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Reviewed 10 September 2017

On second Christmas day my eldest daughter became seriously sick in the car, so instead of the planned night in Salzburg, I called to hotel to see if we could arrive one day earlier. That was no problem and we arrived around 2AM at night and got our room. We were asked 620 (!) euro for some hours of sleep though we only slept in an otherwise empty room and off course got no dinner. That was the first disappointment.

The 2nd big disappointment is that this hotel in no way can compare with other Kinderhotels. If you're used to the fantastisch accommodation and service of other Kinderhotels such as eg Löwer Bär, Galtenberg or other kinderhotels, well, big change your kids will be very disappointed. The rooms for kids are small, dark, not very inviting and the staff is pretty uninterested.

But allright, we were mainly here to ski and it was a ski in ski out for kids as they promised us at the phone with the reservation. Big disappointment again, seemed the kids had to take a train to the ski slopes and they had to be accompanied by the parents. So we could only start skiing at 10:15AM, and had to head back to the kids to pick them up at 3PM. As a fanatic skier I was looking at the sunny ski slopes with sadness every day, because we lost so many beautiful ski hours. In eg the Galtenberg Hotel, where we stayed 2x, the kids had fantastic playgrounds, they became friends with their ski teachers, and when we were back at the hotel around 5PM they wanted to keep playing and could ran around in the hotel, never saw them so happy. What a complete different experience at Ellmauhof.

Next nightmare: the food. My 3 and 6 year old daughters barely ate. When I tried eg the waffles they didn't want to eat, I almost broke my teeth on them. Hell, the kitchen even couldn't make a decent egg. Or they were so hard boiled I could brake a window with it, or they were not cooked at all. And most of the food that wasn't eaten after 4 hours of buffet was served again the following days on the same buffets.

My wife got seriously ill after a few days (supposedly of the food), so I had to dinner alone downstairs with my two daughters. And surprise surprise, we had to wait 2,5 hours to get our menu. The only thing the restaurant is interested in is selling you as much of their overpriced local wine as possible.

We stayed there until the 1st of January so had New Years Night there. Unnecessary to say that this was a very boring new years night, with the baddest ny's eve menu I've eaten in ages. And if you ask a little bit more gin in your gt because there's almost nothing in it, they happily charge you 12 euro extra for another cl.

Swimming pool: in lowe, bar, galtenberg and other kinderhotels they're equipped for kids (pampers, inflatable armbands, sweets etc...), nothing of that in Ellmauhof. When we asked the reception (yes we had to go out of the swimming pool to go and ask for this) for Inflatable armbands for our kids, we got one (1!) armband. We never felt so safe and welcome with our kids > notice the sarcasm.

The last day we paid the way overpriced bill for the baddest service and food we had in ages. The hotel asked us formally how our stay was but wasn't interested at all in our stay.

When we headed back home and drove through the mountains our two daughters kindly asked 'if we could go again to one of the other kinderhotels next time'. Well, that's for sure.

This hotel is in absolutely no way a Kinderhotel and should not be listed as one.

Stayed: December 2016
5  Thank Steven v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2017

I have just reread our first review on this property from February, 2011, and management response also. Looks like what used to be a tiny spot became a serious problem.
We stayed at Ellmauhof seven times during winters and summers (though they do not follow this statistics and every time we came we were asked of how we had learned about hotel...) and used to enjoy it every time. Hotel is still very popular and it has a lot to offer, but it now feels like they are focused on German speaking visitors only.

Even Morning Post (information of what is going today plus menu for dinner) in English was not provided to us until special request. Only starting the forth day we were given a copy. Then, at least twice it contained wrong data. On Thursday it said that pony merry-go-round would take place at 4 pm, but it did not, and our grandaughter was in tears (we suspect that it took place at 2 pm, as always). And on Friday, our last day, the paper said that local farmers would offer their products in the evening, so we had a plan to buy some souvenirs. Nobody came, and when asked "why?" receptionist said "Ops, they were not going to come tonight, sorry..." We still think everything was correct in German version.

