a popular destination for international celebrities. In the neighbouring villages of Saanen, Schönried, Saanenmöser, Zweisimmen, Gsteig, Lauenen, Feutersoey, Turbach and Abländschen, however, Saanenland offers a much broader spectrum: the nature reserve on idyllic Lake Lauenen with its waterfalls and high moors, the narrow streets in the historic village centre of Saanen or the tranquillity of the dreamy mountain village of Abländschen are just a few examples of the extremely diverse destination. The Olden Hotel, owned by Bernie Ecclestone, stands out in the town centre. High above Gstaad towers this legendary Palace Hotel. Below the mountain station is the Igloo Village, which is built anew every year. It takes 2,000 hours of work to complete, before the hotel welcomes its guests. In each of the "rooms" an ice sculpture is modelled into the walls and the beds look quite cosy. If it's too cold, you can warm up in the Jacuzzi or sauna and then cool off in the cold snow. Breakfast is served in the mountain restaurant. ALPINE AUTHENTICITY, PROUDLY CULTIVATED TRADITION The Gstaad region is considered one of the top luxury destinations in Switzerland. Here, guests experience excellent quality and a wide range of encompassing offers. Alpine authenticity, proudly cultivated traditions and a touch of glamour give this destination that special flair that sets Gstaad apart from the rest of the world. Despite the enormous prestige of the brand, Gstaad has found a way to remain grounded. Gstaad owes its world fame not only to its international schools such as "L'Institut Le Rosey" or the "John F. Kennedy School in Saanen". The car-free shopping mile in the village is home to numerous upscale market boutiques and premium luxury brands. The village's own airfield for arrivals and departures and six heliskiing landing pads don’t serve to hide the fact that guests here are treated with the utmost discretion. The slogan "Come up, slow down" is the mantra here. The slogan "Come up, slow down" is the mantra here. The destination of Gstaad offers its guests a diverse range of wellness experiences with seven specialized wellness hotels, numerous other hotels with extensive wellness infrastructure, the Gstaad Sports Center and exceptional nature experiences. #winterinthealps

  • THOMAS BACHHEIMER - GOLD HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN ESCAPE ANIMAL

