Austrian Adventures: What's New and Exciting in Bad Gastein and Vienna

Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere has 303 guestrooms, including 44 suites; shown here is an Executive Suite.

We’re all about Austria lately, especially following an update on the country by Michael Gigl of the Austrian Tourist Office. He tells us there’s a spa and ski destination, Bad Gastein, which is experiencing a rebirth of sorts. A report on in January said that the town’s hotels might not yet sport five-star amenities, but that Bad Gastein, which is a 90-minute train ride from Salzburg, does provide the sense of being someplace off the beaten path. Best part? The Gasteiner Ache is a waterfall that rushes right through the center of the town. Filled with natural thermal baths and healing caves, Bad Gastein is seeing a renaissance, with new hoteliers coming in with a modern view on hospitality. We’re in love with The Alpenlofts, which are large chalets with mountain views seen best through its chic bay windows. Nice Touch: The property has its own thermal baths on site. We also get a good vibe from Das Regina Hotel, which calls “a hipster haven by the restaurateur who founded the legendary Bar Hamburg in Germany.” The hotel also has its own cinema where it runs classic film screenings.

We say Bad Gastein just screams the best of Austria; it’s real, mountainous and brimming with personality. But then there’s Vienna, the beautiful, classic, cultural city where the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere has just opened. We’re all about the rooftop bar on the 16th floor and the fact that the hotel is a short walk from Vienna’s train station, plus Belvedere Palace and the Museum of Military History. The associate director of sales is Klaus Barth ([email protected]). Note: Andaz also opened in Munich earlier this year.

Vienna, as always, has tremendous cultural offerings; our picks for this year include the Albertina’s exhibition of drawings by Albrecht Dürer, September 20, 2019 through January 6, 2020 and the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien’s showing of Pierre Bonnard: The Color of Memory from October 10, 2019 through January 12, 2020. Find more information at

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Looking for a cheat sheet on the most suitable Austrian hotels for your clients? Gigl tells us The Austria Collection, “a hand-picked selection of hotels especially suitable for discerning U.S. travelers,” has just been released. Visit

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