Reviews of Zell Am See, Austria

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  4.33 of 5  (3 reviews)
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powdersnort
Reviews: 1
Bedfordshire
    4 of 5,  "Zell Review"  23/02/2016 @ 13:45
Price Paid
Circa 650
Booked Trip Through
Iglu Ski
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Booked this for 2nd week of Jan as I always heard good reviews of Zell and Kaprun and there's a lovely lake to look at.

Flew in to Salzburg and got the transfer coach no issues, stayed at Hotel Traube. I can't rate the hotel and the staff enough, very cheap half board stay, lovely rooms, brilliant food (don't cook one day of week as it's they're day off so have to look local but enough around) and beer as cheap as anywhere in the surrounding area. Hotel is located bang in the middle of the town and allows for rapid access to the nightclubs out of one entrance and to the shopping area out the other entrance.

The surrounding bars and clubs are all of high standard and there are plenty of local convenience stores in the town centre.

The slopes:

In my opinion, as a more intermediate rider, the variety of slopes was slightly lacking. I found it to be more of a beginner style to the slopes as the red runs are nearer to a slightly steep blue but this does make riding them more enjoyable for a gentle cruise. There is a limited number of black runs, most of which are completely packed as all the locals and tourists that are at a more advanced level are riding them. There is one black run which leads down to the main lift up the mountain from the town, this gets incredibly icy as realistically its the only route down. There is a blue run that is just an access road up the mountain in the summer but this is incredibly flat and I didn't make the mistake of riding it twice, especially when skiers were struggling even with their poles!

The best option in my opinion is to ride 'sunny side' as it has more complex runs and isn't as busy.

Kaprun is also easily accessible by bus for a very cheap price should you get bored of the slopes in Zell am See.

Plenty of helpful people about and very good English spoken by the locals. Night life is excellent and plenty of little bars with great atmosphere.
Strengths
Great lifts make it easy and fast to get up the mountain
Night life
Atmosphere
Off Piste
Hot Spots
Flanagan's
Gin Bar
'Sunny Side'
Weaknesses
Lack of park
Lack of technical runs
Similar Resorts Visited
Saalbach
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Ziggy
Reviews: 4
    5 of 5  01/02/2004 @ 15:11
Revision #1 (Last edited: 01/02/2004 @ 15:36)
Price Paid
£500 H/B inc. Lift Pass
Booked Trip Through
First Choice Ski
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Since this was my first ever snowboarding trip, I can't compare it to any other but let me just say it was the most wonderful holiday I've ever had!

Right, now for the details:

We stayed at the Parkhotel Eder Victoria which is almost in the center of the Zell and was only 3 minutes walk from the brand new City Xpress Gondala that took us up to Mittelstation. From there you could take any number of lifts and gondalas up to Schmittenhohe. I stayed half-board in the Victoria part of the hotel which is above the famous Crazy/Irish Daisy Bar, and let's just say that I didn't get much sleep. The food provided was excellent throughout the week, with a full buffet breakfast and a large enough 3 course dinner after a hard days boarding. The staff and service were exceptional, with a very special thank you to Angela, who looked after us all week in the restaurant!

Nightlife was brilliant with loads of bars to suit everyones tastes, from Crazy Daisy, Karumbar, Diele, Viva and Classics. Met lots of locals and other tourists including a bunch of nutty Swedes and a group of UK skiers from Worcester. Word-up to Perky, Tiger, Giles and the Brummie Locust! Oh and no pesky French.

Zell am See is having the best snow for about 5 years atm, it must have snowed every other day during my week with temperatures of -10 to -15 not counting the wind-chill.

The mountian that towers above Zell, the Schmittenhohe is only 2000m high, which you could say is quite low compared to the French resorts. But the amount of terrain that it offers is amazing, you have nice gentle wide blues, a load of challenging reds and their black runs were just shear drops. And I just can't forget to mention the off-piste. OMG!!!

We booked a 5 day advanced snowboard tuition (115 Euros) from the Zell am See Intersport Schischule at the bottom of the City Xpress Gondala. Our instructor was a fantastic Austrian called Patrick who would board bare-headed, yes you heard, he shaves his head! He would only put on a hat when it was really, really cold, say -15! He took us all over the mountain after he found that we were all quite competent boarders. OFF-PISTE POWDER was his forte and he shared all of his trails with us, including runs through trees in waist-deep powder with big drop-offs and especially a run down to the neighbouring village of Schuttdorf through farm fields with barbed-wire fences to jump!!! WOOHOO!!! Without him we would never have had such a great time. Try to book him if you're going to Zell, I promise you'll have the best time.
Strengths
Brilliant snow conditions, on and off-piste.
Varied nightlife.
Great locals and fellow tourists.
Our instructor, our friend Patrick!!!
Weaknesses
My fitness!
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bleeding_orange
Reviews: 5
Clwyd
    4 of 5,  "Return to Zell"  29/10/2002 @ 19:15
Revision #4 (Last edited: 12/02/2007 @ 12:46)
Price Paid
£390 (HB-2001)/£480(HB-2007)
Booked Trip Through
Going Places X 2
Times Visited
2-5 Times
Review Detail
Firstly before I begin something to bear in mind. This was my first ever snowboarding trip and although it was only last year I have improved a hell of a lot since then so even though I am now Intermediate I was a total beginner back then.

