Customer reviews: Activity holidays in Austria
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 all 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 all 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 all 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 Payne on 21/03/2017
Another great weeks skiing with Steve. Although the snow conditions were not the best Steve ensured we skied the best routes every day. He is a master juggler ensuring everyone's abilities are met. Nothing ever seems too much trouble
The food at the Xander remains good, however at times the waiting staff seemed stretched.
The hotel is very clean, however rooms & bathrooms could do with updating
By Dr Billingham on 20/03/2017
Great flexibility of winter activities, as I wanted to try cross country skiing, without being committed to it. I joined the winter walking group which I really enjoyed.
By Dr Garwood on 14/03/2017
Steve and Martin are excellent, very helpful and knowledgeable guides. They both know the area very well. Despite less snow than in previous years, Steve was very accommodating in where we skied and adapted his plans for the day depending on the snow conditions when needed so overall I had an excellent skiing week. Steve is a patient teacher and I improved again this year! Martin knows the area very well and provided excellent walks every day for my wife who was on a walking week. The hotel is very well situated, rooms are very spacious, the hotel is always very clean and the food is good particularly the buffet breakfasts and buffet salad bar in the evenings. There is a reasonable choice of meals in the evening and there is always a fish or vegetarian option. For those who get back early, the hotel also provides drinks, cakes or a hot meal between 2 and 4!
By Mr Henson on 09/03/2017
Good venue, dedicated leader who was v. Flexible & ensured we all got the maximum from the holiday. Meals were not as a group so possibly better for couples than singles, although Steve worked hard to ensure everyone's needs were met. Hotel restaurant staff & bar v. busy and somewhat inflexible possibly as a result.
By Mrs Shipman on 09/03/2017
Another very enjoyable holiday x c skiing in the Leutasch area. Steve's knowledge and experience of the area and his dedication as a guide enabled us to get the most out of our week. As we had a late afternoon flight home we opted to walk on the morning of our return, rather than ski, and this was a perfect end to a very good week.
By Ms Smith on 24/01/2017
One week's cross-country skiing in Leutasch, Austria. Magical setting which prolonged the traditional White Christmas experience. Great tuition and guided skiing in stunning countryside.
By Mr Henderson on 14/01/2017
A great holiday with an excellent guide and hotel in a very scenic area.
By Mr Leonard on 14/01/2017
Sue and I had never tried Nordic skiing before, but with Steve the ever helpful guide providing tips along the way and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the valley and the loipes around the area, we are sure to try it again. The Xander provides comfortable rooms, but out does itself at meal times. The breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner, in reality constitute full board. All that is 'required' is the occasional hot chocolate to warm up mid ski. A spectacular valley, and an active holiday that can be as hard or easy physically as you wish, and all the while Steve will facilitate mixed groups with ease and plenty of laughter along the way.
By Mr Sturdee on 07/01/2017
Thoroughly enjoyable XC skiing in a stunning mountainous location and at the end of every day a very comfortable hotel awaited us.
By Dr Paterson on 07/01/2017
Fantastic holiday in a lovely setting
By Beaumont on 07/01/2017
Martin was an excellent guide very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The walks he planned were varied and suited to the days weather.
By Mr King on 07/12/2016
Great fun, lots of fresh air and lovely food.
By Mr Evans on 29/11/2016
By Mrs Steele on 29/11/2016
The cycling from Passau to Vienna was a wonderful experience. We were sorry when we had to hand back the bikes as we enjoyed the cycling so much. The holiday was well planned with two day stops so that we had time to explore the beautiful towns en route. Everything was well organised and supported.
By Mrs Davies on 31/10/2016
Have been on a few of your holidays and they have always been very very good.
By Mr Burch on 13/10/2016
Good pre-booked accommodation, excellent notes and seamless baggage transfer between locations meant that we could focus on enjoying our cycle ride along the Danube. We would have no hesitation in recommending this holiday to potential future travellers.
By Mrs Meakin on 14/09/2016
Excellent base, fantastic views
By Ms Garvey on 14/09/2016
Valley was lovely, walks really well described and graded, we had such good days.
Only downside was hotel - they made us feel very unwelcome in the bar for pre-dinner drinks - one time the barman told us if we didn't go through straight away we wouldn't get any food after 8pm ( this was at 7.20) so we rushed our drinks and were then kept waiting for 20 mins for the appetiser. They called our room at 6.10 one night to say we had to go down early cos there was a party in and a buffet but we'd not had any warning of this in advance. The dining room and buffet table was full of flies! and the room was terribly hot. generally we ended up going straight to our room after early dinner and there was nothing else to do - no nice cosy bar for a nightcap !!
Dear Ms Garvey,
Thank you for taking the time to write in with your post-holiday feedback. It was great to read that you found the valley lovely and enjoyed the walks. We agree, this is a beautiful area of Austria and are pleased you had an enjoyable holiday.
We were however disappointed to read that the Hotel did not meet with your expectations in some areas.
Unfortunately, the Hotel Manager was unaware of the issues you reported on the conclusion of your holiday and because of this was unable to resolve your issues during your stay. Please be assured, had she been aware, she would have taken steps to ensure your issues were resolved. She has since discussed your feedback with the Restaurant Manager to ensure his team are providing the correct information regarding opening times. She would also like to reassure you that she takes her guests health & safety seriously and follows strict guidelines set by Austrian regulators in relation to this area and would like to assure you measures are in place to protect all food areas. We will continue to work closely with the Hotelier to ensure they continue to deliver the high quality service and accommodation standards our customers have come to expect.
We would like to thank you for providing your constructive feedback and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Roberts on 05/09/2016
We were initially nervous about a holiday which was managed locally by an agency other than Headwater. Our previous experience had not been great. However we need not have worried. Donau Touristik were hugely well organised and the bikes were excellent. The cycling was just about the flattest we had ever experienced and, partly because of the excellent weather, partly because of the excellent food and accommodation, this was as enjoyable a holiday as we have ever had.
A couple of small blemishes. At Bregenz on the first night we were served only a three course meal instead of the advertised four. (We only realised subsequently about this when we returned on the final night).
Hotel Buchornerhof was not in the same league as the other accommodation. We were served the wrong food on one evening and the air/conditioning leaked. The staff's hearts did not seem to be in their work as it was in the other hotels.
One warning - wine in the hotel restaurants (especially the Swiss ones) is very expensive indeed.
These are small gripes. It was a great holiday and I'd do it all again anytime.
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 Mr Byatt on 30/08/2016
Excellent customer service, communication and support. Very good walking guides and local information. Wonderful location.
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 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 Holland-webb on 17/08/2016
We loved the Leutasch valley as the walks took us through meadows full of flowers with only the sound of bees, birds and cowbells. There was often at least one gasthof where we could sit with a beer and enjoy spectacular mountain views. The accommodation and food was very good and the hotel staff were very welcoming. The local bus, which stopped right outside the hotel, was always on time and we used it alot. We would recommend this holiday to anyone whether they just like to amble or whether they like to scale the heights.
By Mr Ball on 16/08/2016
Very good experience despite the travel arrangement errors.
By Mrs Acheson on 25/07/2016
Overall we found the holiday a great break for us. The route, notes, hotel locations, things to do etc all added to the enjoyment. Everything was well explained and set out for us.
By Mr Bridge on 15/07/2016
Austria is a lovely country and the people are friendly. We had a great time and enjoyed the walks. My advice to you and my only difficulty was because we choose Stansted it meant getting up at 3.am. This was ok but the problem was that when we got to our first hotel we were too tired to take in all the information that Colin and Jill gave us. Its not a complaint of them but if we could of had that information on day two after a good nights sleep it would of been better.
By Dr Curry on 28/06/2016
well organised and helpful
By Dr Leiper on 14/06/2016
Great cycle holiday on easy cycle paths with quality bikes and excellent hotels.
By Mrs Stillwell on 06/06/2016
Adventure before dementure!
By Mr Soutar on 06/06/2016
Such a beautiful area and we enjoyed the walks - even in mixed weather conditions!
All the hotels were excellent - the staff friendly and welcoming and all meals and wines were delicious. There was plently to keep us occupied on our rest days.
Altogether, a perfect holiday!
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 Mrs Morris on 03/06/2016
This was our first organised cycling holiday and it exceeded our expectations, the quality of hotels were fabulous and we really liked that we had 2 nights in each hotel which gave us time to explore each area. On reflection we would prefer to have had dinner in the hotel halm included as finding somewhere to eat was a real hit or miss and compared to the meals we had in the hotels we didn't find anything better. From our first enquiry with headwater the whole holiday couldn't have gone smoother, Michelle (I think) tailored the holiday to fit our needs perfectly adding in 4 extra days and organising the hotel for two of them. I certainly can't recommend headwater highly enough and have already looking at where to go next. Thank you to the whole team as this has to be one of our best holidays and we have had many! A special thanks to the couple at the bike hire, they were extremely friendly and very helpful.
By Mrs Wadsworth on 18/04/2016
A gentle skiing experience.
By Dr Garwood on 18/04/2016
Third holiday in Leutasch skiing and walking. All have been excellent. Good quality hotel in good location and excellent rep in Steve Barrington.
By Mr Willis on 13/04/2016
apart from not being picked up at the airport a well organised and enjoyable holiday in a good area with a good instructor and very good accomodation
By Ms Allard on 07/04/2016
5 days of great walks, each very different from the other so lots of interest and great scenery. We were the only ones in the walking group and so it was great that Steve tailored the walks to suit us in terms of distance, speed and breaks. He went out of his way to make our holiday a success and even took us into Seefeld on his day off.
Another Headwater holiday success, thank you!
By Mrs Shipman on 06/04/2016
Another very good cross country skiing holiday here during February with good snow conditions. Steve's expertise and his skill in organising a group with varying abilities is amazing - a very enjoyable week.
By Ms Cazalet on 22/03/2016
Enjoyable. Very good location (as long as lots of snow). Very good guide, learnt a lot and all in group improved a great deal by end of week. Mini bus a complete bonus. Small groups. Distance from airport to location less than an hour.
By Ms Stavert on 16/03/2016
Excellent holiday, Martin was a fantastic guide and knew the area really well. He adapted the walks to suit people's ability.
By Mrs Smith on 14/03/2016
A fantastic week learning to cross country ski. Our rep, Steve, made it all completely effortless - getting us to and from the resort, teaching us how to ski, making sure we were always well-fed and watered and ensuring we got to the best snow every day - could not fault it.
By Ms Barnwell on 09/03/2016
This was my fifth visit to Leutasch to enjoy cross country ski ing. Steve, the Headwater representative, is very professional, friendly and excellent at assessing the skill levels of individuals and ensuring that the day's activities are planned to meet all needs. Thoroughly recommend this holiday.
By Ms Elsden on 09/03/2016
The Leutasch Valley is a brilliant base for xc skiing - and Hotel Xander in Kirchplatzl, enabled skiing almost direct from the door. Steve our guide and mentor was brilliant in his teaching and giving help and advice and managed always to pop up just at the right place if we ever had a query. (Haven't a clue how he always achieved that - although he knows the area so well and is a much better map reader than I!) The hotel is lovely and quiet, although the bulk and volume of food was enough to sink a battleship. And the staff could have done with a crash course at a charm school to learn to smile a little more! Shame there was no lounge area to enable you to chill out in, read a book or have a cuppa - I generally went back to my room after supper on account of this and if you're on your own, this did make it a little flat. You don't always want to hang out in the bar. And since there were no local facilities to visit without a 30 min yomp, you did need a good supply of books and your room fridge well stocked! Go for the Stempel stamp collecting system - gives a real target to clock up the km!