There were many other examples of bad organisation. We were an extended family of four and three people (which makes 7, obviously) but were offered a table for 6 only...
Then we were moved to another section of the restaurant to a bigger table but got a waitress who did not speak English at all... May be we were just not lucky this year?

Another bad sign is that almost all staff have been replaced. We mean leading, important staff members (only Helmut - activity leader - was still there. It was a pleasure to see you again, Helmut!).

The worst thing though was that despite the fact that we prebooked our rooms 10 months in advance, and paid deposits for final reservation 8 months in advance (and both times I stressed that we need rooms 101 and 102 so that our grandaughters could freely move via common balcony), and despite the fact that we received confirmation with the picture of this exact Studio Pinzgau 1, we were accomodated in Pinzgau 2 on two different floors on arrival... Did it happen because we wrote our e-mails not in German?
By the way, if you plan to spend your vacation in this hotel avoid rooms 215 and 115 especially. Those are without view (115 is dark and its balcony is very uncomfortable) and next to the stairs, where kids run and shout until late.

We still love the village of Hinterglemm where we have been spending weeks and weeks in different hotels since 1999, and we will keep visiting it for sure. But we will not return to Ellmauhof.

Room Tip: Rooms with a village view, of course.
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Irina94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
schwabl-ellmauhof, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at Familienresort Ellmauhof-das Feriengut, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2017

Dear Irina94,

thank you very much for taking the time to write a feedback.

We are very sorry to hear, that we could not convince with our services during your last stay – especially as we are very proud to call you a regular guest for so many years by now.

We want to apologize for the mistakes with the daily post and the general organization - we are going to discuss that points during our next staff – meeting, so that things like that won’t happen again.

We are going to forward your greetings to Helmut – he will love to hear that you thought of him especially.

Again, we are very sorry that you look back to your holiday in Hinterglemm not only with good memories – but we hope, that you nevertheless had some unforgettable, wonderful experiences as well.

We wish you all the best and would love to welcome you back again one day.

Kind Regards,
Family Schwabl & the whole Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2017

In brief
We have travelled to a lot of "child friendly" hotels, in addition to many luxury hotels and there often is not much crossover. What FRE gets absolutely spot on, is achieving both of these. I should also mention that this is the only hotel I have ever returned to (this was our second visit). I'm normally one for new experiences, no matter how much I like things.

We travelled as a family of three with a 2 1/2 year old.

Arrival
The hotel is a nice easy drive from Salzburg airport (about an hour or so). Free parking on site. Upon arrival you are welcomed and treated to a welcome drink (including a mocktail for any little ones). They take you through all the hotel details and what activities are on and give you a welcome pack.

Rooms
The rooms are lovely and spacious (we had a Salzburg style room) and there is plenty of storage space, including space above the wardrobes to put your cases away completely and really feel at home. Housekeeping is lovely and always leaves fabulous towel art (we had hearts, an elephant and swans while we were there) not only that, they leave mini packs of haribo which are a fab treat for the children.

When our potty-trained toddler had an accident in the bed one night (!) they replaced everything with no fuss at all (and left her extra sweeties) which is such a relief!

When you get to your room you have a "menu" style bit of paper with all the baby equipment you could want on and you just tick what you like (we had a toilet seat and a step but you can also get potty, changing mat, baby bath etc.) as a parent this is such a relief. Simply drop this with reception and they appear in your room seamlessly. There is also a welcome pack of baby toiletries (wipes, lotion, baby shampoo) which is super handy and is the nice HiPP organic range so good for even sensitive baby skin.

There is a kettle and a mini-fridge in your room which is handy. No tea bags but these are available from the restaurant at any time so we just took a selection up (there are all kinds including herbal teas). We used the fridge to store soy milk (brought from home) and formula. I think they actually provide formula but we had already brought some along anyway!

Shower is lovely with the option of a rainfall and a shower head (useful for baby hair washing!). Plenty of towels and robes and slippers provided. Heated towel rail so they are all toasty when you get out the shower. Two sinks (one at child height which is a nice touch). A good size as we washed and soaked some clothes in them (pasta sauce stains!)

