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Finding accommodation for a short break...

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm looking to do a short break in Jan or Feb, hopefully 4-5 days on the slopes with only 3 days annual leave if the flight times are right. Trouble is, I'm struggling to find accommodation in the resorts that you can book night by night. Any ideas the best way to go about it? Expedia etc only seem to bring up hotels that are a few miles from the resorts rather than in them.

Looking at Austria ideally. Soll is my first choice but anywhere that's pretty and beginner/intermediate friendly would be good!

Thanks Madeye-Smiley
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Done it often for long weekends ( Thurs thru Tue) - just leave it late so they know that they don't have bookings, and look for hotels slightly out of the main resort areas.

If the resorts have capacity for crowds at high season there's going to be places available at quieter times.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Where are you thinking of flying into?
Salzburg and Innsbruck are well situated for short transfer and close areas.
The early bird flights from Ryanair, Stansted to Salzburg (06:35 ish) are an option (I think they are flying every other day).
I'd recommend renting a car too. If you aren't arriving on a Saturday then there isn't normally such a long wait. You can also then drive directly to somewhere like Flachau Winkl (50 minutes directly off the motorway from the airport) and a get a half day in on the slopes before checking in somewhere (most check ins are open until about 10pm).
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@Laurs234, ideally you want somewhere with frequent flights and short transfers - ideally with a well developed transfer infrastructure so you can arrive of an evening after work in time for last orders and depart of an evening after a full day's skiing.

Which I don't believe is Austria...

Geneva is generally the best served afaik from most UK airports.

Many easy accommodation choices as long as you avoid the French school holidays.
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Www.booking.com
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@under a new name, I'm not sure why this isn't an option in Austria.

From Salzburg there is exactly what you described, early arrivals (10:15 local) and late(ish) flights out 18:10 on a sunday.
So with a hire car you could be on the slopes at about 12 and leave at 16:00 on the last day (if you are confident) or 15:00 if you want to be a little safer!

There are also transfer options that would be able to offer a return service for these flights... but they do take longer so probably 14:30 return and a later arrival.

I don't have any specific local knowledge for Innsbruck but I'm pretty darn sure it is possible from there too, so i'm not sure why you made such a blanket of a statement.
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+1 for austria. nice short transfers. the few times we have done this (Ischgl and St anton), we found finding hotels on ski area web site easiest and largest selection.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sorry, I thought I mandated, ideally, to maximise ski time and minimise annual leave, needs late-ish evening outbound, evening inbound and a well developed transfer infrastructure. N.B. this more or less demands direct flights as well.

For Austria the constraints appear to fail the first test: (per Skyscanner)

Few direct flights to Salzburg all lose at least two half days http://bit.ly/2fauevL

Innsbruck no better http://bit.ly/2eQQbVv

And only London flights.

in fairness the latest Geneva flight out I can see is London at 20h00ish which might require an early departure and a kindly boss. The 21h50 I used to commute out on a Friday doesn't appear to operate any more.
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I'm not trying to be anti- or for- anything BTW, (although I live in Geneva and so I know the local infrastructure best) but short, efficient weekends are not about emotional attachments - they are about maximising ski time and minimising costs including leave days. Which means optimising transport and connections.
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You have a valid point, but for me personally it does NOT make much difference between geneva, innsbruck or salzburg for flying. But the opener initially asked for help with accommodation and he was "ideally" looking at austria. Laughing
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@WASHOUT, that's fine, I just gave my opinion having done many weekends. Our record was 55 days skiing one season for (I think) 14 days annual leave...
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Munich and Zurich are also possible airports for Austria, although have longer transfer times.
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I have managed to find accomodation for 5 days in Sölden, Ischgl, St.Anton and Serfaus. All mid-late Jan in last five years and single rooms. My experience suggests not to leave the booking 'til last minute. The only time I did I found myself 6km from the nearest lift. Of course it's budget permitting. I tend to keep the budget max 60e/pp a night. The transfers are another issue.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Sitter, and longer transfer times begins to make things less fun.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@flangesax, @under a new name does make a good point about flights to Austria - I looked into it several times when I was living in London and for a short break the timing and airport options never seemed to work out. The only direct non-Saturday flights out of the UK are from Gatwick, and there's no late return flight (15:10 from Innsbruck is the latest that I can find). As Gatwick was the other side of London to me, Geneva and Chamonix was a much better bet because I could ski all day both Saturday and Sunday with no time off work. Best case equivalent to Salzburg/Innsbruck loses 2 half days skiing. Yes, there are more flights to Zurich and Munich, but you start to lose more ski time with those.

However, the OP didn't ask about flights Very Happy.

@Laurs234, I've done short breaks to Austria, albeit when I was living in Southern Germany and wasn't risking flights, but I tended to find that in advance, it could be very difficult to get accommodation for short breaks. However, a week before, when they haven't sold the rooms, they get a lot more flexible, particularly in low season. Avoid the Austrian/German school holidays and the Fasching/Carneval week.

