Who amongst us wants to see this from the “Deluxe Balcony Room with Lakeside View” at a “wellness” resort for a long holiday weekend?
Certainly not we. Unfortunately this beautiful “Lakeside View” was only ours for about the first hour of our weekend getaway.
Let me rewind. This week is the spring holiday for AIS. It being that Anna Grace has numerous academic obligations forthcoming, we decided to go low-key with just a long weekend at an all-inclusive resort in Austria in order that she have the remainder of the holiday to pursue said obligations. After much research, a resort with multiple holdings in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee appealed to us. We have enjoyed a handful of resort experiences of varying sizes, and assumed we had managed all expectations. This assumption would turn out to be wrong.
On Saturday morning we departed Vienna for the resort, stopping at the oh-so-kitschy-fun Minimundus en route. The park is comprised of over 150 scale models of world monuments, some familiar, some never-before-heard-of. We walked the park for almost two hours on our world tour.
QEII and the Steamboat Natchez bob in the water near a former Hapsburg schloss in Trieste, Italy.
The university library in Mexico City.
Neuschwanstein without scaffolding!
Clayton Theodore was most welcome in the park, too.
A marble palace in Tehran.
And the little pilgrimage church in Oberndorf, Austria, inspiration for the song Silent Night.
In the late afternoon we arrived at the resort and dropped our bags in the lovely, lovely room. I noticed that the room seemed cool and turned the thermostat up a level. Tony and I then sat for a quick bite of lunch as Anna Grace dashed off to the pool. We returned to find that the room had not warmed, and so placed a call to reception. Bad news: the thermostat was kaputt. Even worse news: we were substantially downgraded to a new room, with an equally downgraded view of the hotel parking lot. Goodbye to our vision of morning coffee and evening cocktails on the balcony with beautiful views. Had it not been late afternoon, and had Anna Grace not already been in the pool, we would have scrapped the weekend and returned home.
The “Deluxe Room with Balcony and Lake View” part of the wellness experience thoroughly destroyed, we were determined to make the best of our stay. We joined Anna Grace in the heated outdoor pool, soaking in the warm water and admiring the scenery we would not see from our room.
That is, until Anna Grace was asked to leave the pool because “children are not permitted in the pool after 16:00.” At the time of the offense there were exactly 6 people in the water: the three of us; a boy around 12; and a dad and adult son. All of us were calm and quiet, either swimming or sitting on the benches in the pool, chatting. No one yelling “Marco” or “Polo” or doing cannon balls. Was it really necessary to ask Anna Grace (and the young boy) to leave?
Frustrated, we took a pass on the chlorine-scented zoo filled with the screaming swim-diaper set indoor pool and changed for dinner. The resort promised a “gourmet four course dinner,” and almost achieved that but for the first course being buffet-style. We despise buffet-anything at dinner. And, “gourmet” to me does not mean a lukewarm chafing dish of mussels or silver trays of interesting small bites lacking descriptions that may have been touched by curious grubby fingers. Sigh.
After dinner we attempted conversation and cocktails with friends who were also staying at the resort in the lounge and reception area. Though a live act was performing, it was drowned out by far too many ill-behaved offspring who had turned the area into a de facto playground whilst their parents ordered rounds of Blue Hawaiians. An hour of that did me in, and we called it a night.
Guess what? We could still view the parking lot at night! Two of the resort’s directional beacons were conveniently placed outside our window, shining brightly into our room. Another sigh as we drew the draperies. So much for waking naturally with the sun at this “wellness” resort.
Breakfast and the herbal sauna visits were the only redeeming qualities of the resort. We attempted to enjoy the waterside view once more on our second afternoon at the bath house boardwalk but that was interrupted by the smokers getting their “wellness” post-sauna fag fixes, and so retreated to our room and a board game with Anna Grace before our disappointing entirely buffet dinner. Sigh.
Soon the terrible resort experience was over. We did achieve wellness and gourmet dining, though, but that happened on our day outings outside of the resort. Win some, lose some.