Helene’s mother grew up in Ellmau which is 20 minutes from Kufstein, so it is a special place for the family. Located at the end of a country lane and right next to the piste is the 5 star Superior Kaiserhof Hotel and we had the pleasure of staying in this gourmet and elegant “home from home”.
Tirol’s film village
Ellmau is a sweet little skiing village on the way to Kitzbühel, known as the film village of Tirol. The reason for this is the famous TV soap “Der Bergdoktor” is shot here.
Just down the road from the Kaiserhof is the legendary Bergdoktor house. When we went for a stroll, they were in the middle of shooting a scene which was great to see.
When you arrive, you instantly realise that the size of the hotel is not very grand at all. But this is not a bad thing. This means to be part of a quiet and luxury retreat, as if it is your own home from home. Another special touch is you can see skiers gliding their way down the piste next to the hotel, great stuff.
We were welcomed by the lovely staff with sparkling wine and créme brûlée, which was the best I had ever had.
This is a family owned and managed hotel and because of its size, there is a personal touch to everything, this was very charming and gave you a warm and homely feel.
We enjoyed the excellent and delicious afternoon buffet, whilst watching the non-busy piste out the window.
Our bags were taken to the room for us and we were given the choice of three spacious Suites that were all slightly different in shape, colour, decor and view of the mountains.
We had the feeling that this is your stay and they wanted to make it tailored to your preference, wherever possible. We had a separate bedroom, living space with walk in wardrobe (which Helene was super-happy about of course), a bath/shower room and separate toilet room.
It was like a mini apartment, very relaxing and I really felt at home, as if I was staying at my wealthy uncle’s mansion. A gift of Kaiserhof herb salt was waiting for us on the table which was nice.
I also liked the digital radio that was controlled in the bathroom, of course I chose Radio U1 – the best of Tirolean music 🙂 .
I liked the fact that we had our own garden, this could be accessed from both the living area and the bedroom.
There was a pillow menu to suit your preference. I thought this was great because too many hotel that I’ve stayed in have pillows that are too small.
I asked about an Aufguss in the sauna area. Unfortunately no staff perform an Aufguss, but this didn’t matter to me because I don’t mind doing this myself and taking turns with Helene. The receptionist said she would prepare a bucket of scented water for us and was ready whenever we need it, lovely.
There was Granderwasser in every tap in the hotel. This is water enriched with energy that has health benefits for your body.
In the spa area, there was a choice of sirups and healthy snacks. Here you could see the selection of luxury spa treatments that were available to you.
The pool was a nice size and further down the hallway was a relation area. Below this was the sauna area with a choice of saunas and steam rooms.
I particularly liked the window between the Finnish sauna and bio sauna making the sauna feel more spacious than it already was for such a small hotel. What we missed was a dipping pool, but there was a door to outside with a private area for jumping into the snow to cool off.
What we didn’t like about the sauna area was the non-dimmed lighting. Normally in a sauna area, the lighting is dimmed to provide a more relaxing feel and a bit more privacy for those who wanted it.
Being located next to the piste, there was literally skiing available on your doorstep. I love the fact you can ski to the hotel and ski out whenever you wanted to.
The piste is part of the SkiWorld Wilder Kaiser, which is the biggest connected ski area in Austria and won first prize in the “Skiresort Service International” best ski areas. You couldn’t be in a better place for skiing.
There are also cross-country skiing and snow hiking available in winter and your are spoilt for choice in the summer with activities, such as hiking, e-biking and lake swimming (Kaiserhof Ellmau has its own swimming lake by the way).
Indulge in Gourmet excellence
There was no end time for dinner, you got the feeling that there is no stress at all.
The crew of chefs are managed by the owner, Günter Lampert and I read in their very own recipe book (available to buy from the hotel), that his best guests are ones that enjoy eating a lot of food. Sounds like I’m perfect for them.
The kitchen had won numerous awards: Gault Millau, A-la-carte, Der Große Restaurant- und Hotelguide – Austria’s cook of the year 2011 and was voted Austria’s Restaurant of the year in 2003 and we experienced why.
As we sat down, owner and manager Bianca Lampert came over to greet us and asked how everything was for us. She didn’t do this because that’s the “thing to do”, she did this because she really cared. We overheard Mrs Lampert talking with the family behind us, she was asking how they got on with her ski area recommendation from yesterday.
This is the personal touch that was felt from the moment we arrived, we liked it a lot and there are not many places where you experienced that level of customer service.
We were greeted by the waiter who was very friendly and helpful. He gave us the huge wine list, which included the hotel’s own wine – I can very much recommend it and there are bottles available for you to take home with you.
The Kaiserhof wine is produced in Austria and the flavour made to Mr. Lampert’s taste. Served of course in Riedel decanters and glasses. This is so you experience the best of what the wine has to offer and it was amazing. I’m not a wine connoisseur, but this was the best wine I had ever tasted, and I’m not just saying that, it was truly excellent.
There is an in-house Sommelière who can educate you on the extensive range of wines and he also offers wine tasting sessions in the wine room.
I was so involved in the Gourmet-Dining of 6 courses that I forgot to take my own photo of the dishes. So here is a photo from the hotel…
Wow, an excellent range of dishes for different tastes. Each course was perfect, better than we could have imagined.
To complete the evening, a guitarist played and sang his own acoustic versions of classic rock and soul tracks in the Kaiser bar, fantastic.
Normally there is an array of different foods in a buffet arrangement for breakfast. Some hotels differ from others.
Well at the Kaiserhof Ellmau, you have a menu to choose from where the chef cooks each dish fresh for you, as well as the breakfast buffet if you wanted it. And for people who really enjoy their food, you can have as much as you want.
I very much enjoyed four of the dishes, including the a delicious Steak and Kasspatzln. I couldn’t believe the excellence of the food and the choice available to you. I will be returning.
For the journey home, they gave us bottles of water and homemade cake, yummy.
To finish up
This is a small hideaway for a very special type of clientele who want a family home atmosphere, with the ultimate gourmet and luxury. The size of the hotel means you can get to any part of it within minutes and at ease, but surprisingly spacious at the same time.
The staff make you feel like you are the only ones there, without the feeling of loneliness, it is very special. The hotel is also fit for children with a kids club play area and activities suited for them. This really is a home from home.
To book your Gourmet mountain holiday in Tirol’s film village, go to their website.
To see more of the hotel, here’s an extended slideshow (photos: Kaiser Ellmau).
All photos are by me unless otherwise stated.