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This is a big and well-known resort and given the number of British skiers it attracts, I'm surprised the SCGB doesn't have a rep there.
We stayed at the superb Hotel Tiroler Buam in Vorderglemm. Friendly staff, comfortable, lovely breakfast choices and a superb bar/restaurant. The hotel was about half the price of some of the big hotels in Saalbach or Hinterglemm. Location was magnificent - just across the road from the sparkling new Schonleitenbahn gondola and virtually ski to the hotel car park.
The ski circus is a vast cruising paradise. But it was busy and some of the piste grading is on the tough side. Two instructors from the Heugenhauser ski school each described a number of blues as 'dark' and un-nerving for skiers progressing from the nursery slopes. For example, run 2a from the Schattberg Ost to Vorderglemm - pleasant at the top, narrow and bumpy on the lower third (and made all the more difficult by marginal snow low down last week). In contrast, Bernkogl is an easy cruise and the runs between Leogang and the Wildenkarkogel are confidence boosters. I enjoyed the Montelino Trail - a mini-skicross course under the Grosser Asitz. Doing the whole circus is an enjoyable, if hectic, challenge. Some serious money has been spent on the lift infrastructure.
We experienced every season, arriving to light snow, extremely mild temperatures, a day of miserable, pouring rain in the valley, a day of heavy snow and strong winds which shut the upper lifts and warm sunshine the following day. The lower slopes were pretty ugly by the afternoon. In a rare burst of common sense, we descended by lift from the mid-stations on a couple of occasions. By contrast, the pistes above 1,400 metres were generally superb (although off-piste was marginal or non-existent!)
My other half had private lessons with the Heugenhauser ski school. Impressed with the school's flexibility and willingness to change lesson times, location etc when the upper lifts were closed.
I regularly visit Saalbach from next door Zell am See so I'm a day visitor and can't comment on accommodation or apres ski.
This is a huge and extremely well managed ski area. originally comprising two sides of a long valley the resort has been extended to include Leogang and Fieberbrunn - both one valley across. A further extension to Zell am See is planned.
Ideally one skis the Leogang/Fieberbrunn side of the valley in the morning and the north facing slopes in the afternoon. Leogang is especially nice in the morning and is a bit more upmarket than the rest of the ski with several delightful mountain restaurants.
For my taste the link to Fieberbrunn is more effort than it is worth with several rather narrow and crowded sections. Fieberbrunn is known for being a free ride resort so if there's a big dump it might be worth the trip.
The section above Hinterglemm and further up the valley has delightful wide runs, all blues and reds. there are several places to cross the valley but only the Zwolfer Bahn at the extreme limit of the ski area enables you to do so without walking.
The northern slopes are more challenging with a couple of good black runs. There are fewer spots to eat and they tend not to be in the sun.
Th lift system is first class with either 8 or 10 man bubbles or fast 6 and 8 man chairs, some with heated seats.
This is one of my favourite places to ski, with plenty of variety, some challenges, the possibility of off piste, an excellent lift system and good mountain restaurants. The only drawback (but this is Austria) is that the top of the mountain is only 2000 m and the bottom can be slushy.
If you do visit for just a day then don't drive all the way to Saalbach, use the brand new for 2017 Sonnleitenbahn 10 man bubble at Vorderglemm, this gets you straight into the Leogang area.
Last day on the slopes today and it has been a memorable week. Two powder days and two days of constant sunshine, not bad. I am in agreement with most of the other reviews listed, they all sing the praises of the resort, ski area, management of the pistes when there is little new snow. So much so that I have been visiting this resort for some time, 16 times since 1987.
