In the grand old days, the aristocratic families of the region would welcome paying guests at their charming castles. Today most of those castles have been, if you will, degentrified: they are now schools or very fine hotels. But you needn't stay in a castle to enjoy the Salzkammergut—there are also luxurious lakeside resorts, small country inns, even guesthouses without private baths; in some
places the Herr Wirt, his smiling wife, and his grown-up children will do everything to make you feel comfortable. Although our hotel reviews cover the best in every category, note that nearly every village, however small, also has a Gasthaus or village inn; the ubiquitous Hotel- or Gasthof zur Post is usually a solid choice. Many hotels offer half-board, with dinner in addition to buffet breakfast included in the price (although the most expensive hotels will often charge extra for breakfast). The half-board room rate is usually an extra €15–€30 per person. Occasionally quoted room rates for hotels already include half-board accommodations, though a "discounted" rate is usually offered if you prefer not to take the evening meal. Inquire when booking. Happily, these hotels do not put their breathtakingly beautiful natural surroundings on the bill.