By Ms Montbazet on 04/03/2016
It was a magical week. The location of the hotel and it's facilities was perfect. I really appreciated the welcoming and informal atmosphere.
Our cross-country skiing adventure was very versatile. We were faced with different challenges every day.
Our instructor and guide was always on hand to help and encourage us. He filled us in on local historical and geographical facts and his sense of humour and vivid anecdotes made for a very entertaining week.
The beautiful winter landscape made my dream come true!
By Mrs Morgan on 04/03/2016
Brilliant holiday thanks to Steve who made sure we were all really well looked after, no matter what our abilities or fitness. I definitely recommend this beginners week for anyone venturing into cross-country skiing for the first time. The itinerary was flexible, enabling Steve to select the location according to the weather conditions & our abilities. Had it not been for Steve, I suspect we would have been going round & round the local loipe and would have missed out on much of this beautiful area. We had absolute confidence in his judgement of what we could safely tackle. He was able to push us just beyond our comfort zone, enabling us to progress further than we would have done with a few 2 hour sessions in ski school. Guests from another company were clearly envious of our experience & may well be future clients of Headwater. The hotel was very comfortable & had a great wellness centre - as long as you don't mind doing saunas the European way. The food was plentiful & mostly very good. The service was variable but amiable.
By Mrs Watkinson on 04/03/2016
Our cycling holiday was just the BEST! I am a non-cycling person, afraid in traffic, and not especially into sport and fitness. My husband is Mr Fit, and cycles quite a bit. This holiday was so much fun for both of us. Well within my capabilities, and although not very demanding, the cycling was enough to keep my husband happy. Can't wait to book another Headwater holiday.
By Mrs Davies on 25/02/2016
We love the Leutasch for skiing holidays for many reasons, notably:
- The fact that the hotel provides a friendly welcome and is situated right in the heart of the extensive ski area (catering for all levels of ability),
- The transfer from the Airport is quick,
- The accommodation and food are good
- Above all - Steve's guiding and extensive knowledge of the area adds tremendous value.
- This why we have returned for the last 5 years and why we are planning to return.
By Mr Elworthy on 25/02/2016
great holiday in a very beautiful place. Hotel meet all expectations with wonderful views, food and staff. Steve took great care of us all adapting to our ever changing needs and helping to accommodate a party with very different needs and abilities. it all added up to a fantastic holiday. thank you to all who made it happen.
By Mr Ezra on 24/02/2016
Steve,the resort host, couldn't do enough for the group during the week, always making sure that clients had skiing applicable to their abilities (from beginners to seasoned skiers). Even on his day off, he showed up at the hotel in the morning and ferried 4 of us to another village, rather than have us catch the bus. The skiing was good and we were blessed with good conditions. Trail preparation was also good, with only 2 tracks remaining closed all week. However, the area overstates how many kilometres of trails there actually are, counting shared classic and skating runs twice. The Xander is a pleasant, not overly large hotel with good, if sometimes busy, facilities. It is somewhat remote, being in a small hamlet, but because of this, it is very quiet, with no nighttime noise. The normal rooms were huge, bordering on suite size. The food was good and plentiful (afternoon 'tea' was a real bonus) with most courses being buffet style. It is as well to have some supplies in your room if like a night cap, as the bar closes if there are no customers around (we returned from a post dinner walk to find the bar closed by 9:30). With the blessedly short transfer from Innsbruck (less than an hour) and the early flight, our room was not ready on arrival, as were others. Given that this is the time that Headwater clients always arrive, I would have thought that the hotel would make sure that clients were ready to be shown their rooms upon arrival.
By Mr Hudson on 24/02/2016
A very good holiday with an excellent rep. We expect to return next year.
By Ms Smith on 24/02/2016
This was our first time cross-country skiing and we are totally hooked. This is due to the beautiful location; perfect snow, and the excellent instruction that we received.
By Ms Dutton on 22/02/2016
We appreciated the flexibility Steve offered in our itinerary. Great area for xcroutry sking with good variety of terrain and routes. Would have been happy with more rustic accommodation with log fire in a communal area and less food would have been fine!
By Mrs Kerr on 09/02/2016
Extensive area for cross country skiing with good walking options when snow condition poor. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and helpful local representative.
By Mr Kidd on 05/02/2016
Steve, Steve, Steve...was brillant...his coaching was very relaxed and got the group finding their 'ski feet' quickly. I had done some downhill skiing in my youth but never expected to xc ski so far and in so many different areas during the week! We must have done most of the blue routes in the valley and beyond with the added benefit of the use of Steve's minibus. I'm definitly hooked...wish I'd tried xc skiing years ago!
By Mr Curwen on 04/02/2016
Although there was insufficient snow for any real skiing we still had a fantastic holiday. Steve organised great walks with options for everyone. He is an excellent guide. The spa at the hotel was an additional treat.
By Mr Summers on 25/01/2016
We had a fabulous holiday. There were only two of us on the holiday and Steve was amazing! My wife hadn't done x-country skiing before but Steve made sure she was very competent within a few days and we couldn't have asked for or received more attention.
The hotel was your 'alternative' hotel. I have stayed at the Zander twice before and was a little apprehensive. However the Hubertishof was excellent. All the staff were very attentive and friendly. The food was superb, particularly the dinners in the evening. The swimming pool, sauna and steam room were spotless and easily accessible. The hotel was a little way out of town but there was a bus stop nearby and the town was 8 minutes away. The hotel had a sister hotel in town where we could take tea in the afternoon at no extra cost and if we missed the bus they would offer us a free transfer. We gave the hotel a top rating on Trip Adviser.
The ski trails were outside the hotel door and it was easy to skip back to the hotel in the late afternoon from town. Overall I thought the hotel better than the Zander.
By Mrs Greggs on 25/01/2016
By Ms McEwan on 25/01/2016
Good walking, good company, good food, good location.
By Mrs Bullock on 25/01/2016
Apart from the hotel bedroom being a little too warm for our liking there is nothing else we could find to complain about in any way. And we could probably name every mountain tha surrounds the Leutasch Valley - well we could have done last week anyway......
We could perhaps have done without the rain on the first day, but I don't expect you can do much about that.
By Dr Sadler on 20/01/2016
We enjoyed our visit to the area very much, and apart from the luggage problem, we had no real difficulties.
However, we did have one concern that troubled us. On previous headwater holidays, we always felt that we had the reassurance of a Headwater rep to contact in the event of any difficulty, e.g. in the event of an accident, buckled wheel etc.When we asked the Donnau lady what would happen in the event of such a situation arising, (expecting her to say we'd come out to you), we were most disconcerted to hear her say that 'you have a list of Donnau stations around the lake. If you have a problem you must go to them - they will not come to you'.
We had not realised the implication of the arrangement Headwater had with Donnau, that resulted in raising our anxiety levels if anything had gone wrong. We would certainly check with Headwater if booking a future holiday that we had a local rep at hand. If there wasn't , we would not book that particular holiday..
One last point. In places, the fine detail in the instructions was inaccurate and misleading. this delayed us on occasions.
By Mr Hutchison on 11/01/2016
A very enjoyable Xmas break. Great location, guides, hotel, and weather!
There was no natural snow in the resort, but enough man-made snow was put down to ensure some x-country skiing in the mornings.
In the afternoons, we went for extremely pleasant walks along the many sign-posted trails.
By Mr Schafer on 17/11/2015
We took our trip in late August. The trip was very well constructed and we thoroughly enjoyed the mix of hiking and exploring days as it gave us a chance to enjoy the beauty and culture of the areas we were visiting. This was our first self-guided Headwater trip (4th Headwater trip overall). The local reps Colin and Jill were very helpful, providing updated route notes and suggestions for things to see and do during our hiking and off days. The route notes were accurate and easy to follow. The hotels were all very nice and with the exception of the Hotel Bergrose, were all centrally located. ( The Bergrose was in a beautiful, quiet setting 20 mins out side of town.) It was very warm during our trip (~32 degrees) so we had to sleep with the windows open. The central location of the hotels made for rather noisy nights and we ended up sleeping with earplugs. The hotels and food were otherwise excellent across the board. This is a wonderful holiday.
By Mrs McBroom on 01/10/2015
Excellent accommodation. Confidence with the equipment and support. Good maps and route details very comprehensive. Cycling down the Danube is great as the Danube cycleway is either a dedicated path or where it runs along side a road it is separate and safe. An added advantage is that it is flat and well surfaced.
By Mr Pritchard on 30/09/2015
Very easy and enjoyable cycling through lovely scenery with excellent accommodation and many places of interest to visit.
By Dr Miller on 30/09/2015
This was my fifth cycle holiday with Headwater, and it was the most enjoyable. The cycling is very easy, and the route is very clearly marked, so there is absolutely no navigation skill required. Unlike some of the tours in rural Italy or Spain, there were numerous, widely-varied eating establishments with long opening hours right along the cycle path.
The cycling path is flat, but it passes through some varied and hilly terrain. There are opportunities to make short (and possibly hilly) detours to see some pretty villages and interesting sights along the way. One very moving side trip is to do the short day trip (about 50 km round trip from the hotel at Linz) to the memorial at the former Mauthausen concentration camp.
The high point of the tour is when it passes through the Wachau Valley, which is one of the loveliest wine growing regions I have cycled through.
I did the entire ride, even covering the short stretch from Linz to Grein, which the normal tour bypasses by shuttle van due to its being thought too industrial. Also, the tour guide recommends taking a train into the heart of Vienna in order to by-pass a slightly grimy and graffiti-covered stretch of the outskirts of the city. I did not find this stretch particularly objectionable, and there is a certain satisfaction to completing the entire cycle path from Passau to the heart of Vienna.
This would be a perfect ride for someone who is uncertain about committing to a bicycle tour. There are river boats and trains that allow one to skip cycling portions when the weather is bad or one is too fatigued. The cycling could not be any easier, and the maps and signs along the way make it all quite fool-proof.
Note that Headwater will supply participants with a spiral bound book that contains high resolution maps for the entire route. This book is easily ignored as the usual Headwater instructions are so well done, but the book does contain some historical tidbits and also suggestions for interesting detours, so it is worth a read.
A note in closing; the Passau-Vienna path is said to be very busy in the summer. I did my tour in late September and the path was wide open. Only the Wachau Valley section had any significant bicycle traffic.
By Mr Swetman on 30/09/2015
We thought the Xander Hotel was OK but not brilliant, rooms were quite hot at night with no air conditioning so didn't always sleep that well. Most staff helpful. We had one very wet day and there was no drying facilities which we would have thought would be available for a walking holiday. We did think that the 1 & 2 boot walks were a bit tame compared to what we usually look for, we did have a much more challenging week with Exodus (appreciate you are part of the same group) the following week in the Dolomites.
In summary, a good week but not an excellent one.
