Haus Hirt

Bad Gastein, Salzburger Land, Austria Book from Book from £109 per night

A superbly welcoming Alpine boutique spa hotel, with spectacular views and mountain pursuits on your doorstep and great value full board rates
Bad Gastein was once Austria's go-to spa town of the last century. It has seen many hotels come and go over the years. But Haus Hirt is in a league of its own. This is our kind of place: eclectic design, oodles of style, imaginative decor, a magical Alpine setting, and service that gives a homely feel you can't bear to leave. Evelyn took ownership at the turn of the century. With her architect husband and a band of artisan friends she created 33 beautiful rooms. Strong colour palettes blend perfectly throughout and you can sense a creative energy at work from room to room. There's also an entire spa floor devoted to the kind of rejuvenating treatments the region's famed for - a must for your health, peace and happiness.

A myriad of activities are organised all year round, with real love and thoughtfulness: we were keen to hike so they left a rucksack stocked with maps and snacks in our room. You'll be staying Full Board, so a lot less hassle, and the restaurant has one of the world's most romantic dining rooms, with wonderful views across to distant mountain trains weaving along the valley; we felt we could actually be on the Orient Express. People come together from all generations here. Kids are brilliantly looked after, strangers meet, old friends and families gather all in one big jumble. There's something you just can't put your finger on about Haus Hirt. We absolutely loved it.

Highs

  • Beautiful living spaces and decor, including a cocktail lounge, library and dining room with alfresco terrace
  • Masses of outdoor pursuits and an Aveda Spa that offers rejuvenating treatments drawn from local thermal springs
  • The ambience: a sociable vibe with a mix of couples, families and singles
  • Great rates, which include all delicious meals, daily yoga, guided summer hikes and kids club for 3-12yrs
  • Stunning views of valley and mountains from most rooms and the restaurant

Lows

  • In summer months, you can get some rainy spells - there's a reason it's so green
  • The indoor pool isn't massive but children love the dedicated splash time
  • Most guests speak German so you may have to ask for occasional translations if you're not a German speaker

Best time to go

The region is stunning at any time of year. December to March is best for snowsports; June to October is perfect for hiking and biking. July and August can get quite hot and bring the risk of thunderstorms.

Our top tips

A week before you come, ask for a copy of their daily itineraries so you can plan ahead.

If you're coming to hike, bring good walking shoes and be prepared for some steep climbs (they can provide hiking sticks).

Allow time in your schedule for a few hours in the spa - we could have spent twice as much time absorbing all it has to offer.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • Boutique Spa Hotel
  • 33
  • Full-board stays
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Indoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Table Football
Room:

Rooms

The 33 rooms are spread over 3 floors. We were surprised how many there were - each slightly different but all with uncluttered styling. Expect a mix of traditional Alpine flavours and contemporary furnishings: pine walls and flooring, modern Artimede reading lights and occasional splashes of colour from armchairs or sofas. As you progress up the scale you get more space, but most rooms have wonderful views and balconies and there's plenty of wardrobe space throughout.

For families, the Classic Suites have 2 inter-connecting bedrooms and 1-2 bathrooms. The Alpine Suites are spread over 2 floors, with a bedroom up top and living room with sofabed down below. Most other rooms can fit a baby cot or rollaway bed.

Bathrooms are quietly stylish with fluffy towels, bathrobes and Aveda toiletries. Book a Double Room or Alpine Suite Sunrise for a bathtub; other rooms are shower only.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

With its magnificent panoramic view, crisp white tablecloths, colourful lampshades and relaxed ambience, Haus Hirt's dining room is one of the world's great treats.

Stays are Full Board, which made planning our day a lot easier. Breakfast is a buffet spread - pastries, juices, yoghurt and usual Continental fare - but they'll ask if you want anything cooked, too, and bring you piping hot coffee or tea. Their organic porridge and fruit compotes were excellent.

If you stay in for lunch, it will be laid out with fresh breads, simple salads and soups (we loved the pea and coconut), and a selection of meats or dishes like poached salmon fillets: nothing is too elaborate but it's all very tasty. If you're going off for the day they encourage you to make up sandwiches from the breakfast buffet and squirrel away a packed lunch. Just be sure you're back for afternoon tea, which includes irresistible cakes, like chocolate Sachertorte.

Dinner menus aren't too long and change daily; we found the food scrummy. We especially liked the selection of organic, locally sourced dishes - healthy salads and dishes like Weiner Schnitzel, dumpling soup or fresh trout. And be sure to try the local Austrian puddings - plum puree and souffle served with chocolate sauce.

