I wasn’t planning on reviewing the hotels we stayed in on our trip, but I got to thinking I would have loved to see a parent’s view on the toddler friendliness of these hotels before we got here. So instead of a “review”, I just wanted to give a few thoughts on how each of the hotels we stayed at were equipped to deal with toddlers. As always, bear in mind we were in a unique situation having only one child and grandparents in a nearby room.
Crowne Plaza Salzburg
I booked two rooms at this hotel for 30,000 IHG points per night – the going rate was about 190 Euros/night so it was a pretty good deal. In terms of location, the Crowne Plaza worked out well for us. It was far enough away from downtown that we didn’t have to deal with parking issues (the garage was less than 20 Euros/day), and the hotel was right Mirabelle Gardens which was great for walks.
The 15 minute walk to downtown might be a deterrent for some, and it definitely prevented us from just hopping out of the hotel to eat in the city. There are a lot of food options just one street over though that we found to be perfectly decent. Personally I didn’t mind the location because the walk to town was a scenic stroll along the river.
I’d say my biggest concern about the Crowne Plaza was the temperature of the fridge, it was only slightly cooler than the room, so we were a little worried about the milk. We had them clear out the minibar so that we could keep our food and baby supplies in there. The crib was older but seemed safe and it was on wheels which made it really useful to move around the room. Little M was also given her own blanket and towel which was cute.
Bathtime was a cinch due to the bathtub and removable showerhead. If you’re fine with walking, Salzburg is a great city for kids and the Crowne Plaza will suit you just fine. It should be noted they are still finishing up some renovations – so some sections looked much more updated than others.
To sum it up in a sentence, the Intercontinental Berchtesgaden was the hotel that worked the hardest to accommodate our toddler but was also the hotel where M was the most out of place, so to speak. It cost us 35,000 IHG points per night. We’ll start with the negative.
Like I wrote before, we were hit by a spat of terrible weather in Berchtesgaden. That really hurt because we weren’t able to walk any hiking trails with M – a real shame because the Intercontinental has a free BOB Revolution that you can borrow for free! There was a playground but it was kind of on the bottom of a hill with no stairs so M had to be carried down there – kind of weird.
But what the weather really meant was that we were confined to the inside of the hotel the whole time – and the Intercontinental was a quiet, peaceful place so we kind of didn’t want her running around screaming. The only restaurant in the hotel is also pretty fancy. To their credit, they had a kids menu and crayons and things like that, but it just wasn’t the ideal environment to be eating dinner with a toddler (especially because we had to eat inside). In terms of location, it’s a 15-20 minute drive down or up the mountain to get to any civilization, which is definitely much less convenient than being able to walk into town.
Now, to the good stuff. I was really impressed with the amenities the Intercontinental Berchtesgaden provided M with. First, she was given her own bath soap and lotion. Next, she was given a nice pack and play, Euro style, complete with a blanket and pillow. But perhaps the cutest amenity I have seen ever were the little bathrobe and little slippers! We didn’t keep the bathrobe (not sure if that was even an option) but we did take the slippers home!
Probably the best activity at the hotel for a toddler is the pool. There are two pools, an indoor and an outdoor pool. The outdoor pool is actually warmer, think they have the heat up more on that one. Anyway, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves – the outdoor pool is pretty nice.
Anyway, I give the Intercontinental Berchestgaden credit for trying to cater to families with young children. I think if the weather had been better our experience might have been different, but you definitely don’t want to be marooned there with a toddler in bad weather. Though I guess when would you want that situation ever?
Hilton Vienna Plaza
In terms of location, the Hilton Vienna Plaza is on the outskirts of town (on the ring), but still just a fifteen minute walk to where all the action is. It’s in a nice, quiet location that’s busier during the week since it’s more towards the business-y area (as far as I could tell).
The hotel is still under renovation so there are only two floors of rooms open. Our room was spacious and gave M enough room to run around. Probably the best part was having executive lounge access as a HHonors Gold member – there were snacks at happy hour which were useful for tiding M and ourselves over before dinner. There was no bathtub so that made things tough – if your child can’t take showers yet that’s something to bear in mind.
Other than that, I don’t think there’s anything too special to write about the Hilton Vienna Plaza toddler wise – it was perfectly passable though not spectacular. Hilton definitely had the most attentive staff – the staff at the executive lounge knew me by name (from e-mail correspondence before we arrived) and was the most friendly and welcoming.
I realize this isn’t the most thrilling post, but hopefully it’s been useful to anyone who will be traveling to Vienna, Salzburg, or Berchtesgaden with young children. We had a blast and so did Little M!
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