    The financial expert Thomas Bachheimer is pulling up stakes in Austria and moving to Dubai. The background of his temporary "emigration" is purely economic. In an interview with PANGAEA, he also explains why an investment in gold is more worthwhile than in real estate. PANGAEA: You are moving to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates these days because the gold stream would flow there. What does that mean? Thomas Bachheimer: Let's put it this way, the gold stream flows through there. Dubai has always been one of the big trading centres in the Arab world. You have to know that gold always flows to where productivity is. One notices that there are now outflows in the previous trading centres in America, London and Switzerland. One reason for this is politically orchestrated outflows because a lot of gold is flowing to Dubai from sanctioned Russia, where private individuals have gold at their disposal. For the gold provision, it was only a question of time, after we had already expanded strongly in Europe, that we as a global player could also participate in Dubai and contribute to bringing the European gold culture to the Orient. Because there the gold culture is different, it already starts with the degree of purity: due to technical progress we work with 99.99 and in India, which is one of the main markets for Dubai, 99.5 is traded. There, it's all about acceptance. And nobody there has heard of coins at all. PANGAEA: Do you plan to enter the coin business there? Thomas Bachheimer: Coin culture is important to us because we have a long tradition in this field in Austria. I only have to remind you of the Joachimstaler, which was struck in Bohemia in what was then Austria and gave its name to the US dollar. But I also remember the silver mine in Schwaz in Tyrol, once one of the largest silver mines in the world, until the Spanish imported shiploads of gold and silver from South America. And we are very well known in Africa because of the Maria Theresa thaler. This was partly real money in use in Africa and is still accepted in trade today. For me, it is only logical to bring the gold and silver culture to countries where it is not yet so pronounced. PANGAEA: Is there more business to be done with the gold trade in Dubai than currently in Europe? Thomas Bachheimer: Absolutely. Europe is suicidal in a different way. Where there is no more economic power, there is no need for gold. In my opinion, the gold heart of the world will soon be beating in Dubai. As a person working in the gold business, you simply have to be there, just as a surfer has to have seen Hawaii once. PANGAEA: You said that there are "outflows" of gold from London and Switzerland. Does that mean that the gold is being sold or stored elsewhere? Thomas Bachheimer: Different. It is being sold, but there are also people who no longer consider Europe so safe from a geostrategic point of view and place the gold in other secure storage facilities. The fact that this is now happening in the Arab world, of all places, is a staircase joke in history. Many people are already leaving Frankfurt with their gold. PANGAEA: Do I understand you correctly: Rich gold owners are more afraid of storing gold in Austria, Frankfurt or London, for example, than in a country ruled by rulers like the United Arab Emirates? Thomas Bachheimer: Yes, some are afraid that the geopolitical situation will change in such a way that they will no longer be able to get their gold. But one thing must be said right away, the fear is not of a gold ban. That did happen once before under US President Franklin Roosevelt, but if you look at the real estate holdings here now, which are hundreds of times larger than the gold holdings, the Secretary of the Treasury is more likely to tax the real estate than the gold if the worst comes to the worst. It is not that everyone is afraid. However, there is a tendency to spread gold ownership. Of course, that only makes sense for big gold owners. PANGAEA: So is gold the greater crisis protection than real estate? Thomas Bachheimer: In terms of assets, it is the case that the states have leaned out too far and can no longer cover the deficit with tax revenues at all. They are also slowly running out of financial tricks. They are now trying inflation. But at some point, it will come to the next stage - expropriation. These will not be called expropriations, but they could be called burden-sharing laws, which are being discussed in the German Bundestag. I can well imagine that in the next five to ten years the state will also have access to private real estate. You can also mortgage them, which is not expropriation in the conventional sense, but taxes are always expropriation. Burden-sharing laws make real estate uninteresting. In today's world, you need unregistered assets. Registered assets are real estate or shares, re-registered assets are gold, nobody knows about this purchase and I can store it where I want. PANGAEA: You can do that with works of art and diamonds, too. Thomas Bachheimer: But there is a problem: If I want to sell the gold because I need money, I have a worldwide standardized gold price and I can sell it anywhere. If I have diamonds or works of art, I have to go to a third person who values them so that I can make a deal with a second person. In other words, the speed of liquidating the existing assets has slowed down a lot. PANGAEA: Do you have the impression that more gold is bought in times of crisis like now? Thomas Bachheimer: The overall demand is already increasing. Smart people have already sensed in the past that inflation is coming. PANGAEA: So it is not only you who are fleeing to Dubai but also gold - and to a ruling country and not to a democratic country as we know it? Thomas Bachheimer: Gold is an escape animal like big capital in general. Before a crisis arises, the capital has usually already left. Russian capital was overlooked because the financial politicians could not know that Vladimir Putin was attacking Ukraine. In a democracy, the people tell those in power what to do. But now those in power are saying "We can do it", "Put on a mask", and "Get what's coming to you". These are things that are supposedly pro-citizen, but in reality, it's a command revolution. From a libertarian point of view, of course, this is an ideological pattern, because I am now moving to a country ruled by a ruling family and where there is not even the parliamentary possibility to depose these rulers. Why am I doing this anyway? I have been to Dubai a few times and looked at it. There, according to my observation, there are no unhappy citizens, the wealth does belong to the ruling families, but they give so much to the citizens that they can all lead a contented life. There are no tendencies there for people to want to get rid of this ruling family. Only eight percent of the people living in Dubai are locals, i.e. people who were born there. 92 percent are foreigners. And the foreigners who moved there before me are not all complete idiots. You don't have this liberalism, which not everyone needs, but you do have a high degree of economic liberalism in Dubai. COMMENT: Styrian-born Thomas Bachheimer has been called a commodity guru by several media since he predicted an oil price of $150 at $30 and is a welcome guest analyst at OPEC events and on CNBC, Blomberg TV, DAF and n-tv. In numerous publications and lectures, he has dealt with the existing monetary system, the influence of politics in economic life, the USD and Euro, but also with the precious metal and energy markets and tried to make the complicated interrelationships in these areas more understandable to the so-called normal consumer. As European President of the Gold Standard Institute www.goldstandardinstitute.net, founded by Philip Barton and Antal Fekete, he is fully committed to the task of informing the "currency users" - i.e. end consumers as well as business people - about the advantages of non-political, covered currencies and to promote the establishment of a new way of thinking in the field of currency. Thomas Bachheimer Gold ld

  • STEIRERECK CHEF REITBAUER: "FOOD APPRECIATION COMES FIRST"

    Chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and selected people who like to eat have been placing the „Steirereck am Stadtpark“ in Vienna among the 50 best restaurants in the world for years. In 2022, it was even able to achieve 13th place. This pleases the owners, Heinz and Birgit Reitbauer, who are also farmers in Styria and who for this very reason place food appreciation above all else. CHEF HEINZ REITBAUER IS THE SECOND GENERATION TO RUN STEIRERECK His parents had already turned a tavern in the 3rd district into an award-winning restaurant before they moved to the so-called „Meierei“ in Vienna's Stadtpark in 2005, to ascend to the Olympus of domestic gastronomy again after "a few turbulent years", as Heinz Reitbauer tells PANGAEA. He is now proud to have been awarded two Michelin stars and the certainty of being one of the hundred best restaurants worldwide. Reitbauer runs the kitchen with 35 chefs, "with many right hands", as he puts it, "who form a good team". A total of 100 people are responsible for the 90 seats in the restaurant, which are always fully booked. The prices are on average for comparable gourmet temples. BUT WHAT DISTINGUISHES STEIRERECK FROM OTHER TOP CHEFS AND EXCLUSIVE RESTAURANTS IN VIENNA? "Very little," says Reitbauer, "we all have very high-quality standards, we try to implement in our own way and style that is peculiar to us in the best possible way, and we want the people who are our guests to somehow feel and notice that." What is special about Steirereck is perhaps that the family has an agricultural background, he is a farmer, and thus has a close personal connection to the product. Reitbauer says he has always tried to pass on the appreciation of the farm products to his staff and guests. This lies very close to his heart. MANY OF THE HIGH QUALITY AND SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS COME FROM STEIRERECK'S OWN FARM Many of the products that are made into fine dishes at Steirereck come from the restaurant's farm, such as lamb, pork and potatoes. This is used in the specialty section of the house. All in all, the menu presents the overall picture of Austrian products. Reitbauer is enthusiastic about Austrian gastronomy, in general, which works at a high level and yet is not the same. Steirereck attempts to produce cuisine that is very, very close to the products and nature that underly it. "If one of my producers or suppliers were to see his product on the plate, he would have to recognize it and see that we have only added something to it," says Reitbauer, who says that the product should not be changed so much that the person who produced it is no longer able to recognize it. That is his approach. As an umbrella term for dishes that one can get at Steirereck, Reitbauer calls it: "Austrian natural, seasonal cuisine". The newspaper "Falter" described the food at Steirereck as follows: "Creative cuisine completely without clichés, but with maximum individuality". APPROACH THE POGUSCH “TAVERN” IN ST.LAURENZEN WITH A HELICOPTER When asked about the Pogusch in St. Lorenzen in the Styrian Mürztal, district of Bruck an der Mur, which belongs to the Steirereck operation and is even approached by helicopters by Formula 1 pilots after the Spielberg Grand Prix to enjoy the famously good food there, Reitbauer says that there are indeed several helicopter landing pads at the Pogusch, but that they do not want to be perceived as a helicopter landing pad tavern. Anyone who wants to arrive in this way is welcome. We want to know from Heinz Reitbauer whether the term "tavern" is not too common for Pogusch, "no, not at all", is his answer, "We are definitely a tavern in everything we do and in the way we want to be perceived". But the Steiereck is a restaurant, Reitbauer says. With the term "Wirtshaus", people have different expectations. This brings us back to Vienna and a look at the wine list. For the past five years, the sommelier of the year 2022, René Antrag, has been responsible for it. He followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Adi Schmid, who was active for decades and was also an award-winning sommelier. The focus is strongly on Austrian wines, with more than half coming from local winemakers. "But we are also open to wines from other countries, in contrast to the cuisine, where we are very regional," says Reitbauer.

  • EXCEPTIONAL CHEF JUAN AMADOR DECORATES HIS RESTAURANT WITH HIS OWN PAINTINGS

    Juan Amador turned a former “Heurigen“ in Vienna into a world-famous three-star address. In his eponymous restaurant AMADOR, however, the German top chef with Spanish roots has recently also been exhibiting his colourful, large-scale abstract oil paintings. It was a minor sensation when the editors of the Guide Michelin awarded Juan Amador the highest rating in March 2019. AMADOR at Grinzinger Straße 86 in Vienna's 19th district of Döbling thus became Austria's first and to this day only three-star address. For chef Juan Amador, it was already the third three-star award of his cooking career: for eight consecutive years, the exceptional chef defended the coveted three macarons in Germany for his restaurants in Langen and Mannheim before moving to Vienna in 2015. "WE TORE DOWN THE TAVERN AND TRIPLED THE SIZE OF THE KITCHEN" Juan Amador came across the almost inconspicuous restaurant in a former wine cellar, which had previously been a “Heuriger”, through his friendship with winemaker Fritz Wieninger. He was not looking for more awards when he opened the restaurant at this location in his new home Vienna in 2016. The 54-year-old recalls the first year after opening: "I came to Vienna for love and initially wanted to take it easy. Less focus on stars and points - that sounded tempting. At the beginning, we even came up with a new concept for us - on the one hand pub cuisine, on the other fine dining". Then things turned out differently than planned: "But I quickly realised that I couldn't get out of my skin. It was simply less fun. When we were awarded two stars at the first attempt in 2017, we went back to our original strengths. We tore down the tavern and tripled the size of the kitchen. Since then, the joy of cooking is definitely back." The joy of cooking paid off. Personally, the third star was valuable to him above all because it reconfirmed him his passion, Juan Amador told PANGAEA. The top chef only mentioned in passing that the highest rating that Guide Michelin has to award also brought his business success. Anyone who wants to reserve one of the ten tables in his restaurant must do so three to four weeks in advance. It is not only the fresh products used here, but also an extensive collection of prestige champagne as well as a wine cellar with 1,200 items that speaks for the quality. A 24-person team - eight waiters and 14 cooks are responsible for the care of its 45 seats. JUAN AMADOR - SPANISH CHARACTER MEETS GERMAN VIRTUES In Amador's kitchen, Spanish character meets German virtues: His colourful dishes are powerful, intense, aromatic. Iced Beurre Blanc, Mieral pigeon or the "leaf frog" with scallop and parsley are classics of his repertoire. Not a quiet pleasure, but a cuisine that demands full attention. At the same time, it impresses with precise craftsmanship and depth of flavour. "Of course, I want what every chef wants: for his own dishes to remain in the guests' memory. To create a taste and an aesthetic that are unmistakable." Playing with temperatures, textures and cooking states is always part of the game for the German of Catalan-Andalusian origin. But unlike during the heyday of the Spanish avant-garde in the noughties, when Amador, inspired by Ferran Adria, advanced to become the German representative of molecular cuisine, which was in demand at the time, and was awarded three Michelin stars for the first time, he now uses elaborate kitchen techniques more subtly: "It is not the technique but a product of outstanding quality that sets the tone and thus the best preparation. The simpler a dish appears, the more elaborate it usually is. Only, unlike in the past, the technique is well hidden," the three-star chef reveals about the development of his cuisine. Freely following the motto "You have to master the rules in order to break them", Amador's training is based on classical French cuisine. "I studied with Albert Bouley in the early nineties. He opened my eyes and was extremely creative. Before that, cooking was normal," the top chef clarifies when describing the most important posting in his career. DINING IN THE IMPOSING BRICK CELLAR VAULT Guests dining in Austria's only three-star restaurant find themselves in the imposing brick cellar vault with a view into the barrel cellar of the Hajszan Neuman winery. Since autumn 2017, a show kitchen in the entrance area of the former tavern has been an additional eye-catching feature of the restaurant. Not only that, but the creative chef also discovered another creative talent in himself when he moved to Vienna: painting. He already has 150 paintings to his name, and some of the large paintings are exhibited in the AMADOR, which has become his own personal gallery. Time and time again, guests from all over the world not only come to dine in the restaurant but also buy paintings by the artist Amador when they go home. For him, painting is a balance for the mind, says the chef. Others in the restaurant business do sports or spend the night with a good bottle of red wine, neither of which is for him: "I sit down in my studio and paint until four in the morning. Juan Amador compares cooking and painting like this: "If you don't master the basics, you can't dare to experiment". But there is one major difference to cooking: as a painter you don't have to be perfect, says the exceptional chef, who is also renowned as a perfectionist.

