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Cheap accommodation in Saalbach Hinterglemm

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Now that the nights are drawing in, thoughts are turning to next ski trip.

Most years we do a cheeky boys trip to Portes du Soleil, in a low season week in late Jan/early Feb. All around the 50 mark. The rest of the group have never skied in Austria, so I am keen to show them the error of their ways, and having enjoyed a few trips to Saalbach and Hinterglemm in the past, was looking at options. We typically fly out on Wed evening and back Sunday evening, getting 4 full days skiing. Flights may make that difficult. However, the biggest challenge seems to be finding cheap accommodation.


In our Portes du Soleil trip, we stay in a very simple family run hotel a short (5-10 min) drive to the lifts. The hotel offers half board (simple but good dinner with no choice), and costs about €85 per night for single occupancy of a twin room. Rooms are basic but clean and comfortable. I am trying to find something similar. So, looking for:

Ideally not a drive to lifts (would like to show them Austrian apres), but not a deal-breaker. But no more than a few mins and easy parking
Half board (prefer not to faff around booking restaurants in evening, plus much cheaper) - I know many like to eat somewhere different each night, but this works for us
Basic hotel is fine, but keen to have single occupancy - we have all reached an age where we prefer not to share.... No need for wellness etc. Hotel bar a bonus
If out of town, needs to have some nearby bars for evenings. Clubbing not required
Budget for hotel single rooms around €75-90 per night half board

Any bright ideas or recommendations? I know the area quite well, but am struggling to find accommodation that is similar in standard and price to the French trip for a cheap-ish boys trip.

Ideas other than Saalbach Hinterglemm with similar criteria also welcomed. Large ski area essential - we tend to rack up the miles and enjoy the travelling experience of Portes du Soleil, which is why Saalbach would fit. Having 4 different ski days is the target, rather than skiing the same slopes each day. Again, understand that others are happy to keep repeating the same runs, but we enjoy the variety and feel of travel.

Thanks in advance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sunweb often have good options for midweek trips. Not everything is up at the moment but worth checking it out to get a price point. Good choice of area in my opinion. Better connected than the pds and the apres is superb.
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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?
@rg1, Hotel Koenig and Hotel Peter
(Not sure why you think that half board in a hotel would be “much cheaper”. The impression we get is that it’s cheaper to opt for B&B or self-catering, especially if you don’t mind pub grub in Bobby’s Pub, where you can get a decent, filling meal for usually 7-9 euros. Even splashing out on a restaurant meal doesn’t cost much in Saalbach.)
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Thanks for those suggestions. Ideally, we are looking for the next step down from those, if such exists? If necessary, happy to look a little out of town, but prefer not to.

We find that the convenience of half board works well, and usually works out cheaper like for like. We may need to go B&B as you suggest, but ideally looking for half board if can be found at the right price.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@rg1, just looked at Peter’s website - average 70 euros for half board and only 30m from the lift. Why doesn’t that suit?
On the question of whether half board works out cheaper, I can only say that I’m very surprised. On a four day trip, I doubt whether I would spend more than 50 euros on evening meals, but, even allowing 80 euros, or 20 euros a night, it shouldn’t work out dearer than a HB hotel deal.
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I must be looking at a different website then. Last season prices in low season seem to be €89.5 + 28% single premium with en suite, or €67.5 +28% single premium without en suite, which is €114.56 or €86.4. If it was €70 I would leap at it, as it does look like a great location and nice hotel.

€12.50 per night for evening meals would be amazing. We are obviously more extravagant than you! But either way, we find half board works better for the group (if it were a smaller group perhaps B&B might work).
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@rg1, Sorry, I missed the bit about preferring single rooms (although you’d be lumbered with single-room supplement, which will obviously push your costs up). The Austrian twin rooms are of course generally a decent size, and the Austrian twin beds are suitable for two heterosexual men to share without fear of bodily contact.
I was also averaging the high/low season cost of a room with bathroom in the corridor (which men aren’t generally fussed about).
If it were me, I would consider the location an important factor. Hotel Peter is ideally located in the desirable upper part of the village, and between the two gondola stations that serve the south-facing slopes of the Kohlmais and Bernkogel.
Regarding the evening meals, I don’t generally bother with more than one course, especially as lunch can often be quite an event. I was averaging the cost of say a pizza one night, a meal in Bobby’s another night, and something like a mixed grill or spare ribs the other two nights.
Incidentally, if you would like a copy of my comprehensive guide to Saalbach, send me a PM with your email address.
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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!
I stayed in landhouse Panorama, i think it's sister hotel to Koenig, we had half board food was good and aplenty , pint of wisebeer at hotel bar 3.5. Rooms very basic but clean. Mini bus service to bring you to/from gondola. I would happily stay there again.
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I would say that you might struggle to find more than one or two single rooms per hotel and not sure how many hotels would be willing to sell twin rooms for less than the full price. I do understand about the not sharing, part of the getting old thing I guess. In my experience half board is very common for Austrian hotels and probably works out cheaper (I very rarely eat lunch on the hill so main meal in the evening though I prefer to eat out of where I am staying). I think your budget might be a bit on the low side but if you stick to end of January (school holidays run pretty much for the whole of February) you might be lucky. Also bear in mind for the smaller villages (perhaps not S-H itself) that there are still considerable numbers of traditional pensions offering B&B only at around €50 - €60/night. Even with going out to eat that would be well within your budget

