Customer reviews: Walking 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 walking 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 walking 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 walking 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 Mr Anderson on 21/07/2017
What made this holiday for me was the briefing provided by the reps on arrival at the first hotel. Information about routes, local buses (and bus stops), trains and ferries helped enormously to make me feel at home in the holiday region. The daily updates by text were extremely helpful too. Well done to Colin and Jill
By Mrs Lees on 10/07/2017
once the holiday was sorted out properly, everything ran smoothly. All the hotels were well located and the reps very helpful with suggestions for local activities. We had lovely weather and the scenery was impressive.
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 Byatt on 30/08/2016
Excellent customer service, communication and support. Very good walking guides and local information. Wonderful location.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Mrs Smith on 29/09/2014
Overall very good
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 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 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 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 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 Mr Cumming on 13/09/2013
Our holiday in Switzerland ( this was a repeat visit) and Austria was very much enjoyed.
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 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 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 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 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 Mr Doublet on 04/07/2013
Great location and selection of walks. The hotel accommodation was good with great service and food.
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 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 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 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 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 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 Mrs Honey on 16/06/2012
most enjoyable. Enjoyed the tranquil setting of the hotel.
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!