What I would like to comment on is the accommodation, most of the reviews have been OK or adequate but nothing outstanding. Our hotel of choice is the Hotel Barbarahof, a family run business on the road between Saalbach and Hinterglemm, one that we believe to be truly outstanding. The hotel is well appointed and benefits from regular upgrades in all areas from the exceptional 'Wellness Centre' to the restaurant and bedrooms. The location is not a problem as the hotel is next to bus stop No12, they run every 20 minutes. Additionally the proprietor Rudi arranges the snow train to take guests from the hotel to the lifts each morning. He does not offer an aftenoon pick up, however there is a blue run that goes right to his back door. Add to all of this the treats and extras offered by Rudi during the week and it compares with anything Saalbach has to offer.
Stayed at the Reitinger Hotel in Hinterglemm. Easy access to the slopes (gondola station across the road and up two escalators). Hotel comfortable for the budget end of the market. Decent breakfast and evening meals that are worthy enough without being special. Double bed in our room rather than a twin but a sofa bed was made up and was easily the size and comfort of a normal single bed. Smallest bathroom in the world but a serviceable shower. Heated bootroom ensured toasty feet at the start of the day.
Skicircus is a fine area with mostly blues and reds, the odd long black run and some very pretty scenery including some lovely tree runs. The lifts are interrupted by some walking through Saalbach village at one end and a long T-bar connecting the Saalbach-Leogang area to the Hinterglemm approach. That didn't go down well with the boarder and the 10 year old in our sizeable group but I believe it is to be replaced by a chair this summer. However, the conditions were outstanding. Lots of snow in two considerable dumps during our week opened up lots of fresh powder in easily accessible off-piste and the pistes themselves were fantastic until back down on the home runs, where it got a bit sugary (snow-making).
The slopes are very quiet from about 3.30pm and the lifts close earlier than in France (about 4.15pm) to allow everyone to get in the bars for the apres. All in all a good fun holiday and plenty to ski - especially if you have good snow like we had. We were helped by the exchange rate but food and drink better value in Austria than in France by some margin.
We were so lucky. We arrived on Sat 21st in hot sunshine and were lucky enough to get the promised dump of snow. I had been wary of booking so late, at at such a low resort but after 36 hours of snowfall we had magical skiing, blue skies, some clouds and sunshine from Tues to Friday which made up for extended walks in ski boots at times and the dreaded T-bar lift. I loved the apres ski but found the choice of food a bit limited and one mountain restaurant gave us all an upset stomach!
Would we go back? No, we prefer higher snow sure resorts with more tree line skiing for bad weather but it is worth a visit earlier in the year.
Second week of March and acres of mountain meadow around strips of snow. Saalbach did it's very best to keep runs going but some of the lovely runs we have skied down into the valley were closed. The majority of runs are on south facing slopes which were great for enjoying the sunshine but makes them very vulnerable to unseasonable warmth. These conditions make it very difficult for beginners as the snow quickly gets churned up on busy routes. The skiing in Leogang is gorgeous but there is a tricky red, in these conditions, for those needing to get back in the afternoon.
The new lift Bergbalm has removed a terrible bottleneck out of Saalbach only to find that it stops before the top and everyone has to use a T-bar with sections were it goes slightly downhill. It is mandatory if you want to ski to the lovely area of Hinterglemm higher up the valley. This is very difficult for all, not just beginners. It is a real problem, especially as the rest of the lift system is very good. They can do nothing about the weather but they replace this tow lift. Then it will get my five star overall rating
Family holiday to Saalbach, staying at the lovely Hotel Sonnleiten.
Unfortunately, snow base has gone - except from artificial snow slopes.
Will perhaps re-visit in high season.
The resort is well laid out with numerous access points allowing you access to 200 kilometres of world class skiing. The Schattberg express is my favourite way to get up the mountain and then go left and take the 2b run of 7km all the way to the bottom.
Loads of choice of Apres starting from lunchtime on some slopes but the cowshed is one of my favourite places to dance on the tables with jaegger in hand.
Great choice of accommodation from cheap pensions to delux hotels. 40 mountain restaurants to choose from for lunch and good value for money that you can eat for less than 10 euros a head including dish of the day and drink and desert.
