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Reviewed March 4, 2019

The Sonngastein is situated 5 mins or so outside of Bad Gastein but provides a shuttle bus to and from the Gondola and ski school. Bad Gastein itself is quite tired and incredibly steep, so I didn't feel the loss from being away from town to be honest. It's only 10 mins in the bus each day, or you can drive and park at the bottom or the mid station of Angertal where the lifts are joined and the beginners slopes are.

The hotel is very clean and has all the amenities you would expect. The decor is a little old fashioned (more so in the rooms) but everything is clean, comfy and welcoming. There is a huge, amazing playroom which meant that our children were in heaven and we essentially didn't see them for a week. The pools (indoor and two outdoor) are small but perfectly adequate and there's quite a nice relaxed area in the spa with waterbeds to relax on. The food is abundant and of a very high quality. On the last night they hold a gala dinner and the meal was absolutely spectacular. A great sendoff.

What really made the hotel standout though was the staff. To a man they were friendly, efficient and couldn't do enough for you. I would like to particularly mention Peter in the bar (happily stayed open until 3am one night when we had a little party) and was lovely to chat to (not to mention coming up with some great drinks!) and Elias (never, ever stops smiling) and (Maik?) in the restaurant. The owner is also always present and chats to everyone in the evenings.

I'd be hard pressed to come up with any serious niggles. Perhaps the 'skiwasser' should be free for kids (it's only cordial and water), and the bar could certainly do with some more modern music (also if it could be easily controlled from the bar). Our bathroom door sprang shut like it was on springs permanently which was a bit frustrating when you're trying to get ready so perhaps a door stop in the room.

All in a great hotel which I would happily recommend to families looking to stay in the area.

Date of stay: February 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Claire P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2019 via mobile

We had a wonderful week with the family at ski in this lovely hotel. It’s clean, the food is great and the facilities are covering a lot of needs - kids, relaxation, spa, pools...
It’s quite close to the slopes, they are providing support for ski school, passes and information. As well, a plus is that they are doing the transport to cable - I might recommend that they can include Angertal as a destination as well, if possible.
The staff is friendly and well prepared. The owners are almost always with the guests and making sure that the stay is memorable.
So I recommend this hotel as a destination for mountain holidays - ski or summer as well, especially if travelling with family.
Only one small issue we faced - as the hotel is offering only option for one week, Saturday is very busy for check in and out. The check out is correctly managed and we could prepare the departure. The arrival can be a headache and due to lot of people coming more or less in the same time, more support from the staff would be better - not only from the reception, as they were overloaded at out arrival. Specifically, we needed help with the luggages and some rooms have different access.

Date of stay: February 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank DanM230178
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2019 via mobile

We stayed as a family (2 adults and 3 children - 3, 5, 7). We stayed in one of the family rooms with 2 bedrooms and worked well. Overall a great stay with highlights being the amazing staff, great food, an indoor playground that will never be bettered and great ski instruction and suitable slopes for most levels. I would definitely recommend this for a family ski holiday. It would be nice if soft drinks were included.

Date of stay: March 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank Ross H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2019

We spent a week at Hotel Sonngastein as a family of 4 (2 children aged 6 and 35 months). I think that our children were probably a bit young to come here - the ski school at Bad Hofgastein is a bit 'shouty / unsmiley' for our 6 year old and the blue runs around Angertal / Bad Gastein and down to Bad Hofgastein are generally just narrow tracks, not proper pistes. Our 2 year old was too young to really get anything out of the childcare the hotel offered. I think families with kids 7-8+ years old would get the most out of stayed at Sonngastein.

A list of the positives and negatives of the hotel:

+ Very friendly and helpful staff for the most part, it feels like an old-school family hotel with Dr. Zitka keeping a close eye on things and speaking to guests at dinner time.
+ Good sized family rooms with separate rooms for children / adults
+ Great, massive indoor soft play area for the kids (although some of the boys were getting quite boisterous so it could do with being policed better by adults), cinema for children ice rink was a nice bonus. The childcare for the 3 year old+ was probably better suited to German-speaking kids than English-speaking ones - I think our daughter found Maya's English a bit hard to understand.
+ The outdoor hot pool was great to relax in after swimming. The indoor pool is a lot smaller than it looks in the photos - it's a 10m lengths pool
+ Food generally pretty good (but I wouldn't say gourmet). I think it would have been better if there was an option for kids to eat earlier than the adults as even starting at 18h30 (earliest possible) the meal wouldn't finish until 20h00+ which is pretty late for young children. Also young children may want a slightly more bland kids menu than what was offered at dinner time when served with the adults' meals.
+ Nice spa facilities for adults only (saunas, steam room)

