So you thought ski-in ski-out was only in France – that staying in Austria involved a hearty hike to the lifts in ski boots, or at best a bus ride? Well here are 11 resorts that upset any preconceptions you might have – and they’re not purpose-built concrete monsters either!
Axamer Lizum is the highest ski area close to Innsbruck, capital of the Austrian Tirol. It is a ski-in, ski-out resort with rugged terrain and great off-piste, and it has a fun park too. The resort is gradually being linked up with the Gotzens-Mutters areas to create a good-sized ski region with varied terrain. Stay at the Lizum1600 which has 46 rooms and is decorated in modern alpine style, with a gym and a climbing tower.
Hochgurgl is the highest resort in Austria and the second highest in the Alps (after Val Thorens in France). Located at a heady 2150m with skiing rising to over 3000m, Hochgurgl is about as snow-sure as you can get. Its high-end hotels offer luxury as well as easy access to the skiing. Obergurgl is just below and linked by gondola – together the resorts offer dramatic scenery, a long ski season and mainly beginner to intermediate skiing. Stay at the Alpinhotel Laurin with its panoramic sun terrace and a 400m² spa.
You probably haven’t heard of the place. Hochkrimml is located at the far end of the Zillertal Arena between Konigsleiten and Gerlos. The terrain here is great for first-timers, with nearly all the pistes wide and gentle; at resort level there is a series of short beginner lifts serving a large novice ski area. The resort makes a good base for family ski holidays and you could opt to stay in Ferienwohnung Feldmann apartments, which are on the piste and right by a lift.
The resort of Hochsolden is located at 2090m and is linked by lift and piste to the Solden glaciers of Rettenbach and Tiefenbach. Hochsolden is entirely ski-in ski-out and features some comfortable accommodation. For those wanting apres-ski, Solden is located in the valley below and is linked by mountain road, as well as lifts and piste. For something different, try the Gampe Thaya, a quaint and rustic one-room mountain lodge that sleeps two to five people.
The resort of Konigsleiten offers something that’s rare in Austria: ski-in ski-out chalets. As well as being convenient, Konigsleiten is close to Hochkrimml-Gerlosplatte and part of the Zillertal Arena ski region with its 52 modern lifts. Unlike many purpose-built resorts in France, Konigsleiten is low rise. Stay in one of the chalets here.
Located at over 2000m, Kuhtai is one of the highest and most snow-sure ski resorts in Austria. It is located on a high mountain pass, with a top lift at over 2500m and skiing located on either side of the valley. Most of the accommodation is ski-in, ski-out but you can also stay the night at the Igloo Village where your bedroom will be made entirely of snow and ice.
Lech is rated as one of the most upmarket ski holiday resorts in Austria, and Oberlech is the exclusive outpost that sits 200m above it. Oberlech is totally ski-in ski-out with a cable-car link into Lech down in the valley. Lots of good hotels here, including Hotel Sonnenburg. All of them have immediate access to the slopes and the snow record is a good one.
Obertauern’s hotels are dotted along the road, which you can ski down to when there’s plenty of snow. Obertauren with its 100km of piste, is known for having a good snow record. Eight of the hotels are especially well placed for ski-in ski-out, including the Seekarhaus (pictured here), which is owned by the family of Gerhard Krings, who was George Harrison’s body double in the film HELP.
The small resort of Venet is located at 2212m, above the town of Landeck and is reached by taking the cable-car from the village of Zams. The pistes are mainly graded blue and red, with one black run and two funparks. There are also some off-piste and ski-touring opportunities. Venet Gipfelhütte Hotel, pictured here, offers convenient ski-in ski-out access.
One of the highest resorts in the area to the south of Salzburg, Zauchensee is part of the extensive Ski Amade region, with links to Flachauwinkl, Wagrain, St Johann im Pongau and Flachau. Zauchensee offers great access to the mainly intermediate slopes and is a short transfer from Salzburg airport. Hotel Alpenrose has a 1000m² spa and is located on the piste.
Zurs has luxury ski-in ski-out accommodation and a good snow record. And if those are not reason enough to ski here, then the lifts and pistes are linked with neighbouring Lech – and from last winter with Stuben, St Anton and St Christoph too. Hotel Alberghaus has skiing to the door, with the nearest ski-lift and cable-car are 150m away.
…and specific ski-in ski-out accommodation…
Set high in the Zillertal Alps at an elevation of 2250 meters, the Schneekarhutte has gorgeous surroundings – and Mayrhofen’s skiing is just a few steps from your room. The sophisticated mountain hut offers a luxury resort experience inside an authentic Tirolean lodge.
The Adler Lounge
The Adler Lounge, in Großglockner Mountain Resort, is set above the villages of Matrei and Kals in East Tirol. This is where to stay if you want make first tracks, since the hotel is at the very top of the ski area with its 15 lifts and 37km of piste. Expect good food, a bright and bold interior, and lovely views.
Wedelhutte in Hochzillertal is Tirol’s highest inn, located at an altitude of 2350m. Every bedroom comes complete with an infrared cabin, and the hotel’s wellness centre has a fitness room, sauna, hot tub and offers massage treatments. The ski-in ski-out accommodation is particularly known for its kitchen where the chef, Christian Siegele, creates gourmet dishes using ingredients from local and regional producers.
Also in the Hochzillertal is the award-winning Kristallhutte. The hotel combines wilderness with luxury, as well as being ski-in ski-out. The interior is a bit like an art gallery, in that the owners offer artists a chance to display their work in – and outside – the hotel. The restaurant serves fresh regional produce, and there’s also a new spa.
Maierl-Alm & Chalets
Maierl Alm & Chalets is above Kirchberg, with world-class skiing in Kitzbuhel’s ski area. Set at 1225m, this slope-side lodging offers mountain ambiance with lots of home comforts, fine cuisine, wellness treatments, light and bright rooms and apartments. The large swimming-pool is reached from the chalets and the Maierl-Alm via an underground passage.
Need more help choosing where to stay next winter? See our features on What Type of Ski Accommodation is Right for Us?, Luxury Chalets, Affordable Chalets, Luxury Ski Apartments, and Green Ski Hotels.