Dear Mr Swetman,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback, we were pleased to read you had a good holiday in Austria. We were however surprised to read of your disappointment with the Hotel Xander. Ordinarily, this hotel receives good feedback from our customers. However we do realise we cannot afford to let our high standards of service and accommodation slip, so have discussed your feedback with the hotelier; they advised that due to the hotels alpine location the temperatures tend to be milder during the summer months therefore air-conditioning or fans are not often required. It appears from your feedback that it was unseasonable warm when you travelled, we are sorry this caused you problems sleeping. The hotelier has also advised that whilst they do not have a dedicated drying room, had they been aware you required this service, they would have been happy to assist you. Please be assured that when we prepare our brochures, web pages and regional booklets, we do endeavour to highlight all of the services and facilities available at each of our hotels as this allows our customers to make an informed decision as to whether the holiday and facilities are suitable. We also have a robust ratings system in place and feel the walks on this holiday are in line with our other 1& 2 boot walks, however, the beauty of these walks are that you get to choose how easy or difficult you want to make the day as we offer flexible options each day.
In closing, we would like to thank you for choosing to travel with Headwater and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
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 Campion on 22/09/2015
everyone has their own preferences and interests and what we liked might not appeal to others, so decide what is important to you and investigate whether that is part of the holiday you are looking at.
By Mr Wilson on 21/09/2015
It was a real fun adventure. The excellent support and hotels allowed for maximum enjoyment.
By Ms Nott on 15/09/2015
Excellent holiday overall.
It might have been better to have an extra day in Vienna at the end of the trip instead of a free day in Krems which was not as exciting as Vienna.
The weather could have been better too!!
By Mrs McCormick on 14/09/2015
A thoroughly restful holiday through stunning countryside. Excellent cycle paths which take you away from the busy roads and where you can set your own pace. The option to shorten journeys using trains or ferries was useful. Our ninth headwater holiday and one we would take again in a few years time. Switzerland is an expensive place to visit but the half board basis of this holiday offsets some of that cost. Our group of eight ranged in age from 48 to 72 and everyone found it a comfortable and enjoyable cycle. Lots to see and do on the rest days which meant that we packed a lot into each day. The fabulous chocolate, kaffee und kuchen could be offset quite easily which was a bonus!
By Mrs Wright on 10/09/2015
Gererally good. Your suggested walks tended to go through forest paths too much for our personal liking. We prefer to be about the tree line walking on the tops of the hills, with the ability to view the surrounding area all the time going down to any villages that we may see on the way. We found that too much time was spent following forest trails with only the occasional view. Your notes were helpful and we followed two of them, the Frenchman's walk and the Day One walk but after that we did our own. For your interest we had an excellent walk, covering over 30 miles, when we reached Sedam Alm at approximately 1,666 metres. We deviated along the way and made 3 stops for refreshments but it including all that it took us about 9 hours. It would take less without deviations! Interestingly some of the gusthof stops had a 'stamping' system whereby walkers could get a card stamped along the way. Much like the pilgrim paths. You may like to look into this? The hotel was good but the food was really only average. The hotel room, which we had upgraded to was very good and I would recommend an upgrade to anyone. We didn't participate in the pool/spa facilities as we were always too late back from our walks, so really we were paying for something that we couldn't use. We found an excellent restaurant in Weidach were we had two evening meals, as we were fed up with the hotel food. Bus service good. Chair lifts good. Manager and David (waiter) had good attitude and were extremely helpful. I hope this all helpful for you
By Mr Severn on 24/08/2015
Excellent - we had a fab holiday!
By Mr Stephens on 24/08/2015
It is a varied holiday of mountains and lakes with plenty of opportunities for wild swimming and the potential for great photographs from high places. Some days are longer and / or more arduous than the 1 boot. Note that if travelling through Frankfurt airport, you may be subject to security and / or passport checks despite only being 'in transit'. Also, be aware that the gates between connections can be some distance apart, so the 1hr 20mins between flights that we had was just sufficient to catch the onward flight. Very good holiday although temperatures were higher than expected.
By Mrs O'Gorman on 17/08/2015
A fantastic holiday for a family with teenagers. Easy but very enjoyable cycling in stunning countryside.
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 Mis Ward on 11/08/2015
We didn't think this holiday was representative of Headwater cycling holidays in general. This was our fourth Headwater holiday, and compared to the others (Italy, Spain and France), it was disappointing. The cycling routes were not as pretty as on other holidays, and there weren't so many nice places to stop for lunch or to admire the scenery. This was partly to do with the different culture, of course, but it also had a lot to do with the cycling routes themselves and the hotels. We didn't feel that the usual Headwater support was there, and this was partly reflected in the route notes. Although they were OK, we thought they could have been more helpful and they were at times inaccurate. The cycling was more difficult than we expected it to be, so we were glad to have the option of cutting some days short by using the ferries or trains. Although there were a lot of cycle paths, they were often alongside (or on) quite busy roads.
By Mr North on 10/08/2015
Loved this holiday although the walking was quite tough. Because the weather on the first day of walking to another hotel wasn't good, the slippery, narrow path deserved a rating of more than 1+Boot. Maybe an alternative walk at a lower level for such conditions could be offered. We diverted off the path onto a logging track for safety reasons but this made the walk longer so still tougher than expected. For us most of the walks definitely needed the + as part of the rating.
By Mr Hornby on 31/07/2015
This is just a wonderful part of the world for cyclists who like to immerse themselves in a beautiful, safe and friendly place. As you'd expect in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, everything works so well to give you a hassle-free holiday. Everyone was so welcoming, locals as well as people providing service and quite happy to use their excellent English in place of my stumbling schoolboy German.
By Mr McMorrin on 29/07/2015
The travel arrangements/organisation and detail excellent. Two of the hotels were not nearly as good as the rest . In fact the last hotel was way below standard but the food at that hotel was excellent. The rooms were far too small there was no air conditioning and it resembled the most basic accommodation. The middle two hotels were outstanding as was Bregenz but Seegarten again had no air conditioning is not well positioned.
Overall this is an excellent holiday well put together and if the two hotels were improved upon it would be almost the perfect break
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 Mrs Kimber on 22/07/2015
The arrangements were very good and instructions easy to follow. However, we found the bikes to be very heavy, and the crossbar on the ladies' bike was far too high, to the extent that my husband had to help me on and off the bike as I could not tilt it far enough towards me to get my leg over the crossbar without it falling on me (as it did on one occasion, resulting on me banging my head (thank goodness for my cycle helmet) and skinning my elbow!
By Ms Hole on 20/07/2015
Lovely quiet hotel in a small hamlet with good access to great walks and buses/ trains. Excellent food, the gala evening meal was particularly memorable. Good selection of wines and other drinks at a reasonable price. Nice indoor pool with excellent spa facilities.
By Mrs Grassie on 15/07/2015
I have never felt so relaxed going back to work! It was fantastic :))
By Mr Emms on 07/07/2015
Delightful easy cycling (totally flat with excellent largely traffic free trails) in scenic countryside. Lots of opportunities to stop for coffe, cake, drinks etc
By Mr Brown on 30/06/2015
Every day was different. The bikes were excellent as was the luggage transfer. The mix of cycling and non cycling days was a bonus and allowed one to explore the local towns. Following a river downstream provided continuity and progression as it made its way down stream.
By Mrs Gittins on 29/06/2015
Cycling easy even for us oldies,nice hotels,beautiful scenery and relaxed pace.
By Mr McIlraith on 24/06/2015
This was an easy ride for us and I would say ideal for less experienced cyclists. Everyone we met in hotels and restaurants was friendly and helpful.
By Mr Owen on 17/06/2015
An exceptionally well designed tour, which includes valuable 2 night stops at the en-route hotels in Linz, Melk and Krems, the first two of which are really interesting to explore. The daily distances were will within the capabilities of these two 68-71 year old occasional cyclists. The Danube routes were well signed and easy to follow.
By Mrs Devine on 17/06/2015
Lovely flat (mostly) easy cycling. Very clean hotel rooms, most with a nice view. Good food.
By Mrs Harkness on 11/06/2015
The cycle route along the Danube from Paschau to Vienna was excellent - easy cycling, well signposted and extremely beautiful. We passed pretty wild flower meadows, dense forested slopes and wide terraced vineyards. The route took in many delightful towns and villages, with their pretty squares, narrow cobbled streets, castles, cathedrals and monasteries. Vienna is amazing and definitely worth staying on for a few extra days! The hotels were in great locations and the meals were very good. Headwater and their local representatives arranged a great trip for us - their customer service and attention to detail was excellent. Thank you!
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 Mr Simpson on 31/03/2015
Steve is an excellent guide and very accommodating. Leutasch is a beautiful area to ski, walk and relax in.
By Mr Meredith on 30/03/2015
Steve made the holiday special. With welcome good humour he made everything but everything work: travel to and from airport, managing the varied abilities of skiers, being available for any problems and proving excellent company. Steve is worth every penny for Headwater.
By Mrs Paterson on 27/03/2015
Very enjoyable holiday in a lovely location
By Dr Garwood on 23/03/2015
Overall an excellent skiing holiday. Leutasch has a huge amount of skiing trails so there is good variety for all levels of experience. Good quality ski equipment from a local shop very close to the hotel who give good advice and make it easy to change equipment if required. Good quality hotel with the benefit of a large room. All very clean, with very friendly staff and all meals are a good standard. Lastly, the holiday benefits immensely from having an excellent rep, Steve. Very efficient and punctual with transfers. Always helpful and a knowledgeable guide who ensures that for every day there is good quality skiing taking in a variety of places to ensure both the skiing and views are the best they can be!
By Mr Tomkinson on 16/03/2015
I have been on many cross-country skiing holidays & consider that this one has been the best to date. Leutasch is an excellent location & I enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Xander. The food & facilities there were very good. The snow conditions were ideal & we had a great leader - Steve is the font of all knowledge regarding the trails in the area & provided a high degree of support for the group. I particularly liked the way in which he managed to accommodate the different levels within the party, plus the use of a minibus was an added bonus as it beats waiting around for public transport at the end of the day if you were not skiing back to the hotel. This is the first holiday I've been on where the leader had a minibus.
By Mrs Shipman on 11/03/2015
Third consecutive year in Leutasch and pleased to find Steve continues to guide this holiday. He is so encouraging and helpful whatever the ability group, and this plays such a huge part in the success of the holiday. We were very fortunate with the weather for our week, the sun shone every day and the snow conditions good. We chose to walk on our 'free day' and thoroughly enjoyed the route - easily following the walking signs. The hotel offers good accommodation with excellent food. The staff are welcoming and efficient and the Gala Dinner was good fun.
By Ms Barnwell on 10/03/2015
Well planned and executed holidays. Headwater take the hassle out of arranging holidays, so that you can have more fun.
By Mrs Davies on 02/03/2015
We had another great week in the Leutasch. The Headwater rep,Steve, is a tremendous ambassador for Headwater.. He really goes out of his way to ensure that everyone, no matter what their level of ability, gets the most out of their holiday. His knowledge of the ski terrain and how to adapt the day's schedule to the weather conditions really makes the most of the time available. My wife managed to get her Gold Badge this year due in no small degree to Steve's recommended routes for each day (as well as her own efforts of course!).
The Hotel food was back up to its previous good standard this year and their Gala evening in 1920s style was great fun and a big success. We are already looking forward to our next ( and 6th ) holiday in the Leutasch.
