We love the mountains during the winter and try to go as often as we can. We were in Kaprun in Austria only a month ago and we were anxious to see the mountains again so we spontaneously decided to drive to Bad Hofgastein in Austria for this weekend.
We planned to leave around 12 at noon but I finished work at 13 o’clock and with packing and making sure that we leave everything ok in the house, we ended up leaving at 14 o’clock.
The drive is usually about 4 hours so if all goes according to the plan we should’ve been at our destination around 18 o’clock. But as always, nothing goes according to plan.
We caught the famous snowstorm which made everybody panic about halfway and it followed us all the way to our destination.
The visibility was close to 0, the freeway was not cleaned so there was snow everywhere and there were the usual stupid drivers who believed that they can go faster than anybody else, endangering everybody on the street.
A lot of people were traveling so even the tunnels were using the traffic lights to disperse the traffic jams.
The navigation system wanted us to take the country road but we thought it was too dangerous with so much snow, wind and being dark.
Nevertheless we arrived safely to Bad Hofgastein at 20 o’clock, two hours later than planned.
We picked a 4 star hotel with spa, gym and everything that we can possibly imagine for a nice stay in the mountains.
Although this hotel looked good on paper, it is very disappointing in reality. The staff doesn’t really care about their guests (we waited 10 minutes to be seated for breakfast at the restaurant) and it is partly because the hotel is just too big with hundreds of rooms on 3 floors. I definitely prefer small family run bed & breakfast when going to the mountains.
This place focuses on 65+ guests. Even though I usually don’t mind, I draw the line when sickly elder people barely able to walk are all over the place and even caughing into my breakfast (they placed us next to a sick old lady with a cold!).
So I have to avoid the spa like the plague and I am even considering having breakfast somewhere else.
Oh and what kind of 4 star hotel has no internet?
Kur und Sporthotel Palace
Alexander-Moser-Allee 13, Bad Hofgastein
Seriously people, do NOT stay at this hotel!
We arrived late at 20 o’clock and after checking in (no help with our luggage, no instructions on how to get to our room), my bf thought it would be nice to take a walk. I reluctantly agreed and we both regretted it as soon as we went out from the hotel. It was extremely windy, it was still snowing and it was incredibly cold. Despite my bf having second thoughts and suggesting we go back, we kept going in the big snow and wind to visit the city and see what has changed since our last stay here. You see, we come here every year for the last 6.5 years, sometimes even multiple times in one winter. It’s our favorite place!
The city is as lovely as it has always been, decorated for Christmas but not even one person anywhere. We wanted to have a small dinner but most of the restaurants were closed. I guess we are the only crazy people out on a bad snowstorm!
We almost gave up and thought to go back to the hotel and see if we can get something to eat there (we didn’t book buffet dinner luckily, too much food and too much temptation) when we saw a cute little Italian place, very accurately called La Piccola Italia.
La Piccola Italia is run by a young friendly Italian couple. The restaurant is very cozy and the atmosphere was sublime, I instantly felt like at home and I am sure the mulled wine helped too! Their menu offers everything from pasta to salad to meat dishes and fish and let’s not forget the delicious homemade Italian desserts!
I ordered grilled chicken breast with vegetables and my bf got the seafood with salad and we also shared a Panna Cotta. Yummy!
La Piccola Italia
Kurpromenade 11, Bad Hofgastein
I slept like a rock whole night and woke up fresh and jolly in the morning to this lovely view of the mountains.
This was ruined by the 10 minute wait for a table at the restaurant and by the guy placing us next to a sick old woman coughing out her lungs. Needless to say that I left my breakfast almost untouched and got pretty depressed. I am so glad we didn’t book dinner at the hotel too, I don’t think I can go through this twice a day.
We asked at the reception after breakfast to be seated at another table on the next days but we were told to hunt down the guy in charge to ask him for another table, that same guy who made us wait and who seated us next to the that lady this morning. And here I thought that the hotel reception is there to take care of any kind of issues instead of I having to clarify it myself.
I needed some time to get myself together but then I went to search for the gym which also took me a half an hour since I got lost on the way. I visited by accident the spa, the indoor pool and the massage area. Usually I would enjoy it and even go swimming or get a massage but the elder people from breakfast managed to occupy all this territory, I was definitely in minority so I quickly fled.
I was so glad when I found the gym and nobody was there that I stayed long and almost didn’t want to leave.
10 km in 20 minutes stationary bike
Weight training –
5 x 12 dip machine 150 kg
5 x 12 pulldown 150 kg
5 x 12 leg press 300 kg
5 x 12 knee flexion 25 kg
5 x 12 press back 50 kg
Cardio – treadmill
5 minutes at 4 km/h warmup
20 minutes at 6 km/h
5 minutes at 4 km/h cooldown
After a quick shower and two hours of resting, I was ready to go out for a walk. It is still pretty cold and windy but it got better compared to last night so I enjoyed my walk a lot.
My first goal was to have a coffee and a cake in a nice cafe with free wifi (internet addict over here!), followed by the Christmas market and the sports stores.
The Christmas market is nice but nothing to write home about and the shopping spree turned out to be a big fail, I found nothing I liked and the prices are overly exagerated, which is usual in a tourist area like this. Nevertheless I had overall a great walk today.
We picked a vegetarian restaurant for dinner and my fish was phenomenal!
Cafe Bistro Panorama
Hamplplatz 2, Bad Hofgastein
Vegetarian Restaurant Kraut & Rüben
5630 Bad Hofgastein
Overall today was a good day, I even achieved all my FitBit goals.
Tips in Bad Hofgastein:
- Free wifi in the city “BadHofgastein”
- Alpentherme Gastein Sen.-W.-Wilflingplatz 1 5630 Bad Hofgastein
- Ice skating rink free of charge (ice skates for rent) Kurpromenade 2, 5630 Bad Hofgastein
- Cross country skiing in Kurpark free of charge (equipment for rent)
- Austrian coffee and cakes