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Sleeping around in Austria’s coolest hotels

Sleeping around in Austria’s coolest hotels

Austria (not to be confused with Australia, there are no kangaroos here) is a commonly underrated holiday destination, especially for the LGBTI traveller.

Compared to other major cities in Europe, Austria’s capital city Vienna is mostly regarded for its classical music culture; Iconic composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart took residence in a dozen addresses in Vienna. Austria’s less well-known destinations are a preferred choice for local Austrians and Germans (the country is bordered by Germany, Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland). Anything from a relaxed holiday to an adventurous trip gives travelers an insight into local Austrian culture.

English-speakers should have no problem getting around as most of the locals speak English – just don´t be too irritated if some of the older waiters tell you (or try to tell you) that English wasn´t a requirement when they started working in the 70s. And even if they don´t understand a word of what you are saying, they are committed to service with a smile.

If you are at least 18 years old, you will hardly be disappointed by Austria. The legal drinking and smoking age is 16, and most places think that IDs are overrated anyway. Feel free to go ahead and do the stuff you can’t do (that easily) back home.

There is a shift in mentality with regards to the LGBTI community. Same-sex civil unions were introduced in 2009, and currently the introduction of same-sex adoption rights is under discussion. Also on the street, the rainbow community is gaining more acceptance. Make sure to visit the legendary Rosa-Lila-Villa in Vienna in the sixth district and the gay clubs/bars gathering around it.

Consider the following three hotels to get a taste of Austria’s take on the newest and freshest trends in hotels.

Daniel Hotel in Vienna

Located in the center of town, the Daniel is a walking distance away from most tourist hotspots, but still features an insight into daily Viennese lifestyle.

It really cannot be missed – after all there is a life-size sailing boat situated on the roof, placed next to the beehive at the roof garden.

But those aren´t even the coolest features around. Make sure to book the Trailer if you stay over. The Silver Street Clipper is an original from 1952 and has a beautiful built-in double bed plus bathroom. It is located in the front garden area, and even though it is next to a highway, you feel like you are engulfed in nature.

The actual hotel rooms feature double hammocks and a great view at the bordering botanical garden as well as the Belvedere, a baroque castle dating back to the 17th century. A little gay history lesson on the side: its owner, Prince Eugene of Savoy was gay.

The culinary highlights at the hotel are not necessarily Austrian. To be fair, I can´t really define what they are apart from amazing. There is just so much going on on the menu, it deserves a new food category. Perfect for people who are willing to taste something new. If you want to try traditional Austrian cuisine though, do not despair; there are plenty of cosy old restaurants around the corner.

Don´t forget to try the amazing Kardamint Lemonade at Daniel.

For all those out there who don´t like walking, there is the cheap option to rent either a bike for €5 ($7) or a Vespa for €15 ($21) a day from the reception to discover the city.

The essentials:

Forstguthof in Salzburg

The Forstguthof developed a new concept with what is being called the first ‘forest-spa’ in Europe. The basic idea is an outdoor spa located in the woods far away from urban stress.

The family business was turned from a farm into a four-star wellness hotel in the 90s. The original building dates back to 1617 and some parts of the hotel are still originals from that period.

The hotel’s focus is on sustainability, especially when it comes to food. The chef only uses regional and seasonal ingredients to prepare traditional meals. And of course everything is organic.

The forest spa pushes the boundaries of design, bringing the forest to the inside. A little mountain stream flows through the spa creating a serene atmosphere. On hot summer days it is a very fine feeling to just step through the stream. The forest spa is also available during the winter, as it features a fireplace lounge in the center.

For family holidays the grounds are an ideal destination. There is day care for kids from age two with German and English-speaking sitters. There are loads of outdoor activities to help your kids stay active, such as forest tours with a forester, dam building (not at the mountain stream in the spa though) and a visit to the petting zoo.

For the aquatically inclined, the grounds also have a natural lake and a couple of pools, some simultaneously indoor and outdoor. They are in use all around the year, especially in winter when the outside pools are heated. It is beautiful to take a swim outside surrounded by winter wonderland covered in snow.

Talking about snow – the hotel is directly connected to a ski area and a skipiste ends in front of the entrance. That means no annoying walks with ski equipment on your shoulders to get home.

The essentials:

  • Phone: +43 – 6583 8561
  • Fax: +43 – 6583 8561 77
  • E-Mail: [email protected]
  • Location: Hotel Forsthofgut, Hütten 2, 5771 Leogang, Austria
  • Check in: 9 am
  • Check out: 4 pm
  • Price: €120 ($167) – €900 ($1252)
  • Website: http://www.forsthofgut.at/en/

Schneedorf in Tyrol

The experience is a short one but all the more impressive. I am talking about sleeping in an igloo for a night. Just relax and enjoy a clear view on the stars!

The Schneedorf in Tyrol features a snow village in the mountains. The igloos themselves have four sleeping places each and are thus a great destination for group travel.

The €115 ($160) per person includes breakfast, dinner and a sleeping bag suited for environments up to minus 40°C. The only thing you need to bring is a toothbrush and if you mind a change of clothes.

The arrival is pretty sweet if you are an outdoor person. You can either hike to the igloos or go by ski. But if you just want to enjoy the view on the way up without sweating, there is an aerial railway that takes you for €12.50 return ticket ($17).

There is a detailed timetable to manage your stay and you will be supervised by trained guides who ensure your safety and enjoyment in such extreme temperatures.

Cheese fondue and mulled wine make up the dinner in the igloo. To warm up the morning after, the group has breakfast at a panorama restaurant that has, needles to say, an amazing view.