Stayed here for the first two weeks in August. This was our 13th visit to Niederau, our 4th summer one but our first visit to the Hannes. We arrived quite late (9.30 pm ish) and Hannes (junior) provided us with a 3 course hot meal. He was very welcoming and it was nice after a long hot day travelling. Our room was a good size overlooking the front door but traffic/general noise was not an issue. The shower room was a good size too, towels are changed twice weekly and I think it was a Sunday that the rooms aren't serviced. There was loads of storage space and ample hangers in the wardrobe plus an electronic safe. The shower room was of adequate size too with a little bar of soap and mini shower gels plus a hairdryer. Bear in mind that an "Austria twin" room will be one solid double bed base but with two single mattresses and two single duvets. We found the beds comfy - we did mean to ask for extra pillows as Austrian ones tend to be very soft and flat but never got around to it. The balcony had a table and two chairs with fantastic views of the area - but you'll get that from any room. The reception area is nice as is the dining room which leads out to a sitting area. We had a walk downstairs around the spa area - there are toilets, showers, towels, big sitting/relaxing area, sauna and steam room. All looked very clean and tidy but we had no need to use it - better for winter as it was so hot. Breakfasts consisted of a choice of 3 cereals, different breads, toast, a selection of meats, cheese, yogurt, tinned fruit, orange juice, a variety of jams and we also asked for boiled eggs a few mornings. Dinner was served at 6.30 pm - for us this wasn't an issue as we were normally always out in the mornings for 9.00 am but we wouldn't like this restriction in winter because of the fun apres ski we have in Niederau! The starter was always soup and they were all delicious but sometimes after a day of walking in 35+ degree heat, maybe not the best thing to be eating lol! The main course was always hearty food such as wiener schnitzel, beef stew, pork chops, fish, chicken breast, pasta spag bol etc. We had a veggie at our table too and dinner for her was never a problem even though sometimes there was no veggie option on the menu. Accompaniments were usually boiled potatoes, chips, potato croquettes, peas, rice and/or salad. Desserts were usually fresh fruit salad (never tinned), ice cream, apple strudel, cake or chocolate mousse. Because we were there two weeks we did have most of the meals twice but this wasn't an issue for us. You will most likely be seated with other people at dinner which is the norm in Austria.
There is a bus stop across the road from the hotel at the petrol station and also one in front of the fire station. This is also the Bummelbahn stop which is a leisure train which runs every hour between the five villages in the valley. A weekly ticket is 15 euro. You will also be issued with the Wildschoenau Guest Card on arrival. This entitles you to free unlimited use of the gondolas in Niederau and Auffach and also the gondola in Alpbach. Oddly however the new gondola from Auffach's Schatzberg mountain down to Inneralpbachtal isn't open in summer. So, although you can walk from the top of the Schatzberg mountain in Auffach to Alpbach, you will have to get the train and bus back to the Wildschoenau or else climb back up the mountain!! You will get a little booklet which will advise you of other entitlements on your guest card such as free entry to the pool area and the farmers museum.
There is a Spar next door to the hotel which is handy for snacks, wine, beer, fruit etc. There's a pizza place here too - excellent massive pizzas but they do other hot food too. There's a larger supermarket about a 5 min walk away in the direction of Oberau. The open air pool is about half an hr's walk away mostly on a path away from the main road. The tennis courts are just another 2-3 min walk beyond the pool. The tourist info office is at the pool - you can pick up a leaflet which will tell you the events for the week. The Markbachjoch gondola is about a 10 min walk away, though you could prob do it in 5. The travel agent for booking trips (if you're not with a tour company) is just on the corner as you walk towards the gondola. There is only one shop in Niederau village apart from the supermarkets - Woergl is the nearest town so you can get a bus to there, about a 15 min ride from Niederau. If you are a serious walker get yourself a decent walking map in the Spar - the one the reps will give you isn't good enough. There's also a booklet that comes with the map with suggestions for walks from all the villages.
Oberau is prob about a 45 min walk from the hotel - if you do only one thing your entire holiday make sure its a visit to the Konditorei (cake/coffee shop) in Oberau. Walk out of the village in the direction of Auffach. You will pass a big Spar on the right and at the bottom of the hill is the Moorhof cafe - amazing cakes!! Another must-do is Schrofen on a Saturday. This is a mountain restaurant that the Bummelbahn train runs to. There is live Austrian music from 2-5pm which is free - just pay for your food and drink AND you fill in your own bill which the waitress will tot up at the end of the day. If you're very lucky there's a local lady who sometimes is there who will get up and yodel along with the band but she only does when the Sunshine Duo are playing, so I've been told. There is also free music by the Schatzberg Duo in the Dorfstub'n at the Schneeberger Hotel (on the road to Woergl) on a Tuesday night. Again about a 5 min walk from the hotel. Niederau village band also have a free concert every Wednesday night behind the church in the gondola car park and there are little food and drink stalls set up. Go reasonably early if you want a seat. About a 5-10 min walk from the hotel. The Simmelwirt Hotel (almost opposite the church) is a nice place to sit for a drink after a hard day's walk and watch the world go by. The Bichlwirt at the opposite end of the village to the hotel (past the Harfenwirt and Christoffel hotels) is a very old, traditional Austrian bar is nice for a quiet drink - the reps hold their quiz night (Mon?) in the back room which is fun and sometimes Herbert the owner will play the harp but this is a bit random - you might have to ask which night. Prob a good 20-30 min walk from the hotel. The Talfest (valley festival) is on every year in the Wildschoenau - the 2nd weekend in August and runs from a Thur-Sun. It's in Auffach next year and then Niederau the year after. There are free shuttle buses that run to it between the villages. Consists of a big tent, stalls, live bands, local brass bands and a parade on the Sunday. It's free entry on the Thursday night and Sunday afternoon.
We'll definitely stay in the Hannes again next summer as we found our hosts Reggie and Hannes very welcoming and chatty. The food was wholesome and the whole hotel very clean and tidy. The location is really good too. The only reason we wouldn't stay in winter is that the 6.30 pm dinner time would eat into our apres ski time but that is just a personal thing. Highly recommended.
- Also Known As:
- Hannes Hotel Niederau