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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was thinking Serre Chevalier before I got to the bottom of your post where you suggested it!

So Serre Chevalier is my suggestion.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@bambionskiis, Yes. give me a shout in plenty of time, and it'll be my pleasure!
Quote:

it doesn't look like you have the much -sought-after-in-Austria seperate beds for the kids (no way will our 16 yo girl share a bed with her 13 yo brother).

Appearances can be deceptive - we have all kinds of sleeping options, including bunk beds, sofa beds, occasional beds and super-kingsize beds that lend themselves to barricades being erected down the middle.
Quote:

how far are you in Saalbach to the thermal baths btw and is there public transport/can you ski there?

If you mean the Tauernspa at Kaprun, it's about 25 minutes drive away, and no, you can't ski there. You could get a bus to Zell am See (regular bus service and only about half an hour's trip) and then a taxi to the Spa.
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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?
Tatman's Tours wrote:
@bambionskiis, Yes. give me a shout in plenty of time, and it'll be my pleasure!
Quote:

it doesn't look like you have the much -sought-after-in-Austria seperate beds for the kids (no way will our 16 yo girl share a bed with her 13 yo brother).

Appearances can be deceptive - we have all kinds of sleeping options, including bunk beds, sofa beds, occasional beds and super-kingsize beds that lend themselves to barricades being erected down the middle.
Quote:

how far are you in Saalbach to the thermal baths btw and is there public transport/can you ski there?

If you mean the Tauernspa at Kaprun, it's about 25 minutes drive away, and no, you can't ski there. You could get a bus to Zell am See (regular bus service and only about half an hour's trip) and then a taxi to the Spa.


Fab, thanks for that. Sounds great. Sure I'll be in touch. Sensible on the bed front - I discounted no end of Austrian accommodations for this one criteria alone. As my daughter said when I asked what she thought of sharing a bed frame with her brother "euuwwww", followed by him saying he'd rather not go!
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
I fancy a holiday in Saalbach as well. Was wondering is there a good swimming pool with saunas etc to keep the non skiing Mrs happy?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@craigjbarker, The public pool in Saalbach is outdoors, so summer only.

The larger hotels in Saalbach have pools, saunas and 'wellness' spas - e.g Alpenhotel, Hotel Post, Saalbacherhof, Hotel Sonne and others. The Alpinresort has particularly good facilities. Some hotels will sell day-tickets to non-residents - the tourist office keeps an up to date list. There are also self-catering apartment blocks such as Casa Alpina that have a pool and sauna.

For non-skiers there is plenty to do in and around Saalbach. There is a special non-skiers lift ticket that allows guests to take the gondola lifts and meet the skiers on the mountain for lunch. All of the 8 lifts out of Saalbach and Hinterglemm are gondolas, and all have mountain restaurants at the top and/or mid-station.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Madonna isn't really an 'on a budget resort's

Corvara offers better skiing and value on the mountain but transfers may be an issue.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Totally agree with Jellemr on all points. Mongenevre. Went there this year, wish I had tried it sooner. Nursery slopes right on the front. Easy wide green all the way from top to bottom with cafe half way down or could just do half of it. Gondola up to cafe for non skiers to lunch up the mountain. Plenty of KM to be had for those who want it over in Italy. Cheap flight to Turin, short transfer, cheap car hire. Italy a mile down the road. Would suit your brief. Lift pass also gives a day in Serre Chevalier. Non skiers would have plenty in Briancon only a short 20 mins trip. Go -Montgenevre good website for info as well as tourist board.
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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!
WoottonBecs wrote:
I'm sold on Saalbach, but it's easier for me - I ski nearly every year. The family with twins can only go once in a blue moon, and it's a deal breaker for them. They have read some bad reviews apparently.

