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“Four wonderful swimming pools, food the Achilles heel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Schloss Elmau

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Schloss Elmau
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Elmau
Certificate of Excellence
Honolulu
Level Contributor
157 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Four wonderful swimming pools, food the Achilles heel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2011

My husband and I booked for a week based on the hotel's reputation and our desire for a week of rest and relaxation in the midst of a tiring trip. We are both in our 70s but found after a couple of days that the pace was too slow for us. And while the scenery is wonderful, it's a bit of a comedown after a stay in the Swiss Alps. We would have been happier with a 3-day stay.

We had a wonderful room. I loved the way you can book a particular room, not just a price range. We chose the large junior suite with the bay windows. It was truly wonderful, though the complaints about the sun are justified, but we just kept the curtains drawn. And there were black-out curtains that were easy to draw. I could lie in the comfy bed and look at the forest and mountains beyond and know that no one could see in. My only complaints about the room were that we had to put our laptops on the floor to recharge them -- no free outlets by the desk. And the shower leaked so that I would bring back a spa towel to mop up all the water. I loved the elephant motif. The quality was of a 5-star hotel but the feeling was of a posh country lodge.

Other things I really liked: You could just put your money away during the stay, though the staff didn't know how to let a guest use the safe deposit boxes and would open and bring out my valuables. They need some training. I liked the keys that you could just swipe. There were apples all over the hotel and spa all day long, and you could make your own tea in the spa, and it was a terrific quality tea. I loved the bathrobes in multi-colors and always 2 different ones in a room so you and your partner knew whose was whose.

The laundry service was very good and returned the same day. Much less expensive than in city hotels.

I have never before stayed anyplace where there were 4 swimming pools. One day I swam in 3 of them and regretted that though the weather was warm for September, the outdoor pool had a closed sign on it. There was also a rooftop pool that was pretty cold on cold days -- but I liked it -- and then a ground-level heated pool that my husband found disconcerting because it was suits optional. The fourth was an indoor pool for families, but when the weather was good, I had it to myself.

Our major problem in our week's stay was with the food. The cold food was fine, and there were even tropical fruits daily of a quality to be found in Hawaii. The soups in La Salle, the main restaurant were usually superb. But the cooked foods were not up to even 4-star standard. The hotel claims that the main courses are cooked for you in front of you, but in fact they are composed for you from ingredients that have already been cooked. Twice paella was on the menu, but this was prepared by taking rice that had been cooked and adding other ingredients at your request. It was more like fried rice than paella. The portions were small, but you could ask for more.

We tried eating in Fidelio one night. We were warmly welcomed by the Maitre d' and the server. But as the meal progressed the service went downhill. We had to wait 43 minutes for dessert. By that time, my husband had given up and left, but I wanted to see just how long it would take. No servers came near our table after my request to get the dessert, and no one ever came to apologize. The every-so friendly Maitre d' was busy being friendly at other tables. And we found the portions small, so we never went back.

We didn't eat in the Michelin restaurant because we found the limited choices not for us, so that's a matter of taste. But we also found the lunches limited and we had difficulty finding anything we wanted to eat a second time. The club sandwich was not very good, people at another table were looking very dubiously at a hamburger, and the tramezzini were on tasteless white bread and oozing with may. The Vital salad was excellent and I had that 3 times. My husband skipped lunch and ate apples until we found a small hotel 15 minutes away on foot and had the best food of the week: true German sausages and great salads. But the owner told us the Schloss owned it and they didn't expect to be in business the coming year.

We also got bored. We didn't have a car but we like to hike. We took hikes in all four directions for an hour or more and all four paths were lovely but the same. Wide forestry roads through tall trees. I felt I should like it all better than I did, but after a stay in Grindelwald....

I asked a concierge about getting to one of the neighboring towns. I was given complicated information about using the hotel van and nearly gave up, and then I discovered on my own that there was bus service twice a week from the main road below the hotel. Why didn't the concierge tell me about that? And usually there was no one on the desk.

Quibbles: The rooftop pool was always smoky from the fireplace chimneys. It rather spoiled being in the beautiful outdoors. The plumbing was not great. The drain cover in the sink wouldn't stay closed, I had trouble adjusting the water temp in the tub, and the tub was a tight fit even for normal-sized people. The maids left the temp in the shower too hot and it was hard to figure out how to adjust the shower so the overhead shower didn't come pouring down on you. I also felt in the spa as if I was in an old-folks home much of the time,particularly with everyone wandering around in robes and lying on lounge chairs just staring at the ceiling.

