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Four Points by Sheraton Panoramahaus Dornbirn, Austria [Master Thread]

Four Points by Sheraton Panoramahaus Dornbirn, Austria [Master Thread]

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Old Oct 9, 06, 11:06 am
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Arrow Four Points by Sheraton Panoramahaus Dornbirn, Austria [Master Thread]

I had two stays recently at the Four Points by Sheraton Panoramahaus in Dornbirn, Austria. Upgraded to a really cool junior suite both times (same room, in fact) despite the fact that the place was completely sold out for a conference in town.

A few highlights:

1. A great welcome platter of fruits and chocolates both times, the first time accompanied by bottled water, the second time accompanied by bottled water and a bottle of champagne on ice.

2. A thoroughly modern junior suite with a bit of a W feel to it. Lighting options galore - recessed ceiling lights, spotlights, accent lights, soffit-encased uplights near the ceiling, lighting in the cabinetry behind frosted glass doors - lots of options for romance or efficiency or just a welcoming homey atmosphere. I wish I had some pictures that do it justice.

3. Floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Vorarlberg Alps, including a single-piece sunshade that covered all the windows in the living room, and a second single-piece shade in the bedroom, which could be raised or lowered automatically by pushing a switch on the wall.

4. Very comfortable beds, but not 4-Comforts beds (I have yet to find a Starwood hotel in Europe with a bed that's actually like a real branded bed in the U.S.).

5. A very spacious and elegant bathroom with a separate tub & shower. The tub & shower are behind the same floor-to-ceiling glass enclosure, so when you shower, the edge of the tub gets a little wet, but that's okay for the option of a nice walk-in shower.

6. A large flat-panel TV.

7. A bathrobe (never knew 4-Points had bathrobes).

8. Here's something I've never seen anywhere else. I was delighted to find an in-room safe (wasn't really expecting one at a 4-Points), but was amazed to discover that there was an electrical outlet on the inside of the safe's door. So you could charge your computer or whatever while you're out and keep it safe at the same time!

9. Free breakfast, with a huge breakfast buffet featuring all of the European breakfast delights such as various breads, meats, cheeses, fruits, yogurts, and cereals, plus a selection of specialty cheeses in addition to the "standard" types, plus American standards such as scrambled eggs, bacon, and link sausages.

10. A really nice restaurant with a delightful rooftop terrace - more like a restaurant one might expect to find in a nicer Sheraton, but with better food. Not cheap, but not a budget-buster, either.

11. Free parking for hotel guests.

12. A spa/gym that seems to take up an entire floor or two of the building, and is evidently a prime attraction for the surrounding community. I didn't partake, but they market the spa & fitness facilities almost more prominently than the hotel.

13. 4-Points prices. I think my rate was about 119 euros or so.

Now, I'm perhaps not one to judge, since I've only ever actually stayed at one other 4-Points hotel. But I've read the reviews here on FT about many of them that seem to be really awful places, and the one where I stayed was in Calgary, which is reputed to be one of the best in the chain. I had an executive suite there, so I'm sure I got the full measure of what the Calgary 4-Points has to offer. I also saw the one at Canmore, Alberta from the outside, and it, too, is reputed to be one of the best. They are both nice, but I can tell you for certain that neither of those two Canadian properties approaches the level of the Panoramahaus in Dornbirn.

Are there others that might contend with the Panoramahaus for the title? Anyone else visited this somewhat obscure hotel?
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Old Feb 22, 07, 8:35 am
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Bumping.

I am thinking of staying at this Four Points next weekend. I will be in Regensburg Germany for two weeks and am looking for a side trip. I can get a rate of about 87 Euro, which looks good.