Stayed at Chalet Julianne in February and had a great week. Our party was 4 adults and 2 teenage boys and we all agreed that the skiing was the best we'd had (this was our first trip to Saalbach but our 6th year of skiing).
There are plenty of slopes to suit all abilities and there were no queues which was amazing as it was half term when we went. The Chalet is in a great location right at the bottom of the slopes and just opposite some great après ski bars. The staff - Molly, Al & Scott - looked after us very well with great meals, friendly faces and yummy cakes in the afternoon!
We would definitely recommend Saalbach - it's a beautiful typical Austrian village with great slopes and a great atmosphere. Try it - you'll love it!
Went to Saalbach for the first time with my wife and 9 year old son. Loved the resort which is great for all levels of skiing. Experts may not find this the toughest of resorts but they will still have a fantastic holiday as it has the best array of mountain restaurants and après bars you can imagine. It also has a huge lift network with some great runs especially if you're into fast carving. Stayed at the Hotel Haider - friendly staff, great food, family-friendly and great location. Will definitely return.
We said we would never use same resort 2 years running but our group of 5 all agreed to return. We met German and Dutch Skiers on their 12th and 16th consecutive years.
Great variety of piste/off piste, very good lift systems, great affordable mountain eating everywhere.
Highly recommend Furstar Ski School for instruction and guides ( ound lots of safer basic off piste for our intermediate level). We finished the week completing the "Ski Circus" in one day, your feet will drop off!!
Stayed in Hotel Panther, best location for lifts and pubs but certain rooms are a little exposed to late night street revellers/early morning pub delivery's.
Some of our group are returning for a weekend late March. Really recommend "The Mountain-feast" evening, great food, mad fun and games, and "Go-Carts on ICE"! Not a resort to buy equipment, prices higher than the UK. We will be back!
Booked a week through Airtours and in fairness they weren't too bad. They did however double book our hotel the week before so we had to be moved, but in the end it worked out for the best. We were put in the Hotel Panther which was excellent practically ski in/out. (Well as ski in / out as you can get in Austria). Heated outdoor pool, sauna & small gym.
The food was very good for half board, typical Austrian fare. I wouldn't want to be a pig in Austria, they do like their Pork!
Word of warning to anybody going to Saalbach, if your hotel is on the main drag request a rear facing rooms as it can get a tad loud & rowdy late on.
The après ski & nightlife is very lively, it seems to start just before noon and wraps up sometime in the early hours. Backstattstall is the place to start, Bobby's in the evening then on to Costello's for a dance!
The skiing was poor this year as temperatures were through the roof, even at the top of their highest slopes things were slushy, and it really was horrible to ski on. Early on above Leogang there was good skiing to be found, then in the afternoon head over to Schattberg. The black back into town down Schattberg is an awesome run, which held up well all week.
We had a beginner with us who booked a week's tuition through Snow Academy and was very impressed with the set up. Two hours in the morning & two in the afternoon brought him on a treat.
But I will be going to a much higher resort next year.
