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Austira help and advice needed

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All,

After years of skiing in France, I am looking for a change and prepare a trip to Austria. I have tended to do DIY trips to France, as if you have done it once it is all very straightforward and this is probably the main reason we have continued to return to France each year. Austria, however, is proving to be a bit more tricky as I simply have very little knowledge of the areas and the types of accommodation available or where to look. So i am hoping that there are some willing experts whom may point me in the right direction.

We are a family of 4, and normally travel with another family of 5. Looking to fly to Innsbruck next Easter, which I think is the first week in April. As for the resort, so long as it is relatively high with a decent amount of skiing (no beginners among us, so a good mix of runs is fine), no real preference - Arlberg? Zillertal?, Ischgl? An easy transfer would be required, either by train from airport or non expensive private transfers. Not too fussed about a vibrant apres scene, just a handful of quiet(ish) bars/ restaurants is fine. Any recommendations of accommodation or places to search for accommodation gratefully received. We have used Peak Retreats a number of times and found the format they have used really works in finding accommodation, but they are based only in France, is there an Austrian equivalent?

I know this is all very vague, but I hope some of you might be able to point me in some sort of direction......

Cheers
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
obergurgl
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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?
What kind of accommodation are you looking for? Catered chalets aren't common in Austria, although there are some in St Anton. For resorts near Innsbruck I'd recommend Lech, Serfaus, Obergurgl and Kaltenbach, but there are many more to choose from.
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If you are booking in advance for the 1st week in April from Innsbruck, I probably wouldn't look outside Solden/Obergurgl, Ischgl or St Anton/Lech/Zurs to be sure of good snow conditions. Of course other places may also have good snow if you are happy to leave it later. Some catered chalets in St Anton and Ischgl with IIRC Skiworld. Not aware of many in Obergurgl. Apartments also less common.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks for the advice. Will definitely look at one of the three from Obergurgle/Solden, Ischgl and Lech areas then. All pretty high so we should be ok at Easter I guess?!

@Valkyrie, as for accommodation, not really too fussy. Hotels seem more the norm compared to France, rather than apartments and blocks like MGM. I suppose reasonable balance between value, facilities and location any personal recommendations gratefully received Very Happy

Thanks @mmgg1988, will certainly have a look at Skiworld
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@jubnut, you will find the Austrian hotels far superior to France. The food on the piste and the beer in the bars is also generally cheaper and better quality. In general you won't get the mega ski area as in France with 3V's etc but you will get genuine Austrian mountain villages with great apres and some fantastic skiing in tree lined valleys. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the big ski areas of France as much as the next guy, but they can be a bit soulless and more than a bit expensive. Once you have skied in Austria, you will always compare all other countries to it and probably in the round find them wanting.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@jubnut, I've skied in Solden a couple of times (one day at Solden is a €10 add-on to an Obergurgl 6-day pass) but don't really like the place. The town has a main road (the road to Obergurgl) right through it and some really tacky bars/clubs. The skiing I thought was fairly dull, fine for a day away from Obergurgl but I wouldn't want to do a week there.

My favourite hotel in Obergurgl is the Jenewein - http://www.hotel-jenewein.com/hotel-oetztal.html It's the closest hotel to the main gondola and chair, unbeatable for convenience. Very good food, good sauna/steam room facilities and very good service. Nothing wrong with it at all, unless you need a swimming pool. Available through Inghams or Crystal (can't remember which one) so always has a fair few English guests and most staff speak English.

In Lech my favourite is the Fernsicht - http://www.fernsicht-lech.at/ Marion the owner speaks excellent English but while the rest of the staff are really friendly they only have a few words of English. Nearly all guests are Austrian or German, which is one of the reasons why I like it. Lech is one of the most expensive resorts in Austria (Obergurgl isn't far off either!) but the Fernsicht is relatively cheap compared to most of the major hotels. Great rooms, fixed menu that changes every night and although there's no choice they've never served us anything we didn't like. You can see the menu in the morning so if you don't like what's on offer they'll come up with an alternative. Really good sauna/steamroom and if there's snow in the village you can ski from the hotel down across a field to a chairlift. It's about a 5 - 10 minute walk back to the hotel from the lifts.

Re snow conditions in April - have a look now at Bergfex. No guarantees that next year will be the same, but there's plenty pistes open in these resorts this week.

Booking.com and other similar sites quite often have Austrian hotels on them. If you find one you want to book try booking it direct through the hotel website rather than a re-seller. You'll pay the same price but the hotel will be appreciate you booking direct.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I feel that Arlberg is the best resort for skiing overall, if you include Zurs, Lech and Warth, (which you can do on the Arlburg pass).
The Ziller valley has a lot of skiing earlier in the season, had you have gone this year, at this time Mayrhofen was not that good, so you'd be buss-ing it to Hintertux.
Ischgl is good, but possibly more expensive.
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If you do not want to go far from Innsbruck & want guranteed skiing.

Stubai Glacier

Stay in in Innsbruck orvup valley in Neustift or even In Fulpmes (mountain tram from Innsbruck

https://www.stubaier-gletscher.com/en/ski-area/location-parking/travel-by-bus/

Thr Stubai Valley is far warmer during the day time
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Austria... well worth a visit if you haven't been. I usually go end of season (so I'll be in Sölden in a couple of weeks or so). I would just find somewhere you fancy and go there, which is pretty much what I do. Sölden and Ischgl open pretty late, and have end of season concerts with ancient rock bands, so I tend to end up there, being ancient also.

Smoking has been a problem and requires more care to avoid than other countries. There are lots of hotels, and you pretty much get what you pay for. The flashy places are great. The guest houses are great and the locals are friendly. You can rent apartments too. I do all over the net: book a flight to Innsbruck or Munich, book a hire car, book a hotel/B&B/apartment and the job's done.

Sölden itself does have a main road which kind of spoils some of it; Ischgl is better in that respect. If your hotel hasn't got one then there's a great public pool in Sölden.
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@jubnut,
There are plenty of apartments in Austria too. In my experience, they are of a better standard and larger than one's of the same price in France, though most are not ski in/ski out.
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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.
For self catering and B&B and smaller accommodation try www.tiscover.com or the relevant Tourist Information office direct. Many offer a service where you put your dates and details of what accommodation you are looking for into an email and they pass it on to local accommodation providers for you
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Serfaus is a good bet, amazing skiing area and majority of the skiing a good bit above 2000 metres. The kids area is at 1950. I've booked apartments there, the resort website has a pretty good search and there's a good mix of hotels and apartments.

Would probably suit your group very well. Use search and you'll see quite a few reports.

Zillertal also good, Mayrhofen with the Hintertux glacier for guaranteed snow though despite the village being low most of the skiing is at a good altitude. There's tons of other good places too as above.
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Thankyou so much snow heads, Ive got a good starting point now.
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