Just returned from a very enjoyable ski holiday at the Palace. It was my 4th visit to Bad Hofgastein, one of my favourite Austrian ski villages. The place is scenic, elegant and thoroughly civilised, and I would recommend it to anyone who prefers these qualities to a livelier resort with a sometimes noisily intrusive nightlife.
The hotel did not disappoint. After a lightning-fast check in, with no form-filling or handing over of passport, I found myself in a decent-sized single room with a large and comfortable bed. The en suite bathroom was a little basic (shower but no bath, and no complimentary toiletries except tissues and liquid soap), but perfectly adequate. The room was on a sort of mezzanine floor just off the main reception area and did suffer a little from people tramping past loudly, but this usually ceased by about 10.30 pm. and I slept well all week.
The food was consistently enjoyable, a comment I have rarely been able to make in ski hotels, even 4 star ones like this. Granted, the breakfast buffet was not quite as extensive as some I have seen, but there was still plenty of choice. Where the hotel really scored was the evening meal, which was also buffet-style. Six courses if you include the salad buffet, with the soups and desserts especially delicious, and the (for me) huge advantage of being able to choose from the whole range of vegetables which accompanied the three choices of main course. Too often in the past have I been faced with the dilemma of wanting to go for a particular meat or fish dish but being put off by the prescribed vegetable(s) accompanying it. No such problem here! Also, it was possible to choose exactly the quantity one wished, which for those of us who like our meat and potatoes was a real bonus!
Some reviewers have commented adversely on being allocated to the smaller side restaurant. It is true that this room was not as grand or elegant as the main dining room, but it was perfectly pleasant, with beautiful views to the mountains in the morning. Of rather more concern was the fact that the hotel seemed to attract an unusually high number of families with small children, some of whom were allowed to run around the dining room to the annoyance of other guests. This of course says far more about the parents than about the hotel.
The hotel's leisure facilities were excellent, especially the large indoor swimming pool, heated to 30 C and with a series of little jet streams around the sides. On one side of the pool it was even possible to sit in the jetstream. There was also a good whirlpool nearby. A separate door gave access to a splendid spa area---clothing quite rightly prohibited---containing a choice of saunas, steam room, infra-red cabin, salt grotto and even an outdoor area where you could cool off ( or even roll in the snow if you felt so inspired!). It is a pity that some people feel put off by the no swimming-costume rule in such areas, and there is really no need to be: a strategically-placed towel can always be used if desired!
Every evening saw musical entertainment of a good standard in the main lounge. I enjoyed this, but be warned---there is not really anywhere else to escape to for those preferring peace and quiet in the evening, except for a small stuberl downstairs whose air was poisoned by smokers. Thankfully, smoking was prohibited almost everywhere else in the hotel including, crucially for me, the main lounge. This lounge also featured an attractive log fire which was lit every evening and lovingly tended by the staff. Drinks prices were reasonable by ski resort standards, a 30cl glass of beer ( sorry, Eurofizz) coming in at 2.70. euros. Drinks during dinner, however, were free: a welcome bonus given the decline of the pound against the euro.
With the ski bus stop right outside the hotel and a lovely park adjacent to it, I can think of few more pleasant places to spend a week. I would recommend it unhesitatingly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Carefree holiday spending guests in the cosy center of Bad Hofgastein. The 4 star hotel Palace is a relaxing house for everyone. Surrounded by a huge garden with a park on 30.000m² . The sun terrace, walking paths and a small pond invite to enjoying . The nice comfortable rooms have all a balcony and panoramic view. A conference room is available. Mountain Station, the great therme Alpentherme and the shopping area - everything is within walking distance. In panoramic indoor pool guests can relax in the healing Gastein thermal water. Even a beauty farm and a renowned Health Center, the Palace to call his own. When in the evening the migrants return from their tours, the spa guests are completely relaxed, the golfers have packed their bags and the families come fully fueled with experience in the hotel's restaurant, everyone like the international buffet. An interesting detail: The table drinks are for all meals - from breakfast and brunch to dinner - included. Some days in the week live music seduced to a goodnight drink at the bar. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kur- And Sport-Hotel Palace
- Kur Sport Hotel Palace
- Johannesbad Hotel Palace Bad Hofgastein, Austria - Salzburg Region