Customer reviews: Mixed activity holidays
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our activity holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their activity holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their activity holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By Mrs Edwards on 13/06/2017
A perfect mix of activities based in the most welcoming family hotel within an exquisite setting of water, woodland, pastures and mountains. The evening meals are a gastronomic tour de force without being at all heavy; the chef and his son are true artists who can conjure colours and tastes in perfect harmony - quite exceptional. We had memorable walks, cycle rides, visits to historical sites and swims and were reluctant to leave.
By Mr King on 07/12/2016
Great fun, lots of fresh air and lovely food.
By Ms Hamilton on 11/11/2016
Hotel Ta Cenc was a massive disappointment and does not provide anywhere near the 5 star classification and is generally grubby with poor attendance and hospitality. Hotel Kempinski is more like the standard expected in hospitality, service facilities and efficiency as expected from a five star rating.
We expected a quite island for cycling in Gozo but it really is quite and urban spread with some heavy traffic that are not appreciative of cyclists ad pedestrians. Our pick up driver to Gozo (a local) was rude drove very fast in roads that needed much more caution especially with cyclists, pedestrians and moreover children. Footpaths are not consistent hence the need for caution. It must have been one of our worst paid for private transfer!
By Mrs Meakin on 14/09/2016
Excellent base, fantastic views
By Mr Stocks on 07/09/2016
Headwater provide gently active (this interpretation depends on one's level of fitness and expectation!) holidays in comfortable, interesting hotels and places. The restaurants vary, some are better than others, but in general they reach a very satisfactory standard. I think they are a great way to spend time exploring an area but with always the fall back of a pleasant hotel.
By Mr Maher on 30/08/2016
Our party consisted of Grandma and Granddad (late 60's), Son (48) and Grandson (10). We were all more than catered for and thoroughly enjoyed our activity holiday. We had an informative break down of the area from our reps, Colin and Jill and the map we were given + bus timetables were very useful throughout the week. Our bicycles were easy to ride and comfortable.
Our first outing was on the afternoon of arrival when we decided to visit the nearby village. There were very few days when we didn't use the bikes to visit nearby towns and villages and the routes were usually flat and safe for our 10 year old. Our grandson particularly enjoyed the toboggan run but warns other would be enthusiasts that it is possible to fall off!! He was, however, proud of his scraped leg! Got straight back on and finished the course.
The grandparents tackled the cycle ride to lake Schwazen which included a steep climb. We walked some of the way as it was very hot - but we made it and were very proud of ourselves especially as there were many people overtaking us on electric bikes! (a good idea if you are not used to cycling). We particularly enjoyed our day at the Salt Mines, using the local bus and train + a ferry to get to Hallstatt (a stunning place). The salt mines were great fun and a unique experience. We also visited the Ice Caves (by local buses) - also fascinating.
The boys hired an eco boat and also sampled tubing on the lake. Crazy golf and the train up the mountain was fab + the cable car up Katrin. The walk down the mountain was pretty tough, though out 10 year old completed the whole day without a murmur. Catching the bus back outside the Spar on the main road was a good idea as sustenance was required!!
Last, but not least, the hotel was superb - so friendly and the food was spectacular! Thank you Headwater for a great holiday, though we did need a rest on our return.
By Mrs Saxby on 23/08/2016
As a family of six, headwater is a great holiday choice for us. We enjoy spending the time together and the activities give us a shared focus and shared sense of achievement. The children age between 16 and eight, and they all enjoyed the holiday. It challenged their palates as well as their legs, as most of the hotels don't offer kids menus, but this worked out fine and they all discovered things they didn't know they might like. Canoeing was harder work than expected, but such a beautiful way to see the river. I really love headwater holidays, this is our third time and it definitely won't be our last. Now that all the children are confidently able to cycle we will try some more ambitious ones next time.
By Mr Reid on 19/08/2016
We really enjoyed our holiday. The arrangements were efficient, the hotel was comfortable if somewhat dated (it's years since I've seen one of those beige hairdriers attached to the bathroom wall in a hotel). The food was good on the whole, though with limited choice as is usual for this type of hotel in Austria not everything is going to suit everyone.
