Friday, March 28, 2014

Restaurant Check - Obauer in Werfen

Last weekend I had the pleasure to dine in Austria's second best restaurant - Obauer - located about 30 minutes South of the city Salzburg.

The first amuse bouche

The service was kind and the head sommelier recommended an excellent wine pairing. Our menu included 3-courses and was priced 54 euros per Person excluding beverages, which were averagely priced for this kind of restaurant (in my opinion). What I disliked was that the server gave us the regular menu, although I had booked the Nespresso Gourmet Menu, as well as the fast service of the food - it gave a hectic feeling: As soon as we got our water and wine, the first Amuse-Bouche was served.

The second amuse bouche

After another 10-15 minutes we received the next amuse bouche and after the third amuse (a thinly sliced tartar), we were served the first course of the menu: a terrine with foie gras. Well, it was fine. 

Our main courses were either excellent white fish with two kinds of asparagus, or finest lamb with small cheese dumplings and Austrian coleslaw. 

The final course, before the Nespresso Grand Cru, was a light dessert variation including cream cheese with lemon, apple strudel, and mocha ice, followed by very creamy macarons and small pastries.

The third and last amuse bouche

Excellent wine pairing

First course - terrine of Foie Gras 

Second course 1 - Fish

Second course 1 - side dish - asparagus pudding

Second course 2 - Three kinds of lamb

Second course 2 - side dishes of the lamb

Third course - a variation of dessert

Finally - Macarons and house-made pastries

Monday, March 24, 2014

A weekend in Salzburg!

Last saturday I have been to the Austrian city Salzburg.

The reason for my trip was a dinner at the renowned "Obauer" restaurant in Werfen, about half an hour south of Salzburg city. Due to the fact that we want to tour through the old town and stroll through some shops, I decided to book a room at the Sheraton Hotel. 

Normally, I do not really like to stay at a Sheraton hotel, but the one in Salzburg has an excellent Club Lounge with balconies and stunning views to the castle hill, as well as a vast buffet with high-quality products. There has always been warm and cold dishes, cakes and n excellent choice of drinks, from non-alcoholic, coffee to alcoholic beverages. 

Although I contacted the hotel directly to allocate a room in a modern style, they did not meet my request. Nonetheless they upgraded us to a King Suite with a separate living room, bedroom and two bathrooms. 

The bathroom was in good condition, with a small bath tub, a single vanity, a separate shower with dirty shower head as well as "branded" toiletries by Frette. In fact these bath amenities are even worse than Sheraton's own "Shine" line and smell a bit cheap, to be honest. Please note that they once had Bulgari - really - when I stayed there in December 2012.

All in all, our stay was very comfortable, the staff average, although the woman in the Club Lounge was very attentive, and the location satisfying. As the Club Lounge is really worth to stay at this Sheraton, I will try to stay here again when I am back in Salzburg.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Summer is coming

How was your last summer? Mine was wonderful and unforgettable.

As you can see in my previous blog entries from the last summer, I have made a Road-Trip through the Southest of Italy: Naples, Amalfi, Calabria, Sicily, Basilicata, Apulia and back via the Marches - simply breath-taking. This was a trip of a lifetime for me!

The upcoming summer I will go to Southern France, more precisely to the Provence and to Côte d'Azur of course. A to-do-list is already planned but we will see afterwards if my schedule keeps what it promises.

Today I wanted to let you know that I updated the list of the Hotels & Resorts where I stayed and you can now see more hotel reviews on this blog by clicking here. I have added some interesting and luxurious hotels and places, which might be of interest to you.

In addition I have also published a new website of my company with lots of luxury hotels and destinations. I would be delighted to receive your enquiry soon!

Best regards and a wonderful week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Restaurant Check - Innsbruck - Part VI

Dining at the "Sitzwohl"

Presented as Innsbrucks finest restaurant with the 15 points by Austrian based restaurant guide "Gault Millau", the Sitzwohl is the first address to have an elegant dinner or to celebrate a special occasion.

In fact it was my birthday and my friends and me had decided to choose this restaurant for this occasion. First we had a very special apertif, a Prosecco with a Sorbet of basil and Ginger Ale - tasty and refreshing, and of course very green! One of the girlies chose the foamy soup of rocket salad with an italian tramezzini on site. Our main courses were pork with mashed sweet potatoes (unfortunately not my taste) and an inovative "Sitzwohl" burger with duck breast instead of simple beef and french fries as well as Ananas-Ketchup.