By Dr Bond on 26/02/2015
This was our second time on this holiday and it completely lived up to our expectations.
Hotel and area great. Steve an excellent host, catered well for a mixed ability group. He went out of his way to help all of us.
By Mr Duggleby on 26/02/2015
We had a fabulous cross-country skiing holiday in Leutasch. Everything was perfect - which is what we expect from Headwater. The location of the hotel and the quality of service and food were superb. Steve Barrington our instructor was faultless and nothing was too much trouble. He spent so much time with me trying to perfect my basic skiing technique. His humour and patience deserve a medal.
A perfect holiday in a perfect location.
By Mrs Payne on 26/02/2015
Another fabulous holiday - with nothing being a problem. From the helpfulness of the office team when we changed our booking through to lack of snow in Dobbiaco, through to the great week of skiing with Steve in Leutasch. Steve is a master juggler ensuring everyone's skiing levels were accounted for & also a great guide. The quality of the food at The Xander has improved & is of a high standard with plenty of choice & variety. The snow conditions were fab & there was plenty of blue skies & sunshine. Another great week of skiing - a very big thank you to Steve for an enjoyable & memorable week - already planning our return for next winter.
By Ms Green on 26/02/2015
A sociable holiday. Great guides. Lovely way to experience the country. Well worth getting fit over several months prior to holiday as this will ease you in and avoid physical strains.
I would recommend this holiday to anyone who likes exercising outdoors, followed by comfort and LOTS of food. Spent a long time looking at reviews for similar holidays, and I feel I made the right choice- I was not disappointed.
By Mrs Parsons on 23/02/2015
Great fun even though a beginner,great group of people,hotel was perfect,and the food was top notch.
By Mr Balme on 17/02/2015
Steve's guiding and tuition in cross country skiing made the holiday. Cross country skiing is very energetic and requires balance. We had thought we were quite fit! We went to two mornings langlauf school to start, it was very useful.
Thank you Steve for a fantastic week . Leutasch is beautiful. One of the best holidays we have been on. Food was delicious, and Xander very comfortable. Would definitely go back. The winter walks were also beautiful.
Short transfer time was good too.
By Mrs Titley on 16/02/2015
This was a good holiday as an alternative to skiing. The area was quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of the big ski resorts and the scenery was beautiful. We had plenty of snow making it a real winter wonderland with our small group often being the only people on the paths.
By Mr Curwen on 13/02/2015
We had a fantastic skiing holiday at Leutasch, returning to the same destination for the seventh time. The trails are excellent and we like the fact that you can get straight onto the snow from the door of the hotel. It is great to have access to the spa facilities at Hotel Xander to relax after a full day's skiing and Steve is an excellent tour leader. In fact he is one of the main reasons we return to the same place each year. Just keep giving us more of the same.
By Mrs Colley on 13/02/2015
The holiday was an enjoyable cross country skiing experience. The holiday area provides varied challenges and much enjoyment for people of all levels of track cross country skiing ability. Steve Barrington provides excellent leadership and support to each and every person in the group, whatever their capabilities, without favour.
By Dr Ng on 12/02/2015
Our Leader Steve was excellent - friendly and knowledgeable and made sure everyone had a great holiday even though we were at different levels and had different needs. The hotel was brilliantly located and you could ski from the door.The bus stop is a few steps from the hotel reception too, so you couldn't be better located. The hotel has huge buffets and a complimentary 'afternoon tea' which is more like a late lunch - a vast tureen of soup, bread, salad, pasta and several types of cakes. Dinners involve several courses - some of which are a little variable in quality, but there is choice. The traditional Austrian food is done very well (eg roast meats, trout and almonds, wiener schntizel) but some of the others eg sushi or blackberry juice with a yellow pepper skewer - were not quite as succesful. Amazing cheeseboards - as good as France.
Only gripes - the hotel charges for tap water which we questioned since it, well comes out of a tap and should therefore be free? The hotel, unusual for a 4 Star establishment, also charges for its Wifi - which in most hotels nowadays is free. The Wifi is exceptionally slow - found it could tkae 1/2 hr to send an email. Especially annoying as you are having to pay for it. Otherwise, an absolutely lovely hotel and recommended.
By Mrs Best on 12/02/2015
Very good holiday. Very lucky with the amount of snow having changed resorts. The service from some of the waiters, waitresses and receptionist could have been more polite. They were very rude at times. We were the customers, although it wasn't always obvious.
By Mr McGinn on 06/02/2015
We had never skied before so this was a real adventure and we were not disappointed. We had a fabulous time and loved that we could ski in the morning and after lunch we were able to go for a walk along one of the many well marked routes. We are already thinking g about doing it again next hear. Steve was an excellent guide and teacher - so patient.
By Mrs Morgan on 04/02/2015
We had an excellent holiday. Steve our guide was brilliant. He very quickly gauged the different abilities of the group, and ensured that we all got what we wanted / needed from the holiday. Didn't really want to leave, can't wait to go back!
By Mr Shore on 04/02/2015
The snow was fantastic, hotel comfy, food excellent. Headwater staff were very helpful and accommodating when I made last minute change from Dobbiaco to Leutasch (3/4 weeks before departure) due to lack of snow in Italy.
By Mrs Hall on 03/02/2015
This was our second cross country skiing holiday at the Xander Hotel and we had a great time again. Thankfully it snowed just before we arrived and the conditions were very good. Steve looked after us fantastically again and our skiing is improving under his guidance.
The Xander Hotel maintains its high standards and the food was excellent. Slight criticisms would be the lack of a bar area to relax in after dining in the evening, the cold swimming pool and the off putting no swimming costume policy in the spa and sauna!
However these are minor quibbles, overall we had a great holiday and hope to be back again one day.
By Mr Currie on 03/02/2015
Steve and Christine are excellent hosts and good guides
By Mrs Cant on 03/02/2015
Cross-country skiing can be tailored to suit all levels of fitness and skill and if you do find it not to your taste there is the great alternative of winter walking in the beautiful Leutasch valley.
By Mr Hudson on 15/01/2015
We have been skiing in Leutasch on several occasions, so it must be good! We were lucky with the snow, and enjoyed every day out on the runs. Steve Barrington is excellent and could not be more helpful and worked hard to ensure that all members of the party had good, suitable days out. This often involved difficult logistical problems of driving people to different locations and classes. We do not understand why Headwater do not have such reps in other locations. The food at the Hotel Xander has returned to the high standard that we had come to expect but which did fall last year. We understand that a former chef had returned. It was well worth arranging the day around the afternoon cakes! The staff too were good. Thank you all, especially Steve.
By Ms Brodd on 15/01/2015
This was a brilliant holiday! Steve did a great job of assessing our abilities and catering to all our skiing needs. The food at the hotel was fantastic and should be described as 'full-board' due to the afternoon tea being way more than just tea and cake! This was a prefect place for XC skiing and with so many different runs available it is suitable for all levels of skier. We has never skied before but by the end of the week we were on the black runs!
Dear Mr Brodd, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire feedback. We were pleased to see that Steve took good care of you and that you managed to ski black runs by the end of the week, that was great progress! I have passed on your feedback to Steve and the Hotelier at the Xander, they were both delighted to receive your positive comments. We would like to thank you for travelling with Headwater this winter and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater customer service team
By Mr James on 07/01/2015
It was a brilliant experience. We arrived to find no snow in Leutasch and little prospect of cross-country skiing at Christmas for the first time in ten years. Our Headwater guide Steve did a brilliant job in taking us walking for two days, understanding our abilities and that we liked a bit of a challenge and then finding us man-made Loipen in Leutasch and Seefeld. It snowed on our penultimate day (Christmas Day) and Steve introduced us to the joys of getting into, across and down virgin snow covered fields and slopes. The Hotel Xander is an excellent 'off the beaten track' location and a wonderful place to spend Christmas. We would like to come back!
Dear Mr James, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post holiday questionnaire and for the feedback you have provided. It was great to see that the snow eventually fell and you were able to enjoy the cross country skiing and winter walking.I have passed your comments on to Steve and Christine, they were delighted to hear your lovely feedback.They do work really hard to ensure our customers have the best holiday possible, with or without the snow!
We would like to thank you for choosing Headwater for your winter holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Yours sincerely, Headwater customer service team
By Mrs Hood on 14/10/2014
By Mr Martin on 08/10/2014
The holiday satisfaction, accommodation and value would all have ranked 'excellent' had it not been for the experience on nights 4 & 5. We did not aloow that to impinge on our overall enjoyment, but it was annoying and frustrating at the time.
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 Smith on 29/09/2014
Overall very good
By Mr Beeby on 26/09/2014
A very easy, relaxing and stimulating holiday. At times we would have liked to ride slightly longer distances, but accept that the intermediate hotels were all, in their different ways good.
By Mr Wilson on 25/09/2014
Hugely enjoyable, a great adventure on an achievable scale.
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 Mrs Rance on 19/09/2014
Interesting and enjoyable. Pleasantly surprised by high standard of hotels and food!
By Ms Coffin on 19/09/2014
Lake Konstanz is a lovely location. The cycling is mostly very easy and having two-day stops provide an opportunity to explore around each town.
By Mr Turnbull on 19/09/2014
Another great cycling holiday. Thoroughly enjoyed our trip along the Danube. Cycling just at the right level of effort. Food grew, people great. Best organised cycling holiday so far.
By Mr Crawley on 16/09/2014
The first couple of days was through fairly uninteresting landscape. Thereafter it was fine but not outstanding. The headwater format is generally constant, but on this occasion we had no representative. It didn't really matter, but first timers could find this difficult.
By Mrs McKay on 07/09/2014
Overall great holiday. Cycling excellent. Lovely scenery and great condition of cycle paths. Some of hotels were disappointing in certain aspects - no tea/coffee; old, tired bathrooms with no bath; small room however usually made up with friendly service and excellent food. Friedrichschafen is not a very attractive town - Lindhau might be a better option. Hotel Weisses Kreuz the favourite hotel - great sized room, comfortable bed and pillows and great bathroom.
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 Mrs Gambrill on 28/08/2014
We felt disappointed as there was no personal service, the Donnau company just gave us bikes without help and tried to palm of bald tyres and broken lights, luckily we insisted they change the bikes to our satisfaction but if this had been a couple who had never taken a Headwater bike holiday I would feel very sorry for them. We were very disappointed that we saw no one representing Headwater no welcome meeting as described in the literature. We enjoyed the holiday but certainly rated it as the least enjoyable out of the previous 3 trips. Cycling good, the free days poor, no suggestions of bike excursions no information found in english. No one to talk to about trips. St Gallons not that special the hand written medieval books in German advised in broshure not that exciting. The food described as 4 courses were very limited with minimal choice and 2 of the hotels were really poor.