I got back from Saalbach/Hinterglem on the 28/01/06 I stayed at the Hotel Austria in between S & H. The weather was fantastic. 6 days of clear blue skis and one day of snow. The good points Excellent skiing. There are more runs than you can ski in a week. I didn't go off piste but there were tracks everywhere and there appeared to be lots of it. There were hardly any lift queues. the longest i waited was about 3/4 mins The hands free lift pass is a great idea. The lifts are well and linked. You only had to walk short distances and not very often. The bad points The Ski bus! They run every 20 mins and don't start until 9 although some lifts open at 8:30. If you catch one between 9 & 11 or 2:30 and 4 you will be in for a tight squeeze. Think of the tube at rush hour but with skiis!! They need more buses running more often. The classification of some of the pistes were way off. The blue runs up in the moutains were very steep and were more like reds. The blues closer to either S or H seemed a better. The signs at the top of the runs were great but as you got half way down the signs seem to disappear and you would end up on a different run than you planned. Although the queues were small, the ones at the gondala's got a bit rough. There was a bit of pushing. Especially on the stand up gondala's. Overall A great resort for intermediates. Far more skiing than you can manage in a week. I would recomend this resort to anyone other than beginners as some of the blue runs are more like red and could ruin your confidence. Experts might find it limited but there appeared to be lots of off piste. If you do go make sure you get a hotel/chalet in either S or H to avoid the need for the ski bus. I will definitely go back but not until i have checked out a few more resorts to compare S&H with.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm Feb/March 2006 - two very different villages and the slopes were also looked after differently too (Hinterglemm and Lengau were better piste bashed). We were staying in a hotel between the two and the bus service was excellent as were the local taxis. Very friendly ski area and we were there during Fasching (our Shrove Tuesday) where everyone dressed up - only no-one thought to tell the Brits, so consequently we spent most of the day laughing at other nationalities (in the nicest sense!) Never skied with so many different nationalities, so that made a nice change with whoever you got on the lifts with. Some versy civilised lifts too, heated seats and very gently deposit at the top! Night skiing was fun to watch but very cold (and you seemed to have to be Dutch, 17 and out of your head!). Apres Ski a bit limited by the tour operators, but everyone seemed to enjoy the bars and each other's company. Good selection of nursery slopes but then the blues were a bit challenging, which was a bit of a jump. However, they were wide enough and you could take your time. There were some reckless snowboarders (please don't sit on your boards hogging the entrance to the slopes!) who seemed to think it was OK to stop by crashing into anyone else - ruin your own holiday, but not someone else's! Quite a few shops, good supermarkets and other sports facilities. Just be aware that the transfer from Salzburg might not be as short as stated in the brochure, ours was nearly 3 hours each way, which was ridiculous! Take some snacks and drinks as you may well end up going via Zell Am See. Only bad part was the bad fitting of boots by the ski hire shop - stick to your guns, don't be fobbed off by 'You MUST have these' as it ruined a day's skiing and my ankles killed for the rest of the week. Rep seemed unable to help, so we persisted ourselves. Go and party with the whole world - we will certainly be back sometime!
My friends and I spent a week at the Saalbacherhof from 28th Jan this year and found it to be very comfortable with the most superb cuisine. It was so difficult to leave the dining room table, we ate so well. On the skiing front, the week was about the best we have had in 5 years. Luckily there was ample snow and the sun was splitting the sky for the entire week. It is THE most beautiful location, and the runs were superb. We are at an intermediate to higher level of instruction. Every piste was enjoyable and to tour the entire valley theough the week in such gorgeous conditions was a bonus. The only drawback to the week was the trek to the lift in the morning. With such a choice of ski runs, we had to decide on one of three lifts - mind you two of these were within 10 mins walk or less! Not much to complain about really! All things considered, I would return in a flash, and fully intend to ski those slopes again. I hope I will be as lucky with the weather next time.
25th Dec 2004, Stayed at the Saltzburger Hof on the main drag into the village.Nice friendly place and very cheap but they do not speak English. Bus stop only 20 meters away. The ski area is split by the valley road running through the middle, but don´t let this put you off because some of the lift stations meet to get you up to the other side.The skiing is mainly for beginners upto intermediates, only a few black runs. The village is probably the friendliest we´ve been to in Austria with quite a variety of eating and drinking establishments. We noticed that there is quite big area for beginners to learn, and all this right in the middle of the village.
Actually, Hinterglemm. Beautiful village, stunning at Christmas. Friendly welcoming people, stomping après ski, and wonderful skiing, lots of miles, all sorts of runs. I'd specially recommend the Hotel Dorfschmiede, a lovely hotel in a very convenient position, with the famous outside bar for drinking with your ski boots on. The chef is excellent, and his wife makes all the delicious biscuits that are available all day long on reception. The afternoon 'snack' that is laid out is outstanding - dishes and dishes of good food, including smoked salmon and marinated fish, it's almost a meal in itself. Definitely a place to go back to.
