To me, it is sometimes difficult to get into the Christmas spirit in the midst of the city. A stressful last few weeks at work as the entire world population seems to travel to and from Vienna International Airport, the desire to finishing up personal projects before the end of 2015, being constantly surrounded by people running in and out of shops stressing to purchase the last Christmas presents. I usually find myself surprised when mid-December arrives.
This year, Yael and I made a plan. Instead of spending the days before Christmas in Vienna and hoping to find the holiday spirit somewhere by accident, we were going to travel to the Austrian countryside, stay at a gorgeous hotel surrounded by the Austrian Alps. We thought, who would not get into Christmas mood like this? And, we were right.
We spent the 4-hour-drive from Vienna to Kötschachtal in the Salzburg region listening to our favorite podcasts and singing along to our songs. The roadtrip itself was beautiful, we passed majestic castles, sweet Austrian country houses, adorable churches, and gorgeous snowcapped mountain views. The only thing missing was the snow.
So, as we arrived the Kötschachtal valley, my heart quickly filled with joy.
The Hotel Village Grüner Baum looks simply breathtaking! The hotel village was just sitting there between the frost covered hills, a snow capped mountain top at the end of the valley. Oh, what bliss!
A handful of rustic old Austrian country houses make up the cute hotel village. Upon check-in, the hotel staff made us feel so welcome and fulfilled my personal wish to have a room with a great view. Oh, everything was just wonderful, from getting Christmas cookies during check-in to being offered to book massages for the same evening.
We spent three romantic days relaxing and rejuvinating at the hotel spa, enjoying a full body massage, the Finnish sauna and steam room, as well as the thermal pool.
Every morning we were treated to amazing healthy food. The buffet offers absolutely everything a brunch-loving heart desires, from sweet treats such as little pastries to cakes, to rich local speck, champagne, mimosas, fresh orange juice, a cook making your personalized omlette for you, and even three different kinds of milk choices. And then, the breathtaking view from our table. Every single morning was a true experience!
All bundled up in my awesome new coat and equipped with my favorite little backpack we went out to wander the gorgeous winter wonderland around the hotel area. The frost made everything so special, it was almost like a real snowy winter!
And we found alpacas and baby goats, my favorite past time. I mean, look how cute they are. The baby goats put on a show for us jumping around the little stall and sniffed around with their cute wet noses. And then, look at the alapacas and their sweet faces. I am just loving those cuties.
We also enjoyed coffee in Bad Gastein (about this in another blog post), and when we came back from exploring we cuddled up with hot chocolate (spiked with rum) in front of the crackling warm fireplace.
In the evenings we treated ourselves to tasty dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was outstanding by the way.
In a nutshell: The three days we spent at Hoteldorf Grüner Baum were incredible – the perfect place to relax, rejuvinate, get inspired, and get into the Christmas spirit. A big THANK YOU to all the lovely staff at Hoteldorf Grüner Baum for making our stay so incredibly perfect. We will be back some day for sure!
PS: This is Bellmondo, the cutest hotel staff!