It might be worth looking at both SkiWelt and Ski Amande too. Both have lots of skiing, if you can sort flights into Salzburg most of Ski Amande is only around 45 minutes from the airport. Munich is probably easier for flights but transfers not so easy, hire car is best, certainly for shorter trips. For Ski Welt look at Brixen, Söll and Ellmau. Slightly longer drive from Munich but still doable for a short trip is the Zillertal, a number of villages to choose from. If you are keen on S-H maybe look at Leogang or Fieberbrunn, possibly these villages are a bit cheaper. The village of Fieberbrunn is a little way away from the lifts (there are plenty of ski buses) and pretty quiet, there are a few places at the bottom of the lifts but not much else there.
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@rg1,

Try this little guest-house. A hidden gem. Right by the main Kohlmais Lift, and run by the same family that has the popular and friendly Burgis Bar. But they are often very booked-up; but give them a try.

You will need to select "English" from the menu at the bottom:

https://www.haus-wien-saalbach.at

Tel. 0043 6541 20022
Mobile 0043 664 9288082
hauswien@saalbach.net
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@rg1, The Hotel Koenig has proven to be a Snowheads favourite in the past.
Most of the hotels in Saalbach are four star and not what you’re looking for. Some have recently “gone down” to B&B, apparently due to a change in the Austrian tax laws.
However there are still a few three stars, including those already mentioned, offering HB.
There are also many B&Bs and apartment complexes in good locations (and, as previously discussed, the difference in price between them and the HB hotel options should be easily enough to buy you a decent evening meal - as you probably know, Saalbach is well blessed for good, reasonably-priced restaurants).
One thing that may cut down your choice is the requirement for a Wednesday to Sunday booking. Is there any chance of making it Tuesday to Saturday, or Saturday to Wednesday (or evening Saturday to Saturday), to avoid cutting into two consecutive weeks (most accommodation providers operate on a Saturday to Saturday basis).
How many will be in your party?
How flexible are you in terms of preferred week?
If it were a choice between an outlying HB cheap hotel, and a centrally-located, ski-in ski-out B&B pension (cheaper than a hotel), which would you prefer?
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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.
@Poogle, But Burgi’s “Haus Wien” (which is about 100 yards down the road from us) is a B&B - 65 euros pppn. The OP has already indicated that he ideally wants half board, and that Hotel Peter, which offers a HB deal, would need to be EUR 70 pppn for him to go for it.
Within a couple of hundred yards radius of Haus Wien there are dozens of good pensions and apartments, but that’s not really what he’s looking for.
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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
Thanks for all the input. It appears that my research was right. I have stayed in more upscale places in S-H in the past for the main family holiday, but as this is a cheeky extra long weekend, we try to keep costs down. My experience is that you get more for your money in terms of hotel standard in Austria, compared to France, but it appears that the real “cheap and cheerful” 2* with food that we have used in France does not really exist in S-H.

So, Plan B would be to look at B&B options. There are usually about 8 or 9 of us. Same criteria as before..... any ideas gratefully received. Sadly Haus Wien only has 4 rooms, if I understand the website right. In house bar a bonus (we usually end up having one night playing poker or something in hotel bar).

Thanks again for any recommendations.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

it appears that the real “cheap and cheerful” 2* with food that we have used in France does not really exist in S-H.

@rg1, Although I certainly can't claim an exhaustive knowledge of the holiday accommodation in and around Saalbach, I haven't heard of a "cheap and cheerful 2* hotel with food" (short of a youth hostel or mountain inn). I'm not sure that there is any demand for such accommodation in the village, as there are plenty of good, reasonably-priced restaurants, pizzerias, takeaways, and bar food. Also, as the 4th most visited/popular ski area in the world (Avoriaz is 36th, and the rest of the PDS doesn't even get a mention in the league table), the demand for good accommodation often exceeds supply, and the standard of accommodation seems to be on an upward spiral, which is likely to continue with the coming season's new link to Zell am See/Kaprun.

I realise that a mountain inn is a far cry from your original idea, but there is something to be said for staying half-way up the mountain and being first on the untracked piste in the morning. These places tend to be inexpensive, short stays tend to be possible, and the food is top-notch, and, if your idea of apres-ski is playing poker in an in-house bar, it could be ideal - just the problem of getting up there and back, but that is easier than it sounds, as they have tracked vehicles to carry your luggage, and ski-doos to carry guests - unless there is a handy gondola of course.

Just some of those I know:

1. http://www.bergeralm.cc/ZimmerundPreise/
The Bergeralm at Saalbach. Good website. Great location, atmosphere, staff and food. Very popular and fun happy hour every day 3.30-4.30pm, but people stay much longer and invariably ski down in the dark, leaving the "resident guests" still having a very convivial time - don't know how long they carry on, as we've never stayed beyond 6.30pm. Luggage is taken up on a tracked vehicle, guests on ski-doos - or you can go up on the Kohlmaisbahn gondola and ski there. Possible downside - sleeping accommodation may be too cheap and cheerful for your taste - see the photos on the website.

