The Gasteinertal has an unusually wide range of hotels, pensions and student hostels, as befits a resort that caters for everybody from middle-aged Europeans to euro-skint British snowboarders. Some arduous uphill walking is unavoidable, although the ski bus operates between 8am and 6pm daily.
The ancient watering hole of Bad Gastein
Bad Gastein is “at the top of the valley is more suited to keen skiers and non-family groups,” said a reader. The top hotels here include Hotel Elisabethpark, which is modern, central, and has an indoor pool and wellness centre. It has 118 state-of-the-art rooms and a wellness area with indoor swimming-pool. Hotel Wildbad is a recently renovated hotel that is much nearer the lifts and recommended for its half-board cuisine that includes tea as well as dinner.
Two historic places to stay are Hoteldorf Gruner Baum, a 19th-century imperial hunting lodge in its own rural hamlet just outside the resort, and Villa Solitude nearer the lifts. The stylish Hoteldorf Gruner Baum has a spa and a children’s club, and attracts a celebrity crowd. Villa Solitude is recommended for its half-board cuisine that includes tea as well as dinner. The hotel has nine individually decorated suites over three floors, which have wood panelling and parquet floors. Three-star Hotel Mozart is a conveniently located and reasonably priced family-run hotel. It has 70 rooms and an in-house wine bar.
Badhofgastein is further along the valley
This is a more modern and spacious resort than Bad Gastein, and built at a less challenging angle. It shares the main alpine ski area but is more suited to families and those who enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and walking. It also has good ice-skating rinks, a sophisticated sports centre and its own assortment of thermal pools and accompanying health treatments.
Park Hotel is the smartest address here, as well as being on the edge of the piste. It has its own thermal water. Osterreichischer Hof is a centrally-located hotel that is family-run and warmly recommended.
Hotel Alte Post is a traditional four-star in the town centre. It has its own thermal spa and fitness facilities. Landhotel Romerhof has a spa and an indoor adventure pool with a lagoon. The hotel restaurant features regional cuisine.
Dorfgastein is contrastingly different
The sleepy farming settlement is located by the entrance to the valley and has considerable rural charm as well as some of the best skiing in the area. Accommodation includes Dorfhotel Kirchenwirt is friendly and family-run. The hotel restaurant has a Michelin star and serves Austrian and international cuisine.
Landhotel Steindlwirt is in the village centre and offers what the hotel describes as ‘imaginitive down-to-earth cuisine’. It has a cheerful children’s playroom and provides everything from baby baths to bottle-warmers. The hotel also has two separate apartments sleeping up to seven people. Activhotel Einkehr is situated close to the main lift. Gasthof Muhlbachstuberl has a reputation for fine food. The hotel has family-sized bedrooms and a games room.