The first generation
Maria and Hans Schraffl
The Schraffls managed (also in the second generation) the Hohen Salzburg fortress restaurant, predominantly as a summer business and wanted a bit more activity during the winter months.
The decision to bring their gastronomic experience to the, at that time, up-and-coming destination of Saalbach Hinterglemm, was something they wanted to try. So it was there that they set up, on one of the loveliest spots, on the Sonnleiten, a hotel. (The fortress restaurant was also in its 3rd generation, being run as a family business for 80 years.)
Then in 1964 the time came - the Hotel SONNLEITEN was opened – initially as a bed & breakfast establishment with 30 beds. At that time it was only licenced for the winter season. It was only three years later in 1967 that the Schraffls got a licence to operate throughout the year.
In 1973, barely 10 years after this, everything had become too small and too restrictive. The guesthouse was then turned in to a 80-bed hotel and for the first time was classified as a 4-star establishment.
The second generation
Gitti and Dieter Gerns
After extended periods in other countries - including Tenerife, where their son Dino was born, Gitti and her husband Dieter stood in at short notice for a winter season in the SONNLEITEN. That was in 1975; one season became 25 years, and Gitti and Dieter Gerns took over the management duties of the hotel, which had by this stage become well-known.
In this generation too, investment was made in the extension and the improvement of the quality standards, part of the hotel’s plans to become a successful enterprise. In the 70s and 80s sociability, seminars and events were the driving force for the SONNLEITEN.
The third generation
Dino and Birgit Gerns
From 1990, after the completion of his specialist studies in the hotel business, son Dino then became a set fixture in the team. After stays in other countries and a professional foray into the motorsport scene, he devoted himself wholly to the SONNLEITEN – and from 1996 was ably supported by his wife Birgit.
At the turn of the millennium the hotel reached capacity with 100 beds; since 2000 the SONNLEITEN has been managed by Dino and Birgit Gerns. After extensive refurbishment in 2009 and the building of a new indoor pool, in 2011, with the acquisition of an apartment building for staff in Saalbach, the final big extension with 10 rooms followed, accompanied by further investment in quality for guests and staff alike. Since summer 2011 the SONNLEITEN has made a name for itself as a full-service, 4-star level bike hotel.
2017 - 2018
In cooperation with the well-respected company AlpenParks, located in Zell am See, the Sonnleiten will be completely reconstructed. With 36 apartments - partly with saunas - , à la carte restaurant, bar, sun-terrace, heated swimming-pond and much more, the AlpenParks Sonnleiten begins a new era after the re-opening in December 2018.
The philosophy of the family Gerns and their claim for highest quality concerning interior and furnishings as well as the soft-facts like guest service or finest cuisine, thus find their perfect complement.
We, the family Gerns, are already looking forward to welcome you in the new Sonnleiten in winter 2018/19.