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Obertauern is a great location just 45 mins from Salzburg and a true schnee winkle. There are loads of great hotels - we have stayed at the edelweiss, kesselspitz and Steiner - all excellent. You can usually ski straight on to the piste and back to your hotel. It's not as pretty as some Austrian resorts as it's purpose built but the snow is always fab. It can be windy but there are great restaurants all around!
Just back from a week skiing in Obertauern. We were a group of nine staying at the Petersbuhal hotel which was in a great location for the lifts and you could ski right back to the front door.
There were 5 people in ski school and they had a fantastic time. The instructor was a young Dutch girl who was keen to get the jaegers on the go throughout the day.
The other 4 were more accomplished boarders/skiiers and had a fantastic time in the best powder conditions any of us had ever seen.
The majority of the people on the trip had never been to Austria before and predominantly went to France every year, however everyone who went is now an Austrian convert due to laid back atmosphere, zero lift queues and a great range of runs for all levels.
I do like to go to different resorts every year, but Obertauern is definitely one I would return too. Would recommend the Luzer Alm for the best steaks/bar/night club in any resort I have been too.
We stayed at the Hotel Enzian over Christmas 2009. It's an excellent modern hotel offering great food, a fabulous spa area and ski in-ski out access. We booked the hotel direct, took Easy-jet flights to Salzburg and got a taxi to the hotel. By doing this we saved around £500 on comparable packages in the brochures. All the other positive comments made by previous reviewers about Obertauern remain true, and I thoroughly recommend it for families and intermediates. Skiing the 'Tauernraund' in either direction is a great way to spend half a day touring the resort. There are a few challenging blacks - but maybe not enough for hard-core adrenaline junkies.
Anticipating that the French Alps might be a little busy this half term, we decided to visit Obertauern instead. We've skied in Flachauwinkl; Altenmarkt and Zauchensee before and Obertauern is just a little further along the valley.
The transfer from Salzburg Aiport was short and simple - approximately 45 minutes in fairly heavy traffic and lots of snow! This turned out to be something of a feature of the holiday. The quantity and quality of the snow was incredible. Each morning we awoke to another 20cm of snow in the village and often much more on the slopes.
The resort is extremely child friendly. We stayed at the 4* Hotel Edelweiss. Pretty much ski in and definitely ski out. It was a superb hotel with a fabulous restaurant; swimming pool, fitness centre and games room. The hotel organised regular evening activities - films for the children; a clown, bands, art exhibition etc. They also ran a coach to Salzburg with guided tour for those who didn't want to ski every day. The Frau Holle ski school was immediately adjacent to the hotel and comes highly recommended. Our children aged 7 and 9 both had a ball. They skied in group sizes of 7 and 10 respectively. Ski school ran from 10am to 3.30pm and the children usually stayed for lunch. Although we didn't use it personally, the Hotel Edelweiss also ran what appeared to be an excellent creche for those too young to ski. Loads of clean/new toys/facilities and English speaking nannies.
There are several good ski hire shops in the resort. We used the Intersport, which again was located immediately adjacent to the hotel. We used Kastle skis - almost brand new and very well serviced. Although the runs were generally shorter than you'll find in some of the larger French resorts for example, there was plenty of variety and enough to keep us happy for a week. Around 100km's of runs in total with 1 gondola; 19 chairs [some heated] and about 6 tows. It's very much a resort aimed at the intermediate, albeit there's plenty of excellent off piste and a few decent steep pisted runs such as the Gamsleitenbahn II. There's a snowboard park and if your legs will take it, night skiing twice a week. All the runs were far quieter than we've encountered elsewhere at half term and we didn't encounter any lift queues of any note. It's possible to ski right around the resort, clockwise and anti-clockwise, doing a cicuit called the "Tauernround".
The apres ski was typically Austrian and great fun for parents and children alike. Our children absolutely loved the singing, dancing, lighting, bubbles etc in the Lurzer Alm. Also a great lunch stop. There were ample restaurants on the mountain however.
All in all we found Obertauern the perfect spot for a half-term trip and will definitely be visiting again.
Have just spent the first 2 weeks of January 2009 at the Hotel Steiner in Obertauern. Excellent hotel, with friendly staff, great food and a lovely spa area to be enjoyed after a long day on the slopes. Hotel location at the edge of the central part of the village, so it was nice and quiet but very easy access to the pistes via the gondola, 2 chairs and a T-bar drag lift. Snow conditions were amazing – the best that I and my wife had ever experienced, with pistes very well maintained. On the whole, lift queues were short and whilst some pistes seemed crowded at times, we were able to ski pretty freely. Quite a few boarders but again not a major problem. A good resort for beginners and intermediates, with a wide range of runs on which to practice technique and enjoy the scenery. We enjoyed ourselves enormously and will return. Worth mentioning that we booked it all independently – BA flight from Gatwick to Salzburg, airport transfer via Habersatter and hotel booked through their own web-site. Easy to do and the schedule worked to our wishes rather than the holiday company’s!