The area is great for all levels of activity and the option of returning on the boat after a walk or cycle was great for us with our 7 year old. We have been to the area before so knew it would be suitable for us even if we didn't want to opt for some of the suggested things on the itinerary.
By Dr Monte on 19/08/2016
We had a wonderful mixed activity holiday cycling and canoeing down the Dordogne knowing we had excellent food and drink to look forward to after a hard days work. Pure bliss !!
By Mr Metcalf on 17/08/2016
The family activity holiday was ideal for a family of mixed ability. The cycling to Bad Ischi , Saint Wolfgang and Saint Gilgen was suitable for everyone. All the places we visited had a wide selection of coffee shops, bars and restaurants. We also did a number of walks from the hotel. The most rewarding was the 20 minute ascent of the Thersienstein which gave excellent views of Wolfgangsee. A more adventurous walk was the Brustwand Aussichtsweg, although the highlight was probably a beer at the Kleefeld on the way back to the hotel with views up the Postalm valley. We used the hotels swimming pool everyday and on the hotter days you could walk out into the garden to a selection of sun beds. The hotels facilities were excellent. We had a bedroom with a mezzanine which gave 3 sleeping areas. The public areas were very spacious and clean. The food was a modern interpretation of Austrian cuisine that was very well cooked and presentated. However if you thought it a little adventurous they would give alternatives like Wiener schnitzel and chips . Overall the holiday is highly recommended.
By Mr Wallace on 17/08/2016
I had a fantastic week on the Austrian Lakes Adventure. Colin and Jill were very welcoming and happy to help at any stage of the holiday. The family run Hotel was also brilliant! Rather than a standard room which I was expecting, I had my very own suite including window seating and table, sofa, en-suite, balcony and ample storage. Their buffet breakfast and 5 course evening menus were always first class too. I really could not complain! As for the hiking and cycling, there were numerous notes provided which gave flexibility and choice dependent on the level of ability I was looking for. This was a great way to visit the local area and integrate with local culture. I also incorporated a day trip to Salzburg by bus. Unlike the UK, this was very easy to organise, and stress free! This was a beautiful area to visit and will highly recommend to my friends and family. Thank you all.
By Mrs Moss on 17/08/2016
We have just returned from an excellent 10 days in France, having never been to this area before, we now are keen to return! The walking and cycling was definitely 2 boot, but worth the climbs. And we really enjoyed the relaxed canoeing down The Dordogne. All hotels were excellent with fabulous food. Sarlet is very pretty and well worth the extra night, although it is a long climb up back to the hotel from the town.
By Mr Ball on 16/08/2016
Very good experience despite the travel arrangement errors.
By Dr Curry on 28/06/2016
well organised and helpful
By Rev Rees on 13/06/2016
A wonderful mix of relaxation and activity on the walking/ cycling holiday. Everything was well organised and we thought the hotel in Ta Cenc was fantastic. Gozo is definitely a place to go back to.
By Mr Parr on 03/06/2016
The weather was dreadful for the entire week we spent in Austria. It was cold and rained every day. Several of the recommended restaurants and cafes remained closed because of the bad weather although it was the start of the summer season. We put on wet weather gear and did the walks anyway. It was great - we had the whole area to ourselves! The wild flowers were fantastic. It was a pleasure to come back to the Hotel Bergrose each day because we knew we could swim and sauna before dinner. The food in the hotel was excellent and we were very comfortable there. What could have been a dreary week turned out to be entirely pleasurable.
By Mr Emms on 28/04/2016
really nice holiday but the food at the Kempinski trattoria was really poor- all freezer to fryier type bought in concoctions with nothing on the menu that appeared to have been bought in fresh and we really struggled to choose anything we would wish to eat. On the other hand the cocktails there were excellent!
By Mr Sargent on 23/03/2016
Gozo was an enjoyable destination but rather limited for a seven day visit in comparison to some of your other holidays.
By Mrs Monk on 23/03/2016
very well organised. Routes for walking and cycling ensured that all the items of interest were covered on this small island. Wonderful hotels.
By Dr Blain on 11/01/2016
Gozo is a great destination for some winter sunshine offering good opportunities to cycle and walk both inland and by the sea. The quality of the bikes was particularly good.
By Mrs Tomlin on 17/11/2015
walking instructions need to be precise but overall an excellent experience; well arranged and high quality.