I spent christmas in Saalbach 2003 i have booked again for this christmas and will be flying out december 23rd. I think it is a great place, very clean and tidy, skiing is great for all. I have a eight year old son, and mountain resteraunts are to be found all over - some you can sit outside in the sun having your meal.
Having visited Saalbach twice before, and preparing to return again this weekend, I have found Saalbach and the Ski-Circus to be a wonderful resort. It can be as quiet or as lively as you want it to be, but the apres ski certainly has a fabulous atmosphere. The extensive runs are a bonus to those who really do want a full days skiing, but the choice is yours. As a family we enjoy all aspects of this resort and as far as lift queues are concerned, they aren't any worse here than any other resort I have visited.
I went to Saalbach on 17th Jan 2004. The skiing was an intermediates dream, with wide and steep blues and beautiful trails through trees. The reds wre also extremely enjoyable, although not much for cruising. The mountain restaurants were fabulous and the apres-ski in resort was lively without being over-the-top. I'll definitely be going back, hopefully soon.
I visited Saalbach in March of 2002 for 3 days after compleing the scope
ski challenge and had a fantastic time. Have just booked to return on 31st
jan 2004 staying at the Berger Sport in Saalbach is any other ski club
member planning on being there it would be great to meet up.
We stayed over New Year 2003/2004 and had a wonderful time. The resort is
laid back and very friendly with a good mix of Dutch, Russians and
Austrians and thankfully very few Brits. The skiing was superb thanks to
the excellent lift system and queing really was kept to a minimum. The
variety and frequency of restuarants on the mountains was first class - we
have already booked for next year and I would recommend Saalbach to
Stayed three times in Hinterglemm (partner town of Saalbach), it was GREAT
every time. Very good ski resort, offes both "traditional" and carving
slopes (I am an "alpine" snowboarder). Apres ski in Saalbach is par to
Ischgl (in my opinion), Hinterglemm is more quiet without being boring.
All in all, Saalbach/Hinterglemm is my favorite resort (compared to
Ischgl, Obertauern, Trois Vallee, Port du Soleil, ...), and will be
Excellent Resort - This is our 4th year in a row staying at the Berger Sport Hotel. The Skiing is always fantastic and just keeps getting better with the improved lift system. I would recommend Saalbach to anyone.
The Alpenhotel in Saalbach, Austria, was first class, every member of staff was found to be friendly, courteous and treated guests as royalty. My partner and experienced wonderful food, both traditional and international, all cooked superbly. The sauna, steam room and and whirlpool offered relaxation space, but the pool a little small and due to the large windows one can see into the pool area from the main street, not very private! There is also a lively bar and nightclub popular with holiday makers.
Stayed at Wolf Hotel,****, Hinterglemme. 11 - 25 Jan 03. Goog vibes on arrival. Big ski area. Maybe due to snow, but
many red runs not open. Resort could have done more with piste bashers during day. Generally low standard of skier, leading to poor slope manners and therefore safety. Several very loud disco bars on slope and in Village resulted in way above average drinking. Drunks often offensive, espec to women. Mostly not Brits. Will not go again because of this. Not recommended.
Forgotten about resort by the Brits, superb ski circus almost as good as the French alps and it just has the charm and entertainment value that the French just don't seem to know about, not expensive either, give it ago you won't be disappointed.
Have just returned from Xmas staying at Hotel Sonnalp in Hinterglemm - fantastic Austrian charm and excellent food and service - faultless!!. Unfortunately only 25% of resort open due to mild conditions. Lift authorities doing their best to keep as much going as possible. Very friendly locals and reasonable mountain restaurant prices, Had a great holiday, and skied every day in spite of the conditions. Very impressed with the lift system with a good number of high capacity gondolas and chair lifts. Would love to return when ski conditions are better.
The 100-person Schattberg-Ost cable-car has now been replaced by a 8-person gondola. The long queues are therefore due to disappear.
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