The multiple-award-winning “Steirawirt” of Sonja und Richard Rauch in Trautmannsdorf bei Bad Gleichenberg has long been a culinary ambassador of Styrian and Austrian cuisine. Now, this pilgrimage destination for many gourmets has added yet another exquisite gem: the Villa Rosa, a boutique hotel with an attached cooking studio as well as other attractions.
These two gastronomic figures deserve respect, not least for having revived this 1913 Jugendstil villa, which now combines understated design with refined comfort and cautiously integrated historical elements. The more than 100-year-old architecture, with its high ceilings, serves as the evocative setting for an innovative interpretation of country living, with wood adding to the overall sense of warmth and comfort.
Named after the grandmother and great-grandmother of the Rauch family, Villa Rosa features six double rooms and two suites as well as a salon for breakfast and a kitchen. The kitchen and salon can be used privately for teambuilding, training and meetings, and – thanks to a sliding door – can also be combined as needed.
Gaggenau Cooking Studio and 3-toque gourmet breakfasts
An important part of Villa Rosa is the Gaggenau Cooking Studio, the future location for Richard Rauch’s highly sought-after cooking seminars. The kitchen is also intended to host a wide selection of guest presenters on culinary topics. Likewise not to be ignored: the impressive vaulted cellar with a wood-fired bread-baking oven. For their part, hobby grill aficionados are eagerly anticipating the planned Pop-Up Grill Academy in the villa’s garden.
The high expectations of this brother & sister duo with respect to quality are certainly reflected in the breakfasts served at Villa Rosa. There is no buffet. Instead, all of their specialties, whether homemade or from select producers, are served on étagères. An additional highlight is their optional 3-Toque Breakfast (charged extra, € 29), which includes three small-but-refined brunch dishes. And so that all of this can be enjoyed at their guests’ leisure, check-out can be delayed until 1 p.m.
20 Years of Steira Wirt
The former village inn has changed fundamentally in recent years. In 2019, it will be exactly twenty years since Sonja and Richard Rauch took over this traditional establishment, transforming it one step at a time into one of the leading addresses in Austria. 3 Gault Millau toques, 5 A la Carte stars, 3 Falstaff forks as well as the award “Gault Millau Chef of the Year 2015” are just some of the honors bestowed on Richard Rauch’s cooking. Beyond that, Rauch is now a well-known face in homes throughout Austria and Germany as a TV chef.
His cuisine is deeply rooted in Styria, though never afraid to look outside the box, especially in the direction of the Alps-Adriatic Region. And it impressively manages to balance the Austrian innkeeping tradition with a vivacious, creative imagination certain to satisfy even the most demanding gourmet expectations. Meanwhile, his sister Sonja is a congenial partner, a host and wine expert who lends the Steira Wirt her own very personal touch.
And for enjoyment at home, under the label “Mein Bruder der Koch” (“My Brother the Chef”) the delicatessen offers a colorful palette of products – jams and chutneys, pumpkinseed oil, pâtés and mustards, as well as fine distilled spirits, liqueurs and much more.
Accommodation in a double room with breakfast € 105 per person; in a suite from € 120.