24 Hours at the Hotel Gams, Bezau
It was just right before Christmas Eve and definitely time to do a small detour on the trip from Lausanne back home to Austria. While we skipped the Swiss luxury hotels this time, I had one particular idea where to go: The Bregenzerwald area which is situated near Dornbirn and Bregenz in the Austrian region Vorarlberg – the westernmost region. No clue why but there are actually two upscale hotels in the pretty small but cosy town of Bezau. While one is more for holistic wellness and lovers of minimalistic style, the other one is more glamorous, royal so to say AND it’s mainly for couples. Having booked two suites for single use, travelling solo did not feel too bad at the Gams Bezau although we definitely missed our girlfriends and that’s the place to take them for a getaway.
Facts aside, you have to know that the Hotel Gams Bezau has a special programme for overnights on Thursday evening. Only on Thursday nights, the hotel turns into a magical palace in the orient according to the theme 1001 nights. All other days, the hotel runs business as usual. Luckily, we arrived on a Thursday and stayed for the extraordinary night. While we were a bit sceptical at first, all prejudices were gone after we drove into the garage directly, unpacking the car and being welcomed by the friendly front desk staff. Before we could even get approximate orientation, we were sitting on a carpet and the wind channel was turned on so that we could take a picture of our travel on a flying carpet en route to the Middle East. Once we were done, keys were handed over and we were directed the way to our suites. I always love to be accompanied to my room especially if it is a first time in a hotel, however as a four-star property it did not seem obvious to do this. On the other side, for these high rates, it would be a lovely touch from my point of view plus staff is here anyways.
Once we arrived on the third floor of the newly built tower (I was hoping to get a room there as the room layout is cooler than in the main building), we were surprised that there were no room numbers. Well that was the moment when I wished to have a front desk staff having accompany us. Anyways I figured out there were hints on the doors so I could find my suite for the night without problems. Generally, the suite was very airy, with amazing attention to details. The many curtains gave the room a feeling that it was vast and super cosy. With the entrée being separated, there was a wardrobe, make-up table, separate toilet and access to the long bathroom with vanity desk, walk-in shower and Jacuzzi bath tub overlooking the mountains. What I found a bit weird was that the bath towels were simply too small and the toiletries consisted of a pretty average no-name dispenser. On the other side, the bathroom was pretty huge with lots of space and had a perfect layout and looked stunning especially at night. My favourite part however was the living room with the plenty of pillows (it definitely looked like a room at the W hotels), superb television and open fire place – how more romantic can a hotel room be. Also the beds were just heavenly! Even tough I slept for only 8 hours it felt like more than 12 hours of sleep – well done! A spacious balcony with no neighbours being able to look into it can be used for warm summer nights.
Being the 1001 night on that given Thursday, the Spa was also opened until midnight which was a huge plus for us arriving so late. Above all, the hotel’s half board menu was turned into a buffet with cold Arabic and European dishes on the buffet, a live cooking station for hot dishes, soups and desserts. With the spa being the centre of the hotel all guests could eat and drink with their swimsuits and in their bathrobes, giving them the freedom to eat whenever and wherever they want. Being in the really heart of Central Europe, I was surprised of the variety of Arabic dishes and also how the Gams created a real Middle Eastern feeling. Having talked about the excellent food, I could also use the spa facilities until I was literally falling asleep. And so did I use the heated outdoor pool (which could be warmer by 2-3 degrees), hot Jacuzzi next to it and the relaxation room. On the other end of the spa is a sauna area with several saunas and steam baths plus another hot and a cold pool – these were mostly empty as they are quite hidden and therefore I loved them.
A heavenly sleep after, the hotel turned back into a wellness resort in Austria with no more oriental pieces. We made our way into the hotel’s main restaurant where they had a huge breakfast buffet with whatever you can dream of. Unfortunately, service was definitely lacking in this area. I ordered a hot chocolate and without hesitating they brought two simple coffees. Furthermore, we waited for quite a time until someone came to take the used plates. I simply guess they were understaffed that morning with a nearly full house the night before, which was not a huge issue since I preferred to stay with orange juice anyway and eggs being able to order at the super cool live cooking station in the historical part of the hotel with an amazing ceiling. Generally, their buffet was large and I was not disappointed having expected to find a generous selection of different cheeses from the area around the hotel. At least we are in the Bregenzerwald and it’s the most famous area in Austria for cheese.
All in all, it was a very cool stay at an interesting property. To be honest, it was the first hotel of this kind we have tested and also a premiere for me never having stayed in a hotel especially made for couples. With Thursday’s 1001 nights, the Gams is an absolute highlight for hotel geeks, and worth checking out. Considering the huge spa area and the facilities plus the vast breakfast and huge food selection at dinner, it is worth the money.
We were guests of Hotel Gams Bezau, however all above written has not been influenced and expresses our own opinion.