This was our first, and probably last attempt, at the increasingly popular and wide-spread "Kinder-Hotel" concept in Germany and Austria. And it didn't take long into our 8 day summer stay at Hotel Hagleitner in the picturesque, if somewhat tourist-scarred Zell am See, for me to develop the theory underpinning the Kinder-Hotel's popularity in this part of the world: Germany (I know it's Austria, but let's not get technical, and culturally there is really no difference) just isn't very child-friendly. These hotels are the only places you can stay with children without forever feeling guilty that the gentle gurgling of your offspring may be disrupting your fellow traveller's afternoon routine of coffee and cake at the table next to you. Nowhere is this exemplified more than by the extistence of Hagleitner's ajoining sister hotel, Mavida, which brands itself as a design hotel, and caters very much to the opposite clientele.
Let me therefore direct my words at giving potential future guests of this hotel the kind of enlightenment I would have appreciated before we booked. This hotel is all about the kiddies. And they are everywhere, all the time. Adult time can really only be found in the Mavida's extensive spa, which is excellent. The grounds are decent, if a little cramped, but the lake is neither in sight, nor within reasonable reach. However, the hotel does share a private property on the lake, which can be reached 20 minutes by bike or car, and was a much preferred alternative to the moderately sized pool in the hotel. The kids club is as good as one would expect, with very structured programmes throughout the entire day. This is useful, if your intention is to give the kids away all day (as may very well be appropriate for older children), but less convenient, if - like us - you only need a few hours of child care a day. Food is excellent most of the time, but again there are no separate dining times for children and adults. Indeed, dinner finishes at 8:30pm, so the few times we did try to get our angel to bed before we sat down to dine, we were challenged to still be served at all. Staff do their best to be friendly and helpful, though at times seem overwhelmed as there are just not enogh of them. Not surprising that the poor girl I saw cleaning windows before a full dinner service the same day called it quits the following day. Also not surprising that the general lack of staff results in a system of slightly odd rules, whereby dinner choices need to be made over breakfast, and if you miss the 2pm deadline to bid for an outside terrace table at dinner, you're confined to the indoor glass-covered restaurant which could easily also function as a sauna.
So, overall, a well-run, structured and kid-centric place with excellent food and spa and quaint, if over-run alpine sorroundings, that should definitely make those people happy who enjoy the complete freedom of a guilt-free holiday in Germany/Austria despite having children. It's a care-free oasis for families surrounded by a landscape that tends to see the nippers as a nuisance. And that, I'm afraid, is why it didn't work for us. We would rather spend our family time in an environment that caters for both big and small without the need for family ghettos.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At our hotel, giving your children or your partner a treat also means giving yourself a treat - with our newly defined family holiday concept combining two worlds, the young, colourful and exciting Family World and the quiet, elegant and pampering Parents World. We believe that you deserve dreamlike well-being days in our MAVIDA Spa that covers an area of 1,400 m2, and also a varied family holiday with your children in an Alpine lifestyle ambience.Come and enjoy SEVERAL types of holiday in ONE resort, with everythingfrom adventure to recreation, from fantasy to magic, from greatexcitement to deep relaxation, from wining and dining to enjoying familymeals, from variety to the unique!- family restaurant with breakfast, lunch buffet, cake buffet, dinner, all day long: fruits, coffee, cappuccino, espresso, hot chocolate and tea, cold soft drinks, baby and toddler food. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hagleitner Family Balance Hotel Zell Am See
- Hagleitner Family Balance Hotel And Spa
- Hotel Hagleitner Family Balance