Is there anything to do around this hotel? I see there is a casino near by. Any good restaurants, bars, etc? I'm not looking for a wild party weekend, but would like to do some sightseeing. It would be the first weekend in March. What are the crowds like that time? Still skiing season?
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Old Feb 22, 07, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by Helena Handbaskets View Post
9. Free breakfast, with a huge breakfast buffet featuring all of the European breakfast delights such as various breads, meats, cheeses, fruits, yogurts, and cereals, plus a selection of specialty cheeses in addition to the "standard" types, plus American standards such as scrambled eggs, bacon, and link sausages.
Interesting. Is this provided for Platinum members as a standard offering? I currently have a rate with breakfast included, but I see that the rate without breakfast is a few euros cheaper.
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Old Feb 22, 07, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by TKG View Post
Interesting. Is this provided for Platinum members as a standard offering? I currently have a rate with breakfast included, but I see that the rate without breakfast is a few euros cheaper.
I just booked an 81 Euro rate which includes breakfast. It was the cheapest rate offered, listed as a "Chainwide Discount" rate. I think free breakfast is typical for most hotels in that part of the world (at least Germany).
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Old Feb 22, 07, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by tev9999 View Post
Bumping.

I am thinking of staying at this Four Points next weekend. I will be in Regensburg Germany for two weeks and am looking for a side trip. I can get a rate of about 87 Euro, which looks good.

Is there anything to do around this hotel? I see there is a casino near by. Any good restaurants, bars, etc? I'm not looking for a wild party weekend, but would like to do some sightseeing. It would be the first weekend in March. What are the crowds like that time? Still skiing season?
I'm not into the partying or Casino scene, so I could be a bit off the mark, but I believe the best nearby bet for that is the neighboring town of Bregenz. Bregenz is on the lake and has a famous theater festival in late summer / early fall, and seems to be a fairly popular summer vacation spot for Germans/Austrians/Swiss who only want to travel a few hours from home. I believe I remember a lakeside casino in Bregenz. One caveat is that, since Bregenz is pretty much a summer destination, much of the nightlife might be meager or shut down in Feb./March.

Regarding restaurants, there are plenty of good restaurants with the standard German/Swiss fare, though of course you'll have plenty of that in Regensburg. The restaurant at the top of the Panoramahaus is a bit fancier, and fairly successful at pulling off the somewhat higher sophistication (In general, I find Germanic restaurants tend to fall on their faces when they try to get a little "uppity" rather than sticking to the basics). I once stayed at the "castle-hotel" in Bregenz (don't remember the name off-hand) and seem to recall that their promotional literature promotes the chef there as a special and well-regarded individual on the European gastronomic stage. I can't testify to his prowess from personal experience, as the prices at the restaurant there were well past my budget at the time.

If you're into Alpine scenery, the Austrian Alps begin just to the east of Dornbirn, but in my opinion the drive to the Appenzellerland (about 1 hour away) in Switzerland is more scenic.

You're also not far at all from Liechtenstein, if it would interest you to visit one of the world's smallest countries.

And if you want to ski, the closest resort would probably be Davos, about a 90 minute drive. Don't know how the relative dearth of snow in the Alps this year might affect the prospect for good conditions, though. There are a couple of Sheratons at Davos, but I'd expect that in ski season the rates would be multiples of what you'd pay at the Dornbirn Panoramahaus.

Last edited by Helena Handbaskets; Feb 22, 07 at 11:27 am
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Old Feb 22, 07, 11:49 am
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Thanks for the info. I'm not sure what I want to do yet. I've been to Regensburg many times, with many more coming up in the next few months, so I'm looking for something different than Bavaria. I went to Prague on my last trip in December. I've been thinking of Berlin also. Maybe even a short flight somewhere out of NUE or MUC. Decisions, decisions, ....
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Old Feb 23, 07, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by tev9999 View Post
I just booked an 81 Euro rate which includes breakfast. It was the cheapest rate offered, listed as a "Chainwide Discount" rate. I think free breakfast is typical for most hotels in that part of the world (at least Germany).
I'm not so sure. The times I've booked the chainwide discount rate - even in Germany - breakfast was not included. In addition, the more expensive rate mentions the inclusion of breakfast explicitly, while the other one did not.

Anyway, to settle this, I'm going to ring the hotel.
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Old Nov 12, 07, 4:42 am
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We stayed at this wonderful Four Points a few weeks ago, and found it as Helena Handbaskets' description. We also agree it is the best Four Points that we have stayed in to date. As a Platinum, we received the usual upgrade to the top floor in this very modern hotel. We would describe it as what we thought an Aloft property might be. One of the reasons for the hotel's success is the gym covering two floorsthat is described in this thread. It was designed as a refuge for all the town folk, and it succeeds remarkably.

