Spa retreat in Bad Hofgastein, Austria
If you're looking for a family hotel - what better way than to go to one run by a family! The Osterreichischer Hof Hotel began with Felix Salfizky's great grandfather and is now run by Felix and his wife Leda. They have two children and so are well versed in the needs of families. There are various combinations of rooms - from suites to adjoining - to accommodate families however young or old the children are.
Having said that, the Osterreichischer Hof Hotel is also a great place for couples to enjoy a spa retreat. I went with daughter Libby and think that the hotel with its underground link to the Alpen Therme (free use for hotel guests) would be a marvelous place to go and relax with your teens post exams or for a celebration of results!
Breakfast at the hotel is a buffet with more than enough choices to tempt even the pickiest of eaters - with a range of cereals and breads, hot and cold selections plus juices, coffee and a host of teas to choose from. You won't need much lunch after this!
Dinner was a five course meal - always with a vegetarian option - which included a glass of wine, beer or soft drink. And you can always buy more! The only thing that we found at all disappointing at the Osterreichischer Hof was the fact that dinner was served so early - from 18.15 to about 19.30. Great for families with young children but not so convenient if you'd prefer to take advantage of the late opening of both the hotel's spa area and the Alpen Therme.
The hotel swimming pool (shared with two other hotels) was a delight to use, with its adjacent sauna, herbal steam room and a small gym. The hotel supplies bathrobes and towels for use in the pool so there's no need to pack your own. What was so nice (for me expecially) was the early opening of the pool so you could pop in for a swim before breakfast. The hotel also has a comprehensive range of treatmetns and therapies on offer (local pricing).
Many of the guests were there to enjoy alpine walks (and, of course there's skiing in winter). And there's a park for children just a few minutes away as well as the hotel gardens to explore.
The staff at the Osterreichischer Hof Hotel speak excellent English (but are happy for you to practice your German!) and they can supply all the information you need to make the most of your stay.
Anne Coates and her daughter were guests of Crystal Lakes (tel: 0871 230 8180, www.crystallakes.co.uk)
Prices from £469 including flights, transfers, seven nights half-board and unlimited free use of hotel facilities and the Alpen Therme.