Ride in to summer 2020
If you're looking for a family-friendly hotel that also happens to be incredibly stylish and wonderfully modern, this is it. The Hotel Sonne is beautifully appointed and features free childcare and truly excellent cuisine.
As the hotel is all-inclusive board, you can really relax into your holiday and not have to worry about much at all. The food that they serve is not only plentiful but delicious too.
The contemporary furnishings lend themselves to the chilled out, relaxed feel throughout the hotel, and that's before you even get to the modern spa.
There's a sun terrace which is perfect for enjoying a fresh espresso on, a gorgeous bar, two comfy and cosy lounges and even an indoor pool.
Nearest lift: 1.3km to Schattberg X-press
Tuition meeting point: 1km
Resort centre: 1km (free hotel shuttle to slopes)
Ski bus stop: 10m
Saalbach and Hinterglemm are two pretty villages that sit in one of Austria's largest ski areas; 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 and Fieberbrunn
Resort altitude: 1000m
Skiing altitude: 630m to 2095m
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
The new spa area at the Sonne includes saunas, an outdoor hot tub, pool, beauty treatments, massages and an active program. It's all part of the hotel's wellness concept in which their culinary offering also plays a major role.
The Hotel Sonne does a great all-inclusive board option. This means there's a hot and cold buffet breakfast, but late sleeper's can still have that all-important first meal, just á la carte courtesy of the Late Sleepers' breakfast. A hot and cold lunch buffet features salad, soups, cakes and pastries. The dinner is five courses, with a choice for all of the dishes.
There's a weekly dessert buffet as well as Farmer's and Italian buffets. And of course, unlimited drinks are included with international beers, wines and spirits all on the menu. You'll never go hungry (or thirsty) around here!
All of the 68 rooms at the Hotel Sonne are stylish, spacious and full of natural light. They come in a choice of two styles - the Reiterkogel rooms are more traditional in style and come with a bath, while the Kohlmais rooms are a bit more contemporary and feature a shower.
All of the rooms come with balconies, so no worries about missing those mountain views! All rooms also come with flat screen TVs and a hairdryer, and that's all you need, really! In every room it's possible to separate the beds on request, and single rooms with double beds are also available, so just ask.
Families will be very pleased with the Hotel Sonne. There's free child supervision for kids' aged between 2 and 12, from 9am - 1pm and from 4-8pm from Sunday through to Friday each week.
The hotel does early dinners to keep the little ones happy, and there's also a special children's menu (it even goes up to 14 year olds). There's a bright and cheerful playroom for the youngsters, and the teens are taken care of too thanks to the Teens' room. It's a very family-friendly place.
Official rating: **** Superior
Hotel bar and two lounges
Panoramic roof terrace
Spacious and modern spa with an indoor pool
Free childcare for 2 to 12 year olds
Early dinner and kids' menu
Kids' playroom and teens' room
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
Departure airports: Birmingham, Manchester or Stansted
Departure day: Saturday
Arrival airport: Salzburg
Flight duration: 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes
Transfer time: approx. 2 hours