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White Christmas in the Alps for Aussie non-skiers

White Christmas in the Alps for Aussie non-skiers

Old Jan 5th, 2014, 01:25 AM
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Thanks swandav <blushing>

But you had coffee at that nearby upscale Interalpen Tyrol Hotel once, right?

dulciusexasperis, I agree that it does not really matter if the price difference is just 10% or so. One definitely has to compare two comparable hotels or two comparable meals or two comparable rail journeys. And I agree that the UK and Scandinavia are similar to Switzerland in prices.

However, when it comes to hotels e.g. then Austria is *way* better value than Switzerland. Just take an average 3star hotel in one of the popular mountain towns at a random date and compare. For example, check out Stubai valley (Fulpmes e.g.) and Adelboden in the Bernese Oberland - neither are upscale or off the beaten path in any kind, just average.

You can easily get a double room in a 3star hotel in Fulpmes incl. breakfast for 90 or 100 Euro per night, incl. half-board (dinner) for 120 or 130 Euro per night. In Adelboden a double room in an average 3star hotel would be between 150 and 200 Euro incl. breakfast. That's quite a difference! (booking.com)

Restaurants are also far more expensive in Switzerland than in Austria. You will hardly get a Schnitzel with french fries and some veggies for less than 30 CHF/25 Euro. If you want beef, a steak or so, you'll easily pay 40 CHF/33 Euro and more. In Austria you get the same for much less - for an example have a look at this fine restaurant's menu list:
http://www.groebenhof.at/kartenewsanmelden.htm
Organic beef for 13.50 Euro, beef fillet and pork fillet for 18.20 Euro. Dessert for 2.80/3.40 Euro.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 07:18 AM
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dulciusexasperis said;

>>Can't agree with that Aramis. Data is only as good as the interpretation of that data.

As a proxy for relative cost independently collected data is certainly better than any individual's subjective opinion.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 07:48 AM
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Again, no real disagreement Ingo. I will point out two things however.

Switzerland like anywhere else is often about what you know compared to the average tourist. Finding a good hotel for what you consider a reasonable price comes with experience.

For example, a small family run hotel we really like is the Gletscherblick in the Hasliberg. Winter rate of 131E for B&B and 173E with half board for 2 people. That goes up to around 190E from the 173E, over the Christmas/New Years two week period that Alifox is talking about. So a difference of say 40E from your Fulpmes example. That's certainly a difference but whether it is a budget breaking difference or not is another question. For 5 nights (again Alifox's number) a difference of 200E total is what percentage of the whole budget from Australia?

The second and much more important point in my opinion, is that generally speaking, wherever you go, the price is the price and what I mean is that IF you want to be in a particular place then you have to pay the going rate to be there. But what MATTERS is where do you want to go?

Price is not the only factor in deciding where you want to go. There is no use going to Fulpmes if you have always wanted to see the Matterhorn. If a room in Zermatt (or better in my opinion is Tasch down the valley) is 300E then that is what it costs to be where you want to be.

Too often in travel forums, people concentrate too much on price and not enough on WHY they are going somewhere. All I am talking about is that, combined with the common misleading comments regarding Switzerland being 'expensive'.

I think what a lot of people need to realize is that price and 'value for money' are not one and the same. Value for money is about what you get for that money. If you pay more but what you get is a view of a glacier out your window, then how much is that view worth to you? How do you put a price on things like that? They are subjective, not objective. People seem to leave that out of the equation when comparing apples to oranges.

I cannot say enough good things about the Gletscherblick and the people there but that is another story. My point is that it doesn't get any better value for money anywhere.
http://www.gletscherblick.ch/en/prices-winter-2013/

Given Alifox's other destinations on their trip I do think Austria would work better for them. But ONLY if they see A as equal to B in interest for them. What route works best is meaningless unless it takes you where you want to go.

'Value' and 'expensive' are not just about price.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 07:56 AM
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Aramis, again, data relative to the cost of living is irrelevant to the costs of a typical tourist. Data is fine if the date is relevant to what you want it to give you information about. You would need to find data on average tourist costs to compare.

But as I've just said, there are subjective factors involved when you travel. If all we did was look at your list and decided based on that where to visit then we'd all have to spend all our time in the UK. Kind of hard if you want to see the Alps. There is no 'value for money' in visiting the UK in that case is there, you wouldn't get to see what you wanted to see at all.

