Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Lech in Austria.
We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for Points. You can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here. This was scheduled to be a series of about 25 hotels, but a good response from readers means that we have commissioned another batch and are continuing the series.
Today’s hotel is the Hotel Aurelio, a 5* luxury hotel in Austria that is only open during the ski and summer seasons. It is reader Sarah’s favourite hotel and here is her review:
Open just a few weeks of the year for limited ski and summer seasons, the Hotel Aurelio, Lech is a charming 5*superior hotel in the heart of the Austrian Alps. The hotel has just 18 spacious and modern rooms and suites, with the feel of a luxury ski lodge. The interior features lots of wood with bespoke alpine inspired artwork, giving a cosy log cabin feel. They also have a luxury chalet that can be booked for exclusive hire.
Despite being Lech’s swankiest hotel, the Aurelio is stylishly understated – a classy but not overly ostentatious wooden-fronted building with cheery flowers on the balconies. From its hillside location, there are stunning views over the mountains, river and village. The cable car station is a few minutes’ walk away, making the hotel perfect for a ski in, ski out winter holiday or summer hiking base.
Getting to Lech
Set high up in the Austrian Alps, Lech is a real mountain get away. Hiring a car is the most practical option for getting around, with journey times to key European cities as follows:
Innsbruck – 1.5 hours
Zurich – 2 hours
Munich – 2.5 hours
Milan – 3.5 hours
It is also possible to travel to Lech by train. We travelled from Munich to Langen am Arlberg, with a pleasant 90-minute stopover in Innsbruck to change trains (just enough time to wander around the city centre and stop for a coffee). Expect stunning alpine views from the train and the joy of German / Austrian timetable efficiency!
From Langen am Arlberg station, a local bus meets the train for the journey to Lech and the hotel is a short walk up a hill from the bus stop in Lech village.
Friendly staff greeted us and showed us to our room, before inviting us to the sun terrace for a welcome drink, once we had settled in. When we returned to our room afterwards, we were pleasantly surprised to find a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and two champagne flutes waiting for us – so we continued our ‘welcome’ on our balcony.
(A warning: be sure to wear slippers if you go out on to the balcony in summer, lest you end up with splinters from going out in bare feet, like me! Beyond that, I couldn’t fault anything about the room).
We stayed in a Top Deluxe Double Room (55m²) with panoramic mountain views. It included a modern bathroom with a Japanese toilet, bathtub and rainfall shower, entertainment system, robe, slippers and a turn down service with chocolates left on your pillow (just in case you’re still hungry after the feast they prepare for dinner – more on that later!)
The rate includes half board, cakes in the afternoon, a bottle of champagne in the room, use of the spa (excluding treatments), free wifi throughout the hotel, a parking space, VAT and local taxes.
Clever mood lighting means that if you need to get up in the night, you don’t have to dazzle yourself by putting on all the lights or fumble around in the dark. The first touch of the light switch produces a soft glow, which is just enough to guide you to the bathroom and back. It’s a nice touch!
In the spa, there’s a 23m indoor swimming pool, a selection of saunas and steam rooms, a cold plunge pool, jacuzzi and relaxation area. You can help yourself to complimentary fresh fruit and assorted teas in the pool area. Spa treatments (massage and cosmetic) and a state-of-the-art fitness studio with personal trainer are also available. The only thing missing on a hot summer’s day is an outdoor pool, but this is forgiven, considering their main business is during ski season!
The reception desk, concierge and room service are 24/7. They can organise anything from hiking guides and ski instructors, to heli-golf and horse drawn carriage rides. You can also meet pet alpacas, Hiero, Domingo and Yaki, and snap a selfie!
Food and drink at Hotel Aurelio
The kitchen cooks up a daily selection of traditional and international cuisine using the finest local ingredients – the waiters will proudly explain the provenance of what you are about to eat. The presentation is stunning, and it tastes as good as it looks.
The evening meal is a multi-course extravaganza, with ‘amuse-bouches’, pre-courses and palate cleansers. At our first dinner at Aurelio’s, the food kept on coming and we were so full – on enquiring if we had nearly finished the meal, the waiter informed us, ‘oh, just the main course to come now!’ – so, make sure you build up an appetite during the day and go to dinner feeling ravenous!
Breakfast is another sumptuous affair, though mainly cold items, including a breadbasket, pastries, fresh fruit, cold cuts, cheeses, and eggs cooked to order.
The kitchen can also offer cooking courses and picnics on request.
What to do in Lech
In summer head into the mountains for excellent hiking and breath-taking scenery. Hotel staff are on hand with maps and advice on hikes of varying lengths and difficulties. There is a Bentley shuttle service to nearby village, Zürs, which is great for when your hike ends further down the valley and you don’t want to walk any further or wait for the bus.
In winter there are 340 km of ski runs on the doorstep, with the Aurelio offering ski-in and ski-out access to the slopes. Considered some of the best skiing in Europe, there is a ski run to suit all abilities. Lift tickets are available from reception.
If you want to go further afield, Bregenz (on Lake Constance), or Innsbruck (for cafes, bars and in winter, a Christmas market) make pleasant day trips.
We had a wonderful stay and my only regret is that we couldn’t stay longer! At the Aurelio, guests are treated like family and the atmosphere is relaxed, comfortable and discreet – not too stuffy or formal, like you might find in some high-end hotels. This is a real home away from home (alas, if only my home was as luxurious as this!)
For more information, find out seasonal opening dates and make a reservation, visit the hotel’s website here.
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