Review of the Q! Resort in Kitzbuhel, Austria
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Kitzbuhel, located in the Austrian alps, is a popular destination year-round, but it is a mecca of sorts for skiers and for good reason – it is home to the world-famous downhill ski race on the Streif course on Hahnenkamm. While there are numerous fantastic accommodation options for every taste, if you are arriving by train, or simply wanting to base out of a hotel that will also provide amazing food for breakfast and dinner, consider booking your stay at the Q! Resort Kitzbuhel.
Located directly across from the main train station in Kitzbuhel, the hotel provided us with a great base from which to explore the town and the surrounding mountains during a four-night stay in July.
Rooms vary by location
Our spacious corner room, on the 3rd floor of the Hahnenkamm Main Building (the new section of the hotel), overlooked the peaceful garden and swimming pond to one side and the river Kitzbuheler Ache on the other. The furnishings were quite modern (though in keeping with the hotel’s natural and organic focus, the wood planks on the decks were not finished, and there is even a warning sign to not walk barefoot on them).
The bed was comfortable, but as is typical in many European hotels, the pillows were decidedly meager – the hotel does offer a broader pillow menu, for additional cost. The bathroom is basic but roomy with shower, sink, toilet and hair dryer. Each room also comes with a flat screen TV.
Non-corner rooms are a bit smaller (approximately 200 square feet vs. 270), and there are also smaller rooms in the historic building that are also a bit less expensive.
Meals are OMG! delicious
We were staying under a “half-board” plan which means that breakfast and dinner were included in our room rate. And good thing too because the meals were nothing but spectacular, with a focus on organic and locally sourced.
For breakfast, the buffet was sumptuous, with amazing selections of cereals, nuts, fresh bread, rolls, cheese, meats, jam, yoghurt and fresh fruit. Additionally, there was a hot food station where one could order eggs, omelets, waffles and other breakfast fare made to order. Coffee and juice were plentiful and if we wanted, we could opt for specialty drinks too like cappuccinos or lattes. With breakfast running late in the morning, one could easily indulge and never need lunch.
Dinner raised the bar on our dining expectations for any hotel. The wait staff was fantastic, and the seating was classy without feeling stuffy. A larger room is more modern while a smaller room is more rustic, like you are in an Alpine cabin, and this is where we enjoyed dinner.
Each night, we were presented with a different three-course menu that included a expansive salad buffet and cheese board, followed by a main with a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian (and yes even vegan) and also a choice of dessert.
Despite eating in the hotel for four consecutive nights, we never got bored and looked forward to experiencing the chef’s creations. They were plentiful and fresh without being huge. I do imagine that if you were staying for more than a week though, the menu would likely start to repeat itself.
Getting into town is easy
From the front door of the hotel it is an easy and very pretty 15-to-20-minute walk alongside the river into the center of Kitzbuhel. The Hornbahn (a cable car up to the Kitzbuheler Horn) is a mere 10-minute walk.
We were surprised to learn after leaving that the Q! Resort actually offers a shuttle service to the Hahnenkammbahn cable car (also in the center of town), approximately a 5-minute drive away. While this tidbit of information is listed on the hotel description on Booking.com, we were never told at check-in about this amenity or several others. Be sure to read the website carefully to take full advantage of the hotel’s offerings, including free loaner poles and daypacks.
Amenities are good, but not great
Let’s start with what the hotel does have. The Q! Resort does offer a spa area with saunas, a steam bath, an infrared cabin made of Swiss pine wood, and a relaxation area with a free tea bar with fruit and nuts. The fitness room looked very well set up and was full of high-end Technogym equipment. There is also a natural outdoor pond in the garden area that doubles as a swimming area – clothing optional if examples set by several guests enjoying the pond were any indication. The hotel also offers massages (they are quite expensive) as well as regularly scheduled yoga and Pilates classes. In full disclosure, we did not take advantage of any of these services as we were having too much fun hiking, wandering, exploring and adventuring around Kitzbuhel in town and up on the trails.
We were told when we checked in that the hotel offered free Wi-Fi in the bar or reception area only, but it came as quite a shock to learn there was absolutely no Wi-Fi to be had in any rooms. When we asked about this during our stay, noting the inconvenience for getting any work or communication done, several staff members noted the owner’s philosophy was to keep the hotel free of radiation and maintain a health-and-wellness atmosphere. Honestly, this was not a really logical argument since there are TVs in all the rooms and computers scattered all over the Q! Resort hotel. Plus, this demands you leave the “healthy” comfort of your room and forces you to sit in the bar where very few plugs were available.
The problem here is one of requiring guests to congregate in the bar and lobby in the morning and afternoon to get a Wi-Fi connection to send emails, read the news, upload photos, post to social media, or, heaven forbid, actually get some work done. That is neither healthy nor promoting wellness. It is, in this day and age, absurd and frankly rather stressful.
Each room does come with very comfy robes and slippers (likely to wear heading to the spa or pond), and bathroom amenities were very pleasant but were doled out sparsely. Even the larger more expensive rooms did not have mini-bars, an iron or ironing board.
Staff is super friendly
In every case and at every turn, the hotel staff we encountered were polite, friendly and extremely helpful. Even to the point of helping us find a working plug and set up a mobile office in the bar area one evening when the only suitable table – a high bar-like table with high stools next to the only power strip – was occupied with other hotel guests socializing with drinks. We were told that most people needing power sat there, thus the only extension cord and power strip was located there, but that didn’t keep others just enjoying themselves from taking it over.
Yes, we would stay at the Q! Resort Kitzbuhel again, if for no other reason but the meals – but hopefully the hotel ownership will acknowledge that providing Wi-Fi to its guests in their rooms is a good and healthy thing.