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Resorts near Salzburg- suggestions please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We have visited Hinterglemm for many, many years, and have stayed in the same hotel, which we like, for a while now. This year, due to problems sorting out time off work, we are only able to visit from 13/1 to 20/1, and at this short notice our usual hotel is fully booked. So, where to go? We still want to fly to Salzburg, and want the Austrian Alps experience, but are happy to try other areas. Our main criteria are, in rough order of importance are...

1. Hotel. Doesn't need to be 5 star. A classic Austrian family run half board place will do. Ideally it would have the 'family room' set up with a suite of two bedrooms in one. This is not a must, but would be a massive plus.
2. Convenience. Must be either within walking distance of a main lift, or at least next to a regular ski bus stop. We do not plan to hire a car.
3. Fairly easy transfer, (so pretty much limiting us to Salzburgerland, the Eastern Tyrol or Western Styria?).
4. Size of ski area. I love the scale of the S-H area, but in all honesty I'm the only one in the group who makes full use of its size. That said I'd hate to be too limited, and will be skiing with a very adventurous 7yo who wants to be out of ski school so she can go exploring with Daddy. So a big area would be nice, or access to a big area on the days when I'm excused parental skiing responsibilities.
5. Lots of great cruising pistes. I love my steep and deep, but it ain't going to happen this year. The rest of the group including my daughter will want the motorway blues and reds.
6. Modern lifts. I love a t-bar, (weirdo), but again the majority in the group will want, well, what S-H has in spades, gondolas and bubble chairs.
7. Apres-ski not an issue, we have a soon-to-be 7yo. To be honest, quieter is better, (though we've stayed in the centre of Hinterglemm for years with no problem). That said a couple of child friendly activities, snow tubing or similar, would be a hit.

So, suggestions please. Open to anything within 2 hours of Salzburg. Lots of options, even open to the idea of Fieberbrunn or Leogang as for most in the group it would be like visiting a new area. So, Maria Alm, Westendorf, Schladming, Badgastein...? Resort suggestions helpful, hotel suggestions that meet the criteria above particularly welcome.
Thanks in advance
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Gasteinertal. Dorfgastein is very quiet, Bad Hof gastein is busier with more hotel/guest house options. Bad Gastein has many more expensive hotel options. Salzburg is about a 100k away and there is a rail link, you might have to change once but there are direct services. Popular with Swedes and Danes few Brits, some apres ski but easily avoided. Plenty of on mountain options and some very good lunch stops. Not great for real beginners but excellent for the more intermediate. Plenty to fit all pockets.
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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?
@Colinthc, Flachau, Wagrain or the SkiWelt/Kitzbuhel are the simplest and easiest to get to places which meet your requirements - lots of pistes in a big area, lots of choice of family-run hotels, great lift system, and not overly loud apart from the usual places which are easily avoided - if you can cope in Hinterglemm with the Goasstall being in the same village, they will seem tame by comparison. Schladming is also close, and slightly further away you have the Gasteinertal, then Zell am See/Kaprun.

Flachau has a spa, toboggan run, and downhill rollercoaster for after hours fun, though the village is strung out along the road so you need to be careful where your hotel is if you want to visit the central part, or for quieter nights anywhere is OK. On "freedom" days, Flachauwinkel and Zauchensee have excellent areas worth exploring via a 10 minute bus, with lots of off-piste options - several Snowheads will no doubt be able to offer some advice on this if you ask. 72km from Salzburg airport, and all on motorways to the outskirts of the town, or you can get a train to Radstadt and a taxi from there. Look on https://booking.flachau.com/flachau/en/accommodation/search for hotels - I've seen several which have availability of either a small suite or an apartment with a bedroom and a lounge with sofa bed, or two bedrooms plus a lounge, e.g. Hotel Bergzeit at €1413 or Hotel Garni Sonnhof at €1323 - but you didn't say what your budget was...


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 14-11-17 10:24; edited 1 time in total
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Kitzbuehel.
Ischgl.
Saalbach.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Whitegold wrote:

Ischgl.