Spent the week in Obertauern at the beginning of February 08 - snow conditions were excellent with heavy dumps while we were there.The variety of slopes are OK, but not much for adventourous intermediates and they are limited in vertical length. Poor piste signage and bad grooming were the main gripes.The lift system is really impressive and ski in/ski out to most hotels.
We stayed at the Hotel Steiner, which is good for proximity to the slopes, but a little out of town with a steep climb to the main square for apres ski. Quality and choice of food was excellent as were the heated lockers in the boot room. Good atmosphere in apres ski bars, notably Lurzer Alm & Gruber Stadl. Would probably return, mainly for snow quality.
Even though the weather throughout Europe last year (06 - 07) was relatively mild, Obertauern was fantastic. Lots and lots of snow. The high resort is hidden away from the main favorites of Austria but has the most fantastic atmosphere and quality runs which I believe are yet to be discovered by most.
There are many bars and restaurants throughout the slopes for day time refreshments and plenty of places to eat in the evening.
The apres-ski is unbeatable, the Polar Bear Bar (Lurzer Alm) is the place to be - where the most timid of party goers get in the mood for dancing and enjoying themselves, it's very addictive.
One of the tidiest resorts i've ever been too. Its such a fantastic place, I even got married here!!! Cheaper than the UK and the pictures are fantastic!!!
We visited Obertauern from 27th January to 3rd February. Heavy snowfall on the day we arrived with more 2 days later ensured good cover with a couple of powder days. The resort is intermediates heaven. Unfortunately, it is not very challenging for the advanced skier. G2 is the hardest run but it was pretty straight forward with fresh snow on it. It would be challenging with icy moguls all the way down. The Tauernrunde is a clockwise and anti-clockwise tour of the valley. It can be done twice in the day if you don't dither. Our hotel, the Latchenhof, was excellent. Very comfortable, good and plentiful food and an excellent bar. They organised a resort tour with a ski instructor which was good fun. Everything was reasonably priced and the skis were fantastic and brand new for only €104 for the week. I could only find one ski school running off-piste/ mogul lessons and they wouldn't run the course as there weren't enough takers. Their loss. Private lessons are reasonably priced.
Beware - many hotels don't take credit cards or foreign debit cards. We had to pay the hotel bill in Euro travellers cheques.
We went to Obertauern from 13-20th Jan 07. We were worried on leacving the UK as the reports for snow in Europe were terrible and we saw many many reps in the airport breaking bad news to the new arrivals.
Not so for us!!! Stacks and stacks of beautiful snow. We organised the trip ourselves (the www,obertauern.com website is very helpful) and you can even pick up the village taxi-minibus for transfers. We stayed in the Rigele Royal which was very comfortable and good value. I loved the indoor-outdoor pool. It's true what everyone else has says about the piste map (appalling) but the runs are great. Our group was 1 total beginner, 2 early intermediates and 1 advanced intermediate. We used the Willi Grillitsch ski school. The beginner was nearly parallel skiing by the end of the week after the Grillitsch specialist intensive beginner course. I broke my leg some years ago skiing and hadn't really recovered my confidence, but the instructor we had was excellent and yippee, I have my ski-legs back. My husband was also delighted with the quality of his instruction and can do black runs now by himself. All the ski schools have different meeting points (Grillitsch meets opposite the hotel marietta) but if you want to avoid a trek with skis in the morning choose one which meets near your hotel. The map on the website should help.
All in all I thought this place was fantastic and we've already arranged a return trip for April this year. There aren't many English visitors but pretty much everyone speaks some degree of English and if you're prepared to practise your German they'll love you. The village is small (but bigger than Obergurgl for example) with plenty of bars and restaurants. If you go, please make sure you do go to the Edelweiss Hut for some apres ski (make sure you're there by 3 for a table, then you need to be prepared to get on top of the table by 4pm when the europop starts and dance...) it's on a blue piste, not too far from the village. Go easy on the schnapps...
We spent the pre-Christmas week in Obertauern at the wonderful Hotel Schneider. Great service, food and location (genuinely ski-in, ski-out). Quick, cheap transfers from Salzburg (one hour and €40 per person return). We arrived to find plenty of snow when the rest of Europe was lacking. Two days steady snowfall then resulted in great conditions for the week. Very good hands-free lift system with barely a drag lift to be found. Lots of good blues and reds for intermediates, especially in the bowl around Hochalm and Kringsalm, but probably limited scope for beginners as many of the main blue slopes have relatively steep sections, especially those which connect to the main lifts down in the valley. All in all an excellent resort which we will definitely revisit.
