Sometimes a luxury hotel stay makes you feel out-of-place and requires you to "fancy up" more than you are comfortable doing. The Grand Hotel Zell am See is not one of those places! Casual is fine in the dining room, although a bit of dressing up is fine for the evenings. While our stay was mid-winter, many patrons were heading out mornings to ski or for other winter sports. They didn't dress up at all. A relaxed atmosphere was also present in the bar for the afternoon snack and warm-up. The 2-sided bar fireplace made for a wonderful atmosphere there. Between the combination of sofas, over-stuffed chairs and traditional table seating, there was room for both couples and families.
The dinner makes the stay! And the restaurant manager was aware we had a special occasion. We were seated at the window overlooking the lake. The date of our 40th wedding anniversary and they made sure we were pleased at our table that evening! The food was different for each dinner - never repeating once during the week we were there. The food was excellent: reasonable portions for 5-course meals and enough variety to please the most finicky eaters. Breakfast had something for everyone, although I had to request my bacon be cooked well-done, and not limp and fatty. After the first request I received it that way every morning. Wines and beers were not overpriced as at many hotels, but average priced for Austria. We managed to find good wines as well in town at the grocery stores to enjoy in our room.
Our room! We had a junior suite with fireplace overlooking the lake. It was two floors of a tower and just lovely! Wood was delivered upon request and burned beautifully. Although there were no directions for operating the fireplace (which could have been a drawback for those less experienced) we had no problems adjusting the airflows for a medium fire.
Service for the room was good and unobtrusive. The cleaning staff came as requested as we left for a walk with our dog each day mid-morning. We had asked for "a dog package", a DVD player, and a basket of firewood in the room upon arrival, which were not forthcoming. We had to call down to reception and these were promptly delivered - as were our missing bathrobes. The LAN internet in the room was good - but sometimes disconnected at night and the night staff at Reception didn't know how to reset it.
The Classic Spa and Grand Spa were both part of our Junior Suite package. I used three afternoons of "happy hour special" spa packages and really enjoyed those. Although some staffing & computer programming issues came up there the experience was mostly positive. The Grand Spa saunas are a real treat! My husband really enjoyed the sauna and whirlpool in the Classic Spa. I didn't like the chlorine there so preferred the Grand Spa area - wich also included teas and some fruit snacks.
What we didn't like: Some guests felt it was okay to let their children run through the dining room, reception and bar area disturbing other guests. On our third evening there the hotel manager finally spoke gently to two sets of parents and brought the running to a halt.
Summary: The Grand Hotel Zell am See is worth the cost for a special occasion and may be just the thing for families with appreciative children. They appear to have great family rooms and arrangements suiting well-behaved children. Some commenters have noted the preponderance of Arabic guests at the hotel. We were there mid-winter and noted a few Arabic families. They were treated respectfully by the staff and other guests and, in turn, did not impose on others.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Zell am See and winter sports are like the sun and sky, great friends! Together with the GRAND HOTEL ZELL AM SEE, they form an unbeatable trio for the perfect winter vacation.Treat yourself to casual 4-star comfort, homely old Austrian tradition of hospitality, comfort and a touch of luxury alpine directly on the winter white lake. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Zell Am See
- Zell Am See Grand