I guess my conclusion is that this place didn't come up to my expectations. If you come with a car and can take long excursions plus a few hikes, or if you truly just want to lie around the spa and get massages, it might be the place for you. But if you want to hike and eat simple food freshly cooked, try a Swiss resort.

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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank susanmccallum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FO_Stanley, General Manager at Schloss Elmau, responded to this review, 27 December 2011
Dear Susan McCallum,

I would like to thank you for the very detailed and informative review you made regarding your stay at Schloss Elmau. I was very happy to hear that you and your husband enjoyed many of the features offered at Schloss Elmau, like the multiple swimming pools, the rooms, the food amenities in the various spas, the multicolored bathrobes, the laundry service, etc. We are always trying to exceed our guests expectations and it seems that we achieved that on many levels with regards to your stay.

It does sadden me to hear that you did not find all of the 6 restaurants to be to your liking. Your waiting time in the restaurant Fidelio is unacceptable and I was sorry to hear about that. I was pleased to read that you enjoyed the cold foods and the soups in Restaurant La Salle. Here at Schloss Elmau we offer a very broad palette of Culinary offerings from Fondue to BBQ, from the Ananda Spa Restaurant to our Michelin Starred Gourmet Restaurant Luce d'Oro.

We also pride ourselves in the various programs and activities offered by us free of charge to our guests. The Fit & Activ program with dalily Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and much more is sure to keep all the guests moving. Our bi-weekly Guided Mountain tours are very popular with the guests. The Action and Outdoor program with Ropes Course, Gorge Expeditions, Archery, White water rafting and more is designed to keep our guests on the move and the unparallelled Cultural offering in the hotel is made to stimulate the mind and soul. Our cultural program offers more than 220 concerts, lectures and debates per year. Each week you find a minimum of 3 events.

Thank you again for the commentary and please contact me directly before you next visit,

All the best,

Nikolai Bloyd
General Manager
Schloss Elmau
nikolai@schloss-elmau.de
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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712 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
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English first
NYC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2011

Schloss Elmau is the Shangri-la of the Alps. It is a singular experience to stay there, as it is extraordinary on so many levels.
- Rooms. Upon check-in the front desk happily showed us three rooms before we chose the one bedroom suite in the Wetterstein wing. It had striking modern architecture and sliding glass doors that opened all the way up so that we could walk right out and relax on our lounge chairs with a full view of the mountains.
- Spas. Are you kidding? This place has the most fantastic array of spa facilities I've ever seen. Super-deluxe south of france style tri-level spa with 3 pools and a very chic vibe. Family -friendly out-door spa at the foot of the mountains complete with natural mountain stream running through it. Indoor family spa, and indoor Turkish spa that will make you feel you've left the Continent entirely. It was over the top in every way.
- Dining was fantastic. One night in the Winter Garden which had super high-end food and an amazing wine list. Wonderful bar around the corner where we sat in front of the fire and finished our bottle of wine. Breakfast the next day out on the terrace of the restaurant, amazingly extensive breakfast buffet with super fresh and attractive foods.
- The clientele at the hotel is extremely gracious, chic and cosmopolitan. We are from New York City and met so many interesting couples there, as well as gorgeous families. We'd love to return next summer with our two young children, there is so much to do for adults and children alike.

Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank GothamAdventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FO_Stanley, General Manager at Schloss Elmau, responded to this review, 18 December 2011
Dear Gotham Adventurer,

It brings me great pleasure to hear your positive feedback with regards to your stay at Schloss Elmau. We feel very fortunate to be located with in a pristine German national forest, but to be called the "Shangri-la of the Alps", well that raises the bar! I am happy to hear that you enjoyed all that we have to offer, from the diverse culinary options to the multiple spa areas. It is also very refreshing for guests to comment on our clientele, who I consider the backbone to our success. The atmosphere that our guests create is something that we could never replicate, it is unique to Schloss Elmau, because of the individualism that is inspired here.