Toilet clean and modern, easy for a toddler to reach.

Balcony spacious and safe with nice views of the snowy mountains. There was a TV in the room but we never used it so can't comment. There are lots of plugs which are handy and a nice big dresser for keeping things on. Rooms felt spotlessly clean and new/modern.

Food
Included in your stay is breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea with homemade cakes and sandwiches and dinner. I have to say, we often struggled to eat our fill as there is just so much lovely food! You have your own table for the duration of your stay which remains the same throughout which we found made a real difference. Our toddler is naturally shy but she became confident at finding our table and she liked the familiarity. The table is set up for your family, so a colouring sheet and crayons for the relevant number of children and a highchair for babies (no need to ask! It's already done). We had the same waitress, Maria, every day and she was so enthusiastic and friendly. She always had a treat for the children which was a really nice touch and made my daughter feel special. Myself and my partner are also vegetarian (!). I've been going to Austria for years and, as with much of Europe, it's often pretty heavy on the meat! Yet we had a wide variety of vegetarian food for us every day and there was always a vegetarian option.

Breakfast is buffet style with every food you could imagine, including amazing waffles. At breakfast you get your "morgenpost" which has the day's weather forecast and offerings/activities listed as well as the dinner menu. You tick the options for dinner that you want (starter, main, desert) and leave it on the table and voila! At dinner your order arrives. Lunch is a more casual buffet affair where you sit at a different table each time. Afternoon tea is cake and sandwiches and you can eat them in the main restaurant or the bar with a nice cocktail. Dinner is usually a three-course meal with the option to also help yourself to the buffet. Children are catered for well with the buffet (even our VERY picky toddler found lots to eat).

There's also a juice bar that children can help themselves to throughout the day and my daughter enjoying mixing her own "cocktail" from all the different juice options.

Hotel amenities
The hotel is well equipped and feels large and spacious yet friendly and home-like. There are two pools, spa, bar area, multiple playgrounds with lots of equipment, petting zoo, pony carousel, kids' club, kids' ski school, little shop, juice bar, coffee and latte machines etc. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel and was fast and reliable. You are also allocated your own ski locker to keep all your equipment, these were spacious and are heated at night.

Pool
Kids' pool is nice and warm, overlooks the slopes and is shallow enough for even very little ones. It always felt clean (which for a kid's pool is damned impressive as they can often be horrid!).

The big pool is very spacious and you can swim up to the windows and look out at the mountains. They have "rapids" on at specific times and a "Jacuzzi/bubble area" which my daughter loved. There is also a slide which is fun for the older kids (but probably tame enough for the younger ones too). There is a relaxation area upstairs and downstairs is a spa with treatments. The treatments are seriously amazing value. I didn't have time to have one in the end as we had so much to do but they were way cheaper than spa treatments in London, for example. Children can also get a massage which I think is a really cute idea. When we go back my daughter and I might have one together!

Bar
Bar area is nice, with outdoor area and fabulous views. Indoor area feels cosy and the hotel smells like apples and cinnamon (I think due to their candles) which is a nice vibe. We tried lots of different cocktails and all were delicious and very reasonable. Fresh fruit and an umbrella included (which my daughter loved). They also have a good selection of ice creams for children. They have little rocking chairs for kiddies in the bar which are really sweet.

Sauna
The spa had a range of saunas and wet rooms of varying temperatures (clearly indicated on the doors) and was again, spotlessly clean. It lead to a relaxation area which was empty when we visited and a lovely place to spend some time (even if you only have a few minutes).

Pony riding
My daughter enjoyed the pony carousel. It was her first pony ride and was nice and gentle. The lady who ran it was very good.

Playgrounds
There are multiple playgrounds on the hotel grounds and these are well equipped with swings, slides, climbing frames etc. My daughter spent hours on the swings in the snow. There is an indoor playground with soft play but the weather was so good for us that we spent all our time outside.

Kids' club and ski school
I didn't use the kids' club or ski school as we wanted some quality family time together but the children appeared well cared for when we saw them around the hotel.