The point is, that the 'subjective' is THE reason we travel.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 09:27 AM
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Gletscherblick is bookmarked

I agree it's not real disagreement. Given the total budget for a trip from Australia the price difference between Austria and Switzerland is probably not a deciding factor. For a one-time trip it is not - but if you want to return often and travel from neighbouring Germany (what I did in past years), then it is.

So in the end I'd say that seeing the Matterhorn (for example) once is enough. But going back for hiking and skiing again and again, then Austria is much better value for the money, and the experience is very similar.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 02:51 PM
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<Given the total budget for a trip from Australia the price difference between Austria and Switzerland is probably not a deciding factor>

Especially given the cost of the flights! We paid over $4,300 AUD for two to fly from Perth to Zurich and return. I doubt Alifox is in Perth though, so his fare will much more reasonable.

Just an FYI that there are ways to keep expenses down when visiting Switzerland (such as staying in apartments and self-catering meals), but doing that over the height of the Christmas is problematic due to minimum stay requirements.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 05:37 PM
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I am not talking about whether there is relative value in visiting Switzerland over other countries simply based on the cost of doing so. I was making the point that your subjective assessment of the cost of visiting Switzerland was inconsistent with objective data. And that is a correct statement.

You said Switzerland was not one of the most expensive destinations in Europe - data clearly shows that it is. You said you were a big fan of it and that people should not rule it out based on incorrect evidence. I provided the objective data and you know want to discount it by talking about the subjective value of travel. I certainly agree with that adjective but it is not the very specific point I made.

I'm all for people visiting wherever they want, however they want, I just hope that any purportedly factual or empirical information they receive is objective and not subjective.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 09:37 PM
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LOL! Ingo, I cannot believe you remember that trip I made with my Ferienwohnung landlady!! However, they drove, so I didn't see exactly where we were going, and I'm not sure that they drove through Seefeld.

s
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 08:21 AM
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OK Aramis. Your objective data is correct in what it shows. Can you provide objective data relative to what a tourist spends their money on? NOT data on the cost of living etc. Specific tourist related data.

For example, here is some apples to apples data.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...in-Europe.html

For hotels, I checked Tripadvisor to compare hotels. The Gleneagles in Scotland with the Grand Hotel Giessbach in Switzerland. I used a date in early May for 3 nights. Gleneagles - $490 CAD. Giessbach - $232 CAD.

Having stayed at both, I consider them pretty equal and that's why I chose them to compare. There is no way to eliminate the subjective in that of course. In the Gleneagles I might look out the window at the golf course if I got the right room. In the Giessbach I might look out the window at a waterfall or across a lake to mountains on the other side of the valley. So both with 'views' that while different could be considered 'comparable' in a sense of a 'good view'. The rooms will be comparable based on my experience as will the staff, amenities, restaurant, etc.

If you compared the Balmoral in Edinburgh (another I have stayed at) in Scotland their price would be $420 CAD. But that of course is in a city, not out in the countryside so we would have to compare it to a city hotel in Switzerland. If we chose a hotel in Geneva comparable to the Balmoral, the price for the Geneva hotel would be higher without a doubt. That's because Geneva simply commands higher prices than Edinburgh does. But if we compared a Geneva hotel to a London hotel the price would be much the same.

Data is useless unless it is specific to what you are trying to compare. If you took the average UK hotel price vs. the average Switzerland hotel price I have no doubt the UK price would be lower. However, so would the quality of what you got for your money and that doesn't include the 'subjective' aspects of it. The UK has a lot of crap hotels which will bring the average booking price down. Switzerland does not have a lot of crap hotels and so that will take their average booking price up.

The ONLY way to compare is to take a hotel you KNOW and compare it to another hotel you KNOW that YOU consider 'subjectively' to be equal in value for money. You cannot take empirical data in isolation and hang your hat on it Aramis.

It is not about a 'correct statement' ONLY. Your correct statement is what leads people to think of Switzerland as 'expensive'. That's my point. It is not 'expensive' in terms of value for money and value for money is what people should be comparing.

It is not about 'what you (Aramis) are talking about', it is about what people are led to believe. Talk about that subject Aramis and give your opinion on the relative differences from a tourists point of view.

In my OPINION and based on my experience of having travelled extensively in both the UK and Switzerland, Switzerland beats the UK hands down for value for money. That's all I am saying Aramis. I don't need empirical data to tell me that.
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Old Jan 6th, 2014, 04:05 PM
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Okay I think you have convinced everyone that your subjective opinion based on your extensive experience is more valuable than objective data. A not unfamiliar position taken by some whose position is not supportable by the data.

