This 4* hotel has seen better times - which is the case elsewhere in Bad Hofgastein. Staff and investment/renovation are kept to a minimum. The mother-son team of owners work very hard but are insulted by the simplest question which they take as criticism. The rooms are spacious, some can be joined - thus it's a popular hotel for people travelling with children. And for groups sharing rooms and the hallways, too ... Individual furnishings and decoration (somewhat on the clerical side due to the hotel's past as residence of the Salzburg bishops) contribute to a unique atmosphere. During the skiing season, most people stay about a week and get to know each other in the hotel pool, sauna, or the dining room.
Demi-board consists of breakfast (rolls, cereals, fruit, sliced cheese, some cold cuts, boiled and scrambled eggs, no 100% fruit juice - beware of the early rising skiers, or ask your waiter to reserve stuff) and dinner. The latter is described as "choice of starters, salad buffet, three main courses, various desserts" - true, but don't expect to have someone serve it! House guests have their own dining room, separate from the public restaurant, and dinner is put on buffet tables in the center. One waiter is assisting people with the warm dishes. The chef seems to operate on a shoe string budget, so don't expect prime cuts of meet or even vegetables besides the salad buffet, no Parmesan cheese to go with the pasta for the Italian buffet, etc. Someone must have taken a class in creative writing, because the descriptions of the dishes which are posted in the elevator usually sound fabulous. At times, they are fiction (passing pickled roll mops herring for fresh matjes, etc.). The choice of pastries for dessert is impressive, and there is usually an option to have ice cream, a sweet dumpling, etc. Very popular with the kids and teenagers! The selection of cheeses is limited, and if you are late, it may be a good idea to get some of the rare tidbits (brie if they have it, blue cheese) and reserve it on your table. The Hungarian waiters may come over from the public restaurant to fix a cheese platter for their guests ... There are waiters in the dining room for the house guests who serve drinks and take away used plates and cutlery. Don't expect them to ask if you want coffee after dinner, this is a family style hotel which does not want to keep guests awake. The wine list features international and good domestic choices.
Apparently, it does not take much to keep a 4*status in Austria. Certainly not good cooking. Our room had no maps with fire exits. The (also) Hungarian maids had to wash the used glasses in the bathroom sink as I noted one morning, instead of replacing them. You don't want to know what they do before a new party arrives ...
Unique Quality: The hotel is built on medieval foundations. The private dining room for house guests has a vaulted celing, and the pool with thermal water is built between the medieval colums and unplastered vaults. Very unique and fun to look at, though it's a smaller pool than elsewhere. The hotel has rooms for spa and health treatments, including baths in the local, slightly radioactive water. They cooperate with a firm of masseurs in town. Though we indicated our interest in trying a treatment or two when making the reservation, the owners never asked if they could actually book something once we arrived. So we ended up at Gesundheitszentrum St. Georg ...
Directions: Central square (Kaiser Franz Platz), pedestrian area
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