By Kathryn Quinn
Looking out of the window you may think of anything other than summer, but it is rapidly approaching and that means one thing – Summer holidays!
With rising costs of flights and petrol, the Euro crisis and troubles in many foreign lands a holiday closer to home may be the best alternative.
And you don’t need to give up your dreams of sunshine, relaxation, warm waters, good food and fun filled days.
The ‚Inselhotel‘ literally translated as ‚Island hotel‘ is as the name suggests located on an island in the middle of the Faaker See lake amongst stunning scenery in the southern province of Carinthia, Austria and is Austria’s only ‘Island Hotel’.
The idyllic four-star hotel is only reachable by boat – or a swim through Austria’s warmest lake – the turquoise blue Faaker See.
Upon arrival a boat will collect you and transfer you onto a car free, 80,000 square metre island – where the charming hotel is located.
The hotel first came into existence in the early 19th century and has seen many owners over the years – including the Prince of Liechtenstein in 1831. The island and hotel passed hands until it landed into the family Bucher and Catasta – the owners of the nearby Lanskron castle who remain the owners of the hotel to this day.
Over the years a large farm house was lovingly transformed into a guest house- this has grown from strength to strength and now is an extremely popular holiday destination for both locals who travel over for a day ‘escaping it all’ or for guests from the rest of Austria as well as further afield.
When you arrive on dry land after the quick five minute boat transfer you will notice the relaxed and quiet atmosphere – you will realise what has been attracting guests over all these years.
Whether you want to spend your days whiling away the hours on a sun-lounger on the shore of the lake, taking a dip in the lake to cool off, playing tennis, relaxing in the sauna, fishing or sailing on the lake or enjoying a massage, all your needs are taken care of.
Keen golfers can brush up their skills in the training bunker; tennis fans can play a game or enjoy training on the sand or grass tennis courts, or keen sailors can rent a boat and take to the lake.
If it is relaxation you are after – the hotel has its own lakeside sauna with direct access to the lake for cooling off!
The hotel has its own reserved beach area on the shore of the lake – where guests have direct access into the lake as well as reserved sun loungers – as well as a lake side restaurant.
The traditional hotel offers a great culinary experience – many local dishes are served up in the lake view restaurant – fresh fish is often on the menu and guests will be offered a selection of regional specialities where the chefs take great care in supplying fresh, regional produce.
Evenings can be spent in the restaurant or on the hotel terrace, with a glass of wine watching the sun go down over the mountains and soaking up the relaxing atmosphere.
The hotel keeps its traditional charm, and with just 32 newly renovated rooms in the hotel, it keeps its personal touch.
However, there is no need to worry about being ‘trapped’ on the island – the hotels very own shuttle boat – the water taxi – will transport you back to dry land at any time of the day or night free of charge.
The surrounding area is perfect for a trip out whether a day trip to Italy for some shopping or a trip to nearby Wörthersee or a visit to the nearby Casino Austria or even a round of golf at one of Carinthia’s many golf courses – there is plenty on offer.
A trip to the nearby Burg Landskron castle is a popular day trip – whether for the traditional dinner in the castle or to see the bird of prey demonstration.
But those who choose to just while away the hours on the island will not be disappointed and will return form holidays relaxed and rejuvenated.
A night in the hotel starts at 79 Euro per person including breakfast and evening meal in low season and from 119 Euro in high season.
The hotel is open yearly from May until September.
There are regular offers and deals. For more information:-
Das Inselhotel**** im Faaker See, 9583 Faak am See/Kärnten
Tel.: +43 (0) 4254/ 2145, Fax: +43 (0) 4254/ 2136-77
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.inselhotel.at