Right, firstly the place itself. Zell am See is a small town situated on a lake and is a very picturesque spot. The views from the top of the mountain are wonderful and the town itself is very charming with both old and new areas to it. But I expect that nobody really cares about any of that!! As Zell is a town it does get quite busy and although they bypassed the town by building a tunnel right through the mountain the main road is still susceptable to heavy traffic. The main gondola up the Schmittenhohe is accessed via a bus which you can get from the main bus station in town. You can also get buses to Schuttdorf and Kaprun (Kitzteinhorn) from here. I would rate the buses highly as they were frequent and always went to where they said they would! If you can't be bothered with a bus there is another Gondola to mid-station just off the town centre which is easily accessible to most hotels in the town. There is also a 4 man chair a bit further out that accesses different slopes.

The slopes themselves were fairly wide open in the main and there was a good variety of terrain if you take into account the 3 areas. I can't remember hearing much about blacks, I think there were only a couple but there are lots of reds and a few blues around for the total beginner. As I was a total beginner I have to say that the boarding tuition I received here was fantastic. I had a 3 hour lesson and from being utterly useless I could turn both ways and stop after just one lesson, no more lessons necessary. For those who want some freestyle action there is a board-park on the Schmittenhohe but as I was crap then I never tried it but I saw at least two mid sized jumps. There is also a decent sized half-pipe. The lift system was good and I don't recall being in any queues. Most of the lifts are chairs too which is handy. One of the problems I did find was that there were quite a few bottlenecks. The main slope from the top joined the main slope to mid-station via a very narrow slope that must be a road in summer. It was usual to find a hoard of skiers milling about at the end of this narrow section totally blocking it off so you had to fight your way through them, once past this it was fine again.

The town was good for nightlife I would say. Crazy Daisy and the Deiler Bar are both good places to go and meet people of many nationalities. We met Swedes, Portuguese, Latvians and local Austrians here. Both of these bars are lively and friendly although the Deiler is the noisier of the two. There are other bars but we tended to stick to these two. The place is littered with restaurants but I never went in any cos I was half-board. But if you stay at the hotel we did (The Hotel Traube) beware, the food isn't great but the hotel was comfortable and nicely located for everything in town. Oh and there is a MacDonalds if you can't go without it!

***EDIT JAN 2007***

The place has been invaded by Russians! seriously, the place is now full of odd looking women in real furs and fat men who use Burt Reynolds circa 1981 as their style icon!! I have never been anywhere where one nationality dominates (including us Brits) so much before, and whats worse is that they all get up at like 6:30 am and sit at the end of the corridor smoking (which is the only place they can smoke) its not nice waking up after a night on the Stroh to the stench of fags I tell ya! I stayed in the same Hotel as last time (the Traube) and aside from the above the hotel has improved markedly, the food is really nice, the rooms better decorated and have TVs now and the owner (Lars) is a top bloke too.

Aside from that the place still rocks for night life, Crazy Daisy has moved to a more upmarket setting down by the Grand Hotel and has lost some of its charm, its still well worth a visit though. The old Crazy Daisy is now an Irish Bar which also hasnt the appeal that Crazy Daisy used to but there are so many bars about you wont get bored, try some of the Kellers in the Hotels for a good quiet game of nails or darts, the Karambar is good for Pool, Cocktails, Nails and the Quizy! check if im still top of the geo-quiz leaderboard for me!! The Dieler Bar is the best place for dancing and if your single probably your best chance to meet some ladies unless you visit the "night club" opposite the train station, beware 20 euros for two beers and if you fancy any of the ladies it'll cost you 120 euros for the pleasure, suffice to say I didn't partake!!

The slopes still stand up well as I have progressed a lot since my last visit, the Black runs down towards the main gondola are ace (13 & 14). When the snow wasnt great on the main red slope back into town you could blast down either of the two blacks and be guaranteed good snow and empty pistes which was great, until you hit the lengthy cat track back into town mind, but if you tank it enough you can make it without unstrapping. Also check out the Sonnkogel side of the mountain, it seemed a bit of an a*se to get there but we were so glad we tried on the last day cos the snow was a lot better and the slopes were a lot less busy. The restaurant Sonnkogel Pfiff was good too, not at all busy, cheap prices and also a chance to get your mug on t'interweb at the photopoint outside.

Overall I'd say this place is still well worth a visit, the Mrs has been with me to Chamonix and Banff and she said the nightlife here was far better than either of those places. The slopes too are still pretty good when the snow is good, and even when the snow isn't great you have the option of heading to Kaprun (but you dice with death if you try to get a bus back at peak time!) or just staying put cos the snow at the top and on the aforementioned black runs is usually good enough.
Strengths
Lively nightlife
Varied Terrain
Good Buses
Nice Place
Good tuition
Stroh!!
Nails!!
Hot Spots
Karambar
Dieler Bar
Krazy Daisy
Flanagans
any of the Kellers
Weaknesses
Main road can be a hazard to cross
A few bottlenecks on the slopes which can be a major pain
Lower slopes were fairly thin with snow even in January when we went
Similar Resorts Visited
Soll, Westendorf, Chamonix, Banff, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Livigno, Pas de la Casa, Les Arcs, La Clusaz, Les Deux Alpes, St Moritz
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