We chose this hotel because Dornbirn is an easy 75 minute drive to Zurich's airport, which lies on the main road prior to entering downtown Zurich. Because of our early AA departure to JFK, we were unable to sample the breakfast that was included with the rate, as we were on the road by 6:45AM.

We have been in this part of Austria before, and again found enough activities to keep us busy for a day. There is a bizarre Rolls Royce museum that is on the outskirts of town, in an old factory that is really remote. This happens to be the largest RR museum in the world, and the self tour includes three floors of RRs, as well as the Restoration Shop. Mrs. Life_Platinum enjoys this part of Austria, as her favorite stocking maker, Wolford, has their factory in Bregenz and factory outlet prices are about 25% of what we pay in the U.S. Because it was our last night in Europe, we went to the Austrian-Swiss border where we had the Austrian guard stamp our Tax Free paperwork, so that we could quickly obtain rebates on the VAT at ZRH.

As Helena Handbaskets points out, there appears to be a very fine restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. We considered eating at the hotel, but thought we should see the town, and ended up at The Red House, a restaurant that was housed in the Dornbirn old town that must have been construted in the 1600s. Dinner was exceptional.

When we in this area on a previous trip, we went to the Zepplin Museum at Friedrickshaven, Germany. Although this museum is about 30 minutes from Dornbirn, we highly recommend it as one the must see museums in the area. One also can take a Zepplin ride, and one boards the vehicle close to the factory where these aircraft were built.

We wish that all U.S. Four Points properties were this good!!!
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Old Jun 3, 09, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by tev9999 View Post
I just booked an 81 Euro rate which includes breakfast. It was the cheapest rate offered, listed as a "Chainwide Discount" rate. I think free breakfast is typical for most hotels in that part of the world (at least Germany).
That seems to be a reasonable price. On which website did you find that rate? What about the breakfast on non-breakfast rates for Platinums?
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Old Jun 3, 09, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by nissan motor View Post
That seems to be a reasonable price. On which website did you find that rate? What about the breakfast on non-breakfast rates for Platinums?
You might be hard pressed to find that rate as tev9999's posting on this rate was over 2 years ago. Perhaps there have been any more recent stays from FTer's?
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Old Jun 4, 09, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by SleepDoc View Post
You might be hard pressed to find that rate as tev9999's posting on this rate was over 2 years ago. Perhaps there have been any more recent stays from FTer's?
I had to pull a Platinum Privilege (the deal where I can get a room at a sold-out hotel at rack rate) recently for a future reservation in Dornbirn. I was astonished to receive a rate of 130 euros. Is it possible the rack rate is that low?
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Old Jun 4, 09, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Helena Handbaskets View Post
I had to pull a Platinum Privilege (the deal where I can get a room at a sold-out hotel at rack rate) recently for a future reservation in Dornbirn. I was astonished to receive a rate of 130 euros. Is it possible the rack rate is that low?
130 EUR only? Then it might be useful to use a 1000 points certificate (if this still exists)
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Old Jun 4, 09, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by nissan motor View Post
130 EUR only? ...
On a Queen bed and at single occupancy, the RACK rate is EUR130 for select room types.

Then it might be useful to use a 1000 points certificate (if this still exists)
If you mean an SPG50 certificate, I wasn't able to find availability for using one through the end of the year.

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Old Jul 8, 09, 1:46 pm
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This hotel is great!

Mr Rani loves this place. We've been traveling for about 3 weeks now in France and French Switzerland and he has been suffering from a bit of culture shock as he places primary importance on gyms, a/c and ice. This hotel has lived up to all expectations and all for the points to stay in a 4 pts. Our 1 night stay is being extended to 3 nights. It's proximity to a large supermarket where we were able to stock up on all the necessities for our driving trip of Europe was an added bonus.
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Old Jul 8, 09, 8:38 pm
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To answer the OP question, I had thought the 4P Sydney Darling Harbour was right up at the top, but this may beat it.
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