Exterior - View at Night - Almhof Schneider, Lech, Austria

Almhof Schneider

A family favorite located on the fringe of town, the Almhof Schneider combines warm service with seriously sophisticated cosseting and stylish design. In fact, many in town refer to the Almhof Schneider as Lech’s unofficial Four Seasons hotel since it lays on the pampering details and attracts the area’s most demanding and glamorous travelers. Its ski in/ski out location adds to its sense of exclusivity as guests can glide straight in and out of the hotel ski lounge.

The friendly owner, Frau Hannelore Schneider, makes her rounds at the restaurant every night, chatting for a few minutes at each table and discussing the news of the day. Her son and daughter-in-law are both architects and keep the property in tip-top condition, with regular updates to sleek décor and thoughtful amenities. Each year a new element is added, be it a swanky billiards room, clubby wine cellar or communal library/work room. Its restaurants, which are among the town’s most modern and attractive, have a glamorous see-and-be-seen atmosphere as well as delicious food.

The 53 rooms feature light wood–paneled walls, neutral furnishing in soft creams and greys, decorative candles and fur throws. While the hotel has many family-friendly amenities, adults can hit the gym or luxuriate après-ski in the spa, as their children are occupied sledding or watching a film in the screening room. The Schneider, as it is called by regulars, may be a bit fancy for most locals taste, but it is beloved by many well-heeled families from around the world who consider it their mountain home away from home.

Suite at Hotel Arlberg, Lech, Austria

Hotel Arlberg

Hannes Schneider, the owner of Hotel Arlberg, has said, “we are not running a hotel, but a household.” Perhaps that is why nearly eighty percent of guests are repeat visitors. The Schneider family laid the foundations for the hotel more than 50 years ago, and they take immense pride in the property, making all guests feel very welcome.

The owners’ passion for their Austrian heritage is evident in the hotel’s aesthetic. Each of the property’s 52 rooms is bursting with traditional flair, with taxidermy, mounted antlers, needlepoint pillows, fur throws and other Alpine accessories adorning the rooms and suiting the mountain retreat perfectly.

The most luxurious accommodations are the twelve Jagdhof suites, which tastefully mix old world and modern aesthetics to feel traditional but with all the current amenities. Also on property are several restaurants, ranging from the casual bar to the Italian-influenced La Felice, the pampering Senses Spa, and indoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

**Insider Tip:**A car hobbyist, Hannes Schneider can arrange different modern and classic car tours for summer guests.

Food at Hotel Aurelio, Lech, Austria - Courtesy Klaus Maislinger

Hotel Aurelio

Perched on a hill a five-minute walk from Lech’s main street, Hotel Aurelio feels like a refined oasis. The property offers all the sophistication of a world-class hotel but with the intimate feeling of a private residence. Comprised of three buildings, one of which has been transformed into a chalet for groups or families, the property puts a sleek, modern spin on traditional alpine décor.

Opened in 2008 by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the 10-room Aurelio includes unique furnishings like African fabrics, Asian-inspired, carved wood furniture and photographs of Lech. The small property feels intimate and has a romantic ambiance thanks to its location on the fringe of town.

Among the many appealing features of Aurelio is its gourmet restaurant, which serves international as well as traditional Austrian dishes and highlights local ingredients. The spa is another highlight, with a 75-foot-long pool and herbal steam room and makes for a relaxing way to end a day on the slopes.

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Hotel Post Lech

Relais & Chateaux’s Post Lech is the smallest five-star hotel in Lech and has been run by the Moosbrugger family since 1937. With local antiques decorating its interiors and an overall rustic, alpine aesthetic (not to mention staff that is dressed in traditional Austrian garments), the property feels as authentically Austrian as it gets.

The 46 rooms, apartments and suites stay true to this old-fashioned aesthetic without being overwhelming, resulting in a cozy elegance that feels fresh and inviting. There are two types of accommodations: those in the original building, which feature wood-paneled walls, hand-painted bathroom tiles and rustic, country furniture including large beds with colorfully painted headboards and those in the newer wing, which have a more modern Alpine aesthetic, including stone fireplaces and terraces.

The new spa and wellness area, also in the newer wing, includes an indoor children’s pool, state-of-the-art sauna and steam facilities and one of the largest outdoor heated swimming pool, which is accessed via an indoor pool with a sliding glass door. In addition to the hotel’s renowned fine dining panorama restaurant, Postblick Stuben, which boasts a 14,000-bottle wine cellar, there are a number of more casual venues such as the Emostube, which serves fondue, and the Jagerstube, where classic Austrian comfort food like Wiener Schnitzel are served in a cozy hunting chalet-style room. Every afternoon tea is served by the fire in the library, which sits just past Bemelman’s Bar, named after American author Ludwig Bemelmans, who was a frequent guest until the 1950s and also has a bar named for him at the Carlyle Hotel in New York.

inside of an alpine lodge's fine dining room

Kristiania Lech

This hotel is not only a family passion project, but it actually grew out of a special ski town love affair. The parents of the current proprietor, Gertrud Schneider, met when her mother, Irmgard, was in Lech for a family ski holiday and fell in love with the local golden boy, Austria’s first alpine Olympic ski champion, Othmar Schneider. They married and originally built the Kristiania as a family holiday retreat but soon decided to welcome guests. Their daughter Gertrud, who is an avid world traveler and art collector, fusses over her guests much as a loving aunt would coddle visiting family. She also embraces a love for eclectic art and antiques and has decorated every room and suite on property as she might a home, with a love for color and exotic objects. (We suggest guests study the online photos and request specific room numbers according to their taste.) While the public spaces feature a traditional chalet aesthetic, look closely and you will notice a modern twist, from the tables made of skis on the terrace to the Roy Lichtenstein print hanging in the dining room. Gertrud’s passion for collecting has led her to transform the hotel’s garage into a pop-up gallery in partnership with the esteemed Sturm & Schober gallery from Stuttgart and Vienna, which is why you might just find works previously exhibited at the Venice Biennale for sale on property. Artists and designers themselves come for special “Meet the Artists” and “Salon Talks” throughout the winter and summer seasons as well, which are often curated in partnership with the editor of Parnassas magazine. Another of Gertrud’s passions is great food, which is served in the main restaurant as well as some private dining rooms that are perfect for large families and where menus can be tailored. And for something more casual on the ground floor is a cozy Kaminzimmer, or fireplace room, where fondue is served by, yes, an open fire.

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