The first generation
Maria und Hans Schraffl
The Schraffls managed (themselves in the second generation) the fortress restaurant Hohensalzburg, mostly as a summer-only operation, and were looking for something more to do in the winter.
The decision to apply their gastronomic experience to the then soaring destination Saalbach Hinterglemm region suggested itself. Thus, they founded a hotel there at one of the most beautiful spots, the Sonnleiten. (The fortress restaurant, by the way, was run as a family operation until the third generation, for 80 years.)
The time had finally come in 1964: Hotel SONNLEITEN was opened, initially as a bed & breakfast with 30 beds; then only licensed for winter operation. The Schraffls only received concession to run it throughout the entire year three years later, in 1967.
In 1973, just under 10 years later, it had become too small and cramped: The bed & breakfast was converted into an 80-bed hotel and awarded 4 stars for the first time.
The 2nd generation
Gitti und Dieter Gerns
After extensive stays abroad - including Tenerife, where their son Dino was born - Gitti and her husband Dieter filled in at the SONNLEITEN for one winter season on short notice. That was in 1975; one season turned into 25 years and, as such, Gitti and Dieter Gerns assumed management of the now renowned house.
This generation, too, saw investments into extending and improving the quality standard as the route to success for the hotel. Conviviality, seminars and events left their mark on the SONNLEITEN in the 70s and the 80s.
The 3rd generation
Dino und Birgit Gerns
Starting in 1990, after having graduated from hotel management school, son Dino joined the team; he dedicated himself fully to the SONNLEITEN after stays abroad and a professional foray into the motorsport scene - actively supported by his wife Birgit from 1996 onward.
At the turn of the millennium the hotel reached a capacity of 100 beds; the SONNLEITEN has been managed by Dino and Birgit Gerns since 2000. After major renovations in 2009 and the new construction of the indoor pool, the purchase of an employee house in Saalbach with 10 rooms became the last big extension to date in 2011 accompanied by further investments into quality for guests and employees. The SONNLEITEN has been distinguishing itself as a full-service bike hotel on a 4-star level since summer 2011.
In partnership with the Gerns family, AlpenParks launched its major project “AlpenParks Hotel & Apartment Sonnleiten” in 2016. The old building was torn down and replaced by this new hotel complex, which opens in December 2018. The partnership with AlpenParks now unites 2 tourism and holiday professionals in one company thereby guaranteeing the best foundation for perfect holidays. Management of AlpenParks Sonnleiten remains in the hands of the Gerns family, thus bringing the “old Sonnleiten spirit” into the new building as well.