You are WELL funny!
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@Colinthc, staying near the lifts isn't always as easy as you think as it limits the options quite quickly... sometimes it is much better to look for the ski bus stop as this will whisk you away to the lift gates (most of the time wink )

Rohrmoos (Hochwurzen - Ski Amadé) is a good option.
Very family friendly, not so busy, ski schools all close by but part of the 4 mountain system linking Reiteralm to Hauser Kaibling.
I think there are some family hotels up there too.

Radstadt/Altenmarkt is great for families and is easy to bus up to Zauchensee / Flachauwinkl. There are also busses towards Fageralm and Reiteralm. It is a very quiet town and you are never far from the bus stop.

Obertauern is also a good option. Linked resort so you can whizz around the place and end up where you started which can be handy for skis chool pick ups and the like. Varied nightlife (mainly apres ski) and some superb hotels.

Your dates aren't at a really busy time so you should get some decent accommodation options.
Hope this helps a bit!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hotel Daxer in the Schmittenhoe area of Zell am See ticks every one of your boxes. Added bonus of an indoor pool etc, outdoor play area etc. Enough skiing for a week and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier a bus ride away if conditions aren't favourable.

Some easy black runs back to the bottom so when my lot were still learning they'd just download on the Tras Express whilst I went for a blast down the blacks. Last time we went though they braved them and smashed it. They've all got about 6 weeks skiing behind them and my youngest was 6.

It's a bus ride down to Zell centre (or a pleasant walk but defo bus back) and the whole area is stunning.

Whichever you choose, have a good un
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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!
Some very useful suggestions, thanks very much. Any further ideas welcome.
@flangesax, my partner had a bad experience in Bulgaria years ago having to get the ski bus every day, (they were always full), but you are right, a very limiting point, so maybe need to change that idea. How reliable are ski busses in that area. Also had not thought of Obertauern, hmm...
@KennyEverett, Hadn't really considered Zell due to the distance from resort centre to slopes, but the Daxer does tick a lot of boxes, (just checked), and is being further investigated.
@ousekjarr, My bad for the lack of budget, but essentially mid range. 3 possibly 4 star. Flachau has definitely become a contender
@ADESki, Gasteintal is in the mix, but haven't yet nailed a possible hotel.
Other options I'm considering are Dienten, Hinterthal and Westendorf. Any feedback on those areas welcome. Thanks all!
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When my children were young we enjoyed Obertauern and Maria Alm.
Obertauern has many ski in and out hotels. This is a purpose built resort and is very high. It can be extremely cold and so bring lots of layers!
Instead of Dienten or Hinterthal I would look at Maria Alm. It is a lovely village and is a place I keep returning to. You can easily ski over to these other villages. There are a quite a few hotels within easy access of slopes.
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@bcmelski, Maria Alm was one of my first thoughts, but looking at the piste map, it looked like the village's ski area was separate to the main Hochkonig area. I now realise that it's possible to ski from Natrun down to the main area at Aberg. How does one get back though? I presume a ski bus. Is it reliable?
You may have put Maria Alm back in contention...
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You can ski all the way from Maria Alm. Previously you could ski part of way back and then jump on a ski bus. Although I thought I had read that there was a new lift opened to bridge this gap. You would need to check that out though. The bus back was not a problem though. There is easy access skiing in Maria Alm itself also
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I would thoroughly recommend Flachau and would suggest you get a hotel towards the Starjet end of the village (we stay in the Tauernhof and you can pick up your rentals in the hotel, if required). The other two lift stations have big carparks so bigger queues. The skibuses within the village are frequent and not overcrowded. There is a variety of skiing, plenty of terrain, some funky mountain restaurants and an excellent lift system. The bus up to Flachauwinkl/Kleinarl/Zauchensee is only 15-20 mins and opens up lots of possibilities. Compared to Schladming there are three benefits: 1. better food on the mountain - less traditional but still good value; 2. The terrain is more varied and 3. it is much easier/quicker to move around between the different areas.
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@boaskier, Flachau certainly looks to have a lot going for it. Do you have any hotel suggestions. A family room/suite would be a major plus. So far I've looked at the Tirolerhof, but it's pricey. Ideally looking about the €100 ppn, which seems to get what we want in other resorts. At the mo, the Hotel Daxer suggested by@KennyEverett in Schmittenhohe is looking good, but I'd prefer the larger ski area Flachau/Flachauwinkel provides, so any suggestion helps. Thanks for your input
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

Compared to Schladming there are three benefits: 1. better food on the mountain - less traditional but still good value; 2. The terrain is more varied and 3. it is much easier/quicker to move around between the different areas.