Just got back from a 5 night Easter break booked at the last minute. No reason or need to book through an agent at this resort - it is so easy to go independently. Easy flights on RyanAir from London Stansted mean you can get to Salzburg by 9.30am and depart at 9pm. I gather there are other flights from Lauda and Austrian. There is an excellent mini bus taxi service which the hotels will help arrange if you book direct (approx Euro35 pp) which takes 65 minutes. Enough hotel choices from full spa's to more basic including a few apartment hotels - the website booking system is very easy to use. I got a comfortable room at The Krallinger. Very friendly and helpful staff (Ivana on reception will answer you emails in an instant and can book ski and snowboard lessons at the in-house schi-schule). It is about 2 minutes walk to the slopes and right next to Intersport rent. (where they accept discount vouchers if you stay at the hotel). The slopes were in great condition when I arrived. It was still snowing and a 200cm base at the top (approx 2200m high). The pistes were well groomed after each day (so judging by previous comments they must have read the other reviews!) The piste map is not very clear (per previous comments) but the runs are all really well linked and it is easy to navigate after a little study. You do not need to get buses to different parts of the ski area - so no hanging around for buses. The resort does suit beginners and intermediates more and I agree with other reviewers, that advanced skiers and boarders may find a limited choice of black runs to amuse them. But there are some great wide open blues and fun reds. The resort is not that big so not a great deal of restaurant variety.. Lurzer Alm is the most popular and turns into a night club later on. Samson is one of the better hotel restaurants. In all, a very good snow sure resorts, probably is a bore for a whole week but perfect for 4 days especially late in the season when the rest of Europe is melting.
Resort was overall good, runs were poorly looked after in comparison to france last year! Plenty of snow to be had. Be careful when the brochure says ski to door - majority of hotels are not!! Would go back everyone very friendly, hotel schutz was ok but wouldnt go back to stay there - lacked atmosphere..
Obertauern is great for beginners who will enjoy the wide open pistes. Intermediates too will have fun. Not a resort for advanced skiers nor those of us that enjoy a resort with atmosphere! I had a good week although towards the end the runs were starting to get boring. The Piste Map on offer is dreadful- there are no piste numbers on it! Piste preparation was poor. Hotel Kohlmayer was great- food exceptional and convenient for slope access.
We've gone to Obertauern the weekend before Christmas every year for the last 8 years. It's a great resort for a short period of time, because although the drive from Munich is fairly lengthy, there's always plenty of snow around (falling from the sky if not already on the slopes!). Most of the hotels are fairly well situated for the skiing, with the Seekarhof and the Romerhof being the best for ski-to-the-door convenience. The Tauernrunde which is the circuit around the valley that you can ski either direction, is great if you haven't been there before and aren't entirely sure where you want to go. All in all, a nice resort, although probably not recommended for a week as the skiing is a bit limited.
Christmas in Obertauren was not what I exspected. I was very disappointed with the condition of the pistes. There was no overnight preperation or very little from what I could see, despite the good fall of snow in the week. The pistes first thing in the morning were mogulled badly so no places to have an early morning blat on well prepared runs.The links to various runs and lifts were flat and hard going. Our hotel the Wisenegg was badly located but the staff and other guest made it a fantastic stay, they really work hard to make you comfortable. Get your skis from Sport Sam they were great in dealing with my girlfriends boot problems, nothing was too much trouble for them.Night life pretty good if you find the right places. So on the whole a nice place to spend a week skiing, just a bit more work on the runs required.
I have been to Obertauern several times, usually in mid-January, the best time to go in my opinion. The snow cover there is normally the best in the whole region, if not the best in the East of Austria. The downside is that you can end up with 4 days of uninterrupted snowfall. There are fantantic vistas of the Dachstein massif. Obertauern is not a huge resort, but offers a large proportion of wide red and black pistes of consistently high quality. Contrary to many larger resorts, you waste little of your valuable ski pass time connecting between the good pistes as the resort is compact and there aren't any long blue "Autobahn" runs. Hotels are excellent value. The best way to tackle the resort is to go up the large cable car 5 or 6 times in the early morning (when it is not crowded) and then around 10:30 am head to the other side of the resort . Gamsleiten II is one of the most vicious black pistes I have been on.
A great ciruit of purpose built skiing.Most hotels are virually ski-in-ski-out. You join the linked pistes,ski the circuit and find yourself back where you started.No buses, its skiiig all the way. I enjoyed the night skiig too.
Have just returned from Obertauern. Snow was fantastic, but being in a party of mixed ability skiers we found the lack of green runs sadly missing. It is a resort very much for the intermediates, the t bar lifts were a nightmare, not for the faint hearted. The ski hire place we used were really unhelpful - because they were busy we were palmed of with the wrong skis, as they had none left, despite pre booking superior skis and boots.
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