Hotel Lasserhof

The Joint

Lasserstrasse 47
Tel. +43-(0)662-873388
Fax +43-(0)662-8733886

Cliff

I am pretty disappointed with the Lasserhof. Last time I stayed here, with buds Potter and Gabe, when we did the Sound of Music tour back in November 2005, we thought the place was great. This time, we got stuck in a poorly-lit room with its only openable window in the bathroom. It’s pretty easy to get to from the train station and the pricing was reasonable, but maybe next time we’ll spend a little more and get a better place (the NH, with their 14€ breakfast buffet and 24-hour Sound of Music channel, comes to mind). More disappointments from Sarah’s perspective below…

Sarah

What the hell happened here? Cliff was nearly glowing in his review of this place from his first trip to Salzburg, so I was pretty excited about trying it out myself. The reservations staff was very helpful when I got conflicting information about availability back in February during the trip-planning stages. Check-in was a breeze, but after that things started to go wrong. The minifridges in the rooms weren’t actually cold, and yes, we did check to see if they were plugged in. What’s more, the TV in my parents’ room had a bad picture and the volume was unchangeable. And then the window issue in our room made it muggy and stifling. Plus, the guy at the desk gave my dad a hard time about getting a spare key for his room, however, I think this guy was just having a bad day, because he ALSO tried to give my parents’ room to some other guests. I managed to get the issue cleared up, but he wasn’t real pleasant about it. The breakfast was pretty adequate and other than the keymaster, the staff was very helpful and accomodating, but the cons outweigh the pros, so I don’t think we’ll be going back.

couple more pics and tips from the Austrian Odyssey

Susie, annoyed... Po on the train
Here are a couple more. We got back into town last night and were exhausted. Taking the plane back to Nuremberg and train from there to Regensburg cost us a little less in terms of money, but not much in terms of time, and probably exact the same amount of effort. The extra steps of U-Bahn, DB, along with the typical airport stuff at both ends really eats up any time advantage you might think you’re getting by flying.

On a gastrointestinal note: I’m feeling better. Visited the doctor this morning (nice of them to squeeze me in without an appointment) and he prescribed some pills, but I suspect I am/was already on the road to recovery. I still get winded by our staircase more than I’ve come to expect, but my appetite’s returning, which is good.

Other good things to know, or things we maybe should have remembered:

  • Luggage lockers are out of service at Landstraße / Wien Mitte while it’s under construction! This totally goofed up our slick plan of attack for checking out of the apartment and spending a luggage-free afternoon bopping around Vienna.
  • Vienna is a dirty place. I don’t mean sexually or corruption-wise; I mean street filth. At least compared to places in Germany we’ve visited. More like London, I guess, though at least the Brits could blame it on the IRA.
  • Don’t forget that Vienna International Airport’s Terminal 1A sucks. Too many people, not enough chairs for waiting around in. Oops, forgot that from last time.
  • the Café Leopold in the Leopold Museum is a pretty hip joint — much hipper than you’d expect. Sure the requisite retirees were there, but the staff, muzak, and menu selections were very groovy. We’d go back there for a meal independent of the museum visit any time. Here’s a sample of what they were playing:

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  • Read up on coffee varieties available in Vienna before you go — especially if you’re taking first-timers with you. The selection and terminology can be daunting and if you just sit down and ask for a coffee, you get the smile and nod and whatever they decide you probably meant. It’s in no way condescending (except perhaps at the Café Central), but you’re denying yourself the variety that way.
  • Don’t forget: you can’t buy a BayernTicket at the Nuremberg Airport. You either have to have bought it in advance (perhaps even well in advance) or suck it up and pay for an U-Bahn ticket to get from the airport to the Hauptbahnhof. We forgot this from last time, too.

Salzburg & Vienna Recap

Well, there we have it; another great trip in the bag. Clicking on the links below to the restaurants, hotels, etc., will take you first to our reviews of them (read the reviews for our specific opinions), and from there you can get to their own websites where applicable.

