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“Hotel Oberforsthof, Sankt Johann im Pongau” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Oberforsthof

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Hotel Oberforsthof
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Alpendorf 11, Sankt Johann im Pongau A-5600, Austria   |  
Hotel amenities
Liberec, Czech Republic
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Hotel Oberforsthof, Sankt Johann im Pongau”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Located next to the ski slope in Alpendorf near St. Johann im Pongau, in the family suite was sauna vailable,the view from the terrace was amazing and after coming back from the whole-day skiing the snack in the restaurant was really tasteful.The rent-ski-shop is next to the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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94 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
cork
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

We immediately felt so welcome on arrival by everybody,which to us begins the holiday. We had 7 nights in the superior double bedroom with balcony. Unbelievably quiet, sleep never disturbed very solid building so no noise travelled. Food served in the hotel very good quality and the staff were so professional and friendly, a great combination. Staff at reception went out of their way to assist us with any local knowledge we needed. This hotel will see us again!

Room Tip: Our room was facing out towards the front of the hotel, so wherever we looked we had a wonderful vie...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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holte
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

Just returned after 7 great days at Oberforsthof. The food there is really really good and the staff very friendly and trained.

Truly value for Money.

Stayed in their cheapest doubleroom which was very nice and very large. You might want to avoid rooms facing the street which is rather noisy due to renovation of the lifts

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Schilde, Belgium
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

Overal we were confused about whether we were staying in a 5 star or a 4 star hotel. The photos all suggest fantastic luxury but the reality sometimes dissappointed. Same with the food - some nights great quality, some nights pretty poor.

We were greated on arrival by a lovely young lady - who turned out to be the most friendly of all the staff. She arranged our ski passes and ski school and was very helpful. We had different waitresses/waiters each night and we got moved four times to different tables as the hotel scaled back the restaurant area.

We stayed towards the end of the ski season in April and it was hugely noticeable how the hotel started scaling back for less guests. The buffet was disappointing, and the childrens buffet ended up being one choice or nothing.

Silly things were annoying - the afternoon snacks were basic, but you had to pay for any drinks including tea, coffee, even water. The machine that dispensed free water and juice at the poolside didnt work.

We had a great holiday and I wouldnt say the hotel was bad because it isnt - but it doesnt quite live up to what you think you have booked. It was disappointing that the swimming pool wasnt swim in-swim out as that was one of the reasons I chose the hotel.

Our junior suite was kept very clean and tidy by our chambermaid who was also friendly. We think it was the manager - who would wander around saying hello to everyone in general but never to anyone in particular. You never got to know who was really in charge - whether it was privately owned or whether it was part of a chain of hotels.

The lady who looks after the sauna area was super friendly and was a breath of fresh air.

Not bad - but not fantastic either. We liked Alpendorf village but would try another hotel next time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We had an excellent week. The hotel has beautiful rooms, a cosy Kaminzimmer and restaurant. The breakfast has a wide variety of choice, dinner is excellent with tasty dishes prepared in a surprising way. All staff is very friendly and welcoming.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

The hotel is quite modern; built well within the last 10 years. The covered entrance colonnade leads to the Reception where we received a warm welcome and the very kind offer of a free room upgrade; we would be in room 223.

The Welcome
~~~~~~~~~~~
Although the manager who received us speaks excellent English, one thing I have found in the years we have been visiting Austria is that people with a good grasp of English are far less frequently found in Austria than in most of the rest of Europe. This applies to young and old alike, so isn't just an age thing. This is also true of the hotel's staff. I confess my own German is little better than “Get By” (I learned French at school) but between us all, and with a little sign-language, we managed to make ourselves understood.

Our room
~~~~~~~~
...was large and very clean, with a balcony overlooking the valley and superb views, when the weather was good. The double bed was actually two singles bolted together and so very large. The room also had a sofa bed, a separate armchair, a couple of tables and chairs and a unit containing a mini-bar.

Our room also had a kettle and a coffee machine, which is one possible reason why we got an upgrade, I believe: I had contacted the hotel in advance about tea and coffee in the rooms and was told that not all rooms have these facilities. Normally we would take a travel kit but we were right up against the baggage limit so left it behind.

There was also a TV attached to the wall but not a single English language TV services were available, not even CNN or BBC World News. The best was Channel 31, the local service for Alpendorf, which showed the mountain webcam feeds, interspersed with weather reports, to the background of the local radio station, which did at least mostly play British and American pop.

The separate bathroom was also very large, containing both a bath and a stand-alone shower cabinet. The toilet was also roomy and a separate room off of the bathroom. The bathroom floor was heated, which was nice, but what we didn't immediately realise was that the temperature was directly controlled by the thermostatic radiator valve on the heated towel rail at the end of the bath!

