The hotel sits above the ski village of Fiss in the Tirol Ski-Dimension area and is the only ski-in-ski-out resort in the valley, offering unique access to the diverse winter terrain.
Part of the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis network of villages in the wonderful setting of the Austrian Alps, the Schlosshotel is a finely-cut gem with 135 rooms and suites, excellent restaurants and bars and a mouth-watering cuisine.
But above all, the Schlosshotel has a unique ambience in that it seamlessly combines luxury, service and style with wellbeing and a family environment too.
That can often take some doing in a five-star establishment but the relaxed atmosphere of the family-run Schlosshotel delivers that with ease.
Skiing, however, is the primary attraction over the winter season from the snow falls of early December through to sunshine spring skiing in April.
Alongside the ski-in-ski-out accessibility, the Schlosshotel – at 1456m above sea level and looking across the rooftops of Fiss - has its own ski rental centre, meaning that skiing becomes ever more effortless.
We booted up, clipped on skis and slipped out of the hotel down the slope to the lift interchange where the Sonnenbahn Ladis-Fiss lift meets the Schonjochbahn and the Moseralbahn.
We took the latter up the mountain, toward the landmark Skyswing, and then hopped on to the Sattelbahn lift and into a sea of red ski runs sweeping across the mountainside.
With 76 state-of-the-art lifts and cable cars and 214km of pistes, the highest ski point is from Masnerkopf at 2828m above sea level. Even later in the season, given the altitude and expanse of the terrain, the runs remain open and well maintained.
Conditions were good across terrain that ranges from delightful blue runs through to invigorating reds and challenging blacks, as well as off-piste opportunities.
However, this is very much a ski region about families where young children can learn to ski on the nursery slopes and move on to the easier blues once they gain confidence and technique.
For us as a family, with the mix of skiers and non-skiers, the wider appeal of the Schlosshotel was its spa: a magnificent pool with indoor and outdoor swim areas; jacuzzis (including one outside beside the snowy slopes); and saunas (including the Finnish panorama spa) and aromatherapy and salt steam rooms.
Spread over 5000 square meters, the architecture is stunning with huge panes of glass sucking in the natural light with magical views across the slopes. The Aqua Monte panorama pool is 37m long, leading into the heated outdoor pool from where you can watch the skiers zip past.
Yet amid all the exuberance are the quiet areas - spaces for calm and relaxation…wellness lounges with open fires or a pavilion with heated waterbeds.
Of course, this is where the Schlosshotel excels, in balancing luxury and adult relaxation with a family environment.
There is a separate Splash Waterworld children’s pool with slides, splash pools and fun activities, as well as special family spa where parents and children can enjoy the facilities together.
However, as in many hotels in Austria, the adult spa is very much for grown-ups and is deemed a “fabric free” environment. That means no clothes. So, when in Austria, etc…
One of the benefits of a wellbeing hotel is the therapeutic treatments available, from facials and specific detox through to specialist therapies and hands, feet and full body massages – often a welcome antidote for an energetic day on the slopes. And there is also a private spa suite.
Food, of course, is an integral part of the Schlosshotel experience; from the lovely breakfast buffet, lunch – either in the hotel or the lounge by the spa – through to an exceptional evening dining experience.
Dinner was, as it was every night, an indulgence of fine cuisine with fish, game, veal, sumptuous desserts, traditional soups and seemingly endless selection of cheeses. The wine list is tempting with a focus on Austrian wines with house wines from renowned Austrian growers.
Typically of an evening, traditional Austrian salads and starters of 40-hour slow cooked pork belly or filet of brook char were followed by creamy soups of red sweet pepper or bouillon or prime boiled beef, and then main dishes of fawn entrecote, Irish lamb, monkfish and risotto Milanese, roasted sea bass, potato curd gnocchi and risottos with sumptuous desserts and those excellent cheeses.
For those seeking a culinary thrill on the slopes, there are other options. The Crystal Cube close to the “Z1” viewing platform at 2,600m offers breakfast, lunch and high tea and with an exterior of mirrored glass, the location offers 360-degree views of the mountain while giving the impression that you are perched on the rock face. There are plenty of other places to eat on the mountain too such as the Leithe Wirt Restaurant, the Masner Ski Hut or the Moseralm Mountain Restaurant.
Our accommodation at the Schlosshotel was spacious and comfortable with a double and two single beds, and a balcony offering magical views across the valley.
The bar and restaurant areas are fashioned in the same way as the rooms, with warm wooden finishes, cosy fabrics and a welcoming ambience.
The hotel is modern and welcoming while remaining centred on what is one of the oldest buildings in Fiss, though it has been expanded, particularly more recently with the spa and pool areas.
And even when the weather turns and skiing is not on the agenda, the Schlosshotel has all that is required for a relaxing family day. We started with a hot chocolate in the bar as we read and scanned websites before heading for a wander around the village before being lured back to the spa. Not only is there a children’s supervised play area but also a youth area with pool tables and games consoles.
But, we had come to ski, and as the weather cleared with snow fall even in April, we were treated to a fabulous morning on the slopes. It is a short hop across to the ski gondolas from the Schlosshotel and then up to the higher ski runs.
Peter Svoboda from Schlosshotel was happy to show us the slopes, while also explaining the hotel ethos of combining five star service and families.
“The emphasis is very much on families,” he said. “That is for our hotel, and for the region as a whole, and we welcome children of all ages. We have created a balance between spa and food and became a five star hotel within the last year to coincide with the 25th year of ownership of the hotel by the Domenig family.
“We offer all that goes with that but are still relaxed and welcoming enough for children and families to feel comfortable with us.”
Yet it is the great outdoors that is the true attraction of Austria – whether hiking and mountain biking in the summer – or taking advantage of the wonderful winter snows and extensive piste for some of the best family skiing in the Alps.
Accommodation: Mark Nicholls stayed at the ski-in/ski-out five-star Schlosshotel Fiss (www.Schlosshotel-Fiss.com/en / +43 5476 - 6397 0) where deluxe double rooms start from €275 per person per night. The hotel is part of the Niche Destinations portfolio (www.niche-destinations.com).
Lift pass: A 6-day lift pass is €217 per adult.
For more information about skiing in the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis region, visit www.serfaus-fiss-ladis.at/en