Chose this hotel due to Thomson customer feedback and because as it was all-inclusive, family friendly and included Zell/Kaprun Summer Cards giving free access to surrounding amenities.
Travelled as a family (2 adults, 2 children). Arrived at the hotel at lunchtime after an early morning flight. Was disappointed and annoyed to be told that the all-inclusive package did not began until 3pm. We accepted this due to tiredness and hunger and were led to the outside terrace to eat where we were met with stunning views of Schmittenhoe and passing cable cars. It was beautifully quiet, sunny and relaxing and we soon forgot about our initial disappointment. We had a small soup (no bread) and a cake with an apple juice each but more fool us for not asking the price! We were later charged a total of 58 Euros for this lite lunch!! What a rip off! On questioning this at reception, we were told 12 Euros each was the price for a 2 course lunch even though we weren't given a starter and main meal. Plus 10.80 Euros for 4 apple juices. They would not budge - SHAME ON YOU HOTEL SCHWEBEBAHN, all-inclusive is all-inclusive. We have never been to a resort before where we've paid 1000s for all-inclusive to be told it starts a few hours after you arrive!
That said, the rest of the holiday was fab.
Our room was a spacious airy room (junior suite) with a large balcony and fabulous views. There was even a porthole window giving a view of the Sonnenalmbahn cable car climb behind the hotel. The room was quiet at night and serviced everyday as soon as we left for breakfast.
We were given a set table in the restaurant but requested to be moved to a window table which was accommodated after a couple of days. The staff were very helpful and friendly and the maitre d' was fab with the children - entertaining them with his wide knowledge of English tongue twisters and making them laugh.
The food was delicious although there wasn't a wide choice. At breakfast there was the usual continental fare but a lack of croissants, lots of cooked eggs but bacon was scarce. Being all inclusive we were asked daily if we wanted a packed lunch from the breakfast buffet or to eat in the restaurant. We chose to take packed lunches but the cheese/ham rolls did become a little repetitive. Also we chose our evening meal at breakfast from a choice of 3 mains, one of which was vegetarian, which were freshly cooked, served at the table and always delicious. There was plentiful breads and salads and also a soup each evening. Desserts were also gorgeous. Some nights we had a gala dinner where we could help ourselves to a wider selection of food - much like the style of all-inclusive hotels in Minorca, Tenerife, etc. On the whole the food was very tasty but lacked choice for fussy eaters like my son or those who eat little meat like myself.
Each afternoon 4-5pm was afternoon tea on the terrace but there was no choice, we were just served a cake. This said, the cakes were always delicious. I read that children could also have daily ice cream at this time but I never saw any.
We were lucky in that the weather was excellent during our 10 day stay and so we got up early and went out to do one of the many things Zell or surrounding areas had to offer; cable cars, walking, lake trips, hiring bikes, white-water rafting, day trips to Leichtenstein Gorge, Salzburg, Krimml Waterfalls etc. and would return to the hotel for late afternoon for a rest on the sun loungers whilst the kids went in the indoor small pool.
I read that there were activities run by the hotel such as guided walks, trip to a nearby farm etc but I didn't see or hear anything about these and there is so much to do in the area anyway that we didn't need these.
The hotel only has a small bar in the lobby area with a few chairs so if you like a chill in the bar in the evening you would need to head there straight after dinner.
The hotel is a long, steep climb out of Zell (around 2km) on a winding road and takes about 20 mins downhill and 40 mins uphill. Not for the fainthearted! There is a local bus service just a minute from the hotel that runs twice an hour (takes 5 mins) and is fairly cheap if you show your Summer Card. However, this stops just after 6pm so we tended to stay at the hotel in the evenings. Again, I read that the hotel offers a free shuttle bus but guess what? - we never saw this!
On the whole (despite the odd gripes) we had a fantastic holiday in an amazing resort with such a lot to offer. I looked at many other hotels around the resort but would choose ours owing to the wonderful, peaceful setting and tasty food. The kids are already asking to go back next year.
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- Also Known As:
- Schwebebahn Hotel Zell Am See