Here’s how it went down:

2006-11-19

Took an early train to Salzburg from Regensburg via Landshut and managed to put our BahnCard 50 discount train passes to good use — we got 25% off of the travel from Salzburg to Vienna. Dropped our stuff at the hotel, where we got a very good deal on the rooms thanks to Sarah’s internet travel scouting skills. Biggest benefit to the hotel (besides the price): Sound of Music Channel (all hills alive, all the time). Had lunch at the K & K on Waagplatz, which was recommended to us by the staff at the hotel. Then we took the Sound of Music tour, where Sue was our guide again, just like when Gabe and Potter and I did our Salzburg trip back in November 2004. Although the weather was much better this time, I liked the smaller tour group better last time. For dinner: the Sternbräu (another Frommer’s suggestion).

2006-11-20

Arrived via the Austrian Rail (ÖBB) from Salzburg at the vacation apartment and had a nice introduction to the city from the landlord. Walked around a lot taking in the city by night. Actually, it was kind of “by night” pretty much the whole time because in rainy November, Vienna doesn’t seem to get much light, even during the day. We had dinner at Zu den Drei Hacken and it was a very nice way for us to welcome each other to Vienna.

2006-11-21

Tried to visit the Schatzkammer. Shopped a bit for an extra shirt for Cliff and some scarves to match Sarah’s new jacket.

Attended a concert at the Wiener Musikverein. Selections from Mozart, Haydn and Chausson, plus two encores (a Ravel and a Brahms) piece. Some were just strings, some were strings and piano. Very, very nice, and fairly cheap.

2006-11-22

We ate lunch at the Gulasch Museum. It’s not really a museum, but rather a restaurant specializing in the Hungarian part of the cuisine of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Really good.

We had our Lunch-Dessert at the Café Central. We had such a fantastic cup of coffee and dessert here by ourselves (Cliff & Sarah) that we knew we just had to bring Carolyn and Max here later. And we did exactly that, on our collective last day in Vienna.

The Schatzkammer proved extremely interesting — if a little steep at €8. You can kill 1.5 hours easily gazing at the treasures of the Holy Roman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire and ecclesiastical collections from these regions. Note well: Frommer’s Austria (11th Edition) lists their daily schedule as Tuesday through Sunday, this burned us. Their actual day of rest is Tuesday, not Monday.

At the Belvedere we checked out the 19th and 20th century collection and really liked some of the later stuff (including Klimt, Monet, and Kokoschka). You can read more about the history of the building on Wikipedia.

Later that day, knowing it was our last night in Vienna, we decided to each get a Schnitzel at the Schnitzelwirt Schmidt. Very good food, but beyond the quality, the quantity was astounding.

2006-11-23

Alas, this was the day we were to leave Vienna. However, the good news was that there was plenty of leftover schnitzel for lunches, which freed up a little room in the budget for Carolyn and Max to treat us at Café Central, where they got to try the wonderful coffee and we sampled other desserts. That Mohr im Hemd was still the winner in my book, but I was quite happy with my Marzipankartoffel (yellow cake inside a potato-shaped marzipan mold, dusted with chocolate powder to simulate the dirt). The other good news was the weather; we got lots of bright sunshine in the early afternoon. This permitted us to take the elevator up the top of one of the wings of the Stephansdom to enjoy the view and admire other famous buildings while killing time, waiting for our shuttle to the airport:

So there you have it — now we’re back in Regensburg, Carolyn and Max are back in Detroit, and everyone is getting into their routines…until the next trip. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.

Sound of Music Tour

The Joint

PANORAMA TOURS & TRAVEL Gesellschaft m.b.H.
Schrannengasse 2/2
A-5020 Salzburg
Phone: +43 662 / 88 32 11 0

http://preview.tinyurl.com/ymbjjx

Cliff
St. Gilgan
St. Gilgan, on the
Wolfgangsee

This is a great 4-hour tour.