By Mr Dransfield on 06/10/2015
Excellent, good location, helpful reps, fantastic hotels, good food, well maintained equipment with all necessary ancillaries. It all makes to an active but stress free holiday.
By Ms Morgan on 25/09/2015
I love Headwater but his route was not good. Maybe the person putting the walks and cycles together did not have English as a first language? Gradients were misleading. For the fist time with Headwater we were lost every walk and cycle.\misleading instructions like 'at the open room' or' at the rock kernel' - whathatat does that mean?. A simple right or left would have helped!
The map details George gave us were dates 2007 - las updated.
Happy to help. Send us out again and we will re write for you so others can follow....just and idea.
By Mr Gould on 25/09/2015
Gozo has an excellent climate, rocky terrain, welcoming people, lovely island for walking, but sadly short of sea swimming places.
By Mrs Elliott on 23/09/2015
We have had a superb holiday, Colin and Jill were very knowledgeable about the area and made useful suggestions with the accompanying literature about places to visit.
The hotel was five star and the food deserves Michelin stars.
The family treated us really well and we have promised ourselves that if circumstances allow we will return in 2 years, we will book through Headwater again
By Mr Dale on 11/09/2015
Fantastic. The whole experience was wonderful. Travel was smooth - the 'local reps (Keith and Claire) were lovely, informed, committed and really, really nice couple. The itinerary was easy to follow and worked very well. Food superb and hotels great. thank you
By Mr Crockford on 17/08/2015
A brilliant and well thought out holiday, with super routes and excellent hotels - well worth adding extra days to.
By Mrs Osmond on 14/08/2015
A great week in an outstandingly beautiful area - as the notes say (and I paraphrase) any slog uphill is richly rewarded with ever more stunning views, and prices at the mountain-top cafes are the same as at the bottom, which is unusual. The weather was hot so we chose to do more cycling than walking to make our own breeze! Plenty of choice of walking and cycling routes and the teenagers were exercised adequately each day! The bicycles were good quality and very well maintained. We took the cog-railway up to Schafberg, walked up (and down) Katrin from Nussensee (which was a hard day's walk) and cycled to Bad Ischl, St Wolfgang, St Gilgen and Schwarzensee - that last one was hard too and we wished we'd taken our swimming stuff to cool off in the glorious lake! We added our own 4-night stay in Munich (including organising our own travel from Strobl and afterwards to Munich airport) and Headwater were happy to arrange our flight around this. We felt that everything had been carefully thought out and researched which meant we could just relax and enjoy ourselves.
By Mr Wilson on 11/08/2015
An excellent family activity holiday with a lovely range of hotels and universally excellent food. Chateau de Monrecour was a particular highlight. Look at the cycling routes carefully and plan the day especially with regard to food stops and water refills.
By Mrs Middleton on 11/08/2015
The holiday offered varied activities which were not too strenuous, although you needed some degree of fitness to enjoy them. The support offered by the local reps was excellent as was the food at the various hotels.
By Mr Robertson on 04/08/2015
Excellent Holiday with easy walking and kayaking
By Dr McGeorge on 31/07/2015
A wonderfully relaxing holiday featuring the opportunity to mix a range of outdoor activities in a beautiful part of France with the chance to explore its towns, villages, sights and cuisine.
By Mrs Duncan on 24/07/2015
7 of us shared this holiday. We ranged in age from 10 to 73 and we all had a great time. The wonderful weather helped in this very good location. We were very impressed with the efficient Austrian people,in the delightful Bergrose hotel and all the little farms, ,houses and neat, tidy floral gardens. It was a joy to cycle around. the scenery was spectacular. We particularly enjoyed the lake at Stroble as well as the bike rides to StWolfgang, St Gilgen and Bad Ischl and the ferry to Hallstatt.. The children were always busy and after dinner had a very competitive table tennis match. A very good family holiday!
By Ms Stewart on 17/06/2015
Wonderful weather, hotels and food. However, the route guides were occasionally confusing, which meant we could not relax as easily as we have on other holidays. It would be more helpful if the route guides gave clearer and precise instructions. Too often there was interesting but ultimately superfluous information. Additional descriptions could be in brackets. Breaking down the instructions and numbering them or bulleting them would also be clearer, rather than a paragraph of prose, mixing description with instructions. It would be useful to always have distances between decision points. Sometimes it was impossible to know if you had missed a significant building and were on the wrong track because it was difficult to know if it was just around the corner or half a mile away.