  • SILVIO NICKOL - THE TOP RESTAURANT IN THE PALAIS COBURG BEARS THE NAME OF ITS CHEF

    Star chef Silvio Nickol and his team have succeeded in establishing a fixed star in Vienna's top gastronomy with the restaurant of the same name in the luxurious, historic 5-star Palais Coburg Hotel. Opening hours: from Tuesday to Saturday, from 18:00 to 21:30. EXCEPTIONALLY COMPOSED INNOVATIONS For the last six years, the team has been offering its guests a special gourmet experience at the highest international level. The culinary offer includes creative interpretations of classic dishes as well as extraordinarily composed creations, which can be combined in a unique way with the comprehensive wine assortment of the Palais Coburg wine stores. Boasting more than 6,000 items, the restaurant's wine book offers an extremely impressive range and the perfect accompaniment to every possible menu. GOURMET CHEF AND "CHEF OF THE YEAR” Architecturally, the gourmet restaurant denotes itself with it’s use of glass, wood and leather in a private but modern atmosphere in the middle of the historic palace. The Silvio Nickol Gourmet Restaurant is currently awarded two Guide Michelin stars and four Gault Millau toques (19 points). In 2014, Silvio Nickol was named "Gault Millau Austrian Chef of the Year". Chef Silvio Nickol discovered his passion for cooking at the age of seven at his home in Hoyerswerda, in Saxony, Germany, when he made food for his little brother because his single mother had to work. He became a top chef thanks to his years of apprenticeship and travelling with award-winning chefs. HIS COOKING STYLE CAN NOT BE PIGEONHOLED The chef makes a point of not letting himself be pigeonholed with his style of cooking: "I grew up with classic cuisine and still think it has its merit. But of course, you evolve over the course of your career, and in the past few years in particular, we have started to focus even more on the essentials, to place much more emphasis on taste. The plates became more straightforward, and the flavour is focused more on the few components on the plate." A TINKERER AND PERFECTIONIST The dishes strength lies strongly in the quality of the products, which is why Silvio Nickol primarily works with high-quality and selected producers from Austria, whom he also often visits personally with his team. New dishes for the menu, which change every two to three months, are created through teamwork. "The ideas of all the staff flow into it. I have a strong team with great chefs and there is an intensive brainstorming process before a new dish is created. But one thing is clear, of course, a new dish only makes the menu if I myself am 100 percent enthusiastic about it," emphasizes the chef, who is known as a tinkerer and perfectionist. THE CAREER OF SILVIO NICKOL After beginning his apprenticeship as a chef in 1991, Nickol moved in 1994 to Lothar Eiermann's two-star restaurant Wald- & Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe in Zweiflingen and in 1997 to Harald Wohlfahrt's three-star restaurant Schwarzwaldstube in the Hotel Traube Tonbach in Baiersbronn as chef de partie. This was followed in 1999 by Roger Souvereyns' Scholteshof in Stevoort (Belgium), where he worked as sous chef. He returned to the Schwarzwaldstube in 2001, in the position of sous chef. This was followed in 2005 by a move to the Köhlerstube in the Traube Tonbach as deputy head chef. He then worked at Heinz Winkler in Aschau from 2006, and became head chef at Schlossstern in Velden Castle on Lake Wörthersee in 2007; the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars under his management in 2009. Since 2011, he has managed the Silvio Nickol Gourmet Restaurant at Palais Coburg in Vienna. Here, too, he has held two Michelin stars since 2012. In 2017, he was awarded four toques and 19 points by Gault-Millau. In 2014, the wine list with over 6,000 items was named Best Wine List in the World by the renowned British magazine "The World of Fine Wine".

