Combining luxury and adventure in Austria

The pursuit of skiing and of luxury go hand-in-hand for many winter sports aficionados. Austria always fits the bill, combining a thrilling, slope-based experience with spellbinding scenery and equally stunning accommodation options – not to mention top-class cuisine. With an array of indulgent Alpine experiences at your fingertips, we’ll help narrow your search with a few of our personal favourite resorts.

Kitzbühel

The traditional town of Kitzbühelis one of the most attractive in the Alps, with its medieval, walled centre lined with picturesque shop fronts. The resort is world famous for the somewhat intimidating-sounding Hahnenkamm Downhill course, which hosts the World Cup Men’s Downhill. However, outside of race season it’s classed as a red run; steep at the top but within the range of intermediate skiers.

You can choose from a selection of glamorous hotels here, with the A-Rosa Kitzbühel boasting grand views and a fairytale castle exterior. With indoor and outdoor pools, seven saunas and a Hammam, you’ll be in good hands when you retire from the slopes. Post-ski, you might like to sample steak at Kaps Steakhouse or head to the Streif Restaurant, with its flamboyant open kitchen making for a striking visual, as well as culinary, experience.

The Grand Tirolia lives up to its name, with a stunning golf course in the summer and log fires, a heated outdoor swimming pool and a spa for winter. The superior and deluxe rooms are supremely luxurious, while the presidential suite takes opulence to a new level; spanning two floors with open fireplaces, a mountain view from the dining room and a sprawling 43m² terrace.

Lech

For exclusivity, look no further than Lech, just 20km from the quaintly traditional town of St. Anton. The resort sells no more than 14,000 lift tickets per day, so you’ll have a guaranteed no-crowds experience as you sail down the 42 blue runs, 80 reds and 18 daring black-rated pistes.

At the end of the day, there’s a selection of 5-star hotels in which to rest your legs, such as Hotel Zürserhof, with its five levels of spa to experience, including an indoor pool waterfall. The ‘culinarium’ experience at the hotel includes an indulgent dessert buffet and a cheese buffet with 200 cheese specialities.

Hotel Arlberg, another popular destination, houses a large and beautifully decorated spa offering reflexology, hot stone and detox massages. Since Lech has a tendency to attract a trendy, and often celebrity crowd, the dining here is always phenomenal, with on-piste options like Zur Kanne and Rud-Alpe offering local dishes, rich fondue and a vibrant wine list.

Obergurgl

Ninety minutes from Innsbruck, Obergurgl is one of the highest Austrian resorts at 3,080m, making it a firm favourite among the most discerning and experienced skiers. Hotel Hochfirst is the premier 5-star accommodation in the area, with superb ski-in ski-out access, open fires awaiting you on your return and the exclusive Alpen Spa featuring facials, massages and cosmetic treatments. Its elegant interior includes a wine cellar, a gourmet parlour, a winter garden with live music and a main restaurant serving six course dinners.

On the mountain, swing by Hohe Mut Alm for a lunchtime extravaganza with traditional, Tyrolean Käsespätzle and Knödel; or pop back for a delightful evening of live music by the open fire with an artisan cheese fondue.

Solden

With access to two glaciers, 2000m altitude and a 4km floodlit piste for night skiing, the relatively small yet vibrant resort of Solden is becoming increasingly popular as a destination to ski and stay in style. Fans of the Bond film Spectre will recognise the striking glass building of the Gaislachkogl, jutting out into the icy landscape. As part of the James Bond Experience, you peruse the unique exhibition.

Sölden has some fantastic high-end accommodation on offer. One of the most popular spots in the resort is the Hotel Das Central. Its interior features a blend of modern decor and Tyrolean tradition, staying true to its roots with plenty of natural wood, open fires and a glorious, mountain-view terrace. You can enjoy an indulgent trip to its 5-star spa, with rejuvenating spa packages such as ‘Wellness and wine’ promising to reinvigorate you in the most decadent manner.

Craig Burton is Managing Director of Ski Solutions. Ski Solutions is the UK’s original ski travel agent with over 30 years’ experience in delivering high-end ski holidays to Europe and North America.

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Comments (4)

  1. Luke says:

    From January through to March they have some great night ski shows at Solden. Amazing fireworks and music, acrobatic performances on skis and more… it’s really incredible.

  2. John Dawes says:

    We usually try and take a ski break in February or March and love hitting the slopes. My kids are actually starting to become far better at skiing than my wife and I. Austria is superb and I agree the luxury is second to none. Finding a great loade is really important for relaxing. These suggestions are fantastic thank you.

  3. Ben says:

    There’s no doubting that these places are awesome skiing venues but their charms don’t just melt away when the snow thaws. The infrastructure, top-end accommodation and impeccable service remain. The only difference is that come summer there are some absolute steals to be had for your room for the night. In summer there’s still plenty of adrenaline rush activities to be found in the green mountains. E-biking is a great way of getting a little exercise and eating up the miles for spectacular landscape after spectacular landscape. Just don’t forget to book that hotel for the next ski season.

  4. Rose Rivera says:

    Kitzbühel looks like it came straight out of a postcard. It’s gorgeous. And it’s good to know that it looks to be open year round, as some hotels offer golfing in the summer. But based on the post, seems Lech offers the best variety of experiences and activities. I’m not an experienced skier and I would definitely don’t want to spend all my time skiing.

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