You're on the slopes from the moment you arrive as the Kendler sits right on the blue Spielbergbach piste at the top of Saalbach's high street and just 20m from the Bernkogel lift.
Kick off your boots at the end of the day and enter this stylish and very cool hotel. It manages a mix of tradition and contemporary incredibly well. The bright colours blend seamlessly with earthy wooden sculptures and solid furniture.
The spa is simple but luxurious with fantastic ambient lighting to ensure you're immersed in calming light! There's an indoor pool and a swim-out outdoor pool, different types of sauna and a steam room; just right after a day on the slopes of the 270km Ski Circus area.
There's a spacious bar and the à la carte restaurant is recommended in the Michelin Guide. The food is (as expected) delicious and it's an intimate space to eat with traditional wood-lined walls and carvings. Every day they have complimentary après-ski snacks to keep you going until dinner.
From the hotel to…
Slopes: You're on the slopes
Nearest lift: 20m to the Bernkogel gondola
Tuition meeting point: 100m
Resort centre: You're in the centre
Bus stop: 100m
About the resort
Saalbach and Hinterglemm are two pretty villages that sit in Austria's largest ski area; the Ski Circus. It has the name because the slopes literally surround you. There's 270km of picturesque red and blue runs with mountain huts dotted all around. This place was just made for the mile-hungry intermediate skier or boarder.
If you want to attempt a full circuit in one day then you'll need to get up early. Or try the long run over to Leogang for lunch to check that your legs are up to it. If you're more advanced, there are some steep blacks and moguls under the Shattberg Express gondola and the freeriding is some of the best in Austria!
The après-ski is a genuine Austrian experience and starts on the mountain at about 3pm. Saalbach is the livelier of the two villages and you can keep going until the early hours if you have got the pace.
Area size: 270km in Ski Circus area
Linked resorts: Leogang andFieberbrunn
Resort altitude: 630m
Skiing altitude: 630m to 2500m
Number of runs: 70
Range of runs: 45% blue, 48% red and 7% black
Lifts: 24 drags, 21 chairs and 23 gondolas
Night skiing: Yes (Hinterglemm)
Cross country trails: 11km
Snowmaking: 90% of runs covered
Resort bus: Yes
Rest and relaxation
The newly renovated 1200m2 is super stylish and a beautiful place to spend an hour or two after a day on the mountain. Everything bar the massage and beauty treatments are free to guests.
The list of things to aid aching legs or aching anything is pretty impressive, so here goes: Heated indoor pool and outdoor swim-out pool with jet current, outdoor sauna, infrared-sauna, Finnish sauna, bio sauna, steam room and various relaxation areas and sun loungers.
On top of that there's complimentary juices, tea, fresh and dried fruit to keep you hydrated. If you feel like going the whole nine yards, enjoy massages and beauty treatments.
Food and drink
The food at Hotel Kendler is award-winning. The half board includes a hot and cold buffet late-starter breakfast from 8am until 12noon. When you come off the slopes, there are complimentary après-ski snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. The evening meals are five courses with a vegetarian option and once a week they have a gala dinner.
There's a seven-course gala dinner at Christmas, and New Year sees the same seven courses but with added fireworks, a DJ and a show. It's a great place to see in the New Year with friends and family.
All of the 55 bedrooms are a really good size with a balcony and have stylish modern interiors with natural wood furnishings. Families, or couples who want more space, will love the larger studio rooms which have an apartment feel. Each room has a TV, mini-safe, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer and an en-suite.
Official rating: ****
Elegant hotel bar
Restaurant with conservatory
Free use of the newly renovated 1200m2 spa area
Heated indoor pool and outdoor swim out pool with jet current
Outdoor sauna, Finnish sauna, bio sauna, steam room, infared sauna
Weekly live music
Children's play room
Departure airports: Gatwick, Manchester or Birmingham
Departure day: Saturday
Arrival airport: Salzburg
Flight duration: 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes
Transfer time: approx. 2 hours
Third off lift passes in Dec & Jan on all ski holidays