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Review of Gasthaus Simony, Hallstatt, Austria

This is a copy of what we just posted on Trip Advisor. This hotel is also recommended in Rick's Travel guide. We spent three nights at the Gasthof Simony, in Hallstatt, departing 26 September, 2014. Hallstatt is a very cute little Austrian town, and the Gasthof Simony should be one of the most desirable Gasthaus’ in which to stay. It is a beautiful, old building, right on the main square in the old center of town, and right next to the Hotel Gruner Baum, perhaps the nicest hotel in town. It also sits right on Lake Hallstatt, and has a lakeside restaurant. Being centrally located, it is an easy walk to anywhere in Hallstatt. Unfortunately, despite all these positives, we cannot recommend anyone staying here. The B&B is very tired and worn, and is in need of many updates, particularly in the bathrooms. It also appears that management is aware of the many maintenance or repair items, but has chosen to NOT do regular maintenance or repair until, perhaps, after their season closes. In our room # 4 – a double room with a balcony and lake view -- we had several issues that should have been solved through regular maintenance or repair that detracted from the beauty of the view. There was a single light fixture in the bathroom, with two light bulbs. One side of the fixture, however, did not work, and the fixture itself was broken and in danger of simply falling apart. When I mentioned this to someone at Reception, and asked that it be repaired, they already knew about the problem, but acted as if nothing was going to be done to fix it – and it was not repaired while we were there. Even the toilet seat lid in our bathroom was missing – there obviously was one sometime in the past, and we noticed that other rooms, including the public bathroom, had toilet seats lids. The lid in our room must have come off sometime during their season, but was simply not fixed or replaced. Also, and more troubling, there was a small water leak under the sink in the bathroom that left a small amount of water in the cabinets under the sink, where we should have been able to store our cosmetics and medicines. While it seemed like this was a new issue to Reception, nevertheless, nothing was done to correct it. If it gets worse before they get around to fix the leak, it could lead to possible floor damage. There is also only WiFi reception in the lobby area, and in their restaurant (but only when the restaurant is open). Despite our room being directly over the restaurant, we could not get internet reception in our room, something these days that should be fairly standard. Our room, and the hallway leading to our room, had peeling paint on the walls, and access panels in the hall walls were uncovered. Finally, they seem to shut down their Reception area around 6 PM. Despite there being signage outside the front door advertising rooms available, they leave their reception unmanned. One night, after dinner, we sat in the lobby from 6:30 to 7 PM, looking at emails. Three different groups of tourists stopped in looking for a room, but there was no one from the B&B to help them, and no one came when these people rang the bell. The front door was unlocked, and signage outside advertised rooms available, but no one from the hotel was available to help new possible guests. As noted above, there are some real positives that could make the Gasthof Simony one of the most desirable places to stay in Hallstatt. But, management needs to take a more proactive role in managing the B&B, performing needed maintenance and repairs when they happen, and not deferring them to some future date. They should also commit to having staff available later in the evening. This is more surprising in that the Gasthof Simony is managed by the same Lobisser family that owns and has operated the Braugasthof-Hallstatt for years. Perhaps the family needs to focus more attention to improving their second property, the Gasthof Simony.

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We stayed at Gasthof Simony a few years ago and loved it! I wonder if management has changed or what is going on? Actually RS stayed there the same night we did (found out right after he checked out). I would totally recommend this Gasthof, but I very much prefer small family run places and tend to let the little stuff slide. Hopefully they fixed some of these things after you checked out!