I’ve got a ton of posts to crank out on our family vacation to Sicily and Salzburg. I’m hoping to get my butt in gear. Here’s a quick peek at what I expect to cover:
- Getting There. Connecting In Rome And Using Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points Overseas
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Catania, Sicily
- A Return To Taormina, A Beautiful City On A Hill
- Our Favorite Part of Taormina
- Exploring Mt. Etna
- Walking And Eating In Downtown Catania
- A Day In Siracusa
- Priority Pass Lounge At Catania Airport
- Mess after Mess. airberlin To Salzburg
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Grand Salzburg
- Sound of Music Tour
- Walking Around Salzburg
- L’Osteria Restaurant
- Salt Mines at Berchtesgaden
- Cable Car at Untersbergbahn
- Tasty Donuts, Salzburg
- Train To Vienna
- Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Vienna, OMG
- Haus des Meeres: Aqua Terre Zoo
- Austrian Airways Lounge, Vienna Airport
- Austrian Airways VIE-IAD, Business Class Review
- Wrapping Up
“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” That’s a line from one of the songs in The Sound of Music, a big part of why we were in Salzburg. Some of the more popular tours start from very nearby the hotel. And, some of the filming locations from the movie are less than 5 minutes walking distance.
For this hotel review, I’m going to start at the end. If you’re headed to Salzburg, you won’t go wrong staying at the Sheraton Grand Salzburg.
It’s only about a 15-minute drive from Salzburg Airport to the Sheraton Grand, which is located downtown.
When we arrived for check-in, we were expecting to have two connecting rooms. It quickly became apparent that wasn’t the case. That was a disappointment since our SPG Ambassador had confirmed connecting rooms ahead of time.
The hotel said that they had upgraded one of our rooms and thus could no longer honor connecting rooms. They were pretty certain this was our preference. Our ambassador blamed the hotel for not following directions. I’m still not sure who’s right, but it’s a frustrating situation to deal with when we could have been out
sightseeing shopping for clothes because our luggage was missing instead of getting our rooms straightened out.
Within an hour, the hotel had fixed the situation, downgrading us back to two regular connecting rooms. I never did get the Suite Night Awards back. But, since the rest of my SNAs went completely unredeemed, it wasn’t a big loss.
The standard rooms at this hotel are quite nice. I’d hazard a guess to say this is the nicest Sheraton I’ve ever stayed in. Most of the furnishings in the room trend to modern, with flat screen televisions and power outlets everywhere you’d want one. The room also featured a Bose Wave radio.
All of the closets were self-lit, one of which contained the two customary free bottles of water elite members can expect from Sheraton hotels. The windows opened all the way, which is a double-edged sword with young kids. We did love the option of fresh air. The fresh fruit amenity the hotel presented us was a favorite with everyone.
The bathroom was modern, with a separate room for the toilet and shower. The room was brightly lit and there was a heated towel rack. The rain shower head made for a marvelous shower experience. Full-length robes finished out a great bathroom.
As a business traveler, this would be an easy room to settle into for a longer trip. While it ultimately lacks a true work desk, I found this to be one of the most enjoyable Sheraton rooms I’ve ever stayed in.
The club lounge has an exceptional array of food and drink for both breakfast and dinner. The club is modern, clean and spacious. There’s even a small outside terrace which worked perfectly for much of our visit. There were a few items you could request directly from a chef on a few of our mornings, such as eggs to order. In the evening, there was an equally impressive spread of food, wine and spirits. It would be easy to make a meal here, but we chose to go out for dinner each night we were in town.
The only oddity was the drink policy for the lounge. Accompanying the substantial drink selection (many in single-serve bottles) was a policy that drinks couldn’t leave the lounge. Fair enough. It definitely seems reasonable, especially given that the single-serve bottles are more expensive for the hotel to provide. The enforcement approach leaves a bit to be desired.
We were having breakfast in the club one morning and had just about finished. I was drinking a bottle of something, though I don’t recall exactly what. I realized I had left my pills in my room. We headed for the door, me with bottle in hand.
A member of the hotel staff dressed in a suit and tie put his hand on my shoulder and warned me that I couldn’t bring bottled beverages out of the club. I pointed out to him that I had already drunk most of the bottle and I was taking the remainder to my room to take medicine. He shook his head and said the bottle needed to stay. I noted that it would actually cost the hotel more money if I left the bottle behind for the staff to clear and then returned a few minutes later to get a drink for my pills. He seemed unfazed, so I set the bottle down and walked out. Chalk it up to an annoying oddity in an otherwise pleasurable stay.
The fitness center was nicely appointed as most Sheratons are. There was a sauna with a spa area in the same area as well.
We ended up eating dinner at a few really enjoyable restaurants around town. Because of that, we didn’t get a chance to review the hotel restaurant. It is beautifully appointed and located just off the lobby with a lounge/bar area.
The Final Two Pennies
The Sheraton Grand Salzburg is located downtown within easy walking distance of restaurants and shopping. The hotel is a Category 5 in the Starwood Preferred Guest program, which means 12,000-16,000 points per night (our stay was at 12,000 points per night) or 6,000 points and $110 for cash and points. I consider both a pretty reasonable value for such a well-kept property in a beautiful city.
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