24 Hours at the For Friends Hotel in Mösern, Tyrol
The For Friends Hotel has been closed in June 2015 and no new operator has been announced yet. (Jan 2016)
Living in a region like Tyrol means spending wellness weekends in nearby wellness hotels (why going far when you have such a huge choice within 1 hour driving?). This time, we were guests at a very interesting, yet relatively new hotel/resort. The For Friends Hotel is situated high above the Inn valley in the small town of Mösern, just five minutes from Seefeld (famous for the olympic Biathlons). The setting is truly impressive, and the hotel from outside looks new and fits well into the landscape. I did not like the wooden doors with small window, they did not invite me to enter the hotel, but the interior came up to it: an impressive atrium filled the lobby with lots of daylight. The welcome was warm and we were offered a welcome drink before the PR Manager introduced herself. We had a glass of Prosecco in their Lounge and soon afterwards, our tour started.
Having stayed on the sixth floor, we were staying in the upper building, meaning the views are even more spectacular. While we enjoyed being on their second highest floor (on the seventh floor there are the two Rooftop Suites), we had to experience that on the next morning, there was only hot water coming out of the shower. The staff of the hotel was already aware of this fact and they are going to fix this problem in the next weeks. Back to our suite: Thankfully we were upgraded to a For Friends Suite on the corner of the building offering breath-taking 90-degree views of the Inn valley and the surrounding mountains - which is in fact even more beautiful without snow and clouds. Therefore we had daylight nearly everywhere in our suite. The airy living room was equipped with a sofa, armchair, hidden television, writing desk as well as an Illy coffee machine (with complimentary capsules), assortment of excellent teas and a large minibar offering different red and white wines. I really liked their hotel amenities such as their stationery (the notice blook was really cool - I would have wished to have the same in our office!), La Biosthetique toiletries (they smelled very good) as well as the guest bathroom products - there was eveything a discerning traveller needs: from a wooden comb, ear plugs and eye mask to nail kit. A bottle of water would have been an amazing touch together with the chocolate and turn-down service.
Being situated on such a high altitude, Mösern and the Olypiaregion Seefeld are famous for the good and perfect air, which is not affected by any traffic. So we were sleeping with an open door and when we woke up, we felt refreshed and relaxed. While the blankets were quite comfortable, we found the matrress slightly too hard - compared to our stay at the Wiesergut a few days before. One of the most comfortable amenities inside our suite was the wooden floor in the bedroom, and the heated stone floor in the bathroom, as well as the fact that the For Friends Suite met exactely my personal tastes: One master bathroom with tub and one additional bathroom with a walk-in shower - I don't like shower/tub combos! The balcony had a sitting area and a lounge chair and normally offers sweeping views.
As the highlight of the For Friends Hotel, the Mountain Spa spreads over 1.500 square meters, offering one large indoor pool with an outdoor swimming area, one family sauna, one textile-free area with relaxation room, sauna, steam bath and hot and cold jacuzzi. There is also a sauna in a small building outside, which was unfortunately closed due to construction.
To prepare myself for upcoming stays, I love to read the bad reviews on tripadvisor to analyze whether they are fake or true. Unfortunately this time I had to experience a true fact: The indoor pool is more refreshing, and the outdoor pool was even colder! After asking the hotel about this situation they told us that the pool is managed by another company and they are already planning to improve the water temperature, so it is just a question of time until the pool is comfortable and perfect! Due to the terrible cold weather, which is truly uncommon in May, the pool felt even colder as it normally would be in such a normally warm month. However, there was also a hot jacuzzi just outside the sauna area, which was very warm and so we spend all time there instead the outdoor pool. On the other side of the spa, there is a fitness center with high tech equipment and next to it, there is even an exercise room for fitness exercises.
Offering three different food outlets, the For Friends Hotel has everything what a discerning food traveler is looking for. Beside the super-cool steak&fish restaurant, there is a gourmet restaurant and a casual restaurant serving pasta and traditional dishes. We had the pleasure to try the "Theuerdank Fish and Steak" Restaurant and according to the motto, I had Yellow Fin Tuna with paprika, while my colleague tried the beef tartare. The second course was an excellent white tomato soup with ravioli and our main dish was the fillet of ox perfectly medium with potatoes and vegetables, as well as a red wine sauce. Due to the fact that the main course was so much, we skipped dessert and went ahead with coffee. The service was very good and attentive - being always here and never visible and also the somelier Eros had an excellent knowlegde of wine! Our 3-course menu (with tuna and tartare, white tomato soup and fillet of Austrian ox) including 2 glasses of wine to the starter and an excellent bottle of Austrian red wine can actually cost you 190 euros for two persons, which is quite good for the atmosphere and service. From my point of view, the concept is great and there is no other steak restaurant of this kind in the area, so make sure to reseve a table in advance.
After an heavenly sleep with fresh mounatin air, we were ready and excited to discover breakfast. However the breakfast at the For Friends Hotel is not that huge, offering everything we were looking for. What I loved most, beside the fact that it was not crowded at all like at other hotels, was the wonderful and nice presentation of the products: everything was on correct place. Furthermore I like the concept of an open kitchen, you can watch how your eggs are prepared. The sparkling wine, the juices and all other products were of good quality and due to the fact that we were the first guests we felt like owning the whole buffet. For this wonderful presentation I would give the For Friends Hotel fair 10 points out of 10 ;-). In one corner, there were fresh fruit salads and plenty of different jams. During breakfast, guests are seated in the casual Maultasch restaurant, where I missed the warm atmosphere. Of course the hotel has opened not even a year ago and therefore they are always improving their areas and offers - but being open not even a year, I am pleased to say that the hotel makes a very good impression!
Personally it is really hard to categorize this hotel: It's not a Leading Hotel, not a Small Luxury Hotel, nor a Designhotel. It is also not a luxury hotel but not any sort of classic hotel. It's a kind of wellness hotel although the spa offer is on the smaller size in comparison to other properties. Probably the term Family Hotel would fit better, but it also can be that the term Friends Hotel emerges with this property. The name is definitely a philosophy: While the evening service in the restaurant was perfect and very personal, the rest of the staff were not so outrageous that I would describe them as friends. During our stay it always reminded me a bit to the InterContinental Berchtesgaden (now Kempinski Berchtesgaden), probably because of the views and location - or because of the weather ;-)!
In general, we enjoyed our stay and therefore can fully recommend the Hotel For Friends to everyone seeking for a wellness getaway without crowded saunas and pools or for everyone looking for a place to recharge batteries in the Alps - there are plenty of walking paths and the landscape is very impressive. One of the most exhausting golf courses in Austria is situated within 5 minutes driving and the town Seefeld can be reached in another 5 minutes which is quite a nice location.
We were guests of the For Friends Hotel and all expenses were covered by the property. Our above written review represents only our own opinion and has not been influenced.