After having read a few reviews on here just before we left for our snowboarding trip we were worried but thankfully, we needn't have been! The hotel has a fantastic location right opposite the slopes and the hotel courtesy bus collected us from Schladming train station and the reception girls were very friendly and welcoming when we arrived. It's apparent that not many English people visit this hotel as the signs are all only in German (and we don't speak a word) but the staff had no problem in explaining everything to us and were always helpful and polite.
The hotel is very Austrian and traditional in design and certain areas of it are a little tired and in need of a facelift but that didn't stop us from enjoying an amazing 10 days. The hotel are very good of taking care of little details such as the minibus that's on standby to take you to and from the slopes whenever you want (a journey that only takes about 4 minutes) and the boot room is very large and well equipped with lots of lovely warmers for your gloves and boots. Also, the design of the hotel means that it's possible to go from your room (wherever you are) to all the other areas without having to step outside which was a luxury when it was snowing heavily and we were in our dressing gowns.
The biggest surprise was the quality of the food, it was absolutely excellent - breakfast is a help yourself buffet with plenty of fresh fruit, yoghurts, salmon, meats, cereals etc as well as the cooked options. Cake o clock every day between 3-5pm is brilliant for when you come off the mountain or out of the spa - every day there was a fresh soup option as well as an extensive choice of patisserie cakes and desserts, all help yourself along with complimentary teas, coffee or hot chocolate. Dinner in the evening was a 6 course meal (3 of which are help yourself) in the restaurant which had a lovely vibe about it, very relaxed but superb quality. There are quite a few traditional dishes served but there was always a Vegetarian option which was great and the desserts every night were fantastic. The waiting staff in the restaurant spoke fantastic English and we enjoyed good service every night. (the soups are fantastic and a must try!)
One thing we were really disappointed with was the fact that everyone smokes which is quite different from the UK and after dinner there isn't a non smoking area so you can't enjoy a coffee of evening drink without passive smoking. Also, many people in the afternoon also smoke in the cake area and this includes cigars (they have a cigar cabinet) so that was quite intrusive and could be easily fixed with a non smoking area, on a couple of afternoons the smoke was so strong we ended up moving.
The pictures on the Hotel website of the spa don't do it justice - it's a huge spa area and even in peak times we didn't find it too crowded. During the day the spa was often empty so you could enjoy the sun room or by the pool and be the only person there! We did have a day off from the slopes and spent the day in the spa but when we wanted to eat lunch we were told we'd have to change into clothes which was annoying - after negotiating with reception we were finally allowed to eat in a private dining are but it's daft considering many people visit the hotel for spa breaks, there should be somewhere for lunch and coffees in your gowns. One nice touch was that in your hotel room you are given a spa bag which contains your robes, slippers and daily fresh towels although the robes are a little holey and need of replacing. The hotel gym is also much better than you'd expect, there's not any music but the equipment is new and there's plenty to allow you to complete a full rounded work out. (whilst looking out onto the slopes) All the signs in the spa were in German so to be honest, we had NO idea about spa etiquette or opening times but didn't seem to be a problem, lots of people wearing costumes, trunks but a lot that also enjoyed it all in the nude too!
The hotel is a bit of a trip from the nearest town if you don't have a car and nightlife at the hotel is non existent but the hotel taxi offers cheaper rates for journeys than the local taxi firms. We tried the night time 7km sledging and the hotel dropped us off for free but couldn't collect us and it cost 30 euros with a local guy.
Every morning there is a daily post on your breakfast table and although this was in German they did print it in English when we requested it - as well as the weather info and evening menu choices it also detailed activities going on during the day, guided walks, yoga and trip to the market etc.
We had a brilliant trip overall and will definitely return because we ran out of time and didn't get to try the indoor tennis courts, squash or bowling alleys, all of which looked great.
This is a traditional, slightly quirky place but with a really good staff and very welcoming feel and absolutely excellent food.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 4 star hotel Pichlmayrgut near Schladming in Styria in the beautiful Austrian Alps is a true holiday paradise with authentic village character and comfort and recreational facilities at the highest level. ... more less
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