Thursday, March 8, 2012

Finding a Great Hotel in Austria

When you visit Austria, you want to stay in a great Austrian hotel. The best Austrian hotels are not necessarily the biggest ones, though. Some of the best hotels we've ever stayed in were small family-run businesses.

Sometimes, we leave things to the last minute to try to get the best price. Often, this means making inquiries at the door. Of course, this approach doesn't work all the time – particularly during the height of the tourist season. Fortunately, we try not to travel during that time.

So, how do you recognize a great hotel or pension?

If we are traveling in an unfamiliar area, we generally take a good look around the local streets first. This gives a feel for the place. Austria is a very safe place, but there are a few neighborhoods where you don't really want to travel. Naturally, we identify the hotels, pensions, and zimmers in the local area. We generally rate each one based on the appearance.

First, the outside is clean. This means the yard is swept, the gardens are tidy, and the windows are free from dirt. This means the owner cares about appearances, and a hotel that is clean on the outside is likely to be clean on the inside. Second, when you walk inside, there is someone to greet you fairly quickly. Now, in family-run hotels, particularly very small ones, the reception area may not always be manned. However, the owner or receptionist should be able to talk to you within a couple of minutes.

Don't forget to make inquiries. Make sure you know what time breakfast is served, whether you have 24-hour access, and what time you need to be out of the hotel. Naturally, you need to make sure that the facilities meet your needs.
We may do this with several hotels to compare each one and go back to the one we like the most. This may not necessarily be the one with the lowest price – although a low price does help.

We generally pay in advance so we know exactly how much we are being charged. In addition, we frequently pay by cash, which is particularly useful for small hotels. This means that our cards cannot be charged without us knowing. This is a rare situation, but because we travel so much, we do our best to lower the risk as much as possible. Some hotels, however, only accept card payments.

So, now you know how to find a great Austrian hotel like a pro. We have a lot of experience at selecting great hotels, and we're always happy to help you find the perfect hotel for your holiday.