RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

What’s new in the Austrian Tirol for 2015-16

5th September 2015 Print
adeoALPIN in St.Johann in Tirol

The countdown is on to the start of the ski season and 2015-16 in the Austrian Tirol promises to be action packed, with new hotels, improvements to ski lift infrastructure, new initiatives and tour operator additions.

New lifts and infrastructure:

New Tirol-S gondola connects the ski resorts of Fieberbrunn and Saalbach Hinterglemm

For decades there has been talk of a lift linking the resorts Saalbach-Hinterglemm-Leogang in Salzburgerland with Fieberbrunn in Tirol. Finally this talk has transformed into a reality and from December 2015 the Austrian provinces of Tirol and Salzburgerland will be joined together by the new high-speed ‘Tirol S’ gondola, with the new name of Skicirkus Saalbach Hinterglemm/Leogang Fieberbrunn. The connection between the four resorts is being made by a 10-seat gondola from the valley station at Reckmoos South in Fieberbrunn up to the mountain station at Reiterkogel at 1819m. The creation of the new 3.5km long ‘Vierstadlalm’ red piste will take skiers and boarders from the top of Reiterkogel. With 270km of piste, served by 70 lifts, the ‘TirolS’ has helped create, not only one of the largest ski areas in Austria, but also one of the most varied. Toni Niederwieser, from Bergbahnen Fieberbrunn, explained how the new gondola and the new ski slope was carried out with the least possible interference with nature, “This connection is very important to us both ecologically and economically and was the next logical step in the evolution of both ski resorts”.

Brand new 10 seater Hartkaiserbahn cable car in Ellmau

Framed by the Wilder Kaiser mountains and after 44 years of service, the iconic Hartkaiser funicular railway in Ellmau retired at the end of last season. The replacement will be a 10-seater cable car, transporting skiers and snowboarders 2.1km up the mountain to an altitude of 1530m. Capacity will double, carrying up to 3200 people an hour, and the cabins will include WIFI, heated seats and there will be a longer access platform for easier boarding. The valley station has been redeveloped, to include a sports shop, a heated ski storage area, restaurant, après-ski bar plus a new underground car park with more than 150 places. At the top station, the “Erlebniseldorado Hartkaiser” is being created with its own children’s restaurant, childcare for toddlers, ski school with children’s ski school and ski storage.

Mayrhofen’s new 3S Penkenbahn

Mayrhofen continues to be one of the most popular resorts for British skiers. Winter 2015-16 will see the long-awaited replacement of the new and improved Penkenbahn, a state-of-the-art 3S gondola. Starting at the bottom station at 654m, the renovated Penkenbahn can carry up to 2880 people to a top station altitude of 1790m. With 24 seats per gondola, the ride to the top will take just 8.2minutes and the increased capacity will dramatically reduce lift queues and waiting times down in the valley.

Top Mountain Crosspoint: Hochgurgl

On the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Pass Road at an altitude of 2175m, the new “Top Mountain Cross Point” will open in December 2015. With an investment of €15 million, this new multifunctional facility will become the base for the new Kirchenkar mountain gondola and will include a high quality restaurant plus Europe’s highest motorbike museum. The new 10-person mountain gondola, constructed by Doppelmayr, gives quick and easy access to the pristine Kirchenkar ski slopes, transporting 2400 mountain lovers per hour.

Development of the Brunnalm ski area around Kirchberg-Kitzbühel

Over in Kitzbühel, a new eight seater chairlift will commence operation for winter 2015-16 and will be the 14th mountain lift built by LEITNER ropeways. Located in the central Hahnenkamm-Pengelstein ski region, the new chairlift will offer the very best in modern design and comfort, with genuine leather slip-proof and heated seats as well as pull down hoods. The transport speed can be intelligently increased up to six metres per second, ensuring a maximum capacity of up to 3300 people an hour.

An 8-seater chairlift replaces the 20-year-old Jochbahn in Brixental

In Brixen im Thale the 20-year-old Jochlift will be replaced this season with a modern eight-seater chairlift, located on the Brixner Sonnseite. It claims to be one of the fastest chairlifts in the world, at a speed of 6m per second (previously 2.4m per second), the new 2km long Jochbahn can carry 3000 people an hour and will use solar panels to provide some of the power. The valley station departs from Gasthof Nieding and the chairlift is almost twice as long as it was before, after the old Holzalm drag lift was dismantled. Bergbahn Brixen has invested a total of €12 million in this project that will enhance the skiing experience for those in the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental area.

New valley station, new piste and a new restaurant in the ski resort of Nauders

For winter 2015-16, the ski resort of Nauders welcomes a few new additions, inlcuding a new restaurant "Stieralm", mixing contemporary design with alpine tradition. There is a also a new piste leading to Steieralm plus a new toboggan run. The cable car centre in Nauders is being rebuilt and will include a sport shop, ski depot and café.

