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Is this stupid? Lodging in both Berchtesgaden & Salzburg?

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Feb 8th, 2008, 01:33 PM
  #1
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Is this stupid? Lodging in both Berchtesgaden & Salzburg?

After we arrive in Munich and stay there for two nights, we were going to drive to Salzburg and stay at the Hotel Goldener Hirsch on Starwood cash + points.

But I also have been looking at the Intercontinental Berchtesgaden, which looks AWESOME and I would love to stay here.
http://www.berchtesgaden.intercontinental.com/

I found a reasonable rate for one night and I can get the second night free with IC points. So I was considering staying two nights here, then heading to Salzburg and staying at the Goldener Hirsch for two nights, because I still want to experience the heart of Salzburg so we can walk to the Christmas markets and do the Sound of Music tour.

The two days at the IC will mainly be for relaxation, enjoying the heated outdoor pool, maybe getting a massage. But I would also like to do some sightseeing on those two days and not just stay entirely in the hotel (although, obviously not sightsee in Salzburg).

What else is there to do in Berchtesgaden that will be closer to that area than to Salzburg? Or is this a total waste to change places?

Opinions please.
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Feb 8th, 2008, 01:42 PM
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The mountains and lake at Berchtesgaden are so beautiful. You can also walk through the forest on the paths, around Lake Koniggsee, and the boats still travel along the lake.

The salt mine is there also if you want to spend about 2 hours taking the tour.

I think your idea is just fine and not a waste of time since you'll have a car, it'll be an easy move.
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Feb 8th, 2008, 01:44 PM
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Images, we are going in early December - do you think we will still be able to walk along the paths?
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Feb 8th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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We were there on December 26, just a few weeks ago, and the paths were snow covered, but packed hard. We walked for awhile on them, then turned back because of time, but there were many locals walking on them. It was a bright sunny day, and a holiday, so many people were outside relaxing.
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Feb 8th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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Well, the Eagle's Nest will be closed in December. You can still take a boat trip across Lake Koenigsee altho it's likely to be cold.

I have no problem with the Intercontinental Hotel if that is your choice. It is, afterall, your vacation. I'm sure the views will be lovely.

The town of Berchtesgaden is worth some time. You can visit the Palace and there are some nice shops with local crafts for sale.
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Feb 8th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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The best way to enjoy Berchtesgaden is to BE there. I have gone on a day trip twice. I would like to go back and spend the night, at least one.

You need to be there to get the flavor of the area.

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Feb 8th, 2008, 02:12 PM
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Jen.... may I hijack your thread for a minute?

To Images2 or betty:

We too will be in the Salzburg area a few days before Christmas up until the 27th. We have been to Salzburg during the summer (so lovely especially because we didn't see a single drop of rain!!) and we stayed outside, in Grodig, which we love. I was bent on staying in Salzburg town for the Christmas holidays until I saw some lovely places in the Berchtesgaden area, and now I am second guessing myself. What do you think?

Thanks especially to Jen.
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Feb 8th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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Sure, no problem Joy!

Betty, do you have an issue with the Intercontinental? Perhaps something I should be aware of? All of the reviews I have read so far have been positive.
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Feb 8th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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Hi J,

Staying for free in two nice hotels, great idea.

Enjoy your visit.
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Feb 8th, 2008, 02:48 PM
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I got no clue if bettyk had that in mind, but the opening of the Interconti on top of Obersalzberg was met with a bit of mixed emotions in 2005. That was mostly due to the last guest who checked out there in the mid 1940s.
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Feb 8th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Thanks, Ira.

And we still will have another 8 nights in various places in Germany after that!!
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Feb 8th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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No, I have no problem whatsoever with the Intercontinental. I'm sure it's a fabulous hotel. I guess my first thought was that it might be just like any other IC Hotel -- no local flavor. Of course you will have that amazing view. I doubt you'll get that at many Intercontinental hotels!!

Joy, both towns are lovely in their own way but totally different. Salzburg is a "city". The old town is lovely with many beautiful buildings and nice shops. The Hohensalzburg fortress is certainly worth a visit, especially on a pretty day as the views are gorgeous. Berchtesgaden is much smaller and seems to have just been plopped down in the middle of the mountains.