It would be interesting to know where these bad reviews were from. I've not been to Saalbach, but by impression is that (partially due to the snowmaking and excellent piste management) it's one of the most snowsure places around. You don't need to go as high in Austria as France to get good snow. When I'm looking at the altitude of ski areas, I generally discount the really high bits, like glaciers, and look at where the bulk of the skiing is. Glaciers can be very bleak.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@sugarmoma666, when I see a bad review of a resort it's invariably because the reviewer happened to be there when the weather was bad (which, in the context of a ski resort includes of course unseasonably mild weather), even though the same weather conditions may well have affected hundreds of other resorts in that part of the Alps, or even right across the Alps. So often the resort gets the credit or the blame, as the case may be, for whatever the weather may be throwing at us. Reviews can also be influenced by many other subjective factors, such as choice of accommodation, choice of week and decisions made, for better or for worse, on whether to have tuition, which runs to tackle and where to eat and spend non-skiing time.
As an example of what I'm getting at, two sets of guests were so impressed by the cold but sunny weather and good snow in mid to late January last season that they immediately booked the same weeks for next season, although the same weather benefited ski resorts in that part of the Alps generally and may not be replicated next season. Another set of guests decided that their particular week had been too busy and decided to try another week next season, even though the week in question had been the Fasching carnival week (public holiday in Austria and Germany), and next year it will be a completely different week (as, like Easter, the Fasching week changes from year to year).
Hence a particular week might be a well-chosen success one year and an unfortunate experience the next, entirely attributable to factors that have little or nothing to do with the resort. Sometimes it pays to treat reviews with a large pinch of salt, and I would say that that particularly applies to some of the so-called guides, which can focus attention disproportionately and unfairly on a particular aspect that happened to catch the reviewer's attention
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I'll admit to being surprised by the comments about Saalbach not being snowsure enough. From what I've heard, it has a reputation for some of the best snowmaking around, and in any case it's not particularly low at all by Austrian standards. It's worth pointing out again that Austrian resorts will be lower than French ones, due to the grassy hills needing less snow than the rocky French ones and also the weather being generally colder as you move away form the Atlantic ocean. There may be good reasons for not fancying Saalbach (e.g. if you're based in Paris it's a faff to get to compared to the French resorts), but a lack of snow in the middle of February shouldn't be one of them.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Tatman, just wondering if you got my private message?

So true what you are saying. We've returned to the same resort three times and it was different each time depending upon weather conditions. We also tried a different hotel the last time and we didn't enjoy the holiday nearly as much.
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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.
@bambionskiis, Not, not received - but you can contact me via my website (below).

As you say, the same week in the same resort can be different each year, and an individual perspective can be swayed by many different factors, so a particular reviewer's experience based on one visit, can really be discounted, unless it's supported by many other similar reviews. Things can change rapidly in a ski resort, and there is a big difference, for example, between visiting in a busy, peak holiday week and visiting the following week, when all the crowds have gone. Similarly, a particular week can be, if not spoiled, adversely affected by an "unseasonable" anticyclone and southerly airstream, rendering conditions over the Alps akin to Benidorm, only for the following week to be back to normal, with sub-zero temperatures and fresh snow. As I spend all season in one resort, I have seen how quickly and radically it can all change from one week to the next. Although it's pointless to try to predict what the weather is likely to be like or "play safe" by choosing a particular week, it does pay to do some research, e.g. school holiday dates in Europe, records of snow levels in a particular resort, efficiency of snow-making, diversity and orientation of slopes, popularity of the resort, and, most of all, honest feedback from those really know the resort. Although there are always good days and bad days throughout the entire season, I would say that the best skiing I had last season was in mid-December and mid- to late January. Next season it might be February or March, or even early April.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@bambionskiis, Saalbach will appeal to the twins if the are boys as they will be able enjoy the numerous lap dancing clubs and all the drunken revalry that pretty much prevails thoughout the centre every night.

If you are heading to this domain then I would recommend you stay in Hinterglemm over Saalbach. I have stayed in both resorts with my family. There are very good learner slopes too.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@northantsred, I'm a little shocked by that indictment! I'm no great fan of strip clubs (although I confess to having been dragged into a couple of them two or three times by Mrs TT, "just for a laugh") and can't say they intrude on my consciousness. The Schwipps Bar on Dorfstrasse is discreetly contained in an underground bar, so all you see is a staircase leading down, and I have known plenty of guests who didn't know it was there until I pointed it out to them. Similarly the Schwipps Bar on Schulstrasse is unnoticeable, with again a staircase leading down; however I can honestly say that, in all my time in Saalbach, I have never seen anyone going in or out of that particular bar - I don't even know if it's in use all or some of the time. That leaves the "Why Not", at the top of Dorfstrasse, just before Hotel Kendler. Again I would venture the opinion that it is a discreet bar, which is unlikely to be identified as a "den of iniquity", except by anyone who walks through the door; even then, on the basis of my single visit (about 10 years ago with Mrs TT, her daughter and a group of friendly Dutch people whom we'd met in Castellos), they would be unlikely to see anything more shocking than a single pole-dancer displaying less naked flesh than you would see in any Austrian hotel sauna. My perception is that our European neighbours have a far more matter of fact, permissive and less judgmental outlook on such things than we Brits (something that has regularly been commented on in this forum).
As for the comments about drunken revelry, it is undeniably a "party resort", but I would be surprised if anyone found it much different from many other ski villages, in which groups of holiday makers like to live it up a little and don't always heed that little voice in their head that says, "Enough!". I have in mind the likes of St Anton, Ischgl, Mayrhofen, Soell, Val D - also Hinterglemm, which can be an eye-opener when it's chucking-out time at the London Pub/Tanzhimmel and the Goassstall.
My own opinion, based on four months each season of socialising most evenings in Saalbach is that, apart from the odd occasion when Mrs TT embarrasses me by having one too many, any revelry, drunken or otherwise, has not been unduly irksome, being invariably good-natured, harmless fun. It's also worth pointing out that any revelry of this sort is fairly minimal during the main school holiday period, when families predominate - that encompasses the whole of February, since the various European nations, as well as the Austrian regions, stagger their half-term holidays. I noticed this last February, when the village centre was exceptionally quiet, compared with some weeks in January. Also, in the time we have been based in Saalbach, we have known many respectable British people - probably up to ten families, many of them with young children (and some of whom have stayed with us as first-time visitors to the resort), who have liked the village - both its skiing and its general atmosphere - sufficiently to buy second homes in the village.
Anyway that's my pennyworth, but I would welcome other opinions.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I already voiced mine and you don't change my perception of the resort in any way.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

