For most visitors to Mayrhofen, the Penken gondola is the key lift, and if you stay near it you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle each day either catching buses or hoofing up and down the Haupstrasse. Oddly, though, most properties are at least a five-minute walk from here.
Finding a good place near the Penken gondola is the challenge
Two Mayrhofen hotels that do tick the “location” box are the rambling Hotel Strass, and its sister property the Sporthotel Strass, next door. They’re rated four star, and share good spa and pool area, but the decor is dated. The lobby and bar area can be a bit seedy too, because they’re so close to the full-throttle apres-ski scene at the Ice Bar and the Sports Bar. If you plan to get stuck into Mayrhofen’s nightlife, then you won’t care, but anyone looking for a more grown-up atmosphere should give it a wide berth.
Nearby, and tucked away up a quiet side-street, are two calmer alternatives. First is the Alpenresort Thanner – a small new development of B&B rooms and self-catering apartments set in traditional-style buildings, and the well-kept Landhaus Gasser, which also contains self-catering apartments. They’re a canny choice, considering a big Spar supermarket is three minute’s walk away, so fresh supplies are virtually on your doorstep, and you’re far enough away not to be bothered by the noise of the bars.
The only other hotel which is really close to the Penken gondola is the four-star Sporthotel Manni’s, which is about three minutes’ walk down the Hauptstrasse. It’s well kept, with decent food, nice public rooms and an outdoor (heated) panoramic pool on the roof: but if you’re going to be bothered by noise (from the shuttle buses during the day and revelers at night) make sure you get a room at the back of the hotel.
Stay near the Ahorn cable-car if you want to ski its easy slopes
If you’re on your second ski holiday, and need somewhere quiet and gentle to practise, then the easy-going pistes of the Ahorn are for you. Which means staying near the cable-car station makes sense. The best of the hotels near here is the three-star Hotel-Gasthof Perauer which has newly-renovated rooms, good food and a nice spa (but no pool). But avoid booking a room on the north-west side of the hotel, next to the entrance to the Ahornbahn car park, because of traffic noise.
If you stay further away, get a locker for your skis
As we’ve said, most of the hotels are a bit of a hike from the key Penken lift. There are free shuttle buses, but all the same, it’s a hassle, so rent a locker at the lift station and leave your skis there each night (and change into sneakers at the end of the day too). Amongst these hotels, the family-run, three-star Hotel Garni Glockenstuhl has a great reputation for its service, while the four-star, family-run Waldheim is in a pretty location away from the Haupstrasse.
If you plan to do lots of day-tripping, why stay in Mayrhofen?
As we’ve outlined in our feature about the Zillertal’s many ski areas there’s a huge amount of skiing to be enjoyed beyond the slopes immediately above Mayrhofen. Most tour operators offer excursions to the other areas on one or two days each week, but if you plan to explore it properly, it’s best to fly to Innsbruck under your own steam, hire a car and then pick your ski area according to the changing weather conditions.
If you do that, there’s no need to pay a premium to stay in Mayrhofen itself. We recommend the Hotel Stefanie in nearby Hippach – especially if you can afford one of its super cool, super-spacious Panoramazimmer (which aren’t much dearer than a regular double in a four-star in Mayrhofen). One of our editors stayed here recently and loved it.