  • PALAIS COBURG: SIX CENTURIES OF ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY FOR THE GUEST OF THE HIGHEST LUXURY CLASS

    A palace, a residence, an oasis in the heart of Vienna: embedded in six centuries of architectural history, 34 individually designed luxury suites, an exclusive spa area with an indoor pool and one of the most beautiful gardens in the city await each guest at Palais Coburg. If Palais Coburg did not host state guests or bilateral talks between politicians from all over the world, it would not be so well known to the general public. With prices starting at 695 to 2,695 euros per suite, including a bottle of well-chilled champagne on arrival, breakfast and minibar, the 5-star superior hotel is reserved for the rich and beautiful. MAXIMUM COMFORT AND EXTREMELY PRIVATE ATMOSPHERE AT PALAIS COBURG The "very private house" has 34 highly individual hideaways for its discerning guests. The offers range from the elegant Coburg and Bastei Suites to the City and Residence Suites and the extravagant Palais Suites. The sizes vary from 54 to 165 square metres, whereby all rooms offer maximum comfort and a supremely private atmosphere as well as a lively reference to the history of the house. In the spirit of authenticity, the suites are named after members of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family. Beyond the extraordinary ambience, Palais Coburg offers all the amenities that the guest of the utmost luxury class demands. Since 2016, Palais Coburg has been a member of the renowned association "The Leading Hotels of the World". EXPERIENCE THE EXCITING HISTORY OF THE "HOUSE OF KINGS" Once the family property of the princely family of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Kohary, Palais Coburg is today probably the most extraordinary 5-star hotel in the Austrian capital. It was built by Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha between 1840 and 1845 in the classicist style on the former Braunbastei, the foundations of which include fortifications from the 16th century. In 1997, the Pühringer Private Foundation acquired the building and, after several years of planning, had it renovated, revitalized and converted between 2000 and 2003, taking into account all available historical information. The total investment volume was 85 million euros. The "new" Palais Coburg opened its doors on 7 November 2003. Six centuries of Viennese architectural history were thus brought to life in their entirety for the first time. The special, historical building fabric also forms the basis for today's use of the Palais with a total area of more than 16,000 square metres. By the way: If one is interested in history, one can experience the exciting history and stories of the "House of Kings" as part of an exclusive guided tour and visit the historic rooms of Palais Coburg. A CULINARY EXPERIENCE WITH 5,000 POSITIONS IN THE WINE BOOK Of course, a restaurant that meets the expectations of the guests also belongs premium class property. Palais Coburg offers two culinary experiences: The "Silvio Nickol Restaurant" and the "Clementine im Glashaus". Star chef Silvio Nickol and his team have succeeded in establishing a fixed star in top gastronomy in Vienna with the restaurant of the same name. The culinary offer includes creative interpretations of classic dishes as well as extraordinarily composed innovations, which can be uniquely combined with the Palais Coburg's comprehensive range of wines. With 5,000 items and no less than 60,000 bottles, the restaurant's wine book offers an extremely impressive range and the perfect accompaniment to every menu. Architecturally, the gourmet restaurant presents itself with glass, wood and leather in a private but modern atmosphere. The restaurant Clementine in the Glass House invites you to relaxed enjoyment with that certain something. The Glass House offers a view of the Palais in one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. Four years after its opening, the restaurant is now considered a particularly hip culinary hotspot where the Viennese also like to spend their free time. Traditional dishes are on offer. The restaurant is named after Clementine of Orleans. The French royal daughter, Clementine lived together with her husband Prince August of Saxe-Couburg and Gotha as the first residents of Palais Coburg in Vienna from 1849. Her painting can be seen in the centre of the restaurant. THE STATEROOMS: HISTORICALLY AUTHENTIC, BUT WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY From confidential fireside chats and gala dinners to concerts or festivities for several hundred participants and guests - Palais Coburg has a total of 2,300 square metres of suitable rooms for the stylish staging of unforgettable events. The staterooms are among the most magnificent event spaces in the country and allow for a truly princely reception of important guests. In addition, the casemates in Vienna's former fortifications can be rented for any event. Those who choose a suite at Palais Coburg also have free access to a spa area including pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam bath, sun terrace and winter garden during their entire stay. The spa area on the third floor of the hotel is very discreet, quiet and exclusive - in keeping with the hotel's philosophy, which runs through the entire Palais. COMMENT: In the series of luxury hotels in Vienna, the Palais Coburg is not to be missed. But can this palace with six centuries of architectural history be mentioned in the same context as the city's most exclusive hotels? It is not just a hotel as guests would normally know it; there are no rooms, only suites, which - let's just say - are well worth their price. The intensely private atmosphere seems to be the philosophy of the operators, and it can be felt everywhere. Impressive also is the 60,000-bottle wine cellar, which allows the in-house restaurant to offer its guests a wine book with 5,000 selections.

