“ Hotel in Zell Am See, Austria. „
*Looking for a suitable hotel at a good price*
We wanted to get away to the Lakes and Mountains on a *late deal* to keep the cost down and hopefully bag quality accommodation in the bargain. We spotted this hotel on Inghams excellent website which detailed all facilities in this hotel concisely - it was essential that they could cater for vegans so that I could eat well. All that we wished for seemed to be on offer here and we were reassured by the impressive reviews on Trip Advisor. Price was great - booked it and looked forward to some fresh mountain air.
A quick mention of the experience via First Choice flight - efficient, comfortable and excellent food which included vegan meals. On arrival at the airport in Salzberg we were warmly received by the Inghams representatives and transferred with the Austrian efficiency that we have experienced on past visits.
The exterior of the Hotel St Georg is traditional and in my opinion attractive. Nestled in a beautiful location which has a river running along the front - this sounds lovely. The building is well maintained and clean. A good sized car park runs along the front and side of the hotel - though few cars were insitu. We were guided through a small door located on the right of the main entrance (which has several steps) so that we could use the lift to carry our luggage. The small door can be used anytime so that you may use the lift. On arrival at reception we were greeted by the lovely Daniella Sauper who owns the Hotel alongside her husband. We were efficiently booked in and our luggage brought to our room by Mrs Sauper herself - this was a lovely gesture as it was late in the evening.
A five course meal awaited us - this surprised all newly arrived guests. I was personally attended to by Daniella so that she could understand all my nutritional needs and arrange a plan to organise my meals throughout the week. I was made to feel very comfortable during this conversation and nothing was too much trouble. The evening meal was creatively presented, nutritionally balanced and delicious. My husband is not vegan and had the standard menu - this he described as excellent. All guests were very happy following the meal and we all retired to our bedrooms full and satisfied.
*A room with a view*
The room that we had was spacious which I was relieved to see as I like room to spread out. Two comfortable single beds were together to form a double bed but with single bed sets - I enjoyed the extra room. The pillows were a little flat but you could have extra if you requested them. There was a settee which was used daily. A small TV sat on a dresser which also housed a mini bar fridge - we used this to store our own goods which was really handy. There was ample lighting which included bed side lamps and there were bed side tables too.
In the hall way there was a huge wardrobe that afforded ample room to store clothing, shoes etc and suitcases could be stowed here too. This is ideal as I like the cases to be tidied away to keep the room clutter free. There was a digital safe, which was free to use, in the wardrobe - this was put to good use and a welcome expense free facility.
The bathroom was recently refurbished. A good size and with a lovely long vanity unit that housed the sink and sufficient room to place all of the toiletries without it looking a mess. The toilet was immaculate and a shelf above it contained lots of luxury freebies that were replaced when need be. The toilet roll was folded into an attractive shape and this was one of many little extra touches that made the difference. The bath had a small glass screen to one side and a shower over the bath which was operated by an easy to use lever - good power from the shower was appreciated and hot water was always available.
Our room was situated to the front of the hotel and we had a balcony - a free upgrade! How fortunate we were! This was a good size and had two chairs. As it was sunny every day we enjoyed some snatched moments out there.
We were very happy with the room - it was spotless and remained that way all week as the friendly maid kept it that way. She even folded our pyjamas into lovely neat piles on the bed. The furniture is in a little need of some TLC but nothing that would put me off going there again. The main thing was the immaculate way in which it was presented and maintained.
The interior of the hotel is traditional which I like. It is light and airy. Clean and tidy. If you don't use the lift there are stairs and these are maintained in the same way as the rest as the hotel. Everywhere was spotless.
*Can I help you*
The lobby/reception area is small and has a host of chairs to choose from if you wish to take the weight of your feet whilst waiting - we had no need to do this. The bar and lounge area is small and cosy. I don't need to mention how clean it is as you probably get the idea by now. We used the lounge area often - we relaxed in there after the evening meal and chatted in the comfortable atmosphere with our fellow guests. Everyone was so friendly and we all got along incredibly well.