By Mrs McIlhinney on 28/08/2014
We enjoyed the holiday, and the hotels and their service were generally very good or excellent, apart from at the Hotel Donauschlinge, where the staff were not as friendly and we felt they hurried our evening meal, bringing the second course before we had finished the first! In our view, the Hotel Zur Post in Melk was by far the most efficient, with the most helpful staff. The Steigenberger in Krems, although a very nice hotel, had less character (much more a standard 'chain' hotel) and our table in the dining room was tucked away in a rather gloomy corner, rather than the main restaurant â€“ unfortunately the weather was not good enough for us to have a table on the terrace. We were impressed by Greenways Travel, who were very efficient and prompt about delivering our bikes, transporting us from Linz to Grein and then collecting the bikes at the end. They also provided a mobile phone for us to contact them if we needed to. We were unprepared for quite how flat the ride would be, and with hindsight should perhaps have opted for something a little more challenging. I think we expected it to be more like the Moselle ride, which we did with Headwater a few years ago and which rolled up and down a little â€“ our 'best bit' on this holiday was therefore the ride from Melk to Krems through the Wachau, which was not totally flat.
By Mr Haworth-booth on 28/08/2014
Great area for walking but choose different hotel in a better location. Vienna is a wonderful city with lots to see. Hotel Austria recommended for comfortable rooms, excellent location and friendly staff.
By Mr Lloyd on 27/08/2014
Outstanding experience in terms of cycling, locations chosen, landscapes and scenery, cultural activities and overall enjoyment.
By Mr Duggleby on 26/08/2014
This was the first time we had used Headwater so we had no way of knowing how good they were. In summary - they were excellent. Their advice on what to book, the hotel, the walking summaries and the overall approach were simply the best.
By Dr Gompertz on 15/08/2014
We had a great time in spite on some bad weather. We have sent you a detailed report by post.
By Mrs Williams on 11/08/2014
Good family fun
By Mr Davis on 30/07/2014
Cycling this route was very easy. The paths were almost all off-road, or well separated from the traffic, on good quality cycle paths, even in the towns and cities we visited. Hardly any inclines on the whole route, with only one where we had to get off and push. The bikes were in excellent condition and ideally suited to the task. The hotels were all of a very good standard and well located. Lake Constance is very scenic and has a relaxed holiday feel to it, no matter where you are around its periphery, with countless places to stop and eat/drink/admire the view. Overall, a very enjoyable holiday and one of the best we have done with Headwater.
By Mr Higgins on 29/07/2014
The route notes were clearly wrong in places (I made this point two yearsago!) and gave the impression of being written by someone who had not cycled the whole route.
By Mr Owens on 25/07/2014
to start on a negative we did not like the evening meal voucher facillity, the food offered on this fixed 4 course meal option wasn,t to our liking,
we would have preferred an allowance for our evening meal to choose of the al a carte menu, the quality of the fixed four course meal was rather bland and most salad and main courses were heavily caked in sauces, we felt like second class guests when other guests not on a cycling holiday had the choice of other menus and were choosing more appetising dishes, although we read in your small print that we could have requested this option it was never offered at any of the hotels,
the welcome at the first hotel was poor, the girl who handed out the documents could speak very little english so communications were a problem leading to a mix up of when the bikes could be collected. also the manager on duty that day was very surly so our first day didn.t get off to the best of starts,
thank fully though there were plenty of plus points!!
the team who sorted the bikes and transfer of luggage were exellent, Lydia and Sylvester were superb and a credit to the company.
the route notes were ok but we found on the first day that we were having to stop too many times so from day two we found it much easier to just follow the bycycle signs which kept you more or less on the right route and allowed for more enjoyable touring without the stops.
We really enjoyed our holiday and would certainly book with you again.
It would be more enjoyable though if you could give some thought to the meal situation as we were not the only ones to raise the above point.
Overall though we would give the holiday 10/10
thank you paul and pam owens
By Mrs Robertson on 09/07/2014
Absolutely perfect in every way. The office staff at Headwater recommended this holiday to us when we couldn't get the accommodation for our chosen holiday (Austrian Lakes). We are so grateful for her recommendation as it was a wonderful holiday. The bikes were superb and all the routes were incredibly safe and bike friendly with most of the cycling being on dedicated cycle tracks. Bliss!
By Mr English on 07/07/2014
The rep, Erhard, was the best we have ever had and produced lots of good information and even mobile phones for emergency use (not needed).
The Schlogen hotel has the most dramatic location on a bend in the river that you can imagine, and it is worth the tough climb up the hill behind to view it from the top.
Vienna is a big city in every sense with lots of grand buildings to see, and the trams make them very accessible, which we discovered thanks to the superb staff on the hotel recepion who know their town well.
The route down the Danube is beautiful and ever changing and full of interest.
By Mr Wragge on 04/07/2014
Thoroughly enjoyable adventure for all ages and the over 65s! Excellent organisation and help from travel arrangements tailored to our needs to hotel accommodation.
Excellent holiday - we look forward to coming again. Would like to see longer holidays offered - 14 days plus.
Enjoyed Blue Book comments but we were the first to make a comment this year. (Hotel Halm had never heard of the Blue Book!)
By Mrs Humphrey on 01/07/2014
very lucky with the weather . wild flowers were even better than expected.
By Mrs Beverley on 27/06/2014
Generally very good
By Mrs Smith on 18/06/2014
A wonderful holiday. The only exception were the packed lunches. They were dire and need looking in to by Headwater.Suggest future holiday makers make their own from the breakfast buffet.
By Mr Hawkins on 16/06/2014
We travelled to Passau via Munich Airport followed by an over 3-hour journey by bus to Freising station, train to Passau and taxi to the hotel. We purchased on-line a Bayern-Ticket for 27 Euros for 2 people which included both the bus and train journeys. We are both in our late sixties and found the cycling easy, although adjustments had to be made for the weather. It rained on the first day but after that the weather was hot and sunny necessitating early starts. The cycle paths were clearly signed so it was easy to follow the route and German and Austrian drivers are courteous to cyclists so cycling in towns was not a problem. The hotels were varied and well chosen and near the main attractions, the only exception being the one in Krems which was up a steep hill, but the hotel's facilities make the climb worthwhile. The instructions suggested going by train from Ottensheim to Linz but the cycle path was well separated from the busy road so cycling to Linz was not a problem. Similarly, the instructions suggest travelling by train in to Vienna but the cycle route was easy and the graffiti no worse than you find on the outskirts of most cities and it cheered up the drab concrete walls even though most of it was not up to the standard of Banksy. The food provided by the hotels was generally good and the hotels were near to restaurants when evening meals were not provided.
By Mr Poultney on 16/06/2014
Easy cycling - with options to reduce length every day (only used once when one person unwell) - hotels in interesting or beautiful locations with plenty to see - good white wine area with everywhere having choice of wines by the glass (125ml) at reasonable prices.
By Ms King-smith on 10/06/2014
We thoroughly enjoyed the Hotel Xander. The staff are friendly and well-trained and the food is good and there's plenty of it. My only gripe is that often the lunchtime sandwiches were poor - somewhat thrown together rather than carefully assembled - and with boring ingredients which were always the same.
Other than that, I loved the place and would happily go back.
By Mr Bond on 10/06/2014
Overall a delightful holiday and good walking notes, however the first 2 boot walk over the Hoochmoos was described as starting with the Kreith chairlift. Having encountered a similar issue in Oberammergau a couple of years back we phoned and asked you to check with the Hotel Xander specifically that the lift was running on the first Sunday. Your Operations staff called me back and assured me that it was. On our arrival the hotel staff said that it was not running until much later in the season and that this was common knowledge!
The Lost Valley walk should NOT feature without further amplification.....the entire meadow area and path is subject to massive construction to stabilise the valley after a near disaster and mud/rock slide as described by the mountain restaurant.....this happened last winter, so again someone has taken their eye off the ball!!!
The Hotel is in a idyllic spot and the variety of walking huge....we did all the 2 boot walks in a trip to Innsbruck which should not be missed. Disappointed that a hotel should charge for Internet WIFI in this day and age, especially when mountain walking and reliant on weather forecasts. The hotel had a brief pictorial forecast with Austrian text which was not comprehensive enough...
Dear Mr Bond,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire, and for providing us with your constructive feedback, please be assured that all of the feedback we receive is used to help improve and develop our holidays for the future and is always well received.
We were thrilled to read that you had a delightful holiday and found our walking notes useful.
Although, we were sorry to read that your arrival coincided with the Kreith chairlift closure. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. The hotelier advised us prior to the start of the season that this lift would be in full operation; we are sorry this was not the case due to construction work on the slope.
In order to improve our communication with our customers, we have asked the hotelier to ensure we are updated on changes that may affect our customers holiday.
We have also temporarily removed the Lost Valley walk whilst the construction is completed. Replacement walks are available during this time.
In closing, we would like to thank you for your feedback and the wonderful photographs you have provided, we hope to use these in our future brochure and web pages.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mrs Baillie on 05/06/2014
Wonderful location with many walks close to the hotel.
By Mrs Shipman on 16/04/2014
Very good holiday. Second year cross-country skiing in same resort - complete beginners last year. With thanks to Steve's excellent tuition and patience last year have been able to further improve this year, once again with Steve at the helm!
By Dr Garwood on 22/03/2014
Excellent holiday. Steve and Christine went out of their way to take good care of us.
By Mr Drane on 12/03/2014
Definitely an activity holiday and if you are with a keen fit group it is hard work a nd a good level of fitness is required.
It is hard for the guide to cater for mixed ability clients.
By Mjr Watts-russell on 05/03/2014
Steve Barington is an exceptionally nice chap. He went out of his way to see that we got the most from our holiday and even gave up some of his day off.
He couldn't have been more helpful in ferrying us around and guiding us.
From what we saw of Chrisie she was equally nice.
The girls at reception at Hotel Xander were helpful The waitresses, who were mainly Hungarian, were both good and fun.
Breakfasts were fine but the evening meals were disappointing. The menus were OK but the quality of the cooking was not great.
The afternoon cakes and tarts were a great disappointment.--- Not up to Austrian standard!
It was difficult to obtain a drink if one returned to the hotel between 1 and 2pm.
The cleaning of our room was substandard. The bath was only cleaned once during the week and bars of soap were not replaced.
We had sunny weather and an excellent holiday due in mainly to Steve's input.
By Mrs Davies on 27/02/2014
Another fantastic well run xc skiing holiday by Steve. Steve is an outstanding guide whose knowledge of the snow conditions and selection of trails made the very best of tricky weather conditions. He has an uncanny knack of balancing the needs of the group, and each individual - we chose to take up the challenge of the 'xc badge ' and with the help of Steve's knowledge of the area, he helped us achieve a Silver Badge. We intend to book next year and go for Gold!
By Mrs Duke on 26/02/2014
Headwater are a very good company to deal with, they are professional and efficient.
By Mrs Daws on 26/02/2014
We had outstanding support from Chris and Steve Barrington. They could not do enough for us to ensure that we had a great holiday.
By Mr Curwen on 14/02/2014
This is our fifth consecutive holiday at this destination and we think it was the best. Steve Barrington is an excellent Rep/Tour Leader and - as I've said before, has the unique ability to ensure each and every person has the best holiday possible. We felt the quality of cuisine at Hotel Xander was not as good as other years but the overall comfort and condition of the facilities was as good as ever. We would definitely consider booking the same holiday again.
By Mr Murison on 10/02/2014
Wonderful location, duvets size snowflakes
Steve was an excellent guide,patient and diligent. And with a great sense of humour
By Mrs Loftus on 06/02/2014
Excellent. The guide/rep Steve Barrington was fantastic. His communication and teaching skills are magnificent. I would recommend anyone to go with Headwater if they could be assured that their rep was anywhere near the level of professionalism demonstrated by Steve.