Towelling robes and slippers were provided for use in your room or, if you want to use the hotel's leisure facilities, for going down to the spa, which we did. Also provided is a wicker basket containing towels that you can take with you down to the pool. These are replaced after having been used.

There was no problem with adequate hot water but the actual shower head fell of of the wall whilst I was adjusting it and was never satisfactorily repaired during our stay. Also, the soap dish, by the wash basin, drooped alarmingly, clearly not being properly fixed to the wall.

However, the biggest problem was that there was no facilities for drying our skiing wear, specifically the base layers, which we normally rinse out and hang to drip dry overnight for use the following day. We were forced to use the heated towel rail, which meant there was nowhere to hang the towels! All it needed was a fold-out airer attached to the wall at the other end of the bath, that could be extended over it.

Also, when you get out of the shower, what is it you want to hand? A towel. However, there was nowhere to hang a towel close to the shower cabinet although there was certainly space for a hook.

In fact, adequate hooks or pegs was a problem in general, one that I have found in far too many hotels, not just this one. Although three generous-sized wardrobes were provided, when returning from a day's skiing you don't want to put you outer clothing on a wardrobe where they will not be able to air adequately; you want to hang them on hooks. A few hooks were provided, squashed into a small area behind the door, where they couldn't really air properly, but the long wall of the corridor leading past the bathroom, where there was plenty of room for some hooks, was completely devoid of anything at all!

There was a set of folding glass windows between the bathroom and the bedroom that could be opened! We had these closed most of the time because, overall, the temperature in the bedroom was on the high side for our preference, even though the separate radiator in the bedroom was off completely, and we didn't really want the heat from the bathroom leaking through. We mostly left the door onto the balcony, which could be opened as a inclined window instead, open to allow the room to cool down and to provide some ventilation at night. Overall, the room was always comfortable though.

Room servicing (as opposed to Room Service) was variable: the room was always kept spotlessly clean and the beds turned down for us before we went to bed but far too often we found ourselves having to contact Reception to complain that, once again, tea and coffee cups had been taken away to be washed and not replaced!

Food
~~~~
...and drink: the Bar is really quite small considering the size of the hotel. The serving area takes up a lot of room, with seating squashed in all around it. The range of drinks is generally good and not unreasonably priced, with the added interest of some very nice locally sourced farmhouse schnapps. Be aware though, the bar has NO smoking restrictions and we did find that Austrians generally still smoke a lot! Refuge could be found next door where a large lounge with leather settees and armchairs enabled you to relax in a smoke-free atmosphere, in front of a frequently lit, roaring log fire.

The restaurant is excellent and with a smoking ban; if you want to smoke you have to go outside. Breakfast is the usual buffet affair, with plenty of choice by way of cereals, cooked food and cold meats and cheeses. There were also a decent selection of fruit but largely in the form of fruit salads rather than actual apples, pears, bananas and so on, which was a pity, as these were provided in your room!

For our evening meal we were allocated a table for the duration of our stay. The food was excellent, if a touch “Nouvelle Cuisine”. Each course, in itself, would not be considered a decent meal but when you've had 5 or 6 courses, you come away knowing you've had your fill, and not had a chance to get bored. The wine menu was extensive, with a full range of prices, starting at around 25 Euros. We took the opportunity to re-familiarise ourselves with Gruner Weltliner and also found a truly excellent red St Laurent, similar to a Pinot Noir.

Service, throughout the week, was always friendly, polite and attentive, just as I like it.

Leisure facilities
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
All the hotel's leisure facilities are in the basement, one floor down from Reception. This is actually the Ground Floor on the downhill side of the hotel.

As we were skiing, the most important facility was the ski and boot room. The hotel doesn’t have lockers. Instead there's a room with stands for your skis and heated ski boot racks where the pegs that you hang your boots on blow warm air into them to dry them out and make them nice and warm to put on the following day. You can get into this room from outside via the gates below the entrance. Your room key will gain you entry.

The entrance to the Spa gains you access to the swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and solarium. The pool is very nice and is surrounded by glass walls that look out onto the hotel's gardens. Around the pool are chairs and loungers on which to relax. Beware the sauna: nudity can be expected; apparently this is not unusual in Austria, in the sauna! I can't vouch for elsewhere!

There is also a fully equipped exercise room, with weights machines, treadmills and static bikes. You should be able to find something you like to keep you fit, if the weather isn't suitable for skiing. There are also pool tables, an electronic dart board and other games also available in the basement.

Conclusions
~~~~~~~~~~~
We very much enjoyed our stay at the Oberforsthof and would certainly have no qualms about staying there again or of recommending anyone else to stay there. It might sound, from my review, that the hotel is less than perfect. Certainly, there are issues but none of them could be considered more than minor niggles. It will be interesting to see if the hotel's management responds to this review and if other guests, especially any using our room, report improvements.

