Do you fancy a late summer or an autumn week in the Alps as an alternative to lying on the beach? The scenery is beautiful and you can hike, mountain bike, play golf, tackle one of the eight via ferratas in the area…swim in a crystal-clear lake or just sunbathe beside it. Prices are very reasonable, too, especially outside the ski season. These are a few of the hotels to consider:
Hotel Elisabeth, Mayrhofen
This is the top hotel in Mayrhofen by a long stretch. The Elisabeth is traditional but has just the right amount of up-to-date design and calm ambiance to make it cool. It is nicely positioned close to the main street, but not too close. It has a gorgeous spa and swimming-pool, a good restaurant, and offers free tea and cakes in the afternoons.
Landgasthof Linde is one of the best places for people who’d rather not spend their holidays in anonymous hotels, but prefer to stay somewhere that feels like they’re at home with family and friends. The bedrooms are quaint and, for weddings or family celebrations you’ll find a festive hall, a vaulted wine cellar and a charming cottage in the garden.
Alpenhotel Kramerwirt, Mayrhofen
The Kramerwirt is next door to the casino and opposite the church – in other words right in the centre of town. The terrace often has live music in summer. Rooms vary in style from traditional to newly decorated – my favourite is the newly-decorated number 205, and there are 8 in a similar style. There are also suites and singles rooms, but these are still in the older style.
Hotel Sieghard, Hippach-Schwendau
In 1974 Paula and Johann Eder built the bed and breakfast Alpenland with 23 guest beds, and it was considered luxurious in its day with all rooms having central heating and en suite bathrooms. In 1986 their son Sieghard added a restaurant and became the head chef. Then the hotel changed its name and to this day the Sieghard remains a family-run hotel and one of the smallest four-stars in the Tirol – possibly even in Austria – with just 20 rooms. But it is mainly known for its food, with its swanky restaurant having been awarded 2 Toques and 15 points by Gault Millau.
Hotel Zillertalerhof, Mayrhofen
The large Zillertalerhof Hotel is a short walk from the Penken gondola, which is open during the summer months for some lovely walks and bike rides (you can take bikes in the gondolas). It has rooms which are all of traditional Austrian design and decoration. My favourite room is 401, which is a junior suite on the 4th floor with large windows giving a panoramic view. The hotel has a small spa with saunas and steam rooms, and a nice indoor/outdoor pool.
Hotel Gasthof Bräu , Zell am Ziller
The family-run Brau Hotel is located centrally in the village square and right by the river Ziller, making it an ideal starting point for all kinds of summer activities such as hiking, mountain biking and fishing – the hotel guests even have fishing rights. Possibly the best thing about the hotel is its cuisine, with ingredients almost exclusively from the river (trout is the speciality) and from the Kolbitsch family’s own farm, as well as organic produce from the local region. Their beer is brewed in Zell by the Kolbitsch family brewery. The rooms are all traditional Tirolean in style.
Sporthotel Manni’s, Mayrhofen
Manni’s is extremely well positioned on the high street with all of its shops and restaurants, although during the ski season this might be considered a disadvantage to all but the most robust party-goers. In summer the hotel’s outdoor restaurant/bar is a good people-watching spot. The hotel has a rooftop spa and pool, with a view of Mayrhofen. The hotel accepts bookings per night, even during the winter, albeit not during high season.
Gasthof-Pension Hubertus, Hippach
The traditional Hubertushof has 40 beds and is well located for all activities. The free bus that takes you to Mayrhofen stops right outside, or you can ride all the way along the riverside cycle track to Mayrhofen in one direction or Zell am Ziller in the other. Best of all is the cooking – venison is the speciality and the various dishes are delicious.
Alpendomizil Neuhaus, Mayrhofen
These are actually two hotels (the Neuhaus and St Josef) linked by an underground walkway, along with apartments, chalets and the Landhaus (the latter has no stars, so it’s much cheaper). They all cluster together like a village within the resort. My favourite room is 284 in St Josef – it’s a standard bedroom, but really cute, modern yet cosy, with a lovely view. The collection of accommodation shares a gym, bowling alley/movie-bar. During my visit, proper old-fashioned tea dancing was in action in the main Neuhaus building and it seemed to be very popular.
All of these hotels are open in winter as well as summer.