Lake Wörth swayed viewers at the start of the nineties with the legendary television series A castle on the Wörthersee. Old and young generations were amazed by the iconic chef of the hotel, played by Roy Black. The main backdrop for the film was a Renaissance chateau, where a hotel now proudly meets guests. Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden sits at the western side of Lake Wörth, where the former Velden Castle, dating to 1593, once stood. The warm Lake Wörth is named The Austrian Riviera, and countless visitors flock to this famed tourist destination every year. The castle has a rich history and has been operating as a hotel since 1890. It rose to fame after World War II as a hotspot for the international jet set. Before its most recent renovation, the German industrialist Gunther Sachs imprinted his signature on the hotel to attract influencers to the destinations. Today, the hotel and its visage are synonymous with Carinthian luxury tourism, now in the safe hands of the Falkensteiner hotel chain.
The hotel is easily accessible and close to major Austrian traffic crossroads. Sitting approximately two kilometres from Klagenfurt, the hotel is a stone’s throw away from the central traffic hub in Villach. Guests visiting the Monte Carlo of Austria mostly arrive at the destination with their vehicles. Spacious underground parking that offers easy access and spots for electric cars await them. As expected of an eminent five-star hotel, the unparalleled shuttle service takes guests to main traffic hubs. Thus, guests may enjoy a stylish and smooth ride in the Rolls Royce Ghost.
The Klagenfurt Airport is the closest airport, although it does not offer numerous or frequent connections. Many guests arrive from Ljubljana Airport and airports in Venice and Trieste. The advantage of the location is its immediate vicinity to five international airports, thus ensuring guests find an optimal transportation solution. Drivers, beware: there are numerous speed radars on the roads around Velden. Hence, we recommend that you do not exceed the speed limit and instead indulge in the stunning views of the glimmering lake.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
The unique Renaissance architecture of the chateau with the yellow facade dominates the coast of the lake. Renovated by Jabornegg & Palffy Architects in 2007, the architectural bureau won the international architectural competition in 2004. An extensive renovation resulted in modern architecture centred around the chateau, whilst the new annexe next to the main building appears as a guarding wall. Both buildings complement one another, the space between them connected by a stunning park that oozes the feeling of exclusivity and secludedness. Guests can revel in this tranquillity on the terraces of the rooms in the annexe building. Art lovers will be impressed by a boutique gallery of artworks on the ground floor.
Even though there is a vast wellness centre and other hotel facilities tucked away within the new glass building surrounded by greenery, the new construction does not diminish the beauty of the lake promenade. Instead, it blends seamlessly with its surroundings. The photogenic area is calling out to organisers of incentive events. One can easily imagine a car launch hosted on the hotel premises. The ownership of the castle hotel was taken over by Karl Wlaschek’s real estate agency from Vienna in 2013, while the Falkensteiner hotel chain started overseeing management. Upon acquiring Schlosshotel Velden, they refreshed the hotel, now distinguished by a combination of old and new. Clean lines, minimalist shapes and beige and dark brown colours dominate the interior, while golden details exude luxury.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
How can one encapsulate the exceptional staff of this Falkensteiner hotel in words? The incredibly friendly receptionist meets guests with an ever-present smile, professionality, sincerity and youthful enthusiasm. She had no problem going the extra mile to ensure guests were satisfied. After our stay at the hotel, we can state the same for all staff members. Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden is a textbook example of top hotel service and a source of inspiration for all hotels developing their luxury offer.
A mix of the Mediterranean and local flavours – is there anything better? Dishes served in the hotel bear the unmistakable signature of chef Thomas Gruber. The regional cuisine he continuously develops is based on high-quality ingredients and an array of cultures that intertwine in this part of Europe. The gastronomy in Restaurant Seespitz can be summarised as food with a soul, heart and brain. The menu was fantastic, not least because of the impressive wine list that follows the same philosophy. Both in the restaurant and at the hotel reception, guests can buy delicacies from the restaurant. Not to forget: Seespitz Restaurant boasts two hats in the Gault Millau Guide and two forks by Falstaff.