New cross-country area for children in the Kitzbühel Alps - Hohe Salve region

From winter 2015/16, children in Angerberg / Mariastein will be able to learn cross-country skiing in a more playful way, with a new area dedicated to children, including a drive-through tunnel, a teepee, a ski jump and a slalom course. In Itter, there is a new children’s area for alpine skiers, located directly by the Salvista gondola with a baby lift, different courses and other highlights for little ones.

New valley run down to to Zell am Ziller

Thanks to a new 2.2km black piste from the middle station at the Wiesenalm in the Zell-Gerlos ski area, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy a full 8.4km valley descent from Übergangsjoch at 2,500m all the way down to Zell am Ziller.

New Hotels:

Kitzbühel Alps - St. Johann: former ski racer Hermann Maier opens new hotel

The Austrian ex- ski racer Hermann Maier, along with former teammate Rainer Schoenfelder, will be the proud owners of a new adeo hotel, which will open in St Johann in Tirol on 15th January 2016. Their aim is to open up several hotels throughout Austria, with the ultimate goal of making skiing more affordable to everyone, especially families. Hermann Maier, explains, „We want Austria to stay a skiing country. Everybody that wants to ski, should be able to afford this in the future with fair hotel prices“. The first is the the new 3* adeo ALPIN Hotel in St Johann in Tirol, which will offer 85 rooms, as well as a small spa on the top floor, a restaurant on the ground floor, free WIFI in the whole hotel and a ski room with lockers for ski clothing too. The focus is on functionality and the little things that are important on skiing holidays. Having stayed at hundreds of hotels in ski resorts across the world, the pair know what is needed – and what isn’t. Prices start from €87 per person for 3 nights in a double room. The family units comprise of two double rooms with a connecting door and start from €119 (max. 4 Personen) per night. Prices are on a room only basis, daily supplement of €6 for breakfast or €16 for half board.

East Tirol: Revival of the Country Hotel Bad Jungbrunn and a new family hotel in Obertilliach

The newly renovated and stylish country hotel Bad Jungbrunn in Tristach will be opened by the Renkhoff/Oles family during summer 2015 . Located in East Tirol, at the foot of the Lienz Dolomites, Tristach is one of Austria’s oldest healing springs with a history spanning over 400 years. This country hotel comprises of 9 individually designed rooms, with its own country flair. The skiing area Lienzer Bergbahnen includes the two skiing areas Zettersfeld and Hochstein, offering 37 km of ski slopes and 12 lifts. Nearby Lake Tristach transforms into one huge ice rink and the natural toboggan run at 7.5km is a must too.

In December 2015, the new 4* Almfamilyhotel Scherer will open in Obertilliach, one of the locations featured in the new James Bond movie SPECTRE. At 1450m, the hotel enjoys a quiet location and is conveniently close to the lift accessing the Golzentipp Obertilliach ski area. Family suites or interconnecting rooms can sleep from 4 to 6 people. Prices, inclusive of half board, start from €74 per adult per night and between €22-€30 per child, dependent on age. 

Further hotel news from East Tirol:

The Hotel Auer in Obertilliach is being rennovated and will re-open as the first 4* property in the resort
The Sporthotel Sillian will re-open this winter as a 4* hotel.
The Sport Passler is building a new Wellness area for guests to enjoy.

Pitztal: New ‚Wellness Hüttendorf‘ and the renovation of the first ski hut at the Hochzeiger

In St Leonhard in Pitztal, the new ‚Wellness Hüttendorf‘ will open for the winter season 2015-16. The new mountain hut village comprises of three mountain huts, the ‚Geieskogel‘ and ‚Gemeindekopf‘, which sleep 2 adults and 2 children and the ‚Söllberg‘, which sleeps 4 adults and 2 children. Equipped with a fireplace, wooden floors, wooden kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and living rooms, as well as an outdoor heated swimming pool and sauna cabin, the mountain huts guarantee a comfortable and cosy stay. Within a radius of 16km, there are 3 ski resorts: Hochzeiger, Rifflsee and the Pitztal Glacier. Prices, including breakfast, start from €85 per person per night and between €15 - €65 per night for children, depending on their age. 

The first ski hut at the Hochzeiger opened over 80 years ago in 1933, at a time when there wasn’t even a ski lift. Set in the heart of the ski and hiking area Hochzeiger at nearly 2,000m, this year the Berggasthof Hochzeiger, which has now been in the Sailer family for over 60 years, will re-open on 4th December after extensive renovations. Prices start from €589 per person on half board for 5 nights, including a 6 day lift pass. 