Largely, the issues revolve around the designers of the hotel not seeing it from the point of view of a guest; of being more interested in aesthetics that practicality. This isn't the first and certainly won't be the last hotel guilty of that, no matter what “Star” rating it has.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade, if not offered
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

I have written many reviews over the past years and all have been positive. This is the first one where I feel my family and I have such a bad experience I needed to share it. This is not a five star establishment, so if that is what you are looking for, please avoid it! And the most important factor is we had been coming to this hotel for 20 years beforehand but needless to say; we will never be returning again as the standard has dropped so badly.
Over our stay, I wrote up a list of what was wrong with the service, etc, so here it is:
- On arrival, we found out there had been a change of ownership and we were treated as if we were there for the first time. At a five star hotel, we expect them to know we have been there around 20 times. We were very fond of the previous owners who knew us well.
- The hair driers in both rooms were so dirty and sticky we had to get them changed.
- There are no English TV channels which was fine for me as I also speak German, but pretty shocking for my father and girlfriend who only speak English. I am not saying this was a huge issue as we were skiing most of the time but it would have been nice to be able to watch some TV in the afternoons before dinner. And needless to say, a five star establishment should offer English TV channels.
- The swimming pool was a milky colour, so definitely NOT clean. We have a pool at home so I can most certainly say the water did not have the clarity needed. We went swimming on the first day and then didn't for the rest of the week.
- The images of the pool on the hotel website are very deceiving/not correct. For 20 years, the pool was an indoor AND outdoor pool, with plastic flaps in between, which allowed you to swim outside in the winter also, with snow all around - it was absolutely fantastic! HOWEVER, there is now a wall built where the flaps used to be but all photos and videos on the website still show access into an outdoor pool - LIES. This was obviously done to save money.
- The reception staff are extremely unfriendly and unhelpful.
- Rooms totally overpriced for the tiny size. Their small room is NOT five star standard.
- The wifi is unsecured and disconnects every time you do not use it for 3 minutes or so. This was the case not only with my phone but all three internet enabled phones we had with us. A 5 star hotel should have password protected wifi and as most places do, change the password each week to avoid unauthorised people using it.
- The website is a joke as there are so many spelling mistakes it is the most unprofessional website I have ever seen. If a hotel cannot spell POOL or MENU there is something very wrong.

Finally, but most importantly, two of our skis were stolen right out of the cellar storage space. There is ONE camera in the room which ridiculously only has the ski boots in its view - the cheaper and less likely to be stolen item of the two. The access to the room is via room card only from the outside (but I have observed guests allowing other people in who are trying to get in at the same time, assuming they are guests too) but accessible through a door without lock from within the hotel. This allows anyone to walk right into the hotel (in ski gear no one is able to question everyone walking in as their is no security or even doorman) and go downstairs to take skis. When we told the hotel reception this had happened, we were informed they would take care of the police report. This was two days before our departure. On the morning of our departure, when we had 7 hours of driving ahead, they informed us we had missed the policeman who had been there the day before so we had to go into town to the police station to make a statement. We were furious as no one had informed us the police were coming as we would have stayed to make a statement and in the afternoon the day before our departure, my parents had also been into town shopping so could have taken care of it all then. When we told the staff we had not been informed and had no time to go to the police station on the morning of our departure, we were simply told one of the colleagues had said we had been informed. Therefore, we were indirectly accused of lying. All four of us. We then asked for the manager and I will not spend too long on him as he is not worth the time wasted writing about him. In short, he was worse than all his staff put together and his parting words were: he does not care about how his guests are treated, he is happy with his staff and he does not care we will never be returning. He is simply the definition of why, after 18 years of growing up in Austria, I would never ever live there again.
Please do not go to this hotel! We most certainly never will - such a shame as the couple who used to own it were absolutely lovely and so very accommodating! The standard was flawless for 20 years but after this year and the change in owner, we will not be returning. AVOID!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Oberforsthof

Address: Alpendorf 11, Sankt Johann im Pongau A-5600, Austria
Location: Austria > Austrian Alps > Salzburg Region > Sankt Johann im Pongau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Sankt Johann im Pongau
#2 Romantic Hotel in Sankt Johann im Pongau
#5 Family Hotel in Sankt Johann im Pongau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Oberforsthof 4.5*
Number of rooms: 75
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Oberforsthof Sankt Johann Im Pongau, Austria - Salzburg Region

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