That's all from me on this.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 01:17 AM
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Hi Alifox
Where did you decide on?
We have just decided to look at Christmas in Austrian Alps and are also non skiers from Australia
We are looking at Prague , nuremberg, Alps for 4 days for christmas then Vienna for new year.
Looking at Bad Gastein at a hotel called hoteldorf grüner baum which was recommended to us as good for snow and a romantic christmas. Would love to know what you decided.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 11:22 AM
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I'm confused - are you looking at Prague or Nuremberg (neither anywhere near mountains) OR the Alps for 4 days - you can;t do all there and frankly I think even trying to do 2 makes no sense. To get snow at Christmas you need high in the mountains and it will typically take you most of a day to get there and then most of another day to get back down if you headed to Vienna (also not near any mountains).

Can you clarify how many days total and if you want just one day in a snow resort - or more?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 01:32 AM
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HI
Sorry to confuse.
We are looking to fly to Prague from Australia, spend 3 days there, then 3 days in Nuremberg, 2 days in Fuessen to see castle Neuschwanstein, then go to Bad Gastein for 4 days. We will be in Bad Gastein over Christmas and looking at the Hoteldorf Gruener Baum just out of Bad Gastein. Was wanting to know what the chances of snow in Bad Gastein are based on the last couple of years. I really want a white christmas with pretty much what Alifox was wanting.
Thanks
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 01:38 AM
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Good chances for snow in Bad Gastein, especially at Grüner Baum, which is outside the town where snow should last a little longer on the ground.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 01:45 AM
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Hi Redted,

The experiences of the last couple of years will mean nothing for the next year; each year is unique and different. There may be 10 years of bad snow and one year of great snow, and there's no telling where your visit will hit.

Bad Gastein is only 1,000m. Zermatt, Switzerland, which has very reliable snow, is at 1,600m, and Gstaad, Switzerland, which has semi-reliable snow, is at 1,050m. Wengen, Switzerland, is at 1274, and it also has semi-reliable snow in town. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, is at 800m and has unreliable snow in town.

You should be able to find snow on the mountains, but perhaps not in town. There's really no way to tell in advance.

s
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Old Aug 18th, 2014, 01:02 PM
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MY HUSAND & I ARE THINKING OF A TRIP TO GERMANY & AUSTRIA IN DECEMBER. WE WILL PROBABLY BE THERE OVER CHRISTMAS AND WE WERE THINKING OF SPENDING A FEW DAYS IN THE MTS, EITHER AUSTRIA OR BAVARIA.



ANY SUGGESTIONS? WE AREN'T REALLY SKIERS. I MEAN, I DID IT A LONG TIME AGO, BADLY.

BUT WE'D LIKE TO ENJOY THE WINTER BEAUTY, SLEIGH RIDES, TOGOGGAN, SNOW SHOE, ETC. ANY ENJOY SOME LOCAL NIGHT LIFE, SOME MUSIC, A SING ALONG BAR, EVEN A LOCAL OOMPAH BAND & DANCING THE POLKA (WAIT, IS THAT POLAND??)



ANYWAY.... ANY SUGGESTIONS AS TO WHAT TOWN WOULD BE BEST? WE ARE A FRIENDLY COUPLE IN OUR 50'S, NOT SUPER ALTHLETIC BUT ACTIVE. WE LIKE TO MEET PEO & EXPLORE BOTH CULTURE & NATURE & HISTORY.

I'M NOT FAMILIAR W/ THE TOWNS, EXCEPT FOR INNSBRUCK.
AFTER READING PREVIOUS POSTS I HAVE SOMEPLACE TO STAT, BUT I STILL WELCOME ANY & ALL SUGGESTIONS.
AT THIS POINT OUR PLAN IS BERLIN, DRIVE ROMANTIC ROAD TO MUNICH, THEN OVER CHRISTMAS WE COULD EITHER STAY IN MUNICH OR MOVE ON TO THE ALPS OR BAVARIA FOR SOME WINTER FUN. THEN ON TO SALZBURG.
THEN AGAIN, IT WAS ALSO SUGGESTED WE STAY IN BERLIN FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE, SO WE MAY REVERSE OUR TRIP.
ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!
IT'S OUR FIRST TRIP TO THIS AREA & BOY AM I CONFUSED. WE DON'T WANT TO DO A TOUR WE LIKE TO WANDER OURSELVES, BUT THIS IS CONFUSING!

THANKS
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 09:49 PM
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Jojoblais, please post a new question; more people will see that. AND TURN OFF CAPS LOCK!
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