By Mr Fitzgerald on 23/01/2014
no faults , except very disappointing snow conditions , so I would probably not book so far ahead should I choose to repeat this type of holiday .
By Mrs O'Hanlon on 23/01/2014
Delayed/ diverted flight to Munich caused some confuse, however on arriving at Innsbruck Apt. we were met immediately by Steve and Chris and were in our hotel by 1830 hrs. Some confusion at Munich , service at Innsbruck excellent.
Given the small numbers, 2 skiing and one walking the experience was well managed and allowed us enjoy a very good experience. Thanks.
Dear Mrs O'Hanlon,
Thank you for taking the time to complete our holiday questionnaire, all feedback received is valued by us and helps us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future.
I was sorry to read of the confusion caused by your flight being diverted to Munich.
On this occasion it was decided that due to Heavy fog at Innsbruck airport it would be necessary to land at Munich and then bus our customers back to Innsbruck, normally this type of diversion is managed smoothly and efficiently. I am sorry that this was not the experience that you received.
Unfortunately, due to the high volume of flights being diverted around a similar time along with diversions from other airports also, it made for a very busy arrival into Munich.
We have however passed on your feedback to Thomson airways and our teams on the ground in Munich and will ensure that our customers are offered further assistance as required should this type of situation arise in the future.
Although, I was pleased to read that you were well looked after once you arrived into Innsbruck airport by our reps Steve and Chris and that you had a good holidays in spite of this diversion.
Once again I would like to thank you for your feedback, we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
By Mrs Hall on 15/01/2014
We thoroughly ejoyed our second holiday with Headwater at the Hotel Xander in the Leutasch Valley. It was lovely to be recognised and remembered by the hotel staff. The New Year's Eve Gala Dinner was excellent and the standard of food and service was once again superb.
It was our first time cross country skiing and with the help, guidance and patience of Steve we were soon up and running and hope to return next year to improve further.
By Mrs Roebuck on 15/01/2014
Our holiday reps the Barringtons were superb. By the end of the holiday they were like friends who cannot do enough for you.
By Mr O'Loughlin on 15/01/2014
This was our second time to Leutasch and the Xander Hotel and we weren't disappointed. Excellent food and service. The snow conditions weren't ideal but Steve Barrington with his usual enthusiasm found us descent locations every day so we able to ski. Thoroughly enjoyed the holiday which was an great way to unwind after a hectic Christmas and New Year.
By Mr Parr on 15/01/2014
Sporthotel Xander is an excellent base for cross country skiing for people of all abilities. The local rep Steve Barrington is an interesting character and very proficient at guiding beginners taking there first steps, encouraging intermediates to progress and advising on routes for the more advanced. Definitely a place to visit at least once in your skiing career!
By Mr Wheatley on 06/01/2014
Leutasch is an excellent Cross Country Ski area with also scope for beautiful and easy walking. The Hotel Xander has a very good location for the ski trails and walks and is served by a good bus system. It is located in a quiet village which suited us but might be too quiet for some. The guides were extremely helpful and were a major contribution to our enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mr Kennedy on 01/01/2014
Overall the holiday delivered a good level of comfort with regards the hotel especially as it was a Christmas break. The locality was excellent for x-skiing. The arrangements for guests to take lessons at the local ski school was of great benefit to myself and contributed to the enjoyment of the rest of the holiday.
By Mis Roberts on 01/01/2014
Overall a great holiday. Shame about the poor snow which is a risk in a low lying area of Austria. The hotel was great, the rooms really big and comfortable and the sauna, spa, swimming pool a real asset and lovely at the end of the day. Be prepared for some regimentation at meal times; just ever so slightly disconcerting as a single traveller to be allocated a table on day 1 and told that's where you are sitting, and that's who you are sitting with, for the entire holiday.
By Mrs Alcock on 22/10/2013
I have completed your feedback form but you have got one of the hotels listed incorrect. We did not stay at Hotel Rheinfels as they did not have any available rooms. We stayed at Hotel Hoeri am Bodensee and my comments are obviously about that hotel. Apparently every year on that weekend there is a conference in Stein am Rhein which takes over all hotel rooms so this should be noted for future reference. My bike was stolen from outside Hotel Halm. The lock up arrangements for the bikes at that hotel were not adequate and these need to be improved. However the staff who helped me were brilliant and it was all sorted out very quickly.
By Mr Sherrard on 28/09/2013
Overall, we enjoyed the holiday, although rain was a feature on many days, quite disappointing after the long dry spell that this part of Austria had enjoyed this summer. The weather was not good during our fortnight at Kirchplatzl, but we walked every day. The maps & walk descriptions for the soft & leisurely walks were excellent/accurate; we completed all the soft walks & visited a number of mountain huts where mid-day food was available to supplement (or replace) the picnic lunches provided by the hotel. Because of the weather we took advantage of the indoor pool & sauna on many days. The hotel rooms were comfortable and the food was tasty - however we had hoped for more local recipes on the menus.
We usually book the independent walking holidays, and this complements the other Headwater holidays in Switzerland & Bavaria.
By Mrs Khurana on 24/09/2013
We had a lovely, lovely holiday. The bikes were so good we wanted to run away with them, the food was universally very good and the hotels were pretty good at providing for our vegetarian diets. The breakfast buffets were wonderful - I'm converted to Bircher muesli now. It was easy cycling with excellent route description in a very beautiful part of the world. Who would believe you can have a cycling holiday in Switzerland, Austria, Germany with no hills!
By Mrs Barr on 20/09/2013
This was the best Headwater Holiday so far . Almost the entire route was on flat dedicated cycle paths or through quiet country lanes with little or no other traffic. Each day's cycling was easy and on average only about 25 miles. ( my wife and I are OAPs and we managed each day with no problem). The real bonus with this holiday is reaching Vienna at the end of the journey. I would recommend an extra night in Vienna before returning home..
By Mr Haines on 20/09/2013
An excellent holiday cycling 285 KM from Passau to Vienna along flat safe routes. The Tulln hotel was a bit basic and the train journey to Stein was a pain but probably necessary. We followed the reps advice and went into Vienna using the island route which avoided the train route suggested. Overall the holiday ticked all the boxes as is usually the case with Headwater. Thanks, we will be back next September with our friends for another adventure!
By Mr Lachowski on 16/09/2013
This was an excellent, well designed, well organised holiday with very good back-up from Greenways Travel.
By Mr Cumming on 13/09/2013
Our holiday in Switzerland ( this was a repeat visit) and Austria was very much enjoyed.
By Mr Nichols on 12/09/2013
After having many successful holidays without problem with Headwater Booking we were surprised to have difficulties getting: the rail return details confirmed; the invoice correct; the correct Reginal booklet sent through (3 tries); and the return transfer was still incorrectly notified to the local representative. Having said that your agents, Greenways' organisation was excellent leading to a successful holiday.
By Mrs Hierons on 11/09/2013
The Leutasch valley is very beautiful, with lots of easy to follow routes on the lower slopes. Access above the valley is by funicular or chair lift. Mountain sides are very steep with only a few paths up. The best paths are lower down, wide and well surfaced, for walking or cycling.
By Mrs Noble on 29/08/2013
Really good fun and quite an adventure. Worked very well for my two children of 9 and 11 who loved the cycling and swimming.
By Mr Hallewell on 28/08/2013
A very enjoyable week's walking in a beautiful location. Food and service in the Xander were excellent and the guides were spot on. A mix-up with our return travel arrangements was sorted out quickly and efficiently by Headwater. Highly recommended.
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 Keeling on 25/08/2013
The cycling was very enjoyable with excellent cycle paths and easy to follow directions mostly. There were a couple of unclear directions towards end day at Konstanz and Steim um Rhein. Weather was very good and amenities for tennis and swimming great. No major problems with the bikes although back up was not that good according to other members of the party who had punctures etc.
By Mr Fry on 22/08/2013
Suitable for the lethargic or energetic, this holiday has it all
By Mr Davis on 16/08/2013
A virtually hill-free ride through pleasant countryside neighbouring the River Danube, punctuated by stays in excellent hotels in historic towns and cities.
No shortage of shops, castles, palaces, museums, and last but not least - coffee and cake shops. The challenge is to not gain weight!
By Mr Harris on 14/08/2013
Fabulous scenery with walks to suit all abilities and superb hotel with excellent food and friendly service.
Everything was so easy and stress-free once we were at the hotel. The walks were varied and descriptions clear on the whole. Transport to and from the walks where needed was excellent.
I wouldn't recommend travelling via Zurich then train to Innsbruck. This took a very long time and meant ridiculously early starts both going and coming back. If possible I would recommend flights to Innsbruck which is only 40 minutes from the hotel rather than the 4 hours plus by train that we had from Zurich to the hotel.
Dear Mr Harris,
Thank you for your lovely feedback, it sounds like you had a wonderful holiday overall.
We would also like to thank you for your constructive comments regarding the travel time to resort. I am pleased to inform you that for the coming season, we will be offering flights into Innsbruck via Frankfurt; this will help cut the travel time by half.
We are sure you will agree that this improvement will continue to enhance this holiday.
We would like to thank you for travelling with Headwater this summer and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater customer service team
By Mrs Tulloch on 09/08/2013
The setting of the hotel is outstanding,beautiful mountains surrounding the valley in which the hotel sits. Good areas to sit and eat outside with a varied and tasty menu . Friendly , helpful staff. Rooms very spacious. The walking notes were very accurate. Would definitely go back.
By Mrs Day on 05/08/2013
Fabulously organised and a really different experience for us. We loved the independence, the superb scenery and the wonderful sense of adventure. Freewheeling down hills for 10 days was something neither of us had done since our teens. A brilliant holiday! Thank you so much!
By Mrs Bond on 29/07/2013
Wonderful scenery, cycling and wholly relaxing. We really enjoyed the whole experience.
By Mr McGinn on 27/07/2013
We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip along the Danube.
By Mr Roy on 26/07/2013
Every aspect of the Hotel Xander was excellent; lovely staff and food, with a wide selection at every meal, and a superb sauna/steambath/swimming pool complex to relax in after a day's walking. The only problem was that our room was not the upgrade that we booked, but on our return, this has been swiftly dealt with and our money refunded. Although we had the rep name and telephone number, it would have been nice if he had met us on arrival,or the first day, just to give us the benefit of his expertise of the area. The 'soft' walks were just right, with the option of public transport at the start or finish, on several days. Great scenery , especially the Seefeld High Mountain experience. Of course, the weather helps too, and it was warm and sunny, being perfect for walking. We only got wet once !!! Thanks for a super holiday.
By Mrs Cockrill on 25/07/2013
Our first cycling holiday and generally it was a really good experience with an interesting variety of hotels. Beware of eating half board as in some hotels we felt we were treated like 2nd class citizens.
By Mrs McQuillan on 17/07/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and have a confidence in Headwater which makes the whole experience special. We would like to travel from HR or Bristol from now on. I suppose we have felt nervous when this company was bought by another and we sincerely hope it retains all the excellent features which we have come to rely on. For this particular holiday the picnics were dire and we did not eat them and would much have preferred to have taken our own sandwiches from the excellent breakfast. There was also a problem with the hot, glass dining room and the numerous flies! This is a problem they must sort out! Otherwise it was a joy to be in such beautiful surroundings with a luxurious 'wellness centre' to look forward to at the end of the day! Thank you,
By Mr Pelling on 10/07/2013
Excellent location and walking routes, the only drawback was the extended and tedious travel arrangementa at both ends, a full day wasted on rail journeys where a local airport would have been more convenient.
