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“Very Nice Indeed”

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Grand Hotel Zell am See
Ranked #9 of 43 Hotels in Zell am See
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very Nice Indeed”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Just returned from a week's skiing in Zell am See staying at the Grand Hotel. We'd originally chosen a different hotel but due to an overbooking elsewhere we were offered a junior suite at the Grand instead and were very happy with the result.

First things first, a number of reviews have mentioned the trains. Yes - there's a train track which separates the hotel from the town and the passenger/freight trains can be noisy. Our room was on the corner so we overlooked both the frozen lake/mountains - very pretty - and the train track/town - not quite as pretty. The room itself was kept fairly warm with no way of controlling the temperature ourselves so sleeping with the windows open meant being woken up by the trains. However, we were so tired from the day's exertions that we were fast asleep again so not a massive problem. If you're a light sleeper, buy some earplugs or ask for a lakeside room which doesn't overlook the track. Guests staying in those said they couldn't hear the trains at all.

Trains aside, the experience was very good indeed. The hotel itself is kept clean & smart and the staff were without exception excellent. Reception, restaurant, housekeeping - all very pleasant and helpful. The food itself was varied and of a generally high standard consisting of both a self-service buffet for breakfast and table service for dinner. Also, the couple who sat next to us were both vegetarian and were complimentary about what they received, compared to their experiences at certain other hotels.

Included was free access to the Grand Spa which I'm sorry to admit I didn't use myself, although my wife did have a couple of sessions and thought it very good.

If you need an internet connection in your room, make sure you bring a network cable and a laptop with a network socket. There's no wireless in the rooms - at least where we were - only the free wifi network in Reception and the Bar Area above.

Another tip, if you're skiing and don't want to walk across town to the City XPress gondola (10mins) in your ski boots, hire a boot locker from Intersport (just below the gondola) for about £20. Worth every penny. There is a free hotel shuttle bus but we didn't use it once.

Finally, if you're looking to buy a bottle of something for the room, 80% Austrian rum's probably not the best choice.

Overall, really impressed both with Zell am See and the Grand Hotel. We've already decided to return next Winter and combine it with a few nights in Salzburg. Can't wait!

Room Tip: Lakeside rooms are probably quieter and have a better view
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Milford Haven, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 8, 2013

We stayed for ten days having booked directly with the hotel. We had booked a winter package including ski passes and every aspect of the package was honoured in full. We did, in fact, have an upgrade. We hadn't asked for it and no fuss was made, it was only when we were shown to our Wellness suite that we realised how well we were being looked after. I estimate the value of the upgrade to have been well in excess of 500 euros. There was another guest checking in at the same time who also received an upgrade so we weren't alone. The only downside to the upgrade was that the room had a steam "sauna" shower - this itself was superb and we both used it daily - but my wife now wants one at home!!
We were joined later by a group of 14 friends who had booked a week with Crystal. One couple also had an upgrade but they were the exception on that occasion. Staff were universally polite, attentive and efficient including when we forgot our room safe code!
All of our party enjoyed their stay even if not all of their rooms were as "posh" as ours. As reported by others the main railway line passes very close to the hotel. As one of our friends remarked, "We don't have a lake view but I do have my own train set!"
The food is very good for mass catering and the choices, whilst limited, should satisfy most. As might be expected with Austrian cuisine the cooks never ceased to fascinate us with the number of variations on dumplings and beef broth.
We met other people in the hotel who had stayed several times, winter and summer. I suspect that our party of skiers and non skiers will be also be back next year.

Room Tip: Choose a less popular week and you may be surprised by an upgrade. Choose a busy wek and it might no...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank IanLJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Grand hotel is situated at probably the best spot in Zell Am See. The garden and public area were beautiful designed. My wife and I stayed in a junior suite, which was simply furnished with a king size pine bed. It wasn’t very comfortable and small compared to our 1.8m bed at home. The wood frame made quite a bit of noise when one of us turned in bed. The accommodation stairs made even more noise when we walked on it. Our room was facing the lake, the view was spectacular but shame about the small windows and the terrace not connected to the sitting area. The bathroom was nice.

We specifically booked a junior suite so that we could use the Grand spa free of charge. It would cost 14 Euro to use it if you were staying in normal or superior double room. The spa is on 4thfloor and the rest area, sauna and balcony have spectacular view to the lake and mountain. But all other steam bath and herb sauna are only ordinary compared to some 4 stars hotel in Austria. We have used better spa in some hotels included in normal double room price. There wasn’t enough shower for washing.

