Weekend Getaway from Vienna: Hotel Steigenberger in Krems
Krems is a perfect destination for a little weekend getaway from Vienna. It is a nice town located at the start of the Wachau region if approaching from Vienna. The Wachau stretch of the Danube valley between the towns of Krems and Melk is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site for its exceptional beauty.
Before deciding to make a weekend out of it, Bunny had whizzed through Krems a number of times, on her way to various adventures in the Wachau region. Her decision to stay in Krems was much influenced by her discovery of yet another promising Austrian spa hotel: Hotel Steigenberger Krems.
The hotel is part of a larger chain of hotels that Bunny was not familiar with. At 141 rooms, Steigenberger Krems was also larger than Bunny usually likes, but the room design and hotel location appealed to her. The reviews were good as well. In fact, she was sold upon seeing pictures of the hotel’s junior suites with bathtubs boasting views of the vineyards. Who could resist that!?
So the Bunnies packed their bags and headed to Krems for a short, but indulgent, weekend getaway.
The one hour direct train journey from Vienna to Krems was quick and painless. The taxis waiting outside the Krems railway station were plentiful and cheap (under 7 euros) as the Steigenberger hotel is only 3 kilometres from the station.
Bunny’s first impressions of the hotel were good. The reception was friendly and efficient. As a pleasant surprise, the room was ready even though Bunny arrived well before the official check-in time of 3pm.
Bunny had reserved a Junior Suite, specifically requesting one with a free-standing bathtub (apparently not all of them do). This request was duly honored. So far, so good.
The Junior Suite
Bunny loved the junior suite! The layout was well thought-out, both in terms of functionality and design. There was plenty of space, big wardrobes, nice wooden floors, a lovely terrace for basking in the sun with a view of the vineyards no less… And the much-coveted bathtub looked perfectly Instagram-ready!
The only con (pointed out by Mr. Bunny, who else) was the slightly busy road our balcony faced.
The hotel offers four types of rooms, in different sizes with varying amenities, and Bunny suspects she would be happy with any of them.
For this weekend getaway, the Junior Suite provided the extra space, comfort and luxury she had been looking for.
As usual, Bunny arrived hungry. She immediately made for the Sky Garden, a panorama terrace on the hotel’s rooftop, as one of her first stops inside the hotel. Bunny enjoyed a light lunch there (there were a few vegetarian options on the bar menu) and returned for drinks later in the evening. The Sky Garden was a particularly delightful place to enjoy cool drinks and warm sun in the early evening hours. Bunny was forced to have a banana split as well…
Steigenberger Krems boasts a gorgeous indoor pool. The 20-metre stainless steel pool was perfect for doing laps whilst enjoying the surrounding views. The water temperature was just right and Bunny was super happy splashing around in the pool.
The spa facilities overall were top notch. Where else can you sit in the sauna and have a view of vineyards? There are two spacious saunas, one Finnish (90+ degree), one herbal sauna (60 degrees) and a small salt-water steam room. Everywhere was spotlessly clean.
The saunas have the usual no clothes policy that Austria seems very keen on. Bunny somehow survived that, partly because it was quiet and not too many penises were jumping in front of her poor, innocent eyes.
Make sure not to miss the stainless steel whirlpool tucked away on the terrace. It’s another lovely place to whittle away the day. For colder weather, there is also a beautiful indoor relaxation room with a stylish fireplace to boot.
Any time of year, delicious teas are on offer.
During her short visit, Bunny didn’t have time to try any of the spa treatments but the spa menu looked good and the prices were reasonable. Maybe next time…
Bunny skipped the outdoor pool mainly because it was so popular. The pool is serviced by the terrace bar and most guests opted for lying around in the sun enjoying cocktails (cannot blame them really). The afternoon sun seemed to have been particularly popular among guests frequenting the outdoor pool. Bunny decided to forego the sun treatment and instead enjoy the indoor pool, having it completely to herself most of the time. Now that is luxury!
The gym was small but with a perfect layout, with a view of the vineyards. Mr. Bunny had one small complaint: the heaviest weights at the gym were 14 kilos - which is not very much for someone as strong and muscular as Mr. Bunny. 🙂
"Bigger weights, please!"
There was plenty of cardio equipment and everything seemed to be new and in top condition.
Curiously enough, there was no water supply at the gym, so bring your own bottle full. There is also a small yoga room next to gym which Bunny very much enjoyed.
The Wi-Fi worked faultlessly around the property, including in the spa and the gym area as well as the Sky Garden terrace.
Instead of dining at the hotel restaurant, Bunny elected, as she often does, for an in-room “picnic” on Saturday night. She had secured enough provisions at a grocery shop (Spar) one block from the railway station in Krems before taking a taxi to the hotel.
So she and Mr. Bunny spent a very pleasant evening on the balcony of the room, indulging in the delicious food and a couple of bottles of local wine that Bunny had hidden in her suitcase before check-in. Some of the delicacies were consumed in the bathtub as well!
And once Bunny’s provisions had run out, the hotel minibar was raided by Mr. Bunny who couldn’t resist the additional crisps or chocolate. Quelle surprise.
The Steigenberger hotel is a short walk (15 minutes) from town. It is surrounded by vineyards and has nice views of Krems.
The big garden around the hotel has some “secret” relaxation spots away from the busy outdoor pool and the Sky Garden terrace. From here, you can admire views of Krems and the mighty(ish) Danube.
There are plenty of very nice walks nearby, for those so inclined. Unsurprisingly, wine-tasting excursions are ubiquitous.
Side Trips from Hotel Steigenberger
Krems is certainly worth a look as well as many other picturesque towns along the Danube. Durnstein is Bunny’s favorite although it gets very busy with tourists and locals alike in nice weather.
It is very easy to cycle (less than 30 mins) or hike (1.5 hrs) from Krems to Durnstein. Nextbike has a bike station just outside the railway station at Krems. You can also hire bicycles at the Steigenberger hotel itself. For the lazy, there is also an hourly bus leaving from the railway station as well as a number of sightseeing river cruises to choose from.
If you do end up in Durnstein, don’t miss the afternoon tea at Relais & Châteaux Hotel Schloss Dürnstein. It’s pricey but oh so good!
What Could be Better
Most of the signs and brochures in the Steigenberger hotel were only in German. Bunny speaks a few languages but German is not one of them. Thankfully, all staff spoke excellent English.
Breakfast hours are very generous between 7am and 11:30am. Unfortunately, the breakfast area was very busy when Bunny entered around 9am. The food selection was plentiful but Bunny was a bit put off by the sheer number of people. Room service breakfast is available but the options were a bit limited. If room service breakfast options were improved, Bunny would definitely opt for having breakfast on her own balcony or even bathtub next time.
Finally, if you arrive with your own car, please note that parking (underground garage) is charged at 12 euros per night.
Wrap-up to Weekend Getaway from Vienna: Hotel Steigenberger in Krems
The few gripes above are heavily outweighed by everything the hotel Steigenberger has going for it: idyllic location, fabulous facilities and friendly service.
Bunny will definitely be back, and that says it all!