As I have never been to either at Christmas time, I can't say if one would be preferable over the other. I really don't see how you could go wrong with either one though.
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Feb 11th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Joy,

We didn't rent a car, and stayed at a B&B off Moostrasse just outside of Old Salzburg. Since we took a couple of day trips, the bus connections out of Salzburg worked well for us. I also enjoyed walking through the excellent Christmas markets each evening.

When we went to Berchtesgaden for the day, I was very impressed with the scenery around the Lake. I think both options would be fine.

I have a detailed report of our trip, which I recently completed. You can find it by clicking on my name.

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Feb 14th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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They are both very close together but both offer a lot. We spent 5 nights in the Berchtesgaden region and daytripped to Salzburg (if I recall correctly, it's only about a 20 minute drive). However, if you are only going to spend a few nights in Salzburg you won't have enough time for a daytrip to Berchtesgaden so spending two nights in each would be fine.

Berchtesgaden's location is stunning. The historic part of town is compact and nice. You can visit the little castle and there are decent restaurants around. We used this area as a base to travel around in, so we didn't do a whole lot in B'gaden itself. The konigssee is lovely, but it would likely be freezing on the lake so you will probably want to avoid it. The Eagle's Nest will be closed, as others have mentioned.

I'm not into large international hotels, as I usually favor smaller charming local establishments or apartments, so unfortunately I can't comment on either of those. But if you have the points and want to save money than I can't blame you for going this route.

Best wishes,
Tracy
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Feb 14th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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Hello Jen:

Very interesting thread.

We too will be in Salzburg just before Christmas. After discovering that the GH and the Sacher practically doubled their rates starting on the 19th, we opted for the Bristol. I know there are mixed reviews on that hotel, but I sense that things are on the upswing. The contacts so far have been very gratifying and you can't fault the location. If there are contrary views out there based on recent experience, I would be greatly interested.

We too considered first a stay and then a day trip to Berchtesgaden. I have now moved away from that idea in favor of separate day trips via rail or bus (we will not have a car) to Hallstatt and Zell am See.

Luckily, we have learned that the final Advent singing concert at Festspielhaus is on the 14th so we have planned our arrival in time for that. We have been to Salzburg in the Fall and found it great. We are looking forward mightily to this visit. Good luck. Gradyghost
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Feb 14th, 2008, 02:27 PM
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Jenblase, The IC is great. How much is a reasonable rate? All I could find is about $300/nite. Is that reasonable to you?
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Feb 14th, 2008, 02:51 PM
  #17
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$300 a night isn't really reasonable, no, but I joined the IC Ambassador Club for $150, and with that you get a Buy One Get One Free coupon for a weekend night, which we'd be using. You also get an upgrade to the next category of room. So I'm reserving a 220 euro room for the most basic King Standard Room, and by using our upgrade we should get bumped to an Exectuive Studio Fireplace room. The two nights will still end up costing us about $475, which still isn't great for two nights but... (and here's the good news) we budgeted $2500 for 14 nights for this trip, and considering that 7 of our nights are using Starwood points + cash (about $60 USD a night), I'm allowing for a splurge here and there.

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Feb 14th, 2008, 02:59 PM
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Gradyghost, if you read this, can you tell me more about the Festspielhaus Advent concerts? Where do these take place?
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Feb 14th, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Hello Jen:

According to my understanding, the concerts are held at the:

Festival Hall
Hofstallgasse
Salzburg 5020
Tel: +43(0)662 84 9097

We typically work through our hotel concierge for tickets and are doing that in this case. Good luck. Gradyghost
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Feb 15th, 2008, 05:49 AM
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What a dilemma!! No, it is not stupid to stay in both places. I have spent a lot of time hiking around the Intercontinental when it was the "General Walker". It was an "exclusive" R&R spot for the armed services. I have a lot of curiousity about how it looks now and how much history is preserved. We will be in the area in September so I will be sure to check it out.
My problem is that you will be there in December. Staying half way up the mountain in December may be good - or it may stink. This area starts getting snow in the high alpine regions in late September. If you have tons of points - I guess go for it! I would save my points and coupons for better weather months. More than likely, it will be cold and rainy or snowy.
Lots of hiking trails are maintained in this area during the winter, but not that high up.
In your post, you say that you are looking to relax for 2 days, so maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea after all.....I really was no help at all, I guess!!
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