  • VOKA: "TODAY, THE WORD „LIKE“ IS SEEN AS A SWEAR WORD IN CONTEMPORARY ART".

    The Austrian painter Voka has twelve million clicks on his YouTube channel. His works are sold by renowned galleries worldwide. He is something like the shooting star of contemporary art. In a PANGAEA interview, he provided some insight into his life and his thoughts about art. NO PICTURES ON THE WALL FOR TEN YEARS A Swiss businesswoman left the walls of her impressive villa overlooking Lake Zurich white and without any pictures for ten years. In a documentary she explained why: "When someone simply produces three splashes of colour, I always felt I could do that too". But when the lady came across Voka's paintings in an exhibition, she found what she had been looking for all those years. Today, six of the Austrian artist's paintings hang on the once barren walls of her exclusive home. When Rudolf Vogl (who coincidentally also had established his artist name in the form of his childhood nickname, “Voka”,) was asked about this, he commented that would also insist on only hanging pictures on his walls that he actually liked. The so-called contemporary excesses that exist today, "blue dot, red line, something running down somewhere", have nothing to do with fine art for him, but are rather just the products of a lot of marketing and hype. ART COLLECTORS ONLY BUY WHAT THEIR EXPERTS TELL THEM TO BUY Many art collectors only collect what curators and museums tell them to. They are always being told that they have to collect it because “it is good”, even though opinions are subjective, and they might not personally find it appealing at all. I think it's great that lately there are more and more people who stand up and say that they don't want to be fooled by so-called art experts. I think it's important for art to please the individual. Today, the word "like" in contemporary art is already a form of profanity. TEN NAILS IN A BOARD IS NOTHING PROFOUND In the past, says Voka, art had to be beautiful, aesthetic, in a word ; "pleasing". But today, in the contemporary phase in which we find ourselves, this concept has completely "degenerated". Anything that emotes causing of physical pain, artists who are only on drugs and splash about, is perceived as "great" by some curators. Voka doesn't understand individual critics who think that he doesn't paint anything profound. "I would question these critics, what is so profound about someone hammering ten nails on a board, painting it white and pricing it at exorberant prices?" This is exactly the kind of madness these "art experts" would then write about and rave about how great it is. YOU ARE THE BEST IF THEY EARN PROFITS FROM YOU Voka has managed to become a top paid contemporary painter in Austria without curators and gallery owners who want profound paintings. "From the moment they start to earn profit from you, you are the considered the best - that's what I had to learn," says the painter who grew up in Puchberg am Schneeberg in Lower Austria and also lives from time to time in Greece. In the idyllic village in the countryside, he earned his income with rural façade paintings for the neighbours in the village and through small commissioned works. The commercial breakthrough came with his self-created style of so-called spontaneous realism. Suddenly, around 2012, things were going well for the 57-year-old. Galleries were interested - and a certain Frank Stronach said on the phone that he liked his paintings and wanted to buy some. In the meantime, the Austrian-Canadian billionaire has taken a liking to 60 of his pieces. However, Stronach and other well-known personalities did not approach him because any gallery owner or curator referred them to him, rather they sought him out because they personally developed an interest in his works - "and that is the true measure of all things for me", says Voka, who "produces" around 50 works a year. VOKA ART IS TRADED FOR UP TO SIX-FIGURE SUMS Voka has been represented for years by top galleries in Zurich, Vienna, the Algarve in Portugal and in Paris. Large-format works by him cost up to 100,000 euros. According to Voka, the price of a painting is determined by how the painter is anchored and networked in the art world. Whether a painting costs 40,000 or four million euros depends only on who would take care of it and where it would hang, and which experts give it praise. For the trained electrical engineer (who has never worked in his profession) it was clear from the start, ( and much to the chagrin of his parents) that he would become a painter. Had he been accepted it into the Austrian ski team, he might have instead become a professional athlete. Skiing remains to this day, the great passion of the artist, who created a gallery worth seeing in his home town of Puchberg, where he can also be discovered and represented as a painter and where works such as "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci in Voka's very own style, decorate the walls. ESTABLISHED ART CAREER WITHOUT AN ART ACADEMY DEGREE Voka applied to the art academy in Vienna as a 16-year-old "far too early and naive" and was rejected. He is the best proof that the greatest painters of their time can also establish a successful career without attending an formal art academy. Vincent van Gogh was also one of them, Salvador Dali was thrown out because he was too "crazy" for the teachers. Voka is therefore Voka, and not a student of anyone else. As Pablo Picasso put it, “he does not want to swim with the current, but to be the current himself”. For Voka, the art academy should be a place where one learns to draw and can further develop one's own technique from the learned craft. No one, says Voka, is born a painter. Anyone could paint, but 99 per cent of people simply would choose not to. He himself believes that he had perhaps inherited five per cent of his talent, but the rest (or the majority of his talents, as in every profession, as in every sport - was achieved through hard work. There are thousands of drawings in his house because he always felt the need to draw. PABLO PICASSO - THE WORLD'S GREATEST PAINTING GENIUS For him, role models are people who can really show that they do something. His absolute hero is Pablo Picasso. Voka shows a portrait of Picasso, which "the greatest painting genius in the world" (sic:Picasso) completed at the age of twelve. But why strokes and dots were later found on Picasso's works, as well, which Voka explained already that he doesn't like, he tries to justify as follows: "When one is able to paint as technically perfect as Picasso at the age of twelve, one starts experimenting - I always say that whoever can do anything, may do anything!" When Voka sees paintings by an abstract artist today, he looks at what the artist did in the past and the craftsmanship and process that went into it. IN HIS OWN RESIDENDE: VOKA AND FLOCH ARE DISPLAYED Which paintings hang in Voka's house? "My own and also purchased pieces that I like and that are by artists who also have something behind them," says Voka, who, for example, appreciates works by the US-American painter of Austrian origin, Josef Floch, and likes to observe and contemplate them in his private surroundings. Would he describe himself as "successful"? Voka: "A friend of mine once said that a person's success is measured by how happy he is - and I am very happy and grateful for the life I am allowed to live!" COMMENT: From a vast trove of art, Austrian painter Rudolf Vogl, who chose his childhood nickname, "Voka," as his artist name, has developed a spontaneous realism that is now making a worldwide splash. Inspired by Old Masters that have always inspired him, he pays respect to them with a cycle or creates new works of high artistic quality. Although Voka does not paint anything profound in the sense of self-proclaimed art experts, he does paint pictures that find favor with viewers and are therefore often sought after.