Kitzbühel Alps - Brixental: New Apartment Resort

The 4* Resort Tirol, a new apartment resort, will open in Brixen im Thale for winter 2015-16. Combining contemporary design with rustic charm, the complex will include a total of 22 new apartments, each with its own private entrance and with a maximum occupancy of 6 people. Located just a few minutes walk from the village of Brixen im Thale, the apartments are in a prime position to explore the Ski Welt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental, as well as Kitzbühel – Kirchberg. Prices start from €110 / day. Visit

News from Kufstein: new health resort in Bad Häring and renovations at the Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof

On 26 September 2015, the new 4* Superior Health Resort, Das Sieben, will open its doors for the first time. Located in Bad Häring near Kufstein, the hotel‘s architecture and artistic conception is based on seven components: life, health, soul, eat, sleep, relaxation and nature. The unique health concept SiebenMed® is tailored to the individual and the treatment plan is created with a mix of massages, treatments and physiotherapy. Seven SiebenMed® therapy sessions start from €210 per person. Accommodation prices start from €120 per person per night and includes half board, access to spa area, plus an activity programme, including yoga, aerobics, and spinning.

The multiple award-winning Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof has also been renovated. Located in the holiday region Kufstein, the ethos of the Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof is based entirely on the motto "Tirol meets India". Buddhas, hand-made sculptures and spiritual decorations characterise the ambience of the new and renovated suites. The entire resort is based on the Indian Vastu-teaching principles.

Other News:

St. Anton am Arlberg: A new art gallery from the owners of the Arlberg Hospiz Hotel

A brand new Contemporary Art and Concert Hall, arlberg1800, will open for winter 2015-16 in the resort of St Anton am Arlberg. This ambitious new cultural attraction will offer visitors the opportunity to get an overview of the region through the language of art and music and specially curated exhibitions. The new arlberg1800 will open on 4th October 2015 and will be the latest addition to the Arlberg Hospiz portfolio, which includes the 5* Hotel Arlberg Hospiz, the Chalet Skyfall and the Hospiz Alm restaurant.

Safe freeriding in Hochfügen with the new ‚Ski Friends‘ initiative

The ski resort of Hochfügen in the Zillertal has come together with the ski company Dynastar to provide a new initative to help freeriders stay safe. A free ‚Ski Friends‘ service is offered to those wanting to explore the off-piste terrain for the first time. From January, trained ski guides from the Skischule TOPprivate will head out twice a day, every Saturday, for a 2 ½hr tour, providing a mix of safety tips and techinques. Participation is free but registration is necessary by emailing the Freeride Point Hochfügen.

Snowfarming‘ will guarantee an early start to the cross-country season in Seefeld

The Olympiaregion Seefeld will use the technique of "Snowfarming" for the first time, enabling them to embark on the cross-country season in early November 2015. A two and a half kilometers long trail will open, benefiting both amateur cross-country skiers as well as athletes on international training camps. Last winter 2014/15, a snow stock of around 6,000 cubic meters was created. Over the summer, this snow stock has been insulated with 25 cm wood chips as well as a special film. Around 20 to 25 percent of the snow will melt, however the rest will be applied to the cross-country track, once temperatures are cold enough.

New focus on cross-country in the Pitztal

The Pitztal region is looking to focus on its cross-country offering for winter 2015/16, with the inclusion into the group of Tirolean cross-country specialists with quality-controlled accommodation options. In addition, the ski school St. Leonhard will offer weekly cross-country taster sessions.

Tour Operator News:

Inghams ( has introduced the resort of Fieberbrunn to their programme as well as the Chalet Tirol in Mayrhofen to their programme. Also new is the Olympia SkiWorld Safari - a week of skiing over 5 resorts in the Innsbruck area: Axamer Lizum, Muttereralm, Stubai Glacier, Schlick 2000 and Kühtai with prices from £569 per person, including flights, transfers and half board.

Kaluma Travel ( will continue to grow in St Anton am Arlberg. For 2015-16 the Chalet Montfort will undergo a luxurious refurbishment, with introduction of a brand new three bedroomed boutique chalet apartment, Chalet 53. Together, these will interconnect to offer the larger Montfort Lodge - sleeping up to 32 people in 13 rooms.

Ski Total ( has added a new property in Ischgl, the Chalet Belmonte in Ischgl. Branded as an Xtra Chalet, this chalet will include ‘Xtras’, such as a full resident’s bar service, cakes and savouries at afternoon tea, rosé wine and a local cheeseboard, to top off the chalet dining experience.

Esprit Ski ( will introduce specially designated Baby And Toddler Weeks, which will operate in all Tirolean resorts on the weeks 11, 18, 25 Jan, 1 & 22 February. Parents will welcome the BAT-Week savings of up to £479 per family, with free infant places and half-price Esprit Child Care during these weeks.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

adeoALPIN in St.Johann in Tirol Familienhotel Scherer, Obertilliach Resort Tirol in Brixen im Thale Skicircus Fieberbrunn Tirol mountain station