Tobogganing
There are lots of toboggans and sledges outside for children to use and a toboggan run by the side of the hotel. This is great for children and they all seemed to enjoy it. There are small slopes for the little ones and bigger ones for older children to try out. The area feels safe as, though occasional skiers come past, it's clearly set aside for the children so they have priority.

Reception (including ski passes and lessons)
The reception staff are absolutely lovely and cannot do enough for you. Anything you want, they will sort. Things in your room, ski passes, ski lessons, any questions. They seem to be there day and night so we were able to get hold of someone whenever we wanted.

There are also some steps up to reception so that children can see over the counter and speak to the staff themselves, which was nice. My daughter really enjoyed this as I think it made her feel grown-up asking for things herself.

There are also some toys in reception, rocking horses and those wooden bead tables. There are also books for children in the area which is a lovely touch.

We both booked ski passes and private lessons from reception and they were super helpful. The ski lessons were great quality. My instructor went above and beyond and my lesson definitely overran as he took me to the very top of the mountain. The skiing here is good for beginners, intermediates, any level. To ski out of the hotel is a blue slope so as long as you aren't a complete beginner it's fine. It's also useful to be able to ski in and ski out. There is also a little slope by the side of the hotel where my daughter had her first go on skis. We simply walked up the slope and then came down on our skis. It was the perfect safe space for it as the only other people there are the ski school for the really little ones.

Atmosphere
Overall we had a fabulous time. Everything is done with a view to making your family holiday easier and more special. A lot of practicalities are taken care of so you can focus on enjoying yourselves as a family. We loved it and will be back again next year!

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank KandaHaywood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
schwabl-ellmauhof, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at Familienresort Ellmauhof-das Feriengut, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2017

Dear KandaHaywood,

thank you very much for taking the time to write such a great, detailed review!

Well - what should we say. We simply love to read that you enjoyed your second stay that much and that we could convince with all our services.

How great if children AND parents look back to the holiday with unforgettable, wonderful memories. We attribute great importance to the balance between "child friendly" and "luxury". We set the goal, that children spend a great holiday full of fun and adventures and that parents enjoy a relaxing, carefree time.

That you plan to come back is the greatest compliment we can get - we are going to forward your compliments to our staff as well!

We wish you all the best and look forward to welcoming you back again soon!

Kind Regards & all the best,
Family Schwabl & the whole Team

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Reviewed 25 March 2017

Having recently visited another supposedly child friendly hotel it has prompted me to write an overdue review for this fabulous place.
We visited in September 2016 with our 18 month old and all had a wonderful time.
They seem to have struck the right balance between being child friendly but also feeling like a higher end place for the grown ups too. We had a sonnenblume valley view room and the fact our son was in a totally seperate room meant we didn't spend the whole week creeping about at nap time and in the evening. Everything you might require -potties, cots, nappy bins etc is available and for older children there is a lower sink and products of their own. You can even borrow buggies and baby carriers.
The pools and play areas are fantastic and there is a small petting farm.
Our son was too small for kids club (our opinion only, I think they take them from 1) but we were able to take him for an early tea with the club and this is what made the holiday for us. He could stick to his routine and then because of the baby monitor device in the room, once we had put him to to bed we were able to go down and enjoy a relaxed meal and a glass of wine. I was anxious about doing this before we went, but the hotel is not some sprawling complex (we were on the top floor and could get to the restaurant in 2 minutes) and feels very safe. For older children there are activities going on in the evenings that seemed very popular.
Food was good and available most of the day in one form or another which again is really useful when you have toddlers who eat little and often.
The resort is family friendly too with play areas up all the mountains. The Joker card in summer means you can ride the cable cars for free so don't feel you have to be up there all day because you've paid a fortune like in winter.
Some people have mentioned a problem with language. We did not find this to be the case and despite our very limited German all the staff were really friendly and happy to help us in English. The only slight problem I could imagine is that in the summer there were very few other English guests so if you had older children that wanted to go to the kids club they might find it trickier to make friends but I think children find a way.
I seem to have written an essay but could go on and on! I cannot wait to return.