I confess to having been dragged into a couple of them two or three times by Mrs TT, "just for a laugh")


Happy birthday, Tatman's Tours. Hope you're dragged somewhere interesting to celebrate. wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@intermediate, Many thanks - Mrs TT has promised me a nice meal, but definitely no drunken revelry or lap-dancing wink

@northantsred, I didn't expect to, Greg; clearly you had a bad experience on this your first and only stay in Saalbach. I'm genuinely puzzled, since your comments don't seem to tally with many other people's impressions or the general feedback (see other threads), let alone my own perceptions. I've even had a look at my photos from that week (6th March '16) to see if anything unusual was going on, but I can't see anything. Confused Sorry we didn't get to ski together, by the way - I recall from our messages that we'd half-intended to.
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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?
I'm another in support of St Gervais <3
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Passo Tonale. Cheap as chips. Get cheap flights to Milan (very cheap if you stretch your half term and leave friday night return Sunday circa £90 return from London on Alitalia currently) Lots of wide beginner/intermediate runs. Nice tree lined runs down to Ponte di legno (the next village), book your own hotel. Hire cars or arrange a minibus for the transfer.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I was going to recommend Saalbach, then I remembered Mayrhofen.

It's cheap, got loads of different levels of runs, also has the Aahorn mountain which is perfect for beginners to practice what they've learned. There are a few bars and restaurants (the après ski is amazing if you're into that kind of thing), and it's got a train station to allow those not skiing to visit other areas.

If I had to choose between Saalbach and Mayrhofen (and I've been to both) I'd go back to Mayrhofen.
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Pyremaniac wrote:
Grandvalira in Andorra would suit on most counts, although it's typically a long transfer (albeit straightforward and not particularly curvy). That said, if you can find flights to La Seu d'Urgell (marketed as Andorra) then you're on the doorstep.


Trying to get a flight into Lleida or La Seu would be pushing it and there is always the issue if the fog in winter. Best best for most cases remain Barcelona. The transfer is just over 3h depending on where you go, but you get dropped in front of your hotel by the AndBus service. Bus has working wi-fi too. Anyway the 3h is not that bad - I do that trip quite regularly. Anohter point is that if you are 6+ people you migh want to look into the costs of getting a private transfer through AndBus - might work out cheaper than individual return tickets.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I'm often in a similar situation of trying to meet a wide range of needs for a group holiday. Here are my thoughts on some of the resorts suggested, with my top two being Montgenevre or Saalbach.

Montgenevre: Yes it's France but still linked with Italy, although it would be easier to get the bus over to Sauze than ski it, for those who fancy the odd day in Italy. It is perfect for nervous/beginner skiers, several long greens, some wide blues but plenty for all to have a go at. There are only a few mountain restaurants, true, but plenty of restaurants on the front de neige for lunch time meet ups and some good ski schools too. There is the monty express luge when you get tired of skiing. Short transfer from Turin. Excellent snow making - was there skiing 45km of piste when the area had had NO natural snowfall over new year 2015/16. It will also fit your budget requirement!

Saalbach: Another great option. Lots of wide pistes, pretty views and an interesting town offering lots to do. It wasn't full of drunk men oggling strippers when I was there, lots of families and nice cafes. Really big ski area for intermediates but also quieter areas for the less confident to find their snow legs. Short transfer from Salzburg. Amazing snow making on most pistes. I was there Feb half term this year and had excellent coverage. We had a couple of days of snow and the rest mild and sunny. Do not discount this area based on the odd bad review - we loved it!

Mayrhofen: I learned to ski here so obviously can be good for beginners/nervous types but a couple of things would put me off. There are few truly easy wide runs for the beginner/nervous of your group and to access the slopes you will need to join the big queues for penken gondola, especially if using ski school at peak times. Otherwise, a lovely town and great for confident intermediates.

Serre Chevalier (Monetier esp.): Yes again France but a big ski area for the intermediates, excellent choices for ski school, a great pool/thermal baths and pretty, wide, tree lined slopes.

La Rosiere/La Thuile may also fit the bill. However, I didn't love this area as much as the other options above, but can't quite say why.
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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!
Sestriere, Madonna, or Cervinia ....... in order of approximate cost .......

Tonale/PdL cheaper again, and underrated .......
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