  • THE RITZ-CARLTON HAS THE LARGEST INDOOR POOL IN VIENNA'S CITY CENTRE

    Located in four historic 19th-century palaces, Vienna's 5-star hotel combines Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic styles with contemporary luxury. The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna combines legendary Ritz-Carlton service with Viennese hospitality. At the "Atmosphere Rooftop Bar" on the eighth floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna guests can enjoy a breathtaking view over the city. The "The Ritz-Carlton Spa" is home to the longest indoor pool in Vienna's city centre, measuring 18 metres long. Located directly on Vienna's famous Ringstrasse and only a short walk from the city park, the luxury hotel is the perfect vantage point for discovering Vienna. The Crystal Ballroom, named after its two-tonne crystal walls, is just one of several exclusive meeting and event venues offered by The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna. RITZ-CARLTON VIENNA - WHERE HISTORICAL CHARM MEETS MODERN ELEGANCE In the 204 elegant hotel rooms and 43 suites of The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna, historical charm and modern elegance meet to create unforgettable experiences in Vienna. In the hotel's largest and most luxurious suite, the Presidential Suite, two angel wreaths representing the twelve months of the year and the four seasons can be found on the ceiling surrounding the chandelier in the living room. The two-storey Duplex Suite is in the former Club Noble Casino building, which was built in the late 1860s and housed several residences where individual aristocrats and officers stayed and enjoyed themselves after visiting the casino. PASTAMARA - SICILY IN THE MIDDLE OF VIENNA AND THE DSTRIKT STEAKHOUSE The variety of culinary experiences at The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna arises from the city itself. Whether it is a breathtaking view over the rooftops of Vienna, or with fine steak cuts of Austrian meat in the "District Steakhouse Restaurant" or at the exclusive hotel brunch - let yourself be inspired and enjoy the exceptional food. Nothing else describes best what the " Dstrikt Steakhouse" is all about: the right cut of the best organic beef. 300° Celsius on the Josper Grill, gives every steak its certain smoky edge, and a dining experience that you surely won't forget any time soon. You don't have to leave Vienna to travel to Sicily, since Pastamara - Bar con Cucina was established at the Ritz Carlton, Vienna. Chef Ciccio Sultano has sent ingredient by ingredient and spice by spice on a journey to Vienna to open a new chapter of his cuisine: Sicilian modern style interpreted for a multi-faceted Bar con Cucina. SOPHISTICATED MIXES MADE THE D-BAR FAMOUS The city's most exciting cocktails deserve a special stage at D-bar. Refined mixes with heritage, inspiring ceremonies and fine spirits have made the classic cocktail bar with its view of Vienna's Ringstraße the best hotel bar in the country several times over. Decorated in the colours red and black, the bar is a cosmopolitan meeting place in the heart of the city. The programme of the D-bar is regularly expanded with themed discovery tours that lead back to the motto that gives the bar its name, "Discovery". The Atmosphere Rooftop Bar welcomes you to feel the fresh lifestyle of Vienna. Treat yourself to something far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A place to escape from everyday life: The Atmosphere Rooftop Bar provides a relaxed and elegant meeting place at literally the highest level. SPA AREA WITH PERSONALIZED GUIDES FOR THE DAILY BEAUTY ROUTINE At The Ritz-Carlton Spa, your personal experience takes centre stage with holistic well-being and personalized experiences. An urban spa hideaway awaits in the heart of Vienna, combining all-encompassing natural elements and therapeutic expertise to create an oasis of calm and energy. For those with a desire for balance and a naturally beautiful glow, bespoke "Bespoke Spa Assessments" offers even more individualized approaches and recommendations for a healthy lifestyle. In the form of a personalized guide for your daily beauty routine, sustainable rejuvenation and wellness programs for at home are created with the expertise of certified therapists. Based on individual online workshops, the new service is offered free of charge as part of spa treatments and for members of The Ritz-Carlton Spa. In addition, the spa area features the longest indoor pool in Vienna's city centre, where sporty guests can get their money's worth. COMMENT: Historical elegance and refined living comfort paired with the will to innovate make "The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna" an incomparable host at every level of the hotel industry. Whether as a city retreat, culinary hotspot or holistic spa, "The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna" combines Viennese tradition with modern living culture and together creates an unforgettable stay for travellers of the 21st century. The Rooftop Bar with its breathtaking view over the rooftops of Vienna deserves special mention, where you can relax and enjoy an exciting cocktail after a sightseeing tour. #RitzCarlton #RitzCarltonVienna #ViennaHotels

