There’s a wide choice of hotels in Zell am See-Kaprun, mainly family-owned, three- and four-stars, including some very sumptuous options. Apartments can be booked locally but aren’t featured by most UK tour operators.
The best place to stay is in or near the picturesque car-free medieval centre of Zell am See with its splendid church, a short walk from the central CityXpress gondola and the local Schmittenhöhe ski area.
There is also some accommodation outside town near the main access lifts, and further around the lake at Schüttdorf, where there is another gondola into the ski area. Both these areas are close to nursery slopes.
A small family-run three-star right by the lake and railway track, the Seehof has fabulous lake views from the dining room, terrace and some of the rooms. It’s a one minute walk to the town centre and 10 minutes to the CityXpress gondola. Public areas and rooms are adequately furnished and have a modern feel to them.
Book it: From £642 with Crystal.
Right in the heart of the atmospheric car-free centre of town and only 200m from the CityXpress gondola, the three-star Lebzelter hotel dates back to the 15th century. Rooms have been well modernised with lots of use of wood on floors and walls. The hub of the hotel is the traditional Sportstüberl bar, which is filled with photos, posters and knick-knacks, and popular with locals and visitors alike. A small wellness area has a sauna, infra-red cabin and steam room.
A historic four-star near the centre of town and 600m from the CityXpress gondola, parts of Romantikhotel date from the 15th century, but the decor and furnishing of rooms, suites and public areas mix traditional and modern to give a very comfortable feel. It has a good reputation for food and a choice of restaurants includes the ancient and traditional Zum Metzgerwirt and the new bright and airy Saletti winter garden room. The two-storey wellness area has one section where swimming costumes are permitted in the saunas and steam room (very unusual for Austria) as well as an adults-only naked section with three types of sauna, steam room and a variety of themed showers. Plus there’s a hot tub and indoor/outdoor pool.
A modernised, traditional Austrian four-star, the Heitzmann is right in the centre of town, close to the lifts, the pedestrian zone and the lake. It has 33 individually designed rooms and suites with contemporary décor. The restaurant serves delicious four-course dinners and a hot and cold buffet breakfast. There are two bars including a rooftop one on the fifth floor, plus an enclosed winter garden. The wellness area has a sauna and steam room.
Ski-in/ski-out, just above the start of the CityXpress gondola the four-star Berner hotel has good views over the town to the lake and is just 300m from the town centre. Service under the management of the third generation of the Berner family is excellent and friendly, including free guiding every Monday morning to show guests around the mountain and point out favourite restaurants. All rooms and suites have balconies and are traditionally furnished. Fabulous wellness area with heated outdoor pool, three types of sauna, steam room and panoramic relaxation room.
Book it: From £1,196 with Inghams.
Zell am See’s only five-star, the Salzburgerhof is near the lake, a few minutes walk from town centre and lifts – though the hotel has its own shuttle to and from the lifts too. Developed from a humble B&B since 1967 and still personally run by the Holleis family, it is smartly furnished in traditional style, with spacious public rooms and bedrooms. The 3,500sqm wellness area is set over three floors with various pools, different types of saunas and steam rooms, an outdoor hot tub, Feng-Shui garden and more. The gourmet restaurant serves up delicious dinners.
This modern four-star in Kaprun has rooms and suites ranging from ‘Cozy’ 20sqm rooms to the very plush 40sqm Panorama Suite, with a balcony to make the most of the views. Dinners are four-course affairs and the hotel prides itself on its cuisine, which includes local specialities such as Pinzgau beef and Pinzgau cheese. Wellness facilities include indoor and outdoor saunas, a saltwater steam room and an indoor pool.