48 Hours at the Hotel Birkenhöhe - Kleinwalsertal
The „Kleinwalsertal“. Not even heard of this region five years ago, I now had the pleasure to discover this hidden valley, which is part of Austria but only reachable through Germany. Some of my friends, which were accompanying me the last five years (during bad and good days) and partly got best friends (Mr. Food Executive) are living in this valley and invited me, Mr. Beverage Executive and Mr. Luxury Executive. Completely unexpected, I was impressed of the wide and open valley. Upon driving the only road through the town Riezlern, we soon reached Hirschegg – the second town of four in the valley. A short road uphill followed until we reached the welcoming entrance of the Hotel Birkenhöhe.
There are many hotels in the “Kleinwalsertal”, offering everything. From Appartments, via 3- and 4-star-hotels to the 5-star Ifen Hotel – a Travel Charme property. This time I decided to skip the upscale category and instead headed to the Hotel Brikenhöhe, well known for its excellent cuisine by owner Mathias Bantel. The nice and welcoming wife of the owner Mrs. Bärbel Bantel was already expecting us and we were shown the way to our rooms. After entering the doors of our spacious, yet vast Double Room we were impressed by the amazing and breath-taking views.
The bathroom was very spacious with a separated toilet, walk-in shower and single vanity. Unfortunately the all-in-one shampoos are in dispensers but they have also a small range of toiletries in small size. During the night I slept with open window and it was truly wonderful: no noise and best air! I also liked the fact that they offer three pillows and a comfortable blanket.
As the main attraction of the Hotel Birkenhöhe, the 650 square meters spa area is a nice place to hide away during rainy summer days – like we had. I found the pool to be large enough and the temperature was also comfortable – I don’t know if it is different in winter, but if the pool is not warmer, it would be too cold for me in winter after skiing – I always need a hot pool after a day on the slopes. A nice touch were the very affordable treatments: One example: There is a special dream bath which can be rented for 30 minutes at the cost of 25 to 30 Euros, which is really good. Honestly, even I was convinced from these prices, but due to the fact that I had to go to Vienna on Tuesday, I was not able to treat myself with such a wonderful package.
Having spent the whole day in the wellness area with sleeping, relaxing and diving into the pool, we all were hungry and excited to discover the cuisine of Mr. Bantel. Interestingly the menu starts with the soup – a consommé of tomatoes - followed by an cold or warm starter. This day it was goat liver – I loved the taste and the finesse of this dish! Afterwards we had the possibility to choose from the salad buffet before our main courses were served: A fillet of veal from the valley with dumplings and an excellent sauce. Due to the fact that we are more the sweet ones ;-), our highlight was the dessert – a variation of chocolate. Our dinner was accompanied by a very attentive service and a nice white wine from Austria.
Well I would say that during our stay, the main target group were retired guests from Germany, Austria and partly Switzerland – so therefore I also don’t know about the English skills of the staff members. Yes, it is a four-star-property so it is not possible to compare the rooms with hotels of our references, but it is fair enough to say that we felt really good and welcomed throughout our stay.
We were guests of the Bantel Family throughout our trip to the Kleinwalsertal. All above written expresses my own opinion.