The Grand Hotel is a pretty magical choice. Its beautiful belle époque (late 19th, early 20th century era) architecture and location right on the shores of Lake Zell see to that. Walk in to the hotel and you're greeted by a wonderful, double sided staircase and contemporary décor.
Everyone loves the Grand Spa, which covers five levels and can be accessed for a very reasonable fee (unless you're staying in a Junior Suite in which case it's free). However, you'll still have access to two saunas, a hot tub, and the indoor pool without any extra expense.
Chill out in the lounge or café for a bit of relaxation in the evening, or sip on a glass of wine by the open fire in the bar. Families will be happy too - there's a free hotel-run children's club for three to 10 year olds that runs every day.
From the hotel to…
Nearest lift: 400m (Free hotel-run shuttle bus to lifts every 15 minutes)
Tuition meeting point: 400m
Resort centre: In the centre
Bus stop: 400m
About the resort
With lively nightlife, picturesque scenery and great skiing for all levels, Zell am See is one of Austria's best loved lakeside resorts. On the mountain, it has a nice mix of runs that are perfect for complete beginners to the advanced. It's a fairly large ski area as well with 138kms of runs with great snow conditions.
Head over to Kaprun (15 to 20mins away by bus) and you'll have guaranteed snow on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier. A trip there is covered on your Zell lift pass too, but transport isn't.
When you're not exploring the area, head into the Old Town and you'll be absolutely charmed by its magical medieval setting. The town is awash with cafés, bars and restaurants suiting all different budgets and tastes. Après starts on the mountain at around 3pm, the Berghotel is a good place to kick off!
Area size: 138km
Linked resorts: Kaprun. Saalbach and Hinterglemm (on Salzburg superski lift pass)
Resort altitude: 755m
Skiing altitude: 755m to 3030m
Number of runs: 55
Range of runs: 42% blue, 35% red and 23% black
Lifts: 20 drags, 17 chairs and 13 cable cars
Night skiing: No
Cross country trails: 40km
Snowmaking: 100% of runs covered
Resort bus: Yes
Rest and relaxation
The newly renovated 1000m2 ‘Grand Spa' is located in the penthouse and can be used for about €15 a day - but if you're staying in the Junior Suites, it comes free.
It's a super stylish and beautiful place to spend an hour or two after a day on the mountain and it spreads itself across a huge five levels.
Massage and beauty treatments are available if you're looking to up the luxury factor, plus there's a juice bar inside - save the wine for later! There's also a fitness room if you're looking to fit in a run or lift some weights in between your time on the slopes.
Food and drink
Half board meals at The Grand Hotel include a hot and cold buffet breakfast and a four-course evening meal that comes with three choices for each course. That's a lot of choice, that's for certain. On top of that, on one day of the week you'll sit down to a speciality buffet.
When it comes to the festive holidays, there are Christmas and New Year Gala meals included. The New Year is ushered in with live music, fireworks and a midnight buffet as too.
Every room at the Grand Hotel features stunning views, either of the mountain or the gorgeous lake. The family rooms in particular come with a double bedroom and a second bedroom with a double sofa-bed or bunk beds, plus a balcony or terrace and views of the lake.
The junior suites are large split-level rooms with a separate sleeping and living area. If you're staying in these you'll have free use of the luxurious Grand Spa. The rooms also come with a bath or shower, cable TV, a hairdryer, minibar, bathrobes and a mini-safe.
Families and kids
The Grand Hotel is a great choice for families looking for a well-rounded holiday. There's a free hotel-run children's club for three to 10 year olds which runs in the morning and afternoons with a break for you to come back and have lunch with your little ones before you head back to the slopes.
On Fridays it actually runs for the full day, meaning you can drop them off at 8:30am and come back to pick them up at 7:30pm if that's something you want.
Official rating: **** Superior
Lounge and restaurant
Bar with open fire
Huge 1000m2 Grand Spa
Indoor pool, two saunas and a hot tub
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Free hotel shuttle bus
Free hotel-run kids' club
Departure airports: Gatwick, Manchester or Birmingham