The Walchhofer Family & Employees

Spend the most beautiful and most valuable days of the year here with us at 4-star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral. For as long as we can remember, we have grown up with a love for our home region and the mountains, enthusiasm for sports and a natural sincerity in how we interact with people. Enjoy days in Zauchensee without a care in the world: ultimate comfort and charming hospitality accompany you throughout your reenergizing winter vacation. We give our absolute best in order to make your stay as pleasant and relaxing as possible. Our likeable employees at the reception, in the restaurant and in the kitchen strive, through their boundless dedication and heartfelt sincerity, to offer you a wonderful stay. Michael Walchhofer and his wife Barbara have been your hosts at Hotel Zauchensee Zentral since 2000. The 4-star hotel is located in a wonderful setting in the idyllic World Cup town of Zauchensee and invites you to spend a marvelous winter getaway or ski holiday in Salzburger Land.

Sincerely, Barbara & Michael Walchhofer with the children

Gastgeber Familie Walchhofer

Your hosts & the team
at Hotel Zauchensee Zentral


From hill-farming area to World Cup venue in Salzburger Land
Bauernhof Kuchelberg früher


The Vorderkuchelberg Gut in Altenmarkt at the turn of the last century, in the typical style of a Salzburger Pongau farmhouse (wooden building with bell tower). Life on the farm was definitely not easy, though it was fulfilling and diverse. Summer here on the mountain was especially nice. The animals were driven to the alpine grazing areas near Zauchensee, which is the site of today's 4-star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral.

The lush alpine meadows, lake Zauchensee with its fresh spring waters and the protected location in a valley basin provided ideal conditions for a productive hill farm.

Timidly, the few mountain huts run by locals from Altenmarkt, Radstadt and Flachau huddle together in the valley bottom of Zauchensee. In former times, these huts would be shut down for the winter and the valley would be closed off. But slowly, they began leasing out individual huts to winter guests. Originally, those holidaymakers were mainly members of alpine associations, who either looked after themselves or were taken care of by the hill farmers.

In comparison today, traveling here used to be very arduous. Guests had to make their way from Altenmarkt to Zauchensee on foot. In 1936, our grandfather Peter Walchhofer - already with an eye to the future - registered the first business using horse-drawn carts, used to transport the luggage of guests. A very convenient service that was positively received. Back then, of course, there were no groomed pistes, which meant you had to first make your way to the top of the mountain on touring skis. But then, bundled up in warming clothing, with knitted gloves and skis with wire bindings, the strenuous climb was rewarded by the ride down those virgin deep-snow slopes. Needless to say, the whole skiing experience definitely demanded a lot of grit and ambition.

Three of the primary movers-and-shakers involved in developing Zauchensee were Rupert Mooslechner, Peter Walchhofer and Benedikt Scheffer. In 1962, Rupert Walchhofer Sr. and Benedikt Scheffer set out on touring skis to explore the area of the Rosskopf, Tagweideck and Gamskogel to see what the opportunities might be for a lift. This marked the beginning of the successful development of the Zauchensee World Cup ski area. Rupert Sr. and wife Maria constantly expanded Gasthof Zauchenseehof, ultimately becoming 4-star Hotel Zauchenseehof and the adjacent 4-star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral. In doing so, they built a strong foundation for their total of 6 children and 23 grandchildren. Deep local roots and strong, sincere family bonds continue to characterize the Walchhofer family to this day. Personal esteem, friendship, helpfulness and respect are all values which the Walchhofers prize.

1st photo: Peter Walchhofer: the grandfather was an avid skier throughout his life · 2nd photo (from left to right): Rupert Mooslechner, Peter Walchhofer and Benedikt Scheffer · 3rd photo: Peter Walchhofer and son Rupert Walchhofer · 4th photo: Rupert Walchhofer Senior

The first Stemag lift in Zauchensee Unterberg ran from 1956 until 1967 and represented great progress. In 1964, the Zauchenseer Liftgesellschaft was founded and the first tow-lift went into operation on the Unterberg in Zauchensee. In 1967, Maria and Rupert Walchhofer opened Gasthaus Zauchenseehof and took great joy in hosting their guests. Michael and his brother Rupert, today's hosts, were allowed to help out in the winter months, thereby learning the hotel business and skiing from their earliest childhood.

1st photo: First Stemag lift in Zauchensee · 2nd photo: Opening of Gasthaus Zauchenseehof · 3rd photo: Grooming the pistes the old-fashioned way

Since 1984, there has been a link between Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Flachauwinkl and Kleinarl.

1st photo: Zauchensee in the 1980s · 2nd photo: The first snowcat 3rd photo: Addition to Hotel Zauchenseehof

Due to high guest demand and the motivation to give holidaymakers in Zauchensee even greater comfort, in the 90s the decision was made to build a second hotel in addition to the Zauchenseehof. In 1996, the Walchhofer family began to build Hotel Zauchensee Zentral right next to the piste in Zauchensee. After a 2-year construction period, this 4-star hotel was officially opened in 1998.


One year before the hotel was finished, the piste-side umbrella bar (3rd photo) was opened for guests. 1998 saw the official dedication (4th photo) of 4-star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral. In 2004, an underground walkway was built between Hotel Zauchensee Zentral and Hotel Zauchenseehof, thereby offering guests even more convenience and additional holiday amenities.

The Walchhofer siblings spent countless hours on skis from the time they were tots. Ski jumps, forest paths and the Altenmarkt-Zauchensee ski area itself, nothing was "safe" from them. Michael was especially into skiing, with his talent, persistence and healthy ambition leading him to a professional career in which he enjoyed many successes, especially in the Downhill. As a winner on the Streif in Kitzbühel and with numerous World Cup victories in the Downhill, Super-G, Combined and Super Combined, he made it into the elite ranks of Austria's most successful sports stars. Some of his great triumphs include the Downhill World Championship title at St. Moritz in 2003, the Downhill silver medal in Turin 2006, as well as multiple wins on the World Cup downhill circuit. In 2011, Michael Walchhofer ended his active skiing career. Since then, he has been an enthusiastic hotelier at 4-star Hotel Zauchensee Zentral and actively engaged in organizing numerous events throughout the Salzburger Sportwelt. One of his top priorities is sporting programs for youth – including the Kondi Week summer program for children in Zauchensee.