Lech is often overshadowed by its noisier, larger and infamous neighbour – St Anton (those who know Krazy Kanguruh, wink wink) but as HedgeBrunch discovered in just 72 hours, Lech, just up the valley, is a haven with excessively spectacular chalets, expansive spas and unpretentious glamour; a little less boom-boom, yet still plenty of pow. A very easy journey from London to Innsbruck, followed by a remarkably short 1.5 hour pre-arranged chauffeur transfer, thanks to our hsots (in a Bentley Bentayga no-less), Lech was a the perfect long-weekend ski destination the for HB team.
For 10 years, Hotel Aurelio,our home for the stay, has perfected the art of five-star service, outstanding cuisine and a spa that managed to tear us away from the slopes, even on the most perfect of bluebird days. It’s ultra exclusive and intimate, with just 10 rooms, getting a room in this hotel is a golden ticket of the Austrian Alps.
The hotel also has an adjoining Club Chalet that sleeps 16 guests– reached via an underground walkway that links to the hotel. It comes with 24-hour butler service and twice-daily maid service, alongside the traditional style chalet features; a spa – steam room, sauna, hot tub and treatment room, not to mention an 18 metre indoor pool and a cinema.
Thanks to a sharp yet sympathetic design aesthetic, the exterior chocolate box architecture of Hotel Aurelio and this adjoining Chalet perfectly blends with Lech’s picture-postcard vista, whilst the Veuve Cliquot van on the hotel’s terrace acts as a beacon, calling skiers as they fly past the hotel piste, just feet from the front door.
The service of the hotel is such, that we had barely stepped across the threshold before a cold stemmed glass was in-hand and we were directed through to the cosy sitting room complete with roaring open fire, wood clad walls and obligatory antlers – all very ‘chalet chic,’ whilst the concierge organised our ski hire.
For those who don’t fancy hauling their skis and boots to each mountain destination, ski hire is the unavoidable chore of any ski trip but in Lech the stunning three storey hire shop of Strolz was an Aladdin’s cave housing the latest fibreglass technology. Like everything in Lech, this was ski hire on overdrive, providing an almost unnecessary level of ease and luxury as you stomped around finding the perfect boot, which, thanks to their Inter-sport defying organisation, took less than 5 minutes.
The hotel suits are enormous for an alpine property and should you choose to be a repeat customer, why haul your stuff back home? Instead leave it at the hotel where they will look after it until your next trip, even if it’s not till next season.
That night at the hotel, the tasting menu which was dreamt up by the head chefs Christian Rescher and Markus Niederwanger who have been awarded by Gault Millau with 3 Hauben – the Austrian equivalent of the Michelin star, featured peaches filled with chicken-liver parfait, puddings sculpted into mushrooms and delectable mouthfuls of salty sweetness. The digestif was suitably Austrian and came in the form of a a drinks-car filled with an eye-wateringly wide variation of Schnapps.
Lech is a pretty snow sure resort and with fresh powder and blue skies overhead, the days spent on the mountains exploring more than 305 km of runs were pure heaven. Next stop on the agenda was Chalet Mimi in Oberlech – from the outside a quaint-looking, traditional style chalet, but step into the lift, plunge down and emerge into an underground walkway that is definitely more Bond than Country Life. The chalet which sleeps 14 guests, features a spa complete with indoor pool, sauna, jacuzzi and breath-taking views from its terrace. Fire pits outside, floor to ceiling glass inside and a cosy cinema make Chalet Mimi a fantastic addition to Oberlech.
We’d heard whispers about ‘Arula Chalets in Oberlech:’ its size (2,600 square metres), its design and its exterior making it the newest and most impressive chalets in Lech – perhaps even in Austria. Walking past the chalet’s ice rink, and the first of its outdoor hot tubs into an entertainment room that combines the essence of a NYC cocktail bar, a cosy London bar and a Las Vegas casino in perfect harmony, we couldn’t help but me immensely impressed by the scale of this property.
Split in to two chalets, Arula 1 sleeps up to 21 guests, whilst Arula 2 sleeps up to 8 guests. Of course, the best option is to rent the two properties together which are fully interconnected and make the most of the ultimate chalet for après. As one phenomenal house, Arula chalets offers two party rooms, two wine cellars, two hot tubs and two indoor pools.
No matter how loudly the mountain calls, we could see why guests may choose to simply embrace the cabin fever. The outside terrace wraps around the property and provides the perfect ‘La Folie Douce’ style location, whilst down below, the chalets garage can be transformed in to a nightclub. Each chalet comes with a private chef, maid service, chauffeur, massage therapist and yoga instructor – basically don’t lift a finger.
As the Lech snow shows no sign of abating this season, HedgeBrunch are already planning a return to a resort which truly embraces the very best of Alpine luxury.
To enquire about the hotels for this season and next contact: Claudia Epp firstname.lastname@example.org