Room Tip: Valley view rooms are beautiful.
  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Batcho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
schwabl-ellmauhof, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at Familienresort Ellmauhof-das Feriengut, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2017

Dear Batcho,

thank you so much for your review!

We love to read that you enjoyed your stay with us so much and that you look back with wonderful and unforgettable memories!

How great that we could convince with all our services - we try to keep the balance between a children's adventure holiday and a wellness and well-beeing stay for the adults.

That you plan to return is one of the greatest compliments we can get - it would be an honor for us to welcome you back soon!

Kind Regards and all the best,
Family Schwabl & the whole Team

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Reviewed 16 March 2017

We recently returned for a week's stay with our friends, and four children between us (aged 1, 2, 3 and 4).
We thought the hotel was lovely and clean, the room was big and comfy with a fabulous separate room for our three year old. The views from the bar are wonderful, a great place to sit and have a drink before or after dinner and the waiters very friendly.
The food was fabulous. Can't fault it. And our server Maria was exceptionally friendly and helpful. The only downside is that service was very slow. It's so hard to keep four small children entertained and quiet while our meal took 2 and a half hours from start to finish.
It's also a shame that you can't use the tea and coffee machine after 5pm, and there was no tea and coffee in the rooms.

We were very impressed with the 12 hour childcare provision - the staff in the kids club were really friendly and great with the kids. I do think, however, the club is too small to cope with the number of children potentially staying at the hotel, as it was always so chaotic in the morning and there wasn't much room to leave your child's bag with outdoor clothes etc. The afternoons and evenings were much calmer and it was such a luxury leaving my youngest with the girls while we ate dinner one night! (Unfortunately it was our last night, I wish I had thought of it sooner!!!!!)

The baby monitor facility was great, and we used it every night.

So, not far off a five star review from us! Just a few improvements would be great. But we will return nonetheless. Thank you Ellmauhof!

Room Tip: Ask for views over the town
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Angie_K_78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
schwabl-ellmauhof, Leiter Öffentlichkeitsarbeit at Familienresort Ellmauhof-das Feriengut, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2017

Dear Angie,

thank you very much for taking time to write a review of your stay! We love to read that you look back with wonderful, unforgettable memories and that we could convince with our services.

We are going to forward your compliments to our staff as well – they will love to hear them!

We ask for understanding, that because of the high quality in products, cocking and service, there are a few minutes break between the dishes. We hope, that we nevertheless could meet your taste and that you enjoyed the meals.

As we want to guarantee a perfect and joyful holiday, we offer included amenities for adults as follows:
• Abundant breakfast buffet with local products, homemade country bread and various kinds of other breads and rolls, homemade fruit jams, fresh spreads, finely cut fruit and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices, selection of mueslis with fresh milk and assorted yoghurts, egg dishes and a variety of sausages and cheeses.
• Many kinds of tea, delicious coffee, latte macchiato, cappuccino, espresso and cocoa are available all day.
• Non-alcoholic drinks from the juice bar available all day until 10:00 pm.
• Light lunches and fresh dishes from the grill, minute steaks, fish, seafood, Kaiserschmarrn pancake buffet and salad bar. Our regional veal goulash and fine prime rib roast are especially popular!
• Hearty afternoon snack and homemade cakes according to grandma's recipes.
• 5-course dinner with additional "fit and well" menu, fresh salad bar with a selection of breads including granary bread. Themed evenings and hearty South Tyrol buffet, Pinzgau specialities or Austrian tavern dishes and dessert buffet. Once a week we offer a wine tasting meal with the perfect wine to complement each course. Our fondue evening with many treats including Gravlax, delicious hams and more is especially popular.
It’s a pity, that the offer couldn’t convince. After dinner, our guests can of course order different drinks like coffee.
How great that you and your kids enjoyed the kids animation – our Team organizes hours full of fun and age-appropriate adventures. As the services is very popular, there are a lot of kids on some days – but we can guarantee a smooth running as we are equipped with enough space and professional and caring employees.

It would be an honour for us, to welcome you back again one day – all the best and Kind Regards,
Family Schwabl & the whole Team

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