Travel

By Danielle Sheridan

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Looking for somewhere particularly distinctive to stay at in Innsbruck, Austria? If so, the Nala Individuellhotel will be the hotel for you, with its intricate, modern design that was carefully constructed to indulge your senses.

Simply viewing Nala from the outside and taking a look at its door will make it clear that Nala is unlike any other hotel. The front of the hotel is very sleek, and there are giant pins sticking out of the building in one area. Adjacent to the building is a courtyard that could be described as a mini-park — a quiet oasis in the middle of the city. Walking into the main lobby, there is a strip of movie theater seats and figurines of so-called Nala sitting on the shelves. Every detail in the lobby is intricate, well thought out, and carefully placed to create a colorful yet soothing environment. This is Nala, a modern hotel with lots of character.

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Nala Individuellhotel, seen from the outside

You might be wondering where the name “Nala” came from. The hotel’s name comes directly from the heart and soul of the hotel: a calming, mother-figure named Nala whose likeness is found throughout the hotel, rendered as sculptures and in design elements. Small figures of Nala sit in the hotel lobby as well as in the hallways, a life-size figure sits on the terrace, and reminders of Nala are found throughout the rooms, all representing peace and self-awareness.

A figure of Nala sitting on the terrace with the Olympic Ski Jump in the background

This 4-star hotel has 57 rooms and almost every room is unique. Whether it is a subtle difference in the details or a completely different genre of room, there is certainly a room to intrigue every traveler. Sitting on a quiet street in the Wilten district, Nala is in a great location, and within walking distance to Innsbruck’s main train station and the old town, as well as most of the main tourist attractions. If you don’t enjoy walking, it’s not a problem because the hotel is well connected to the city’s public transportation.

All of the rooms boast completely unique design aspects and I can assure you that these rooms are unlike anything you have ever seen before. If you enjoy the art of modern design, this is really the place for you. When booking, you can choose which room you want. With so many different options, it might be a little difficult but the challenge is worth it! A few rooms stood out in particular with their fresh take on hotel features. There is a “Climb Up” room where you literally have to climb up a few stairs to the bed which is elevated above the room. The “Snow White” room is right out of a fairytale. It is bright and airy, with none other than white bedding and white decor, with a balcony offering a beautiful view of the mountains (preferably covered in snow!). The “Gold” room is glamorous and elegant with a gold bathroom – what is more luxe than that?! There are smaller basic rooms, large lofts, and even garden apartments. Depending on the location of the room, the view out the window may be of the courtyard or the mountains. All of the space is utilized in the rooms, creating a different kind of flow than a traditional hotel. The rooms are beautifully abstract and unique, something you must embrace while staying at Nala.

The “Loft Hideaway” room pictured on a postcard

The beautiful view!

Our room, the “Zen” room, had the essentials of what we needed – a comfortable bed, tons of sunlight in the morning, and a rainfall shower. A representation of Nala was illuminated on the wall above the bed, looking over the room. The lighting created a very serene and calming feeling in the room. There was a small balcony to step out onto, and I loved the circular window looking out into the courtyard. There were a ton of mirrors by the sink which made getting ready in the morning a breeze. The toiletries were carefully curated, with great smelling lotions, soaps, and shampoos by Malin + Goetz, a company that creates all natural simple skin care solutions. It is such a small detail, but these things really make a big difference. There was a closet area that was separated from the room by fringe, and the hangers resembled birds. With plenty of outlets throughout the room, charging our electronic devices was not a problem. There was a coffee machine for starting the morning off right. A particularly unique part of the room was the layout of the bathroom: the toilet and shower were in one room, while the sink was in another area. However, the door for the bathroom was a sliding wall that also had the TV on it! We have never seen anything like this before. All of the space was utilized in the room with this design. Overall, the room was cozy and was a good size for our two-night stay. Out of all the rooms in Nala, it seems like the “Zen” room is the most similar to a traditional hotel room, with just a few design quirks.

Very calming and serene – very “Zen!”

Looking towards the sliding wall that also served as a door for the bathroom

A giant circular window looking out!

The clever design isn’t just located in the rooms. You will see deliberate decor details with each step that you take throughout the hotel. On each floor, the corridor walls are painted a different color, giving off a distinct vibe. There are quotes and texts on the walls and doors throughout the hotel by Paul Celan, Yakamoz, Villion and more. The door to the business lounge reads “things will fall into place.” Chairs in the sitting areas throughout the hotel range from modern, to antique, to a simple stump from a tree. In one area, a beautiful chandelier hangs from the ceiling next to an animal head hanging on the wall. These abstract elements are so out of the box, but somehow it works in Nala.

All blue with a charming chandelier.

Unique design elements all coming together

The hotel boasts many great amenities. The hotel is home to Beretta, an Italian restaurant. Whether you head there for breakfast, dinner, or an evening drink, the ambiance along with the menu is sure to please any traveler. The hotel also offers a reading and media room, a small fitness area, and a relaxation area. The reading and media room is great for families, filled with books, games, and movies. The infrared cabin in the relaxation area is perfect after working out in the fitness room or after a long day of sightseeing. All of these areas are super cozy and really add a home-like aspect to the hotel. For those who might be staying at Nala for work purposes, there is a business meeting room and an indoor lounge area to get some work done. Who knows, the creative design details throughout the hotel might even spark your next big idea!

The cozy reading and media room.

Not only are there plenty of areas to eat, relax, and work inside, but there are also beautiful spaces outside to enjoy as well. On the ground floor, there is an urban oasis where you can enjoy your food or just sit and relax while listening to the soothing sound of the fountain and pond. The courtyard is right off of the street but is so silent and makes you forget you are in the middle of a city. The third floor has a large terrace with great views of the Olympic Ski Jump. There is even a fire pit, perfect for those chilly Austrian winter nights. It is a perfect spot to soak up the sun in the morning or relax in the evening after a long day.

Looking into the spacious courtyard.

The third-floor terrace.

Some might find the hotel design soothing, others may find the decor arbitrary, but the great thing about Nala is how the designers combined so many different design elements in harmony. If you want to stay somewhere truly particular with a fresh take on hotel design, Nala Individuellhotel is the hotel for you.

To view more information about Nala Individuellhotel and to book your stay, please visit http://www.nala-hotel.at/

Danielle Sheridan is a photographer based in New York City. View her work at http://www.daniellesheridanphoto.com.

Note: a hotel stay was extended in order to write this feature with authority and in detail.

Originally published December 2017

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