Austria is a land of mystical beauty, deep forests and raging rivers. Deeply penetrated by the glorious Alps, this is an enchanting and visually stimulating country. The Alps, when highlighted in the winter by a deep blanket of snow, are a stunning landscape panorama. A country of warm and hospitable people skilled in social graces as well as rich in heritage. The towns, cities and villages vividly display their talent as artists, world renowned musicians and master sculptors.
The crew of Traveler’s Digest had the privilege of traveling through Austria in October of 2003. We visited many of its fine cities, but were drawn to Innsbruck. The city of Innsbruck is but a short distance from Switzerland, the nation of Germany is just over the Alps and Italy rests only a couple of hours to the south, by train. So, I assume this would make Austria…the heart of Europe and Innsbruck…the heart of Austria. The city of Innsbruck is one of the oldest in the region and is definitely the most memorial. Its thousand year history goes back to the expansion of the Roman empire. The region’s only accessible pass over the Alps is just outside of the city and was used extensively by the Romans. The beautiful valley of Innsbruck became home to many of these first settlers and with its fertile valleys, lush flora, abundant forest, life giving river, phenomenal view and warmer winters, the mountains shelter the valley from the cold winter winds, the city soon blossomed into a culture Renaissance. The beautiful Alps not only provide warmer winters for the valley, they are quite renowned for their championship skiing and have been host to the winter Olympics twice in the last forty years.
Before arriving in Innsbruck we researched the internet for the best hotel in the city and soon came to the conclusion that there was only one real choice…The Hotel Europa Tyrol. Built in 1869 this beautiful five storied hotel remains the grandest hotel of the region. It boasts 112 recently renovated rooms, 10 custom suites, 5 conference rooms and the original 1869 architecture of the beautifully adorned business room can accommodate up to 200 people. The exquisite and award winning restaurant is divided in to five sections, offering group and private dining for up to 110 people. The lobby is decorated in fine leather, wood and ornamental antiques. The hotel has two elevators to quickly get you to and from your room. The well stocked bar, adjoining the lobby, is always opened for your convenience and in the morning, after a refreshing nights sleep, you can enjoy a varied buffet of tastefully prepared entries. The professional, friendly and courteous staff are waiting to spoil you and the visual tranquility of the hotel’s atmosphere clarifies that your comfort is assured. The central location of the Hotel Europa is only meters from the rail station and if you’re flying, they can arrange to pick you up from the city’s modern airport. Tourist brochures and mountain tram tickets are available at the desk and are but a few of the Hotel’s many services.
Our crew spent seven days at this fine hotel and were reluctant to depart. Before we left, we had the honor of meeting the hotels owner. A true sportsman, Mr. Otto Plattner. His grand hotel has been in his family for many decades and is decorated in the authentic style of a luxury mountain lodge, offering every amenity and convenience imaginable. The Hotel Europa Tynol, like it’s owner, Mr. Otto Plattner, are fine examples of Austrian hospitality.
Journey to a truly unforgettable city and whether you’re coming for a vacation, a business meeting, some excellent skiing or just happen to be passing through, you owe it to yourself to revitalize your body and soul at the grand Hotel Europa Tyrol.
Give our regards to Mr. Otto Plattner and tell him…Mike Smith of Traveler’s Digest says…”I’ll be back.” Famous words from a famous movie star and now new governor of California… Arnold Schwarzenegger. The fellow Austrian is a good friend of Otto’s and just maybe, while you’re a guest at his hotel, he will sit and converse with you about his friend….Arnold!