  • HOTEL SACHER VIENNA - IT ALL BEGAN WITH THE SACHER TORTE

    Since 1832, the name Sacher has stood for authentic Austrian luxury, outstanding local cuisine and unforgettable moments with personalized and excellent service. With its outstanding location directly opposite the Vienna State Opera, Hotel Sacher Vienna offers the perfect starting point to explore the city - Albertina, Hofburg, Stephansplatz and the Spanish Riding School are all nearby. In the beginning, came the cake: in 1832 Franz Sacher, an apprentice chef at the court of Prince Metternich, created what is probably the most famous cake in the world - the original Sacher Torte. To this day, it is prepared by hand with the utmost care according to the original secret recipe and has long been considered the "sweet ambassador of Vienna". It was Franz Sacher's son Eduard who opened the Hotel Sacher in Vienna in 1876 and, together with his wife Anna Sacher, led it to international notoriety. Even back then, both domestic and international society enjoyed being guests at the Sacher. "MADAME BUTTERFLY" SUITE WITH FINE MARBLE FLOORS AND A PRIVATE ROOF TERRACE Today, the Hotel Sacher Vienna offers 152 rooms and suites, which were furnished by co-owner Alexandra Winkler in collaboration with French star designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. Among them are the two most elegant and largest signature suites "Madame Butterfly" and "Vienna Philharmonic Suite" on the Beletage or several exclusive suites with private roof terraces. Precious marble bathrooms, the finest fabrics and exquisite interiors are not at odds with modern amenities and technical equipment at Sacher. All rooms have a modern "suite pad" and numerous services can also be used before arrival via a Sacher app. The app functions as a digital room key, for example, or helps with table reservations, room service orders, or booking spa treatments. INDULGENCE IS A TOP PRIORITY AT HOTEL SACHER The "Rote Bar" gourmet restaurant offers the finest Austrian cuisine with Viennese classics all day, while the "Grüne Bar" gourmet restaurant constantly surprises with international and playful sophistication. The intimate all-blue hotel bar "Blaue Bar" is the ideal meeting place before or after a visit to the opera, a concert or for an after-dinner drink. TRADITIONAL VIENNESE COFFEEHOUSE AMBIENCE WITH ORIGINAL SACHER CAKE A visit to the famous Café Sacher, (where the Original Sacher Torte is served in a traditional Viennese coffeehouse atmosphere, in addition to small dishes, breakfast and coffee specialties,) is not to be missed during a stay in Vienna. For a snack or a slice of original Sache cake, the Sacher Eck with its collection of sweets is also an inviting place to linger and indulge yourself. And in the new Salon Sacher, you can let yourself be seduced by the inspiring twenties with exquisite delicacies and many long-forgotten cocktails. Relaxing offers such as sauna, steam bath and fitness areas are available to hotel guests free of charge in the "Sacher Boutique Spa". In addition, there is a selection of exclusive treatments from La Prairie, Ligne St. Barth and the hotel's signature line "Time To Chocolate." External guests can also get away from it all with the "Day Spa" offer and enjoy some well-deserved pampering. COMMENT: When guests like Anna Netrebko, Queen Elizabeth II of England, Sharon Stone, Justin Bieber or Naomi Campbell are guests at the Hotel Sacher, it can only be a special place to feel good. However, the Hotel Sacher is also a tourist attraction overall - not least because of the cake - which is why it is not uncommon to encounter lines of people outside the door when visiting the coffee house.

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