‘High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo’

If you want to explore the Salzberg district of Austria, why not also add a village experience where lush meadows meet stunning snow-capped Alps.

We spent a few days in the quaint village of Puch bei Hallein, using both train and bus to easily travel the 10 kilometres to and from Salzberg city.

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And, as part of the village experience, we stayed at the traditional Gasthof zum Kirchenwirt, a beautiful hotel complete with balconies and eye-catching flowerboxes.

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Here’s our ‘Age-Friendly’ rating of the Gasthof zum Kirchenwirt:

Q: Does The Gasthof zum Kirchenwirt have street appeal?

A: Does it ever! The hotel is centrally located in the small village – and it’s impossible to miss, with a traditional Bavarian look and a blur of colourful flowers on each balcony. The position is perfect for coach-travellers, as buses to and from Salzberg pass the building and the train station is only a short walk.

Q: How did check-in go?

A: Without a hitch. Reception staff at the Gasthof zum Kirchenwirt were friendly, spoke perfect English and were professional in appearance and manner. We were made to feel welcome.

Q: How about accessibility?

A: We arrived by train and were easily able to wheel our bags the short distance to the hotel entrance. There were no steps to the entrance and, once inside, there was a lift operating between all floors. The lifts had adequate space, the corridors were wide enough and the room keys were easy to use. There were free parking spaces at the front of the hotel. The hotel also offers an airport shuttle for an additional charge.

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Q: How was the room?

A: We had a room with a stunning mountain view and a nice balcony. It was lightly snowing on the mountains and the changing view was fascinating. The room was spacious, with a bed, ensuite bathroom, lounge, desk and ample wardrobe space. Everything was spotlessly clean and was serviced each morning.

There was also complimentary high speed wifi that worked well from our room.

Q: Was the bed comfortable?

A: The bed was the two-mattresses-on-one-frame style expected in much of Europe, but the village is relatively peaceful and the hotel is soundproof, so we slept soundly.

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Q: Were other facilities adequate?

A: Although we didn’t use it, there was a flat-screen TV and a hairdryer.

The hotel also boasts a wellness centre, including a spa, steamroom, hot
tub, solarium and sauna.

Q: Did the room have adequate charging points?

A: The Gasthof zum Kirchenwirt room boasted plenty of charging points, capable of handling our seven electronic devices.

Q: Was the bathroom to the expected standard?

A: There was a good-sized en-suite bathroom with a modern shower, fluffy towels daily and luxury toiletries.

Q: Did you get breakfast?

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A: Breakfast was included in the room rate. The breakfast room was easy to find and the range of tasty food included a standard buffet selection of cereals, fresh fruits, yoghurt, bacon and sausage meat, scrambled or hard boiled eggs, bread and tea/coffee.

Q: Were there any problems with the hotel?

A: No. The Gasthof zum Kirchenwirt provides comfortable accommodation at an attractive price with an endearing old world charm. The location – in a quiet village with awe-inspiring mountain views – makes this hotel an ideal base for visiting Salzberg and the many attractions of the area.

Age-Friendliness Rating

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9/10. From our experience, the Gasthof zum Kirchenwirt is accessible for people of all ages. The hotel is simple to find with both bus and train access. There are level, secure and free car parking areas.

In review, it’s a simple matter to use use the reception, rooms and facilities. The staff are particularly welcoming, friendly and go out of their way to be as helpful as possible.There are lifts to all floors and hotel corridors are large; the room door locks simple to use; our room was spacious; and the bathroom was accessible to all. The breakfast room was clearly marked and the floor was level throughout.

The Gasthof zum Kirchenwirt also boasts a quality restaurant and, while enjoying a tasty dinner, we were seranaded by a pianoaccordion player – a nice touch indeed.

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