After so many months of disappointment and anxiety, it was wonderful to receive some client feedback from a summer 2020 experience.
Ian and I had been discussing the surprise treat for his wife’s birthday for some time and despite all the Covid uncertainty, between us, we did everything possible to make sure it could happen safely.
Huge respect to Ian for his determination and dedication and sincere thanks for taking the time to send through a blog about the experience.
Schloss Elmau is a luxury spa retreat and cultural hideaway located near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the beautiful Bavarian Alps between the Zugspitz Glacier and the Karwendel Mountain Range just 100km south of Munich and 40km north of Innsbruck and was recently featured on the BBC series, Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby.
This was our first trip to Bavaria and will not be our last.
I wanted something memorable for Steph’s birthday and Jo was superb in helping me assess options and ultimately decide that Schloss Elmau would tick the necessary boxes. The hotel’s website laid out its excellence and the BBC programme provided a timely endorsement.
We flew to Munich with BA in Club Europe and the hotel provided a private transfer both ways which took around 90 minutes each way. The scenery en route is impressive, and the hotel is in a fantastic location.
With so many facilities, it's slightly overwhelming and on arrival, it would be extremely beneficial to have an orientation around the hotel and its grounds.
The room was very comfortable, some better lighting in some areas would be a useful addition.
The staff service level was first class; they were always courteous and there to help, although sometimes the communications from reception were a little confusing, not helped by our lack of German language skills!
The food and wine were excellent. The hotel has 5 restaurants, including a buffet. Dining in the Luce D'Oro was simply superb and a "must do", we enjoyed dining twice at the Tutto Mondo and the degustation accompanied by the "Wine Flight" even if a little pricey is worth every €uro.
Disappointingly, two of the key restaurants were closed at the same time with limited chef availability, so if the hotel is busy and given the additional current challenges to maintain social distancing, it may be useful to invest time in planning meals.
This did, however, encourage us to go into Mittenwald, a small, typically Tyrolean village for a change of scenery and supper one night at the recommended and excellent Marktrestaurant.
We had hoped to fit in a "3 Castle Tour" but time wasn’t on our side so instead opted for a day in Innsbruck including a guided tour around the Old Town, which has an interesting history and was well worth doing.
The weather was incredibly kind to us, the sun shone the entire time and we were very happy spending time outdoors. This did mean that we didn’t manage to use the spa as much as we would perhaps have liked but on the other hand gives us an extremely good excuse to return.
The hotel is an excellent opportunity for a relaxing break and to wine and dine in great surroundings, served by superb staff.
Next time, we would hire a car too and explore the surrounding area further - Garmisch Partenkirchen which we drove through on our return to Munich airport, is another steeped in history that looks fascinating.
We also discussed the appeal of a twin-location Alpine holiday, assuming Jo can recommend a second hotel to a similar standard!
My sincere thanks to Jo for her assistance and advice. The holiday was excellent, we had a fabulous time and undoubtedly plan to return.