Features include:

  • All meals included
  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating: Restaurant in grey
Activity: Bad Gastein tower

Activities

  • Lots of thought and imagination goes into the suggested daily activities. Published separately each week for kids and adults they cover both outdoor pursuits (skiing, winter hiking, climbing, summer walking, cycling, archery, gold panning, horse riding, golf, fishing) and indoor activities (bread-baking on charcoal and various workshops
  • There are stunning guided hikes across beautiful Alpine slopes and forests - a joy to share with other guests. Running from early May to late October, they recommend trips appropriate for various age groups: either take a short drive and / or a cable car ride up to higher ground (the nearest cable car is within walking distance)
  • The Aveda Spa has a long list of health and beauty treatments and views across the valley. You're spoilt for choice with re-balancing massages, facials, wraps, body therapies, even doctor's check-ups. Whether man, woman, baby, pregnant, they'll tailor a programme to make you feel very well indeed - all in a deeply calming place. Afterwards, profit from the local regenerative water in the thermal bath or bliss out in the sauna
  • Skilled yoga teachers are on-hand to give classes for all levels.
  • Walk along the promenade into Bad Gastein with its impressive waterfall (you can even zipline across it). It takes 20 mins to reach the centre of town, and to capture the history there's an App you can download with audio guide and an interactive map
  • In summer months Bad Gastein hosts a festival of arts and culture featuring exhibitions and concerts from inspiring artists around the world

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Nightlife
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are warmly welcomed and this is a fantastic hotel for families with large and inter-connecting rooms, equipment to borrow, a free Kids Club and imaginative activities both on-site and nearby. In summer the complimentary daily guided family hikes (varying levels) were a highlight for us. We'd return early afternoon, then the kids would join in the supervised activities while we relaxed in the spa.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms except Single and Small and Chic can fit a baby cot or rollaway bed (we particularly liked the Studio corner room, #69). The Classic Suites have 2 bedrooms (1 double, 1 twin) and interconnect. Classic Suite I has a shared bathroom; Classic Suite II have 2 ensuite shower bathrooms. The Alpine Suites are split level with a bedroom up top and living room with sofabed down below.

Babysitting:

Babysitting and individual nanny service (daily from 8am to 10pm) priced by the hour and available by prior arrangement.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots with bedding
  • High chairs
  • Stair gates
  • Buggy
  • Potty and children's toilet seat
  • Nappy bucket
  • Night light
  • Baby bath
  • Baby monitors
  • Bottle warming
  • Mountain jogging buggies and back carriers available for free
  • Comfy sleighs for fun in the snow

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Creche/Kid's Club:

Kids Club with free supervised program for age 3-12 yrs every day from 3.30pm till 9.30pm with hot chocolate or lemonade at the bar, Splash-Time in the pool, kids dinner at 6pm, games, crafts and a range of fun active trips (some incur a small cost).

Mini Club for younger children aged 18 mths-3 yrs is available every day from 9.30am till 3pm and charged per child by the day, including supervised lunch.

Ski School - in winter a shuttle service is available on request from the hotel at 9.15am to their excellent partner ski school in Dorfgastein www.skischuledorfgastein-angerer.at (approx 20 mins away). After a full day of skiing and lunch in Dorfgastein, the children return in the afternoon. If you want your children closer by, there is also a good ski school in Bad Gastein, next to the Stubnerkogel liftstation (the hotel shuttle departs from the hotel at 9.30am every 15 minutes).

Children's meals:

Special kids' menus and children have the option to dine together in the restaurant at 6pm or later with parents. With all meals included in the rates, your little ones won't go hungry. The relaxed buffet lunches (available from 1-5pm) were a winner with our family and for days in the mountains you can prep the perfect picnic at breakfast and then return to delicious homemade cakes in the afternoon.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Splash time in indoor pool (early evenings)
  • Face painting
  • Handicrafts
  • Jewellery making
  • Table football
  • Marshmallow toasting and bonfire nights
  • Disco nights
  • Baby massage courses
  • Small playground adjacent to hotel
  • Movie nights

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Daily guided family hikes in mountains (included in rates)
  • Archery
  • Gold panning
  • Cable cars
  • Adventure playground in Dorgfgastein's forest
  • Climbing for beginners
  • Mini golf
  • Mountain train
  • Ski school

Distances:

  • Airport: 1.5 hours' drive (Salzburg)
  • Shop: 5 minutes' walk (Bad Gastein)
  • Hospital: 10 minutes' walk (Bad Gastein)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 4 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Great place if you don’t want to figure out what to do and eat each day. The activities were great and the guides especially good - knowledgeable and helpful. An array of guests with small children but rarely noticed them as they were well looked after. It’s a great place for young families. Staff were all lovely and greeted us warmly with handshakes when we arrived! If you love mountains, it’s the place to be.

9/10,

We had a lovely week at Haus Hirt. Our original request for a larger room wasn't available for the whole week but the small room was perfectly adequate and we were upgraded when a larger room came free. The food was great with three choices at dinner each evening. We travelled in late June and the weather wasn't as warm as we expected - we did have a few rainy days so be prepared to take jumpers, waterproof trousers etc if you plan on hiking at any time of year. The hotel can provide waterproof ponchos if need be. Also, late June is school holidays for various parts of Germany and Scandinavia so there were quite a few kids around, although that didn't bother us. Do take advantage of the spa - the massages were great! And the yoga studio is quite small so remember to sign up early if you know you want to attend. All in all, a very relaxing break and easily combined with a night or two in Salzburg.

10/10,

Haus Hirt is the best place for families with kids from 1 to 6 years! Go for any activity with Hannes and your will enjoy sports and nature!

9/10,

We were two families and we really loved our stay. Such a charming hotel , stylish with lovely staff. Tons to do during the summer. The hotel offers lots of daily activities and offers free food all day long. Simple but good spa too. We were very happy!

9/10,

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Rates for Haus Hirt