By Mr Hartley on 10/07/2013
Excellent base hotel in beautiful walking countryside. Interesting, adaptable walks.
By Mrs Laing on 08/07/2013
Passau to Vienna cycling was an easy cycle ride ,staying at superb hotels amid beautiful towns and country-side .
By Mr Dunbabin on 05/07/2013
1) Particularly as viewed from the steamers, and from the clusters of old houses on the edge of the lake & esp. at some of the steamer landing places, the Bodensee was very beautiful; there were also a number of delightful and very old towns. BUT there has been very extensive recent building development (particularly, but not exclusively, on the southern side of the lake. So quite a lot of the bicycling was rather dull and suburban - inferior, we thought, to the Veneto Headwater holiday we took some years ago. Probably the best bit was the Rhine delta marshes on day 2 (where we also had the good fortune to see two storks gently grazing)
2) The bicycling stages were rather long. But, as the brochure said, it was easy to reduce distances by putting the bicycles on trains or steamers. Also almost all the cycle paths were well surfaced, marked, etc.
3) The conveyance of luggage between the hotels was VERY efficient
4) My wife had some difficulties with the Donau Touristik bicycles. These went, and stopped, well. BUT their - to us, unfamiliar - concentration of weight around the back wheel meant that, when suddenly checked, they could easily tip over to the left, & she fell off twice.
That said, the handing out & reception back of the bicycles in Bregenz was EXTREMELY well done. And Donau Touristik has an impressive network of hotels that would, if necessary, mend/exchange punctured or other bicycles - in Stein-am-Rhein they simply took off my punctured front wheel & substituted one from one of their own bicycles
5) a) The hotels were all of a high standard. But we personally felt the 4-course evening meals rather too much & too rich, & enjoyed the ability to secure our own simpler ones in Konstanz. (More generally, I think we preferred the 'agro-turismo' arrangements of our earlier Veneto Headwater cycling holiday.) The breakfasts were mostly very good.
b) The hotel in Stein-am-Rhein was splendidly sited, looking straight out onto the river. That I have marked the 'welcome' only as 'fair' is solely due to the fact that we arrived on its Wednesday day off, when it remains closed until 4 pm. In the event we simply went and had an iced coffee in the town's lovely market place. They also arranged for us to have our evening meal that day outside another hotel so situated in the market place, which took good care of us
6) We were, broadly, very lucky with the weather - & relished the ability usually to have our evening meal out of doors (though there were a couple of memorable storms
7) I don't know that better times could have been arranged (slightly better train ones were possible, but only by changing trains rather than travelling straight through to/from Bregenz). But we definitely had too long at the surprisingly unprepossessing Zurich airport/station
8) My guess is that, given our ages, we shall not take another Headwater holiday. But this does not indicate dissatisfaction
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 Mr Doublet on 04/07/2013
Great location and selection of walks. The hotel accommodation was good with great service and food.
By Mrs Farrow on 27/06/2013
Thought the Lake Constance area was beautiful. The dedicated cycling paths made the cycling a pleasure and the mix of cycling and rest days really suited us.
By Mr Soutar on 21/06/2013
Lovely friendly hotel in a tranquil location with plenty of walking options and easy access to public transport. We were awed by the spectacular views and wonderful flower meadows.
We really enjoyed our holiday and so thank you to all at Headwater and the Xander hotel
By Mr Jones on 19/06/2013
Very enjoyable holiday, very good cycle routes, lovely scenery and some very pretty villages. Plenty of opportunities to use the train or boats to shorten cycle distances if necessary or preferred.
By Mr Fussey on 17/06/2013
Cycling very easy! Level or downhill on tarmac.
Hotel in Tulln is not 4 star! Although it was OK and had superb position, compared to the ratings of the other hotels on the trip it should be nearer to a 2 star.
By Mr McKenzie on 13/06/2013
Excellent choice of hotel in beautiful location. Good variety of walks for all levels of independent walkers.
By Mrs Browning on 12/06/2013
A very enjoyable week, after the weather improved! Beautiful area and excellent walking - whatever your level. Also, the first-rate local public transport made getting around very easy on days when walking was not chosen.
By Mr Bellion on 06/06/2013
An excellent route - distances well judged for the terrain (easy) and, because the tracks are so well signed, the route notes are almost unnecessary. Very well presented and maintained bikes. Hotels are obviously selected for location and in some cases there is little choice. All were clean and reasonably comfortable and, where evening meals were included, they were excellent - and some were outstanding. The only thing that Headwater couldn't do anything about was the weather - we cycled just a couple of days before the dreadful flooding that swamped the entire route.
By Mr Whittaker on 04/06/2013
Every thing went smoothly, pity about the weather!
By Mr O'Loughlin on 30/03/2013
Our fifth Headwater holiday, his was a terrific trip. We were blessed with excellent weather but even without this the Xander Hotel was brilliant, excellent food, very good service and facilities including a really nice pool, use it in the morning or late afternoon and you could well have it to yourself. The other major success of this holiday is the resident rep Steve Barrington, he did everything he could to make sure we got the most out of our skiing. As first timers to the sport he gave confidence and led us through all the basic techniques extremely well ensuring we had maximum time out on the snow. His enthusiasm was great and he went out of his way to fix any issues, e.g. getting a leaking ski boot replaced. We'll be back next year so long as Steve's there to lead the group.
By Dr Bond on 09/03/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our 1st (and not to be last) Nordic skiing holiday.
Hotel was ideally situated, in a stunning location. It was quiet and comfortable.
Steve and his wife Christine, were excellent hosts. Nothing was too much trouble, and their local knowledge was exemplary.
Everything went very smoothly.
Steve was a patient tutor and had a great sense of humour.
Skiing excellent (not very busy even though it was 1/2 term) and scenery beautiful.
We only wish we could have stayed a bit longer!
By Ms Midgley on 02/03/2013
Our 4th cross-country skiing trip with Headwater and second destination allowing us to compare between Austria and Norway. Clearly we like cross-country skiing or this would not be our 4th trip, and are happy using Headwater and we would still do so. The guides (Robert - Norway, Stephen - Austria) are excellent and make the whole experience fun with their teaching and humour. As they know each other we encouraged a bit of friendly rivalry.
Order, impeccable extensive tracks, graded blue, red & black, both classic and skating, at time 3 lanes in both directions and with busy periods of the day before people disappear into the numerous atmospheric cafes for apple-strudel and hot drinks – this is Austria. Norway on the other hand offers a less formal experience and on some remote tracks – seeing few people and more opportunity to go off-piste to catch a glimpse of the reindeer. Packed lunch without returning to the hotel allows for more adventure. In the UK a similar comparison might be between the Lake District and Wester Ross in the Highlands of Scotland. Both holidays have been a real great experience and we have every expectation of repeating them again in the future.
By Mrs Shipman on 26/02/2013
This was our first experience of cross country skiing and for myself skiing of any sort! Our guide Steve came highly recommended and without doubt proved to be an excellent guide and instructor - first class tuition with an abundance of patience!
By Mrs Woods on 19/02/2013
Location for cross country skiing was very good. Steve was a very good teacher and very patient and encouraging and eventually managed to get me to snow plough! I have gone from someone who had a bad experience alpine skiing and never wanting to go near snow again, to someone who can't wait to go cross country skiing again - I would recommend it to everyone! Afternoon Tea at the hotel was a well deserved treat.
By Mr Curwen on 19/02/2013
We have done this holiday several years in succession and it is always a fantastic experience. Steve and Christine are outstanding representatives. They have the unique ability to make everyone's holiday the best it can be regardless of differences in skiing/walking ability.Nothing is ever too much trouble and Steve always comes up with great suggestions for the day, even when the weather changes unexpectedly. We would definitely consider doing this holiday again.
By Mr Currie on 19/02/2013
Good leaders and a very good site. The cross country skiing and walking (I only wanted fairly gentle walking) were superb. Good hotel too.
By Mr Payne on 02/02/2013
The Skiing at Leutasch is good, with some easy skiing on the meadows of the valley floor and more ups and downs and some challenges on the hillsides. The tracks are all well prepared, both for classic and skating.
Steve B. is a very good guide and teacher with a very good knowledge of the area and soon picked up what the group were capable of, giving challenges to some of the more experienced skiieers and keeping it easier for the beginners.
The Hotel Sport Xander is excellent with very good food and an excellent Sauna/Steam room/pool area. The accomodation is listed as 'half board', but with Ausrian 'afternoon tea' available from 2 - 4pm this is really full board.
Having just returned from a second trip to Leutasch, next year we might do some trips independant of the main group on advice from Steve. Skiing on the valley meadows can be a bit flat and boring sometimes.
By Mrs Turner on 02/02/2013
Very good hotel. Great location. Steve excellent guide.
By Mr Wadey on 24/01/2013
Our third time on this particular holiday. As ever, Steve Barrington was an excellent guide and companion on our daily skiing outings, and the location of the hotel and the quality of the skiing remain first class. However, after two very pleasant stays at Hotel Xander, it was disappointing to find that their previously high standards seemed to have slipped. Staff numbers at the hotel seemed insufficient during our stay to ensure that the level of service (friendliness, supply and quality of food, crockery, glassware, cutlery etc) remained consistent and the overall standard generally fell short of that expected of a four star hotel - in particular, some of the crockery and glassware were chipped, cracked and dirty and on one evening at dinner we waited nearly half an hour between finishing one course and being served the next. This maybe a temporary issue - we certainly hope so as we are returning again in two weeks time!
By Mr Homer on 24/01/2013
Steve and Chris in Leutasch were excellent.
Flights to and from Innsbruck were delayed. The arrangements to transfer from Innsbruck to Munich were chaotic and poorly orgnised. this was very disappointing given the number of reps available.
By Ms Wingate on 24/01/2013
We were very disappointed as we were seated with a family for all of our meals. We had travelled as a couple and should have been seated as a couple.
We have been on a number of Headwater holidays and there is always an issue of some sort - this time it really will be the last time we travel with headwater - this was not a cheap holiday - the charter flight was awful and the hotel not of the luxurious standard intimated in the brochure. We should not have had to share - it was awkward and the family would have also welcomed the opportunity to be together as a family and without two strangers sat with them for breakfast and dinner.
Dear Ms Wingate Thank you so much for taking the time to complete our online questionnaire.
Following on from your feedback I can assure you that as of now, Headwater customers will be seated as they wish. We thoroughly appreciate how precious holidays are, and want our customers to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, the last thing we want is for anyone to feel uncomfortable or awkward and would like to offer you our sincere apology if this was the case.
Our standard of accommodation is very important to us and having worked with this hotel for many years, the feedback is generally very good. However, we will follow up your concerns with the Hotelier and ensure that any improvements needed are rectified immediately.
Having traveled with us previously, it really is such a shame that you feel you no longer wish to travel with Headwater. I can only re-iterate how sorry we are for the problems you have experienced, we genuinely value your custom and we hope you might reconsider your decision to take another holiday with us in the future.