SoM house - or was it?
November 2006

It was much better in November 2004 (although the weather was better this time around), owing to a much smaller vehicle and tour group size. Note to prospective participants: find out before you book whether you’ll be doing the tour on a giant tour bus (seating about 100) or perhaps in a minivan. The minivan is in my opinion, a much better deal. Both times I have taken the tour, we had Sue as our guide, who is very informative and enthusiastic.

114.jpg
Gabe and Cliff
and Brian in
November 2004

But I liked it better when it was just her and me and Brian and Gabe and the Vietnamese Family from Canada and Team Malaysia* piled into the minivan.

Sarah

Despite the number of people on the tour bus, this was a really good time. Sue, our guide, was so knowledgeable and personable. And even though she must be sick to death of this movie, she’s able to infuse her commentary with enthusiasm. Plus, given the variety of locations, you get a great opportunity to see much of Salzburg and the surrounding area.

Sternbräu

The Joint

Griesgasse 23
5020 Salzburg
Austria

Cliff

Started off this trip through Austria correctly; that is, with a nice Schnitzel. This place had great big portions of traditional Austrian cuisine in what looked to me like traditional Austrian decor. Nothing fancy or high-falootin. And we were all happy with our stuff. I’d come back here again. The neon sign, nearly visible across the river, gave me doubts as we approached, but they were unfounded. Our waitress was friendlier than most, so that was nice too.

Sarah

This place was outstanding! We found it in the Frommer’s Austria that Carolyn brought us and we were not disappointed. It’s in the old city area, about a three-minute walk from the house in which Mozart was born. There might be more than one dining room, as the one we were in looked sort of small. The place was decorated with lots of murals depicting the history of the area and old dark wood and brass around the booths. The service was wonderful and the beer was worth writing home about.

But the best part was the food! Big portions for small prices and the quality of the ingredients and preparation was outstanding. I had the Schweinebraten (pork roast) with Semmelknödel (bread dumpling), a dish I’ve had several times since moving to Germany and I can easily say this is the best permutation I’ve had yet. Don’t miss the Sternbräu if you’re ever in Salzburg!

K & K

The Joint

Waagplatz 2
Salzburg, Salzburg
Austria

Cliff

Started the trip off with…goose, since I’m a Michi…gander!

This place was nice and quiet on a Sunday afternoon, if a bit smoky despite there being only one other party in the downstairs luncheon room. The smoked breast of goose was very good, if a bit pricey. But hey – it was goose, so what was I to expect? The plum strudel and walnut ice cream afterwards was delightful.

Sarah

This is one of the restaurant offerings in the hotel K & K. I had the small sauerkraut and bratwurst, and for the price I expected something a little more impressive than what I got. The kraut kind of lacked seasoning and the brats tasted like the ones I just buy from the grocery store here. But the dessert was wonderful and the location of this place is pretty unbeatable.

NH Salzburg

The Joint

Franz-Josef-Strasse 26
A-5020 Salzburg, Salzburg
Phone: +43 662 8820410 Fax: +43 662 874240

http://preview.tinyurl.com/yl7cm9

Cliff

Sarah scoped a great price. Too bad it didn’t include breakfast. We found out only after chowing on it that it was €14 per person. Yowch.

Sarah

The price was pretty unbeatable (59€/night!) for the location, but finding out that breakfast wasn’t included was a nasty shock. But it was an awfully tasty and varied breakfast.

The hotel has a very sleek, modern lobby – somewhat japanese in style. This was kind of misleading when it actually came to the rooms themselves. They were plenty comfortable and the bathrooms (my personal obsession) were very clean with good water pressure. But there was nothing of the style from the lobby.

A big bonus here is that they have a fitness and sauna facility for all guests to use. Make sure you go down to the sauna already in a robe and carrying your towel – there’s no private changing room down there!