Thank you, and I look forward to you next visit with your two young children,

Nikolai Bloyd
General Manager
Schloss Elmau
nikolai@schloss-elmau.de
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
427 reviews
150 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2011

I had very high expectations after exploring the website and reading reviews - however - everything was even better than I anticipated. It's hard to know where to begin. The food was amazing, fresh, and plentiful. From the evening buffet, you can compose your multi-course meal as you like. There are consistently 2 amuse bouche choices, various appetizer selections, 2 soups, a huge variety of salads, and 3 main course selections prepared to order, and then a vast vareity of cheeses and accompaniments, and 3 sweet selections - usually one cake, a mouse or parfait, and a warm baked creation with some sauce served separately. These change everyday. Or you could eat in one of the other on-site restuarants, attend a concert, or linger in the spa. The pools were a dream, the adult sauna very relaxing, and the steam room included bins of dead sea salts for exfoliation. The setting: breathtaking... It was simply and utterly perfect. Service was flawless, intuitive, and generous. I stayed for 5 days and didn't want to leave. This place works if you are alone, a couple seeking romance, or a family with small children. (Teenagers may want more stimuli off-site, whereas you may find it hard to tear yourself away.) I am already planning my return. Highly reccomended! Tip: They take suspension of time seriously here. If you have scheduled a treatment or plan on attending an event, bring your own timepiece with you, as there is a conspicuous absence of clocks outside of the ones on the sound systems in the guest rooms. All the better to lose yourself here. Read the facinating history booklet in the room! It explains a lot and will help you understand the philosophy of the place.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank josanpu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FO_Stanley, General Manager at Schloss Elmau, responded to this review, 17 December 2011
Dear Josanpu,

I was a real pleasure to have you stay with us, and thank you for the comments you made during your time with us as well as here on Trip Advisor. We always strive to make each guest feel at home, and as I mentioned during our first talk, it is great to have a fellow West Coaster visiting us. Please do not hesitate to contact me before your next trip, all the best,

Nikolai Bloyd
General Manager
Schloss Elmau
nikolai@schloss-elmau.de
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
89 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2011

Wonderful location, great rooms with fantastic views, lovely pools and so much to do in the area.
The vibe was great, whether walking or cycling, enjoying the pools or other wellness facilities, sitting in the evening in the library (a very good selection), or lounging in the grounds. It is clearly popular with families (there were several groups of three generations) and the facilities and activities are well designed to enable children to enjoy themselves without other adults being disturbed. For example, the main bathhouse building is adult-only, including a quiet small restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch, while there is a separate family pool and sauna etc area and families tended to dine in the main dining hall.
On our second evening there, I had been mentally composing a negative tale for a TripAdvisor review, after the dinner we had booked had not been as we felt it was described and we very disappointed. When an opportunity arose, I spoke my mind quite directly with a manager who had been visiting the tables. Here the tale turns to a positive of the effort made to ensure guests are happy. After our discussion was over, he identified who we were (I wasn't at our table at the time), checked the way the meal had been described in the hotel calendar and changed the description so future guests would not have the same misunderstanding, sent a lovely basket to our room the next afternoon and made further amends. We spoke about it again the next evening when he came to our table. Thus this becomes an exemplar of high quality guest relations.
In fact, the worst thing about Schloss Elmau is in fact deciding what to do, since there's so many delightful options, and having to leave at the end. We'll certainly be back.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MymAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FO_Stanley, General Manager at Schloss Elmau, responded to this review, 15 November 2011
Dear MymAustralia,

I am very happy to hear that we were able to provide you with an exceptional experience with us. It makes me happy to hear that "worst thing about Schloss Elmau is in fact deciding what to do, since there's so many delightful options, and having to leave at the end". With our multiple dining options, 4 spas, concerts, Fit & Active program, plus much more, we are always trying to find new ways to keep our guests wanting to come back for more!

Thank you and please do not hesitate to contact me with any requests in the future,

Nikolai Bloyd
General Manager
Schloss Elmau
nikolai@schloss-elmau.de
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dusseldorf
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2011

My wife and I just spent a second 4 day break in this wonderful location. In all my travels, this is the only place in Europe that has provided us (twice in a row) 'Asian' class service (for anyone who has vacationed in five star locations in Asia, would understand what this means). Blessed with beautiful surroundings and landscape, the operational and managerial staff make the experience memorable, and worth returning to again, and again, and again......