Breakfast was served in the conference centre, which turned into an alluring breakfast hall. A part of the breakfast was self-service, whereas a part was à la carte, typical of the Falkensteiner hotel chain.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel
The room is a modern interpretation of a castle room. Not one thing is fake in this imposing room. Everything from the imperial fireplace and the classic wooden floor to the white marble in the bathroom and the custom-made furniture is original and unique. The room we stayed in was a junior suite in the modern annexe, impressive because of its spaciousness. An extra-large bed is not only great for its quality but also because of its comfort and excellent bed lining. Illumination within the room is managed digitally, enabling guests to conjure a romantic or work ambience with some patience. Everything functions flawlessly and is excellently maintained. Should you seek a rain shower, the rooms offer a tried-and-tested model. Designers of new hotels can take inspiration from it. Indeed, one has no issues imagining a prolonged nomad hotel stay in this castle room. Adding value is the intimate terrace overlooking the beautiful castle garden. The room is, above all, convincing due to its timeless never-going-out-of-fashion style and premium quality.
Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden is not your regular hotel. Even the conference centre is evocative, fostering the imagination of guests and event organisers. It is a space where time runs slowly. With a separate entrance, the conference centre is truly multifunctional. Its heart and soul is the Ballroom which can be adapted into two smaller meeting halls. It boasts spectacular vistas of Lake Wörth and can host up to 400 attendees. They feature modern equipment – unsurprisingly – considering the conference centre was head and shoulders above regional competition upon opening. Because of the numerous outdoor surface areas and its undeniable allure, the hotel is especially suitable for car launches. Several have already taken place here.
DESSERT – The extras
The entire region is teeming with various incentive ideas and service providers. Active event attendees can use the hotel’s private marina or the bathing area next to the lake for events. Additionally, the hotel hides a few hidden corners to organise spectacular parties underneath the stars. Find more incentive ideas at the following website: https://www.carinthia-incentives.at/.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Guests must dig deeper into their pockets to afford such hotel service. The prices of the hotel are not modest; however, we can confirm that staying at this hotel is worth every penny because of the unparalleled level of service and prestigious location.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The Aquapura SPA Wellness Centre stretches a staggering 3600 square metres and is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious in this part of Europe. A rich offer includes an indoor and outdoor pool, a panoramic sauna in the garden and a relaxation space with water beds and a SPA cinema. Among the extensive selection of various spa therapies, one stands out: the haki healing method, invented by Harald Kitz. We recommend visiting the spa during a break if you attend an event in the hotel.
Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden advocates sustainable measures, particularly the management of room cleaning. Among numerous measures, they uphold changing bed linings every four days. Cosmetics of the hotel’s brand are only available in shampoo dispensers instead of small plastic bottles. The hotel does not promote any certificates.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden is absolutely one of the most prestigious hotels within the Falkensteiner portfolio. Similarly to a world-class athlete, it faces the task of beating its own standards and thus retaining its spot among the best in the hotel industry. When we last evaluated the hotel, the Falkensteiner hotel group had only started managing it. Today, it is in peak performance and is ageing almost as well as the finest Bordeaux wines. The hotel has stood the test of time, considering fifteen years have passed since the last substantial investment.
Is the hotel the flagship of tourism in Carinthia? Undeniably. Led with German precision and flaunting Austrian charm, the hotel is superb in every segment. Ultimately, the hotel excels in organising events, given the staff is used to meeting the expectations of the most demanding event organisers. Thus, it is no surprise the hotel edged out its competition in this year’s evaluation. Even though the competition is younger, the crisis has affected the service of hotels elsewhere. In Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden, everything is as expected of a supreme meeting five-star hotel. The staff is what delights the most and goes to show that tourism equals people.
FINAL GRADE: 4.98 GOLD Resort Meeting Hotel
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60