Or, look at Switzerland, where per night booking is much more common (I know, it's not Austria! Little Angel)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I got the impression that the OP was looking for somewhat more general advice than just what was requested...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

I got the impression that the OP was looking for somewhat more general advice than just what was requested...


and the OP said "if the flights are right" - so advice on flights from somebody who has done tons of short break trips seems apposite.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Worcester really means flying from Brum or Bristol is suppose. However, if you can get to Gatwick, the easyJet flights to Geneva are great for maximising ski time. In the winter, I think the first flight out is around 6.15am (so stay in a B&B the night before- yes, it is an added cost, but the flights tend to be well priced), you can actually get on the snow by mid morning. Then the last flight home most nights of the week is 9.30pm. Best options for transfer are either taking the train to somewhere like Verbier, or car hire to the Grand Massif area...takes about an hour. The last flight home means you can comfortably ski a whole last day, have some supper and still get to the airport without it being a rush. We have had a very nice weekend in the Milk Hotel in Les Carroz. Or maybe look at Italy...Milan Malpensa to the Aosta Valley...take about 2 hours by hire car, less if you can fly to Turin. We stayed at the Villa Anna Maria in Champoluc. The hotel is quaint and dated but in a charming way. Champoluc is lovely, and prices for eating out very reasonable.
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Last season I had a lovely long weekend in Nauders. Flights from Edinburgh into Munich meant a 3 hour transfer by hire car but it'd be a lot shorter if you could get an Innsbruck flight. Got my hotel on Booking.com and that was booking well in advance for the February half term weekend! If you find a hotel via an online agency like Booking.com id recommend you still book direct with the hotel. Won't save you any money but it means the hotel gets more and they appreciate that. Nauders isn't a big ski area but it's perfect for a few days, lots of lovely long blues and easy reds.
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I guess a lot rides on whether @Laurs234 is definitely based in Worcester and whether they work a 9 - 5 or shifts and which days would suit best.

I think an after work jaunt from Worcester to London may be pushing it a little and then brum and bristol are more saturday.
More info needed really to find a good fit.

But as the OP requested Austria (ideally) it is not really right to say it is not possible.

More info needed @Laurs234!
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Wow wasn't expecting such a debate!

Yes I am based in Worcester but work in Birmingham so easy enough to get to Birmingham, Bristol, East Mids, Manchester and Heathrow for evening flights.

Flights I can work out, it was more where to find accommodation that can be booked for less than a week that I was hoping someone could help with. Booking.com etc seem to bring up hotels that aren't in the resorts themselves, but sounds like others have so maybe I need to look at a few different resorts. Sounds like Italy and Switzerland could have a few more options than Austria Very Happy

Thanks everyone!
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Ive done this sort of thing loads of times BOTH to France and Austria, usually 3/4 days skiing over a weekend for 1/2 days off work - Always hire a car for ease of transfer . To me Austria is my favourite. Munich has loads of flights from both LGW and LHR with Easyjet from LGW and Lufthansa & BA from LHR. The way to do it is an evening flight out and and evening flight back. I've often driven in the evening of the 1st night then kipped in the car in the resort car park to get up and ski for the day then get a B&B for a few days with skiing on the last day before a drive back to the airport to return to London. Sometimes I just get a hotel near the resort either for the 1st night or the entire trip for a short drive in the morning to the resort.
Austrian resorts that Ive done this type of trip to to are Zell am see(a few times), Saalbach, Soll (a few times), St Anton, Sankt Johan im Tyrol, Hinterglemm. We use to be able to do this via Salzburg with Ryanair but they reduced the daily flights meaning there was no evening flights. So we started using Munich, which to a place like Soll is only about 2 hours or so.
French resorts via either Lyon or Geneva or a long time ago with Ryanair via St Etienne that I've done this to are Chamonix, St Gervais, Les deux alpes, Meribel and Brides les bains, La Plagne, Les Arcs even Tignes once.
Its all doable and having been to both countries Austria to me is far more favourable for this. Accomadation either by booking.com or especially in Austria via local area website. Ive even turned up and got rooms on demand, though usually at end of season, though once in Meribel I couldn't get a room between there and Moutiers (even Brides) on demand until I agreed to pay the greedy man at the Terminus Hotel by the station for a triple room at full price for 3 even though it was just for me. I doubt 3 people would of turned up after me, but who was I to say?!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Munich is a good option for Zell am see. Evening flight, airport hotel and early train in the morning can get you into Zell not long after first gondola. Evening flight back on departure day mean you can ski until 1/2pm and still have time to train it back to Munich.
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Kipping in the car? No thanks.

snowHead

Leaving 1-2 ish ? Defeats the object.

Focus please, people.
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Short breaks are possible in st Anton - as you can now fly scheduled with BA to Innsbruck (as well as Easyjet). From there its an easy 1 hour train ride. Is also possible from Zurich but longer transfer (2.5 hours) For Accommodation - you have to book pretty much the week before as hotel owners hang on to the places. Flexiski offer short,albeit a bit pricey 4 day options in their luxury central chalets, or go it independent - check the stantonamarlberg site. Pettneu is a great bet - they generally have more flexibility, is an easy direct 8 minutes to the lifts on the free ski bus and its a great little town just outside of Anton but included in the pass etc. Also - pistetopowder off piste ski guides based in Anton, will be offering 4 day intro skitour weekends where you combine 2 nights in resort with 2 nights in a hut, another interesting option. I'm based in Anton all season, so check with me if you are looking.
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Laurs234 wrote:
Wow wasn't expecting such a debate!

Yes I am based in Worcester but work in Birmingham so easy enough to get to Birmingham, Bristol, East Mids, Manchester and Heathrow for evening flights.

Flights I can work out, it was more where to find accommodation that can be booked for less than a week that I was hoping someone could help with. Booking.com etc seem to bring up hotels that aren't in the resorts themselves, but sounds like others have so maybe I need to look at a few different resorts. Sounds like Italy and Switzerland could have a few more options than Austria Very Happy

Thanks everyone!

Hotels.com or booking.com are good.

I'm booked for 4 days in Cortina on a ski in ski out hotel really cheap with hotels.com. You can bus it from Venice.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
It is worth using trivago.com and other comparison sites.
That way you get more options with more OTA's with a single search.
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