@boaskier, welcome to snowHead 's!!
I'm a bit confused with point 1... and point 2 and maybe point 3 a bit too Toofy Grin

The food is pretty much the same across all the places I've skied in the last 11 seasons out here. Quality can vastly change but the 'standards' are always there wherever you visit.
Schladming is part of the 4 mountain link, so if you are staying near the lifts you have access to 4 different areas from that point onward. There are also very regular busses running between the resorts so you can bus back or bus to a different starting point without much of an issue. The terrain on Flachau is quite a simple affair.
The main face of the mountain has an open top half and then a choice of runs to access the different sections of the bottom half. The Wagrain side has more on offer with the topliner and Flying Mozart, plus the added benefit of popping over to Wagrain/Alpendorf on the cable car.
As you may have detected, I'm not a keen lover of the Flachau area, it seems to be the busiest of the areas within Ski Amadé, it has the feel of a motorway (including plenty of people who think they should be challenging the Herminator) and is a total tourist trap.
There is, however, plenty of skiing available for the week if you include going up to Flachauwinkl/Zauchensee and Wagrain/Alpendorf.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Colinthc, http://www.hotel-bergzeit.com/winter-preise-hotel-bergzeit-flachau.html very near the achterjet lift in Flachau, no family suites but rooms sleeping 2-4 for €97 per person half board
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@holidayloverxx, I really need to put my prices up wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
bcmelski wrote:
You can ski all the way from Maria Alm. Previously you could ski part of way back and then jump on a ski bus. Although I thought I had read that there was a new lift opened to bridge this gap. You would need to check that out though. The bus back was not a problem though. There is easy access skiing in Maria Alm itself also


We go to Maria Alm every year and I don't believe there are any plans currently for a lift back from Aberg up Natrun, but like you say the bus service makes this no real issue at all ( my son forgot his pass one day a couple of years ago and one of the buses gave him a taxi ride back to get it! Very friendly people). If I'm wrong on this please let me know as it will be great if truw

It should be mentioned as well that, even though it is possible to ski from Natrun to Aberg, and it is great as a warm up, the slope is seldom open unless there has been a lot of snow and also very cold to stop it melting, as it is South facing.Also it is a Ski Route rather than a Piste, so no snow making facilities It wasn't open at all last year and I have never known it be open for a whole week during our time there. Again, not really a problem as the bus service is good and fast
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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?
@Colinthc, I can second the suggestions by @flangesax and @ousekjarr. All your points are covered in abundance in each of these areas. The transfer to any of those towns really couldn't be much easier.
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robandliza wrote:
bcmelski wrote:
You can ski all the way from Maria Alm. Previously you could ski part of way back and then jump on a ski bus. Although I thought I had read that there was a new lift opened to bridge this gap. You would need to check that out though. The bus back was not a problem though. There is easy access skiing in Maria Alm itself also


We go to Maria Alm every year and I don't believe there are any plans currently for a lift back from Aberg up Natrun, but like you say the bus service makes this no real issue at all ( my son forgot his pass one day a couple of years ago and one of the buses gave him a taxi ride back to get it! Very friendly people). If I'm wrong on this please let me know as it will be great if truw

My understanding is that the lift linking the Natrun area to the Abergbahn is planned (possibly also replacing the current Natrun lift) and is hoped it will be in operation for the season 2018/19.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
That's right, they're already building it. The area above the Dorfjet gondola in MA has been cleared for piste and the routes for the 2 new lifts too.
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