Hi ... well we traveled to Europe (1st time) in February for a week long ski trip at Flachau, Austria. We planned the trip in conjunction with several friends from Denmark. Overall there were ~26 people in our group. After flying into Paris for a couple of days, we arrived in Munich on Saturday for the drive to Flachau. We rented a car at the airport thru Sixt and I seem to remember the son-n-law needing to purchase a European pass for driving. The drive to Flachau distance wise was ~130 miles or so - but it took us every bit of 3hrs to get there due to heavy traffic on the A-10. Once there a car was hardly needed.
We stayed at a smallish place: Harmls - ApartHotel which was quaint and enjoyed good service. Most all the rooms had been updated in a Scandinavian design-flavor. Aside from the close location to the lift (an easy walk to Space Jet lift) the place has a spa, sauna, steam room, massage; ski locker-storage. The twos item I missed were an elevator, and a hot tub or whirlpool for the sore muscles at the days end. Our room was at the top (3rd floor), so climbing the stairs after a hard day of skiing was tough. Included with the price of the room is an excellent breakfast with hot food, all sorts of bread, cereals, yogurt, et al. The hotel allows guests the use of the dining room for dinner, which was excellent for us, especially with the size of our group. Our group ate together in the dining room most every night. Also in the area were an assortment of wines, beer and other drinks which operated on the honor system to log what one consumed and charge back to their room. The Staff there speaks several languages, are very friendly, energetic, helpful and pleasant. I would easily stay here again.
The 'town' of Flachau is pretty small, with not a lot to offer in the way of shopping. From the Harmls it's about 1 to 1-1/2 mile into town for groceries, pharmacy, etc. About similar distance in the other direction is Altenmarkt ... a much larger town with plenty in the way of shopping, restaurants, etc. For the Atomic groupies out there, the Atomic factory is right in Altenmarkt - easily seen from the road. Given good weather these are each within walking distance. A one-way taxi from the hotel to Flachau is ~10 Euro and to Altenmarkt is 18 Euro. We also purchased our ski tickets thru the hotel which reduced the price down to 235 Euro for 6 days of skiing.
I packed pretty light for the trip only carrying 2 changes of base layer, ski boots, helmet, gloves and the other usual ski clothing. I rented from the Fishbacher store which was located immediately behind Space Jet Chair 1. These had a good assortment of skis, boots and such. I eventually would up renting boots for the week and very much enjoyed trying out different models, especially a 3-buckle Technica boot which was sooooooo comfortable.
As to the skiing ... the mountain and snow very much reminded me of skiing in the PNW. The snow consistency was not as dry as a Utah or Colorado powder, but was still very good - it would really grip the ski - especially when on edge. We enjoyed about 10" of fresh over the first two days and brilliant sunshine for the remainder of the trip. Slope quality was excellent and the groomers did a nice job. I was able to get out early once and ripped the corduroy with an allover huge grin for about an hour. The place overall is crowded. Our first day of skiing was Sunday and I found myself frequently looking over my shoulder and having to adjust my lines for slower skiers. Lift lines in the morning were huge and I was 'schooled' early on about filling in any 'gap' for a chair. At first this pushiness just seemed rude, but as the week went along I found myself slipping into any vacant spot in a line with no issues whatsoever. It seemed to be more about 'efficiency' than being 'pushy':)
The resort overall is huge ... 250 lifts, with ~750km of trails - wow. The last day of skiing we started at the bottom of Space Jet 1 and traveled all the way across the resort to Alpendorf. We took the G-Link tram across the valley - holds up to 110 people. At 14:00 hrs we started to make our way back and had to really hustle to get back. I did find the 'other' side of the resort to be slightly less crowded - but still with the vastness of the place crowds were really not problem. Out on the mountain there were lodges everywhere with great food, beer, drinks and atmosphere. My favorite places (aside from the Dampfkessel) were atop the Mozart gondola ... great views and sitting outside in the sun!!
As to Apres' ski ... hands down the best place in this area is the Dampfkessel Restaurant-Bar . Get there before 17:00 hrs and you'll most likely have to scrounge for a seat.
One of our well traveled people in the group asked what I thought of the place and my response was ... "I could easily live here". I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would recommend it.
View from the G-Link Tram
Another view from the G-Link Tram
Lodge at the top of Mozart gondola
Fav beverage at the days end :)