Hotel Zhero - Ischgl / Kappl, Austria (Design Hotel)

100   Recommended

Junior Suite Classic
April 8, 2019 by
Share
Save
Liked:
Location
 
Service
 
Food
 
Amenities
 
Room
 

{{ oRightNav.heading }}


Save

Share

Junior Suite Classic

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

Stats
Room
Junior Suite Classic

I recently completed a 5-night stay at Hotel Zhero (Design) towards the end of ski season.  I generally had a good stay and I can recommend this hotel for a number of reasons but there are some caveats as explained in my review.  

Location

The hotel is near the ski town of Ischgl which is about 1+ hour drive from Innsbruck and 3 hour drive from Zurich.  We got there with a rental car and it was easy to find the hotel because it’s on the main road, plus the hotel has convenient underground parking.  However I found the location of the hotel to be so-so because there is very little in the immediate area so it’s not like you can walk to a number of restaurants. Ischgl is 7km away so it’s easy to drive there from the hotel but personally I like to get out of the hotel and walk to shops and restaurants.  To be fair, a 5-star hotel right in Ischgl will cost more than double what you pay at Hotel Zhero.  So that is the compromise: for a similar price, a 4-star hotel in Ischgl or 5-star Zhero a bit out of the way.  

Even though Zhero is not ski-in / ski-out, the hotel has a free shuttle bus to bring guests to Ischgl and for the return you can just call for pick-up.  The hotel conveniently rents ski equipment so you can get in the shuttle bus all ready to go, and the hotel also sells tickets to avoid guests waiting to buy tickets near the slopes.  

IMG_2845.jpeg

Room

I booked the superior room type and got a 3-category upgrade to a “junior suite classic” as a Marriott Ambassador guest.  I am not a frequent user of Design hotels but from memory this is the first time I got any kind of material upgrade at the Design brand so I was positively surprised.  This hotel lives up to the brand reputation with several unique aesthetic features. Whether it pleases is more a matter of personal preference and for me the style was not my favorite, mostly because the color theme was way too dark.  The walls are black, counter tops are black, furniture is black, etc.  The ceiling is made of wood to give a charming feeling but once again somewhat dark wood.  The floor tiles are of a lighter color but they are covered by a dark mat in both the living room and the bedroom.  Even the bathrobe and the face cloths were dark which is unusual; only towels and bed sheets were white.  Light fixtures were not particularly strong so in several areas of the room it felt dark even during the day and even when opening the curtains completely.  The same color scheme was used in common areas for example at reception, in corridors, in the main restaurant, etc.  The other way the hotel stands out is by the use of women as a theme.  There are picture frames of women in several places in the hotel, including a framed picture with topless women in our room which you would certainly never see in North America (!).  The do not disturb sign is also a woman.  

Back to the room itself, it was quite spacious and more akin to a real suite rather than a junior suite (despite the name) and the quality of materials is very good.  There is a clear separation between the bedroom and the living room although there was no door in between.  There might have been a sliding door at some point because we could see a railing in the ceiling and there is an opening in the wall separating the bedroom from the living room, but no sliding door in there.  The living room has a sofa bed so the room can accommodate 4 people.  

There was a half bathroom near the entrance which is convenient, in addition to the main bathroom which has a rain shower in a large bathtub with porous stone walls.  Throughout the entire room there is ample storage space with several closets. 

In front of the bedroom and living room there is a balcony although there is no seating over there and it’s just a long walkway going the entire length of the hotel so strangely you can have other guests on your floor walk in front of your room and look through your window.  It did not happen but just because of the possibility, it makes you think twice about privacy.  During the night we felt a bit hot so we opened the door/window but we wondered whether someone drunk could just walk into our room during the night from the balcony. 

IMG_2800.jpegIMG_2801.jpegIMG_2802.jpegIMG_2803.jpegIMG_2804.jpegIMG_2805.jpegIMG_2806.jpeg

Depending on which side of the hotel is the room, different guests can get a view, but from our room since we were right in front of the road and since the road is at the bottom of the valley, when looking out from the room we were too close to the mountain so you just see trees rather than see a mountain in the distance.  There is a small river (or stream) next to the road so it was nice to hear the sound of water flowing, for lack of view.  But we also got some traffic noise.  Rooms on the sides of the hotel can see mountains in the distance. 

Another issue with the balcony is that there is a ceiling above it, so even when the sun was shining, the roof puts more than half of the windows in the shade, which does not help the feeling of darkness in the room.

As a final note about the room, this hotel uses Bottega Veneta amenities which we enjoyed.  

Dining

Breakfast was included in our rate, in fact I believe all guests have free breakfast at this hotel.  Marriott.com does not mention anything about breakfast if booking with points, however nobody asked us for our room number in the restaurant so I suspect that points redemptions get breakfast too. 

In any event, we found breakfast to be excellent.  Timing is very convenient as it lasts until 11:30am.  The quality of the food was good and choice was adequate: several fruits, several veggies, traditional sausages, an omelet station, and several specialty breads.  The smoked salmon was thick and particularly delicious.  There is also an a la carte menu to go along the buffet but it was at an extra charge. 

IMG_2796.jpegIMG_2807.jpegIMG_2808.jpeg

IMG_2809.jpegIMG_2823.jpeg

Gym

The gym is ok although it’s just a window-less dark room.

IMG_2877.jpeg

Pool

I found the pool to be a great place to relax and very well designed including several lounge chairs and a fireplace.  It is a strong point of the hotel.  

IMG_2878.jpeg

Bar and Lounge

The hotel bar and lounge is inviting and well designed.  

IMG_2797.jpegIMG_2798.jpegIMG_2799.jpeg

Overall

Overall I would say it’s a good hotel but it’s not perfect.  I was pleased with the Ambassador treatment and room upgrade, but you have to compromise on location and the room was not my favorite due to the darkness.  That said, next time I book a mountain trip to Austria, I would probably return to Zhero.   It is a good choice if you are looking for a hotel which is part of a hotel chain and where you can get elite benefits.  Competition from other hotel chains in this part of the Austria is somewhat limited. There is a Curio (Hilton) ski hotel available in Austria but it’s closer to Salzburg than it is to Innsbruck so a different area of the country.  Hyatt does not have ski resorts in Austria except for a newly added property from Small Luxury Hotels (Kristiania Lech) close by in Lech am Arlberg, but it’s unlikely that elite guests will get more benefits at SLH than at Design.  So bottom line Marriott loyalists who want to stay in this area will be treated well and can book at Hotel Zhero; it provides a different kind of experience than boring standard hotels. 

4 Comments

4 comments and Y review