Negatives:
- The whole hotel seemed to be a constant +24'c - it felt too hot in just a t-shirt and jeans and we had to leave a window open at night to be able to sleep (but then had to get up to close it about 4AM when it got too cold!) [there is no a/c or room thermostats]. So don't pack anything too thick for whilst you are in the hotel!
- Beds / linen / towels. The duvets and pillows were synthetic - and so too hot and not comfortable. The beds are hard. I think the duvets and pillows should be natural (feather down) as this would help a lot with the quality of sleep. The towels were quite small and thin and there were no towels available in the spa area (you have to take them down from the room) and no slippers provided (which is odd for a spa hotel)
- Afternoon tea. I thought there was generally far too much salad on offer at all times - at 3PM tea I would expect to see a freshly baked cake, a baguette, jams, a pot of tea, hot chocolate and coffee, soft drinks / juices available for returning skiers. It seems that you are expected to buy a lot of drinks (non-alcoholic) that I think should be included for the price.
- The hotel is actually quite isolated from Bad Gastein - it is about 45 minutes from town on foot up a steep hill (really steep) and there isn't always pavement. Indeed, walking out of the hotel you have to walk on the road which is icy. The bus only runs once an hour and stops by 6PM. You can feel a bit isolated given the taxis cost a minimum of EUR25 each way to town. Bear in mind if you have a ski pass the buses are included (I ended up paying the first few times as I didn't realise this). However, if you do hire a care, you also need to bear in mind that the car park fills up quickly and there may not be enough spaces. The minibus service provided to Bad Hofgastein lift is useful - but it does stop in the middle of the day and it can be a bit of a bunfight trying to get on the minibuses back to the hotel around 16h30...

Overall we had a pleasant stay and I would consider returning when our youngest is perhaps 7 or 8.

Date of stay: February 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank hartleyjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2019

Very cosy hotel with super-nice amenities, great gym, super spa area (albeit small pools), friendly staff and a fantastic play area for the kids. The rooms are just OK, but clean - the cleaning lady was extremely friendly, btw - though the bathrooms are a bit on the small side. Each room has a terrace and we were lucky to have a nice view as well. The staff in the restaurant were very friendly, also towards the children, and tried to accommodate every need. The ski shuttle was very nice, and the drivers friendly and service-minded. The ski room was great - lots of space and smartly arranged.

We have visited several upper-end Kinderhotels in Austria before, and the kids have always loved it. Even though this was not the most luxurious of those we have visited, the kids liked it more than any of the others, most likely because of the play area and especially the trampolines, and especially the fact that it was next-door to the dining area so they could run back and forth whilst we ate dinner.

We are above average interested in food and cuisine, and had high expectations after having read the reviews here. I do not know if we perhaps had too high expectations, but the way we see it, the food is not more than average. Typical for Austria, there is too much meat (sometimes overcooked) and very little fish and shellfish to choose from. The food lacked the last little details to make it refined and was bland most of the time; all soups and sauces tasted a bit like the same, and were obviously stock/bouillon-based. The Italian buffet, on the other hand, was lovely and the breakfast omelette (although only served 1 day/week) was great. Chocolate spread heaven for the kids also!

It is too obvious that the hotel makes money from selling drinks. There is no water available on the table for any of the meals, and one bottle of sparkling water costs 5 euro (!). In all the other family hotels we have been, drinks for the kids as well as water and coffee have been provided, but this was not the case here (except for breakfast). Also, the lunch is not very child-friendly, not even the cakes. Another little detail that annoyed me was that we had to pay a 25 euro deposit for each kid´s bathrobe which we then later had to return to the reception, and also one had to pay extra for spa slippers. In a spa hotel, come on! Also would have been nice with shampoo and conditioners as well as lotion in the rooms.

One lady in the reception did not come across as very friendly, and tried to charge us 5 euros for a missing key card. Having spent almost 4000 euros in total, that seemed a bit rude, to be honest. However, after having pointed this out, the charge was not applied and the card was later found.

Would absolutely recommend this place for all families with children older than toddlers, but do not expect gourmet food.

Room tip: Choose room facing the valley
Date of stay: February 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Ellie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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