The hotel labelled the Grand spa as nude area but on the other hand in the room brochure its says you can use the spa wearing swimming costumes but should wrap around the swimming costumes with a towel. That’s contradiction. They should decide whether its textile or non-textile. It’s very embarrassing for a naked woman sitting peacefully in the sauna and suddenly 7 eastern European men sitting around her with their shorts on. One eastern woman explained her religion does not allow her to be nude in front of strange men. But how come her religion allows her to sit in a public sauna with other naked men around her. That just double standard. They even brought their children in the spa and they ran around the spa and inside the sauna. They went in and out again and again. It’s very annoying for other guests. These European men and women talked very very loud basically like their party in the sauna, rest room and basically everywhere with no consideration to other guests. The management should have put up signs in the spa to clarify its ‘QUIET AREA’ ‘No Children’. When they were in the sauna, rest room etc. we just wanted to get out. Its unbearable to sit with them.

We complained to the management, two managers immediately came to discuss and promised to talk to them. The next day it was OK because they didn’t come to the spa. The day after the noisy people were back again with their swimming costumes. The managers never came back to check with us if we were happy. We cannot be bother to complain again. That’s a real let-down. I hope they’ll find a way to improve this situation. They should have staff around to check the spa area from time to time to ensure the guests abide to the rules.

The restaurant was very well appointed with good ambience. The food were only average and it’s below average on one buffet night. The breakfast was always the same but good. The staff were very good and friendly. Our waitress, Dana was very helpful and attentive and always serve us with a smile. There were two nights in this restaurant these eastern European guest let their children running around in the restaurant and they were very noisy. It’s very annoying for other guests and staff serving food. After some guests complained they got moved to the inside room and then to the other restaurant. I think the management should have acted before guests complained.

The upstairs lounge was nicely decorated and had entertainment in the evening. We danced a little bit to the live music but really got put off by one eastern European woman always out there dancing and swinging around her little child like in a playground. The staff were good there.

The reception area was very nice and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The hotel shuttle taxi to the City Express was excellent.

Overall we enjoyed our holiday and the village atmosphere. If the management could sort out the spa and noisy guests issues our next holiday there could be perfect.

Room Tip: lake view room have fantastic view to lake and mountain.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank relaxerLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puyallup, Washington
Level Contributor
146 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Rooms on the town side are close to the rail lines and may experience noise in warmer weather when w...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JeanieV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LONDON
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

We stayed at the Grand Hotel for 3 nights in December 2012. With its location right on the lake, the views from our room and balcony were fantastic. The snowy lake. The hotel is nearby the train station and walking distance to everything we wanted to see in Zell Am See except for the cable car up to Schmittenhohe which is further up the mountain.
The hotel itself was fine. Our room was very large especially by European standards. There was full heating all over the hotel. Restaurant had fine dining meals including in our price. Spa with excellent therapies. i will come again!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SUSAN W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed here in 2003 when we had our winter wedding, so this month we returned to celebrate our 10th anniversary - so glad we did! The hotel is beautiful, staff are friendly, food is tasty and location ideal....what more can I say? We stayed in the wellness deluxe suite this time and the junior suite previously. The rooms are well laid out and we had a lovely mountain and lake view. The hotel has a free mini bus and is ideally located by the main town and station, only a walk away from the cable cars and has lots of parking. We will definitely be returning (hopefully before our 20 year anniversary!)

Room Tip: mountain or lake view so you are at the back of the hotel
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sparkles74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

The hotel is in a good location and I really appreciated the regular minibus service available both morning and afternoon, and the great thing is you don't need to pre book it. All the staff I spoke with are very friendly and helpful, and the waiting staff are so efficient.

The hotel is quite quaint, and the wellness area is great, although it would have been better if the pool had been heated a bit more, as it was too chilly for me to use, but the jacuzzi made up for that, it must have been 30 degrees, at least. You can also relax in the loungers overlooking the lake, which is very tranquil.

I had 3 treatments in the Grand Spa area, they were very relaxing and worked a treat.

There is WIFI available in the lobby and one computer, but if you have a laptop, for a 20 euro deposit you can borrow a dongle to use in your room.

My room was overlooking the train line, which isn't very picturesque, but to be fair by the time I've come back from skiing, it's dark and therefore I'm not that bothered. Unless I had the windows open I couldn't hear any noise from passing trains.

In terms of the dinner menu, i think if you are a meat eater it is very good. There is generally a choice of 3 menus and you can mix and match from them. I'm a vegetarian however, and on some of the days (when there was a buffet main meal) they only had meat dishes for the starter and soup courses, although the waitress did say the chef could make me something else. The salad buffet was very good though, but I felt the vegetarian main menu could be a bit unimaginative.

The bedroom was very comfortable and there is even a pillow menu to choose from, which offer different benefits.

I have to say my stay was very good and I would definitely stay here the next time I'm in Zell Am See.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel Zell am See

Property: Grand Hotel Zell am See
Address: Esplanade 4-6, Zell am See 5700, Austria
Location: Austria > Austrian Alps > Salzburg Region > Zell am See
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Zell am See
#7 Luxury Hotel in Zell am See
#9 Family Hotel in Zell am See
#16 Romantic Hotel in Zell am See
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Hotel Zell am See 4.5*
Number of rooms: 133
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

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