By Mr Dennis on 09/06/2015
Having done this holiday 5 years ago it was lovely to return & find everything was as good as last time. The family run Hotel Bergrose is a credit to the Zopf family & Francesca & the rest of the staff are a credit to the business. They also speak excellent English (as well as countless other languages)
The area is lovely & the bike rides & walking a real joy. With spas in Bad Ischal, Salt mines to explore, & cable cars plus the schafgerg railway you are never stuck for things to do.
By Mrs McGoldrick on 21/05/2015
The holiday was great and we would go back to Gozo.
We did have some difficulties with the directions, they were not always as clear as they could be. We have been on walking holidays with Headwater before and have found the directions fairly easy to follow.
By Mrs Poynter on 25/04/2015
Excellent well organised holiday
By Mrs Hayes on 18/03/2015
I felt we were well looked after by Headwater staff and those in the hotels we stayed in.
By Mr Grimshaw on 09/12/2014
Fabulous holiday taken at last minute. Winter sunshine and incredible scenery made Gozo a big delight. Loved the easy leisurely way of life and the friendliness of all Gozitians was amazing.
By Mr Balme on 26/11/2014
Ta Cenc was a lovely friendly hotel with good food. Beautiful situation. We had a Trullo room lovely.
Kempinski was very proud of itself, tried a bit hard in some ways. The chef had left and we had 2 meals that were raw not medium cooked ( slow cooked duck and slow cooked lamb). The waiter told us that the kitchen staff were managing without him, we wondered!!
By Mis Baldwin on 22/10/2014
The only issue we had was with the vegetarin food selection at the Kempinski hotel. The selection for vegetarians was very poor, most of the resturnats were closed while we were there and the vegetarian selection in the open resturants was vey restricted. We found ourselves ordering food we didn't really like because it was the only vegetarin choice on the menu. Very disappointing. The food and staff at the Ta Cenc were fantastic though. We were treated better than the meat eaters. We could have anything of either the daily special menu or the a - la - carte menu and they offered to cook us anything we wanted if we told them in the morning what we fancied. There was no need to do this however as the food was the best I have ever had in any hotel I have stayed at.
By Mr Martin on 29/09/2014
Be careful which time of the year you choose to go to the Austrian lakes - it rained most of the time we were there!
By Mrs Hendrickse on 19/09/2014
Welcoming hotel in pretty area of austria with choice of things to do from walking cycling or sightseeing
By Dr Elcombe on 28/08/2014
A very good weeks holiday cycling around a beautiful lake which was also wonderful to swim in. The hotel was comfortable and quiet with delicious food and a lovely garden. It was also in an excellent location for exploring the area by bike.
By Mr Pilgrim on 04/06/2014
Arrangements were excellent and the hotels on Gozo were outstanding.
By Mr Bailey on 06/04/2014
Really well operated and organised.
By Mrs Griffiths on 27/08/2013
Another superb Headwater holiday - everything perfect as always. We added three nights at the Weisses Kreuz Hotel in Bregenz which was also excellent.
By Mr Fry on 22/08/2013
Suitable for the lethargic or energetic, this holiday has it all
By Mr Ward jones on 04/07/2013
A very good holiday, despite rather variable weather. Fortunately the excellent bus connections from near the hotel made getting to Salzburg and Bad Ischl very easy on the really wet days. The general cool temperatures were probably not a bad thing when it came to cycling and walking. The hotel proved a splendidly welcoming environment each evening.
By Mis Furber on 24/09/2012
The holiday was perfect. We had the right balance of being able to walk, cycle, sightsee or relax by the pool. The hotel had everything that we needed and by the end of the week we were well and truly relaxed. It was great to have the support of the Headwater Rep but not feel railroaded into doing anything.
By Mr Casey on 18/08/2012
This was our first holiday with Headwater. We found the arrangements, local guide, accommodation & hotel staff to be of the highest quality. We will certainly look at the holidays offered next year. The only downside was that the only airport available was a good distance from us here in the midlands.