Where is it? Ninety kilometres from Salzburg, Mavida is located deep in the Tyrolean Alps, in the idyllic Austrian hamlet of Zell am See. It is surrounded by serrated peaks, stands within view of the vast snowfields of the Kitzsteinhorn and Kaprun glaciers and is close to the crystalline southern shores of Zeller Lake. Contemporary or classic? Mavida's A-frame facade, the ubiquitous regional silhouette, belies its modernity. Beneath the chalet-like exterior are surroundings that eschew traditional Alpine trappings (knotty panelling, squat furnishings and endless chintz) in favour of clean lines, uncluttered spaces and designer furniture. Who should visit? Outdoor purists, sportspeople and sybarites who've been searching for a high-altitude but easy-to-reach bolthole with style. An artful Euro9.3 million (HK$91 million) collaboration between the Munich-based duo of Niki Szilagyi and Evi Marklstetter, Mavida's 37 rooms and 10 suites are an achingly stylish blend of Merlot-coloured walls, blond wooden floorboards, driftwood sculptures and luxurious Casamilano beds. What is there to do? In summer, most guests spend the days exploring the stunningly beautiful region by bicycle or on foot. Golf is also popular, as is meandering through the cobble-carpeted alleys of the village. Winters revolve around snow sports. Regardless of the season, many guests make for the hotel's centrepiece, its vast spa, where they can choose from a host of otherwise elusive treatments, such as those in the floatarium (a private soundproof room with a salt-water pool) and the Blue Box enclosure, where they lie in body-moulded fibreglass loungers lit by hypnotic blue light. What's on the menu? Anchored by an open-plan vinotheque and kitchen, the dining area affords guests the opportunity to enjoy healthy continental dishes such as fried sweetbreads with truffled polenta and shallots with herbs - the latter taken from the hotel's rooftop organic garden. Other favourites on the seasonal menu include consomme with Jerusalem artichoke coated in pastry; and fillet of pike perch with asparagus risotto and fish butter sauce. Sweets include coconut parfait on pineapple carpaccio with balsamic sauce and brittle biscuit; and cream of rhubarb coated in chocolate with fresh strawberries and lemon sorbet. What's the bottom line? Rates start at US$255 a night for a double room, including breakfast. Mavida Balance Hotel and Spa is in Zell am See, Austria, tel: 43 6542 5410; www.mavida.at .