*Take a seat*
The restaurant was a good size and we were allocated a table for two which remained ours for the duration. At breakfast you helped yourself to an extensive selection of food which was buffet style. There was hot and cold. Plenty for me to choose from as a vegan and all fresh. An example : cereals, fresh fruit, yogurt, toast, variety of breads, bacon, sausage, egg, hams, cheeses. A good selection of fruit juices and water was available along with fresh coffee and an assortment of teas including herbal.
A free packed lunch is available on request - we pre-ordered for all week and saved a fortune on food! You need to order before 10pm for the next day otherwise. You get a fruit drink, sandwich and fruit and a biscuit.
The evening meal was a banquet - all waiter service except the third course which was the salad buffet. The food was amazing and worth going back for alone. Presented beautifully, adequate portions and delicious. The meal was ordered in the morning via a menu sheet and I had creations and alternatives made to order which where lovely.
One free glass of quality wine was served with the evening meal - as I don't drink alcohol my husband had mine. The rest of the drinks that you order will be charged at the end of your stay - it is wise to check the price list so that you are aware of the more expensive beverages.
*Do you feel alright*
There was a wellness centre on the lowest floor and this includes a small pool, sauna and gym equipment - we didn't get time to use these as the weather allowed for the great outdoors to be enjoyed every day. There was free bike hire and free helmet hire which is a great addition.
*Take a note*
The hotel has a few small steps in the reception area and the dining area.
*Service with a smile*
The service in this hotel is excellent. Nothing is too much trouble and the smiles seemed entirely genuine. Mrs Sauper is warm and welcoming and we all felt part of her family by the end of our stay. The waiter was very helpful and could advise about the area if you wanted to walk or cycle. Daniella informed us of a cheap rail deal to Salzberg which was greatly appreciated as the representative was unaware of it. If two or more people are travelling together to Salzberg the return price for the whole group is 28 Euros! A really good saving.
*Location location location*
The hotel is located in a great spot - only 5 minutes walk from the quaint and beautiful town of Zell am See and the stunning lake and surrounding mountains. In the opposite direction you can take the bus to the cable car and view the fabulous surroundings from the Schmittenhohe range which is incredible. There is a railway station in the town centre and a bus terminal - very handy. A trip to Krimmel Falls was a highlight and the negative ions so beneficial and energising.
We had no noise at night and enjoyed wonderful deep sleep - if you have the double glazed door open slightly you will hear the calming sound of the river - or it may make you visit the toilet? We were fine with it and found it very relaxing.
At the end of the stay we found a free quality bottle of wine in the room - this was a small bottle but my husband informs me that it was two good sized glasses and very good quality. A nice touch I thought.
Since returning from our stay we have had an email from Mrs Sauper to thank us personally for our stay at the St Georg which is so typical of her kind nature.
Excellent hotel. Thirty Six rooms. Service with a smile - which comes across as warm and genuine. Family run establishment. Clean - immaculately clean. Good sized rooms with great facilities - a little bit of TLC needed but this is overshadowed by the superb service and delicious food. Located in a great spot - out of the hustle and bustle but only a 5 minute walk if you want it. Traditional décor and style - like of the front of a chocolate box and in winter must look magical covered in snow! The Sauper family made our stay in Zell am See very special and looked after me (vegan) beautifully. I can highly recommend this friendly hotel and award it 5 stars which is richly deserves.
*Comprehensive Website for all your queries*
Visit the wonderful website for the Hotel St Georg which has clear images of the interior and includes a 3D panorama of the restaurant amongst a host of other items. You can view the nearby mountain range via webcam live. Contact details are found on this well designed website and there is a facility to make inquiries and a link to book a stay. Details for package and room rates can be found too. We waited right till the week before and got a great bargain via Inghams (highly recommended company). Special bird watching packages are available and you can gain more insight via this website which details birds that you may get to see.
*Tip for you*
We booked via Inghams and there was a box that you filled in to state any dietary requirements and vegetarian/vegan so I filled that in fully to ensure the management at the hotel were aware prior to my arrival. The flight crew were aware of my vegan meal requirements - the information must have successfully been transferred via Inghams. What I would suggest though is mentioning it when you book your luggage in at the airport so that the staff are reminded. If you are booking an alternative way then I would suggest contacting the Hotel owners Mr and Mrs Sauper via the website contact details. I always take my own food on to a flight just in case.
*Thanks for reading - also published on Ciao*