I have been on a short trip to Vienna trough Munich and Salzburg. Before anything else I would like to share this:
The planning of this trip gave me some insight in the pros and contras of planning your own trip versus using a travel agent nowadays. In the days of my frequent business traveling, long before the Internet area, we used a Los Angeles based one woman Travel Agent. Why based in Los Angeles? Because when the travel plans were made, usually after Dutch business hours, each and every Dutch travel agent was closed. She was there, reliable as always, willing to combine unusual travel requests and destinations, and, last but not least, she was one of the first woman I know of who could toggle the GDS schemes in a favorable way for us. One who could suggest a round the world ticket for an Amsterdam Los Angeles round trip as being much cheaper than a simple return ticket. Coming to think of this, I am curious how she is doing these days.
Already ten years ago, in the Internet infancy days, I once booked a satisfactory stay in one of the hotels of their collection through the Internet (then via an aptly answered e-mail exchange) as I did again during this trip to Vienna.
My conclusion is that they still are way ahead of the crowd. If you want to pick a hotel in a certain area you want to see where it is located. The site of Â»Relais et Chateaux gives it all: Fast loading and to the point location of the hotel of your choice and in addition to to the point information about the hotel. Moreover they have their complete catalog on line in an easy flip through PDF format which you can also download if you want.
Finally in flipping through their portfolio, my conclusion is that they still are one of the primary sources for a real (luxury) weekend hotel.