Do you believe in fairytales? If so, I found the place that I dreamed of as a child. Halstatt, Austria, sometimes referred to as the “Pearl of Austria.” This country is full of gorgeous vistas, so it's hard to pin point just one spot. Located in Upper Austria, about two hours from Salzburg and 3 hours from Vienna, it is the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe and a World Heritage Site. This is the perfect place to visit any time of year, but my favorite is summer. Known for it's salt production, you can tour the world's first known salt mine.
So if you're in a perfect setting, you need the ideal place to stay and for me, it is the Seehotel Gruener Baum, located on the lake. It is a 23 room boutique hotel with a full service restaurant. Centrally located, you are about 3 minutes from town. The hotel offers free WiFi, is wheel chair accessible, and the room choices either face the lake or the town square. Needless to say, having a balcony overlooking the lake is about as good as it gets. The views, the town bells ringing and the fresh mountain air are a big bonus.
During certain months of the year, the town is a car-free zone, so if you arrive by train, you will take a ferry into town and enjoy the view on this short trip.
Beside the view, shops, restaurants and visiting the salt mines, other activities here include hiking, rock climbing, diving and boat tours.
Back at the hotel, you will find it is pet-friendly as you are greeted by Rocky, the hotel cat. And if you are a mystery buff, you might find it interesting to know that Agatha Christie slept here. Perhaps you will be inspired to write your own novel.
One of the finest restaurants in Halstatt is located right in your hotel. However, there are many other options in town that get high ratings as well or you can try the food trucks nearby – schnitzel anyone?
The rooms here are ample in size, have comfortable beds and offer amenities in addition to a superb location. I believe the village of Halstatt and the Seehotel Gruener Baum need to be on your bucket list. It is a year-round wonderland that should not be missed. You will not be disappointed.
June 10, 2016