Grand Hotel Europa Innsbruck
Grand Hotel Europa InnsbruckThe 5-star Grand Hotel Europa, Innsbruck’s only hotel so rated, is set conveniently close to the main railway station in the city centre just a few minutes stroll into Innsbruck’s historic ‘Altstadt’. It offers cosy luxury in a tasteful contrast of sharp modern interior design and old Tyrolean charm.
Topping Innsbruck’s hotels offering, the Grand Hotel Europa provides the discerning visitor with an extremely comfortable and well located base, from which to try out any of the Olympia Ski Region’s nine separate ski resorts or to explore the wealth of history, culture and shopping, which can be experienced here in Austria’s former western Imperial capital. For the new visitor it is surprising to look out from this city centre location to the surrounding panorama of the Inn valley’s snowy mountain ridges and know that you could be skiing up there within the hour.
The hotel has its own fascinating slice of history. Originally built in 1869 in Imperial baroque style and enjoying the custom of European royalty, the Grand Hotel Europa suffered extensive bomb damage during World War 2 (being then unfortunately located so close to a major rail link). Only one wing of the original hotel survives and perhaps luckily the best bit from that time – the great Baroque hall and its adjoining rooms, now used for conferences and weddings. The hotel was quickly rebuilt in a modern architectural style to five stories in keeping with the surrounding architecture. The interiors, which have been completely renovated since 2007 by new Italian owners – Palenca Luxury Hotels, reflect this modernity in smart Italian decor but cleverly combine some delightful antique Tyrolean rooms: principally the suites on the fifth floor and the outstanding ‘Europa Stüberl’ restaurant on the ground floor. And so this relatively cosy (only 112 rooms and suites) hotel provides most elegant and comfortable modern accommodation, while holding a mirror to Innsbruck’s historic past.
Such intimacy of design is reflected in most efficient but also friendly service at the Grand Europa. This is a really comfortable place to stay, contrasting its modern amenities with touches of Imperial grandeur and old Tyrolean charm, which is rather clever.
And skiing is made so easy here with the Innsbruck Tourism skibus picking up on the doorstep, a local ski and boot hire shop delivering and collecting from the hotel and a heated ski and boot-room below the lobby (wearing skiboots in the lobby is no problem).
Rooms & Suites
105 double rooms, graded principally by size, are elegantly presented in modern ‘Milan-chic’ aesthetic. Extremely comfortable beds are set in rooms with shades of taupe, burgundy and light wood finishes, all with ensuite bathrooms in white sanitary ware and Botticino marble panelling. Free wi-fi access, mini-bars, towel robes and large flatscreen satellite TVs complete the offering.
The delightful studios (junior suites) and suites are all in traditional Tyrolean design and décor. The very special ‘Europa’ suites have been panelled in 300 year old timbers taken from East Tyrolean farmhouses and, cosily furnished as well, these create a completely authentic and utterly charming mood.
Restaurant, Lobby & Bar
The modern marble-floored and teak-finished lobby and reception greets visitors and opens straight to the modern bar at the far end, creating at once a pleasantly spacious and relaxed ambiance. Carrying on through from the bar you quickly change mood in the Europa Stüberl, the hotel’s delightful restaurant and dining rooms. This is comprised of five separate parlours, each opening onto the next, and presented in traditional old Tyrolean design. As with the Europa suites, two of these rooms are completely panelled in ancient farmhouse timbers, taken respectively from East and Southern Tyrol. The effect is quite delightful: the scene is set in elegant old Austria and all done most comfortably, as it should be here in the high Tyrolean Alps.
The same care is taken with the menus, from a great Austrian buffet spread at breakfast time to a carefully crafted selection at dinner. Here award winning cuisine ranges from traditional Austrian dishes (great to see Beuschel – a traditional casserole of veal lights and dumplings, Tafelspitz – boiled beef with fresh horseradish sauce, as well as Wiener Schnitzel on this list) to more evolved international cuisine (expect to see fine dishes with turbot, monkfish and perch as well as beef, chicken, veal and venison and some good pasta options reminding that we are quite close to Süd Tirol here). So something for everyone and that includes a good pudding selection. The ice cream and sour cherries is historic, as of course the famous Sachertorte, essential for visiting chocaholics and recalling Austria’s unrivalled heritage in baking.
And the wine list is likewise carefully selected with a good range in price, also offering a fine French and Italian choice. Again and correctly for a country that produces such fine wine, Austria is well represented in both whites and reds.
Wellness & Spa
A fairly compact spa area, accessed by separate lift from all floors, is well appointed, comprising Finnish sauna, Infrared cabin and steam room. A small gym has four exercise machines. Further private Finnish sauna and steam bath facilities can also be booked, as can massage treatments.
Conferences & Weddings
The original and surviving great Baroque Hall comes into its own for formal occasions and business seminars. Up to 140 people can be catered here with further salons supporting secondary conferencing, break-outs, as well importantly as food and drinks service. What a super location for an event, business or pleasure.
Skiing in Innsbruck
The Olympia Ski Region comprises 9 separate ski resorts in the Inn Valley, all within 40 minutes bus ride from the Hotel Grand Europa, and most within half an hour. So called, lest we forget, because Innsbruck has hosted two Winter Olympics and the evidence of that is seen not only in the quality of the surrounding alpine skiing facilities but also the range of other winter sports on offer, such as the bobsleigh run and ski jump, strikingly visible from the centre of the Altstadt. In fact the Nord Park ski area is accessed through the Zaha Hadid designed funicular terminal just beyond the Old Town (and you look straight up to this as you stand in MariaTheresien Strasse). The ski bus picks up outside the hotel but those wishing more flexibility may consider the advantages of hiring a car, made easy here with private underground parking at the hotel.
Getting to Innsbruck
Innsbruck is so easy to get to. Really well connected and accessed by air, road and rail, this is the City break choice for all four seasons.
Hotel Rooms: 122Grand Hotel Europa Innsbruck
Grand Hotel Europa
Südtiroler Platz 2
Email: [email protected]
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