Family Walchhofer & staff
Genuine hospitality at the 4 star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral
Spend the most precious days of the year at the 4 star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral. Our love of our home and the mountain, our enthusiasm for sport and our genuine hospitality when dealing with guests are in our blood. Savour care-free days in Zauchensee – a high standard of comfort, friendliness and a charming atmosphere accompany you through the relaxing time of your winter holiday. We do our utmost to ensure your holiday is a relaxing and pleasant as possible.
Best regards, Barbara and Michael Walchhofer with children
How it all began…
From alpine pasture to World Cup resort in Salzburger Land
The Walchhofer's home farm at the start of the Zauch Valley in Altenmarkt
The Vorderkuchelberg farm in Altenmarkt around the turn of the last century in typical Salzburg Pongau farmhouse style (wooden house with bell tower). Life on the farm wasn’t easy but fulfilling and varied. Summers up on the alpine pastures were particularly beautiful. The animals were lead up to the alpine meadows in Zauchensee, where today the 4 star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral stands.
Zauchensee in winter - the first ski turns
In winter the few alpine huts belonging to farmers from Altenmarkt, Radstädt and Flachau huddled together on the valley floor in Zauchensee. Earlier the alpine hut were made winterproof in autumn and the valley was closed off. Slowly the individual huts were rented out to winter guests. In the beginning these holiday-makers were primarily Alpine Club members, who catered for themselves or were looked after by the hut’s dairywoman.
Those were the days…
In comparison to today the journey was difficult. The guests had to walk from Altenmarkt to Zauchensee. In 1936 our foresighted Grandfather Peter Walchhofer set up the first transport business with horse and carriage, transporting the guests’ luggage. A comfortable development which was well received by the guests. There were no prepared pistes, therefore before descending on touring skis you had to head up the mountain first. Dressed in warm clothes, with knitted gloves and skis with cable bindings you could whiz down the deep-snow slopes after a strenous ascent. You certainly needed guts in those days.
Rupert Walchhofer senior
In 1962 Rupert Walchhofer senior and Benedikt Scheffer explored the area around the Rosskopf, Tagweideck and Gamskogel on touring ski for possible ski lift sites. This was the beginning of the successful development of the World Cup ski resort of Zauchensee. Rupert senior and his wife Maria gradually extended the Gasthof Zauchenseehof, from which the 4 star Hotel Zauchenseehof and next door the 4 star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral developed. They created a solid base for a total of 6 children and 23 grandchildren. Home ties and a strong, warm family relationship characterise the whole of the Walchhofer family until today. Appreciation, friendship, helpfulness, and respect are values which are particularly upheld by the “Walchhofers”.
In 1967 Maria and Rupert Walchhofer opened the Gasthaus Zauchenseehof and looked after their guests with much enthusiasm. Michael and his brother Rupert, today’s hoste, were allowed to help in the winter months and learned all about the hotel industry and skiing from a young age.
Due to guest demand and the motivation of offering holiday-makers in Zauchensee a high standard of comfort, it was decided in the 90’s to build another hotel next to the Zauchenseehof. In 1996 the Walchhofer Family started to build the Hotel Zauchsee Zentral right next to the slopes in Zauchensee. After a 2-year building period the 4 star hotel was opened in 1998.
A year before the hotel opened the umbrella bar right by the piste was opened to guests. In 1998 the ceremonial inauguration of the 4 star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral took place. In 2004 an underground passageway between the Hotel Zauchensee Zentral and the Hotel Zauchenseehof was constructed, to offer guests additional comfort and further facilities.
The Walchhofer children spent most of their childhood on skis. Jumps, forest tracks and free terrain of the Altenmarkt – Zauchensee ski area not safe from them. Michael was an especially keen skiers and due to his talent, stamina and healthy competitiveness his sporting career developed, in which he celebrated many successes in particular in the discipline of downhill.
As Streif champion in Kitzbühel and with many World Cup wins in the disciplines of downhill, super-G, combination dnd super-combination he became a successful professional skier. Amongst his best triumphs count the downill World Champion title 2003 in St. Moritz, the downhill silver medal 2006 in Turin plus many times win of the downhill World Cup trophy.
In 2011 Michael Walchhofer ended his active ski career. Since then he has devoted his time to being hotelier of the 4 star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral and to organising various events in the Salzburger Sportwelt. He’s particularly keen to support sports for youngsters – with a great of deal dedication he runs e.g. the training week for children in summer in Zauchensee.