Best value £70 hotel, or what?
Author: Wendy King
I must share this gem of a hotel find with you. For £70 a room per night you might expect something akin to an Ibis or Travelodge. But you’d be wrong. This was 4-star quality. First, I should explain that it won’t suit the average skier on a package holiday – or one wanting to stay in resort. However, this hotel is well positioned for touring several ski areas by car or train, or for Leogang (5-10 minutes away).
The Vitalhotel Saliter Hof sounded grand as it was rated 4 stars and there was a mention of a spa; but its roadside position and cost led me to believe that it must just be a business hotel. I booked in haste, as a last-minute change to my Austrian plans. One night would suffice, and allow me to spend a whole day skiing Saalbach before the journey home. I so wished I could have stayed longer …
Turns out the Saliter Hof is what they call a ‘lifestyle’ hotel. The reception area alone is impressively welcoming, decorated in natural furnishings with a faint whiff of spa remedies. The all-wood decor extends to every part of the hotel. But when I was shown to my room (yes, taken to my room), I certainly was not expecting the size: it was huge. Spotless, space to breathe, comfy sofa, walk-in slate-tiled shower, slippers and robes, flat-screen TV, free internet via a cable, and even a rucksack by the door (for you to use if you need one) … and a balcony that overlooked the wide valley; step outside and you could slide straight on to a nordic ski trail.
The spa facilities were available at no extra cost. There’s a sauna, steam room, gym and solarium to relax in after a long day. What’s more, a buffet breakfast is included in the room price – ample hot and cold food and welcoming, pleasant service. Parking was free too. I was hooked.
To put this experience in to perspective somewhat, a night’s stay in an Ibis in Innsbruck, say, while comfortable and perfectly central, charges 11 euro for breakfast and 12 euro to park the car (there is hardly an alternative in this busy railway district). Total: £95. No spa, no great view, no huge room with plush furnishings. You do get free internet though.
So where is it? Well, the hotel is just outside the town of Saalfelden. This busy hub at the head of the lovely Leogang valley (route 164), twenty minutes from Saalbach-Hinterglemm and half an hour from Zell am See. Leogang, with its lifts into the Saalbach area is ten minutes down the road. Saalfelden has a train station, with a bus stop near the hotel, so there’s no need to arrive by car – although it’s more handy for the skiing.
Worth putting on your shortlist if visiting that area. It’s worth every penny.