2. https://www.hecherhuette.at/
The incomparable Hecherhuette at Viehhofen (on piste 68 ). Probably our favourite mountain restaurant, summer as well as winter. Great location, full of rustic charm, very friendly owner/staff (from the Czech Republic, ably assisted by "Lucky Luke" from Barry Island, South Glamorgan) and such a wonderful place to spend time that people have been known to ski there in the morning and stay all day! Quite possibly the best food of any of the 60 or so mountain restaurants in the Ski Circus. You get there by taxi from Viehhofen, arranged for you by the owner. Possible downside - in poor snow conditions piste 68 can sometimes close, as it is comparatively low down, south-facing and lacking snow cannons - however late January is pretty safe, and last season (admittedly exceptional for snow), piste 68 was open virtually all season.

3. https://www.alpenoase.at/hotel.htm
The Sonnhof at Hochalm (just beyond Hinterglemm). Beautiful building with an upmarket, exclusive, but relaxed feel. Easy to get to and from, as the Hochalm gondola top station is only a few yards away.

4. https://www.altachhof.at/en/
The Altachhof at Saalbach, Don't know much about it, but the nearby Westernstadl mountain restaurant is under the same ownership and is a nice place. Presume you get up there by taxi. The prices look good.

Just a thought Puzzled If this idea doesn't appeal, here are a few well-located B&B pensions in Saalbach:

1. Pension Grafleiten - great location on Schiliftstrasse, opposite the Kohlmaisbahn gondola station (and next door to us). Run by the Gruber family - nice people. Very handy, not only for skiing but also the apres-ski bars and village, only a very short stroll down the road.

2. Pension Enzian - award-winning small hotel, recently changed from HB (catered chalet) to B&B. Run to a high standard by British couple, Kevin and Sarah. Close to the village, but located in a raised position at the bottom of the Schattberg black run.

3. Pension Wallner - next to Hotel Peter in the upper part of the main village street, and a stone's throw from the Bernkogelbahn gondola station.

4. Haus Pilch - in the lower part of the main village street, only about 50 yards from Bobby's Pub. Close to the Schattberg Xpress gondola station.

5. Pension Norika - on the Glemmtaler Landesstrasse (main road), about 50 yards from Bobby's Pub. Good central location.

There are dozens of others, but these are just the ones that spring to mind, and are the ones I would be looking at, as they are all reasonably (or very) conveniently-located.

Otherwise it's the HB 3 star hotels already mentioned (Peter and Koenig - the Wechselberger is another one). Or apartments, of which there are plenty - also supermarkets for your breakfast needs, although there are also a few good village cafes, as well as mountain restaurants, that serve breakfast.

If you're prepared to be outside the village, a ski bus or taxi ride away (I wouldn't be, but then I'm spoilt), then by googling you will no doubt find many other possibilities.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@rg1,

@tatmanstours, has touched on a process that has been happening in a number of Austrian resorts over the past few years, a slow but relentless move "up market". I would guess it has been partly driven by the tourist offices, the resort bureaucracy / local politicians want "their" resort to be seen as one of the top resorts (also part of the silly my piste kms are bigger than your piste kms thing). The more 4 and 5 star hotels you have the bigger your bragging rights.... More importantly the owners are also investing money in their hotels, from their perspective if they can charge higher rates for a better "product" it makes economic sense. This has been especially noticeable in the bigger, well known resorts like St Anton, Kitzbühel and Saalbach Hinterglemm. If you want to visit these resorts you either have to pay the premium for doing so, be lucky or very knowledgeable in finding a remaining "old school" Gasthof / Pension, stay in a satellite village or choose a cheaper resort. I would guess much the same has been happening in France with places like Val d'Isere and 3V getting more expensive, maybe PDS is not quite in the same league?

You can find the sort of places you seem to want its just unlikely to be in S-H itself (if @tatmanstours, doesnt know of them they are unlikely to exist)

A couple of examples (no idea if they are any good) both with half board for a single room around € 70 - € 75 / night in January both in SkiWelt

https://www.brixnerwirt.at/de/preise/

https://www.kirchbichlhof.com/zimmer-preise/

I would suggest a bigger problem is finding somewhere that will take a booking for a good number of single rooms shorter than a whole week. One or two rooms should be OK especially in January but beyond that not easy.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

(if @tatmanstours, doesnt know of them they are unlikely to exist)

Kind of you to say so, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that! There is a lot of holiday accommodation up and down the Glemm valley, and for all I know there might be some “hidden gems” of the type that the O.P. is looking for.
The only “cheap and cheerful” accommodation that I know, which includes an evening meal, is our spare bedroom, when Mrs TT has her apron on - she does a wicked Spag Bol, and an even wickeder chilli. Madeye-Smiley
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
i'd fire an inquirey offto the tourist office, see what they come back with.
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