By Dr Wonnacott on 07/01/2013
An excellent winter walking holiday - the hotel is very good with ample and excellent food and comfortable rooms. My room lacked the promised view (possibly a penalty for single occupancy despite the supplement), and the hotel lacks a lounge area but there is a friendly bar (where meals are also served). There is a pool and other facilities in the basement - I didn't have time to do justice to these opportunities!
The walking was very good and ably guided by Christine who was a lovely lady. There was good snow cover and lovely fresh snowfall for our last day of walking. Beautiful & varied scenery, and characterful coffee stops en route.
The 7 course Xmas eve dinner was wonderful.
By Ms Cromien on 07/01/2013
The Headwater bit was fantastic. Thomson Airways were deplorable.
By Mr Hainsworth on 30/10/2012
A wonderful experience and with time to explore different interesting places enroute
By Mrs Marshall on 29/09/2012
Overall a very enjoyable holiday. For us the cycling was a bit "samey" and there were sometimes too many other people on the paths, especially at weekends. The paths were certainly excellent and quite extraordinary for anyone who cycles in the UK, as was the ultra-obliging behaviour of other path users and motorists. We actually enjoyed our days off rather more when we went off piste, for example to Schaffhausen one day and Markdorf on another, when we enjoyed the greater variety of cycling and countryside.Maybe you could add some more local information and ideas for places to visit on stay put days-Friedrichshafen especially was short of information.The guides that came with the maps were in German and of limited help to us!
The wine in hotels especially in Switzerland, Hotel Rheinfels in particular, was fiendishly expensive.In spite of adverse comments we had a really good time and are looking forward to our next holiday already!
By Mrs Sharp on 29/09/2012
I'm not sure if by Representative youmean our taxi driver, Helmut, who was absolutely delightful and very helpful.
The hotel was unaware that we were a party of four.
We would have liked to have been offered the option to fly to Innsbruck where possible.
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 Mrs Hollis on 24/09/2012
Mile upon mile of dedicated cycle trails, through glorious scenery and picturesque villages, all running genetly downstream - surely this is the leisure cyclist's dream?. With no inclines to test us, our biggest challenge was resisting the cream-laden cakes, the delicious ice-cream and the dangerously sweet "sturm": the half-fermented wine produced from the vineyards through which we were cycling!
By Mr Wilkinson on 24/09/2012
Well organised and professional company who clearly know the region well. The quality of the equipment was excellent and the hotels generally of a high standard. The directions were well described with almost all routes on safe cycle paths. The distances were managable even for the over 50's! The transfer of luggage between hotels worked well and on all occasions arrived in our room before we did. Would recommend.
By Ms Howell on 24/09/2012
Headwter cycling holdays are always well organised. The bikes are very good as is the accomodation. However the half board menus sometimes offer too lttle choice.
By Mr Thompson on 03/09/2012
A great trip though not quite as scenic as the Mosel and the bit into Linz in particular is, as advised best avoided. However, the route into Wien along the island, as shown on the map is an absolute delight and for that section the advice to go by train should be ignored.
By Mr Wells on 29/08/2012
The holiday was one of the best I've ever had. The Alpine walks are superb, up through beautiful woods and meadows with spectacular panoramas at the top of the towering grey mountains on the opposite side of each valley. Lake Lautersee is a joy. (On the other hand I did have a complete week of very warm sun to maximise the pleasure)
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.
By Mrs McEnery on 07/08/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, beautiful days cycling through and stopping( We were made very welcome at 2 lively Wine Festivals en route,picturesquely positioned at the side of the lake, good food and wine and great silver bands!) at beautiful places. We are getting on a bit now but we managed brilliantly, it was the right amount of cycling for us.We treasured our bike free days and did lots of different things, using a whole variety of easily accessible modes of transport,including lovely walks.
Rheinfels waterfall was just amazing and we also loved our ferry journey up the Rheine and to the colourful garden island of Mainau. Only twice did we shorten out days a little and that was due to the heat,one time we jumped on a train for a short distance and the other was a short refreshing hop onto a ferry. It was as simple as pie with our bikes and everyone one was so helpful and friendly.
Lake Constance was a great success, thankyou Headwater.
By Mr Lambert on 07/08/2012
There was no intro welcome. Vouchers handed to us by hotel reception. Bikes by Donau.
No advice on route notes where building work affected notes (ie in Konstanz).
But then, everything worked!!
Advice on where to eat in Konstanz would have helped. Very wet when we arrived and street plan showing restaurants would have helped.
By Dr Nickson on 07/08/2012
The walking notes were outstanding and they made it so easy. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday.
By Mrs Smith on 23/07/2012
The hotel staff were excellent; the walking was superb, with the bonus of a wonderful display of wild flowers.
By Mr Mayo on 23/07/2012
Very good holiday
By Mrs Daly on 30/06/2012
Bikes, organisation, directions, beauty of countryside and routes are all excellent. Accommodation was generally good/fair. We found the hotel in Linz noisyand the room stuffy and hot and interior rather shabby. The location of the hotel in Melk was unsuitable being up a very steep hill and far from centre. Hotel de la Poste in Melk was good and Tulln hotel was picturesque and well located. Hotel Austria in Vienna ws very friendly and well located but again we found the room stuffy and rather small.
By Mr Venables on 23/06/2012
most enjoyable. My wife, not an experienced cyclist really enjoyed the cycling. L Constance is in a beautiful part of europe
By Mrs Haigh on 23/06/2012
Thoroughly enjoyed it. May consider room upgrade another time.
By Mr Masterman on 23/06/2012
To explain one criticism above, on arrival at the Hotel Xander on the wednesday, they thought we were arriving the following saturday. We assumed this was Headwater's error. It caused no problems however.
By Ms Stowe on 16/06/2012
we had a fantastic experience - the cycling is very good and safe
By Mrs Akers on 16/06/2012
Exactly as described in your booklet - wonderful easy cycling, lovely comfortable hotels and pretty scenery.
By Mrs Oakley on 16/06/2012
A Happy holiday which means more to us than fabulous or great - 5 stars
By Mrs Honey on 16/06/2012
most enjoyable. Enjoyed the tranquil setting of the hotel.
By Mr Horner on 11/06/2012
Great - holland next!
By Mrs Watmore-eve on 17/04/2012
fantastic! Steve & Christine were superb; friendly & helpful, knowledgable & the ski tuition was great
By Mrs Davies on 05/04/2012
A great holiday. Very comfortable hotel and skiing experience enhanced greatly by the contributiion of the ski guide. Due to poor (end of season) snow conditions it set a challenge for the rep (Steve). Steve met this challenge brilliantly by careful selection of places to ski. We both benefitted greatly from Steve's patience and expert tuition. He also took us on some great walks when skiing was not possible. Steve showed great flexibility and was very good at listening to the needs of his customers and responding accordingly.
By Dr Ng on 26/03/2012
Very enjoyable. Great skiing, very helpful leader, and fabulous hotel
By Mrs Powell on 17/03/2012
Excellent overall - have done this trip to the Xander several times before. Steve was the best instructor we have ever had - Having done cross-country skiing for many years, we still learned/consolidated a range of techniques. He clearly did everything possible to enhance everyone's enjoyment of the trip.
By Mrs Anderson on 17/03/2012
My ideal holiday.
By Mrs Cant on 17/03/2012
Very good until I hurt my bum!- no blame except to my lack of balance!
David enjoyed it thoroughly
By Mrs Colley on 08/03/2012
The holiday provided us with an enjoyable way to improve our XC-skiing based in a very good hotel.
By Mrs Thompson on 25/02/2012
This was possibly the best skiing holiday we have had so far. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we even got the Silver Medal for skiing over 80 kms, which we achieved in 4 days, thanks in part to our guide, Steve. The conditions were perfect.
By Mr Donnison on 18/02/2012
Excellent Holiday - Steve could not do enough for all the people on the holiday. The way he juggled people with different abilities was incredible - the best holiday rep and guide we have ever experienced.
By Mr Curwen on 10/02/2012
Fantastic. Great hotel but Steve's attention really made it for us. He has an amazing talent for making sure each person has the best possible holiday experience.
By Mr Payne on 27/01/2012
a very good holiday, spoilt by the tour company (Crystal) on the return journey
By Mr Wadey on 27/01/2012
As most of my answers to the above questions suggest: excellent - Steve Barrington's enthusiastic approach to his job and cross country skiing is truly inspiring and a credit to Headwater, making the week especially enjoyable and spoilt only by a lack of customer awareness by Thomson and Crystal on the return journey.
By Mrs Greggs on 21/01/2012
Excellent holiday. No complaints whatsoever.
By Ms Edwards on 00/00/0000
Beautiful location with lots of varied loipes at different levels of difficulty.
The Xander Sporthotel was very comfortable with good facilities (especially pool area and spa treatments) and location. It's a pity there wasn't a lounge area to relax in after dinner. Vegetarian main courses were rather bizzare, but at buffet meals there was plenty of choice. The afternoon tea was generous, varied and very welcome.
Steve Barrington coped well with a very mixed ability group, making sound suggestions for routes and rendez-vous with lovely coffee stops. The minibus service he included provided flexibility for different abilities and energy levels. The option of XC Ski School was very helpful.
By Mr Hudson on 00/00/0000
We have booked this holiday (Skiing in Leutasch) several times in recent years, and would thoroughly recommend it. Steve Barrington is an excellent rep and ski coach and went out of his way to ensure that we enjoyed ourselves. This year, there was no snow when we arrived (30 December) but the authorities had laid about 5 miles of track using artificial snow and this kept us busy most of the day. Steve then took us for a walk after afternoon tea, which meant that we saw parts of the beautiful valley that we had not visited before, including a gorge that is not normally open in winter. It snowed in the middle of the week and more tracks opened, and Steve worked very hard to find us suitable routes. The only disappointment is that one of the tracks near the hotel has been re-routed over a hill which was too difficult for us and clearly would be beyond a beginner. That meant a long walk before we could ski down the valley rather than a short walk from the hotel.
By Mrs McLynn on 00/00/0000
Easy cycling, lovely scenery, excellent hotels. Cycles well maintained and maps and route notes easy to follow!
By Mr Oldham on 00/00/0000
Very easy and relaxed cycling with virtually no need for the notes as the Donauweg is so well sign-posted. Lots to do on the stay put days.
By Mrs Bampfylde on 00/00/0000
Avoid the hotel at Tulln until they have finished rebuilding it! On the Krems to Tulln day there was no cafe in the village specified in the notes but an excellent cafe was found later on right next to a power station. We thought the cycle into Vienna along Danube island was brilliant and should be encouraged. The local rep persuaded us to ignore the advice to take the train from Ottenshein into Linz so we cycled it and it was awful!
By Mr Ross on 00/00/0000
Excellent hotels and locations,varied walking and many opportunities for sightseeing and other activities,even when the weather was wet. We particularly appreciated the locations of the hotels which allowed us to walk into the town?village in the evening. Logging tracks had obliterated some of the signs or trails in some forested sections. We mentioned this to our tour managers who were going to check. Generally the walking notes were excellent, without the need of the map. Such was the excellence of tour managers Jill and Colin, they just happened to drive by and pick us up as we abandoned a walk due to rain and were waiting for a bus!