Last but not least we had Panna Cotta with a rasberry macaron on top of it. It was nice, too but not more than that. We paid 24 euros for the pork and 23 for the "Sitzwohl" burger, which is on the expensive site for Tyrolean standards. The wines were adequate at rates from 25 up to 75 euros per bottle.

In total it was a funny evening, in an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere. The service was very kind and attentive, the food tasty but not better than our dinner at Lichtblick Restaurant on top of the Town Hall.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Skiing in the real Swiss Alps

Staying at The Chedi Andermatt

The best inspiration always comes when you are really relaxed! So am I at the stunning 35-meter indoor pool at The Chedi Spa in the exciting and world-famous Chedi Andermatt (according to the several international press releases).

Did you ever heard of Andermatt?

The hotel itself could not be anyhow more luxurious and more decadent, 2400 square meters large and Asian influenced Spa, 35 meter indoor pool, 7 meter high ceilings in the lobby, wine and cigar library, 200 gas cheminees, a Japanese Restaurant, a main Restaurant where a two-michelin starred chef is working, enormous rooms and even larger suites, as well as ski butlers, just to mention some details of this fascinating property. 

As The Chedi recently opened, in late December 2013 to be more exactely, there are some problems occuring. The worst problem for me was the Front Desk staff, which was not really able to work as perfect as the restaurant or the spa team. I ordered a newspaper to be delivered to the room every day and did receive it upon complaining after the third night! Furthermore there was a hole in the bed sheet on the sofa bed at the fourth evening. Again, after complaining at the front desk, the wrong sheet (a sheet and a duvet for a 2x2 meter bed) was delivered. This happened to me again when I called the front desk to clean the minibar as there was water running outside it, but nobody ever arrived to clean it. 

There is a lot to do at the Chedi Andermatt to be perfect, but if they unwind all these circumstances, this hotel might be sometime the best in Southern Switzerland. 

I would also like to mention that there are also good points when staying at the Chedi, like the excellent culinary experience at the Japanese Restaurant as well as at the Restaurant, managed by chef Mansour Memerian where there are 4 show kitchens. Furthermore Joel, the Assistant Restaurant Manager did everything that my birthday is unforgettable, so did the kind Concierge Riccardo! I got a very nice birthday cake and some very nice and personal presents from the staff members of the Chedi!

Did I already mention that the Spa is world-class? I had an excellent 60 minutes treatment (by Sandra) in one of their wonderful and maybe most spacious treatment rooms I have ever been! For all those to who the indoor pool appeals too cold, 27 degrees celsius, there are three different Hydrotherapy pools at the lower floor of the spa, at 32c, 36c and 42c. 

Our suite, a Deluxe Suite, is simply cool, luxurious, enormous and fully sound proofed. I love the surround sound system by Bose, you can feel every beat of the music. The beds are like heaven, if no hole in the sheet, and the bathroom is definitely my style: walk in shower, electronic toilet, double vanities, free standing bath tub in front of a stunning stone wall, and finally Acqua di Parma toiletries! 

There is one more thing I learned while staying for 5 nights at this picturesque property:
The more you appreciate the staff members and the more you socialize with them, the friendlier and more personal they are! They will keep you in mind as a nice and convenient guest, which is always welcome! Extra amenities or special requests are never impossible for these sort of guests!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

New 5-Star Hotel in Tyrol sheduled to open in Mösern!

After a decade, a new 5-star hotel in the Tyrol is finally sceduled to open soon. 

As the fourth hotel in the surrounding of Seefeld in Tyrol, the new "For Friends" - a simple name as well - is the only one with breath-taking views over the main valley of Tyrol - the "Inntal".

I am really excited about the opening ceremony and about the ongoing operations. We will soon see if they keep the prices as high as they are now entered in the system or if they will fall when the opening date is coming sooner. To be honest, it really looks great on the first pictures and normally I am not wrong with my expecations. 

The lobby and the pool area remembers me of the recently opened InterContinental in Davos, which is as sleek and stylish as the soon to be opened "for Friends" Resort. 

Be sure that I will test this place after it has opened and of course me or one of my colleagues will report immediately, as always!

Have a great weekend,