Room Tip: With or with a balcony, y will get fabulous views!
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank adilchoudhry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FO_Stanley, General Manager at Schloss Elmau, responded to this review, 9 November 2011
Dear Mr. Choudhry,

Thank you so much for the positive remarks you made regarding your last stay at Schloss Elmau. I have had the privilege of hosting you now twice in the past few months and your comments on our service are truly appreciated. The fact that you made the comparison between Asian service and us already says a lot. Thank you again for noticing our efforts. We look forward to your next visit and as always please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.

Nikolai Bloyd
General Manager
Schloss Elmau
nikolai@schloss-elmau.de
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2011

I went to Schloss Elmau for a few days with my sister for a little vacation and it was the most amazing and relaxing stay that either of us had been on. The natural surroundings are breathtaking an cannot be described in words--it just wont do it justice. Along with the natural serenity the calm and pleasant demeanor of the staff was impeccable. They were all so kind and had no problem speaking English. Every member of their team made sure that we had the best experience. And the spa! Unbelievable. Not only were the treatments like heaven, each of the different pools available for the guests were placed in ideal locations with views overlooking the Alps. I have never before been in such a place. My sister and I are already planning our return. Schloss Elmau is a place where you will want to go back with your significant other, family, friends, even solo! It was the most memorable experience, and I cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julia O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nikolai_Bloyd, General Manager at Schloss Elmau, responded to this review, 15 December 2013
Dear Julia O,

I apologize for the late response, none the less, we appreciate all your comments and look forward to your next visit.

all the best,

Nikolai

Nikolai Bloyd
General Manager
Schloss Elmau
nikolai@schloss-elmau.de
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Napa, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2011

I spent 10 nights at Schloss Elmau and had an amazing stay. Located in one of the most scenic places in the world. I would put it up against the gradure of The Grand Canyon or Yosemite. Both of which I have stomped through many times. The hiking from right out the door of the Schloss is world class. But, if hiking is not your thing you can always borrow a bike and hit the trail! After a day on the trail I enjoyed a nice wheat wheat beer outdoors and soaking up the view of the mountains I had just hiked through. I did dine in the Michelin stared restaurant which was wonderful. And ate in the buffet restaurant every morning which I thoroughly enjoyed, right down to my last pretzel. I found the service through out the whole hotel to be excellent. I found my room very comfortable and with the same view out the window that Mother Nature had intended, magnificent! And talk about cosy, the bed was amazingly comfortable. I also spent an afternoon in the spa which was glorious. When you go, don't forget to do a few laps in the outdoor pool on the roof of the spa!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CH-Napa, General Manager at Schloss Elmau, responded to this review, 2 November 2011
Dear Robert C. of Napa California,

I am very pleased to hear that you enjoyed our location, outdoor hiking trails and complete natural setting. Many of our guests comment regularly on our Amazing award winning Spas, the children programs we offer, the opulent culinary offerings (including the Michelin Starred Luce d'Oro), our one of a kind unique Culture department (offering over 220 classical and jazz concerts per year), but often the natural setting is taken for granted. We are so fortunate to be located within this pristine National Forest were nature takes center stage, and allows our guests to truly get away fro the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Please do not hesitate to contact me before your next visit,

All the best,

Nikolai Bloyd
General Manager
Schloss Elmau
nikolai@schloss-elmau.de
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Schloss Elmau

Property: Schloss Elmau
Address: Elmau 2, 82493 Elmau, Bavaria, Germany
Region: Germany > Bavaria > Upper Bavaria > Elmau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Elmau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Schloss Elmau 5*
Number of rooms: 162
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
THE SCHLOSS ELMAU EXPERIENCE Discerning globetrotters not only enjoy the magic location of Schloss Elmau in probably the most beautiful sanctuary of the Bavarian Alps, spectacular Spas and a liberating sense of perfect calm, hospitality without limitations & cosmopolitan restaurants, Yoga or Tai Chi Chuan with excellent teachers, phantastic sports as well as edutainment for their Kids, but also inspiring encounters with some of the greatest artists and authors of our time. The new RETREAT has been the Residence for the Heads of State & Governement during the G7 Summit 2015. 47 Suites, 2 Restaurants, Lounges, Library, Yoga Pavillon & Spa connect a wholly new dimension of space & casual elegance with breathtaking views of the monumental Wetterstein Mountain & roaring Ferchenbach Creek. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa & Cultural Hideaway Hotel Elmau
Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa And Cultural Hideaway

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