Early summer sunshine
Sitting in the small village of Schuttdorf just outside of Zell am See is the charming Hotel Der Schütthof. A stay here gives you the best of both worlds as you get a peaceful and picturesque setting with excellent convenience being close to the AreitXpress gondola.
The staff in the hotel are as vibrant and friendly as the well-known pastel yellow exterior of the hotel. As soon as you arrive, you're greeted with plenty of light and space. This carries on through to the public area and bedrooms, all of which are comfortable with plenty of traditional touches and wood-panelling.
The gondola (about a five-minute walk away) takes you speedily into the Schuttdorf ski area. From here you can head over to Zell Am See and ski all the way back, taking in the lovely long runs back to Schuttdoef village, or spend time in Zell am See town and catch a local bus back.
If you fancy taking some time off the mountain, make the most of the Vulcano Spa. Relax in the two saunas, steam bath or in the relaxation area with its volcano theme, comfy loungers and views of the Kitzsteinhorn glacier in Kaprun.
Nearest lift: 450m to Areitbahn gondola
Tuition meeting point: 450m at Areitbahn gondola
Resort centre: You're in the centre of Schuttdorf. Zell am See centre is about a 25min walk or a 5-10min taxi ride (approx. €15)
Bus stop: 100m
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 138km 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.
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: 62
Range of runs: 40% blue, 44% red and 16% black
Lifts: 15 drags, 17 chairs and 15 cable cars
Night skiing: Yes
Cross country trails: 40km
Snowmaking: 100% of runs covered
Resort bus: Yes
Head to the top floor of the hotel for some serious relaxation. The Vulcano Spa has a small but modern wellness area to help ease tired legs. You'll find a scented steam bath and two saunas as well as a wonderful relaxation room with a volcano theme and 'hot' coals on the floor.
If you're looking for a swim, you can use the stunning pool at the neighbouring Hotel Latini for a small fee. Or if you need a little help to get you back on your skis or board the next day, they also offer a range of massage treatments too.
The half board meals here are all buffet style. Ensure a perfect start to your day with an extensive hot and cold breakfast with cereals and an organic food corner.
In the afternoon, come back to après snacks between 3 and 5pm before indulging in your three-course evening themed buffet which includes a vegetarian option.
The 70 rooms each have a spacious feel with lots of natural light, Austrian twin beds, free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TV showing local channels and an ensuite with shower and wc.
Choose from a standard Austrian twin or the large superior Austrian twin which has a sofa bed suitable for a third person (adult or child). Rooms with a balcony are also available on request.
Official rating: ***
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
Two restaurants and a pizzeria
Large bar with plenty of seating
Vulcano Spa with two saunas, steam room and relaxation area
Ski and board storage room with heated boot rack
Lift servicing all floors
Departure airports: Gatwick, Manchester or Birmingham
Departure day: Saturday
Arrival airport: Salzburg
Flight duration: 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes
Transfer time: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes