5 Of The Most Charming Hotels In Austria’s Bregenzerwald
Part of the Vorarlberg region, the Bregenzerwald stretches from Lake Constance to the famed Arlberg mountains and is characterized by soft swathes of forest and scented meadows that come alive in summer, before transforming into Narnia in winter. Here are five of our favorite hotels to bookmark in the area for a fall or winter escape, from historical guest houses to contemporary eco-lodges.
Run by the third generation of the Krone family, this gasthof has overlooked the village square in Hittisau for more than 180 years. Its current custodians, Helene Nussbaumer-Natter und Dietmar Nussbaumer have retained its lively old spirit while adding modern touches. Traditional Bregenzerwald craftsmanship has shaped its furniture, while the kitchen makes the most of the surrounding area’s natural larder. Our most loved spots around the Krone are the fireplace room for afternoon tea and the garden with its re-energizing sauna house. In summer, it’s all mountain biking, hiking, and climbing — interspersed with afternoons spent people-watching from the terrace. Winter sports enthusiasts can try their hand at cross-country skiing, skiing, and ski-touring in this magical landscape.
Nestled in the picturesque village of Schwarzenberg, surrounded by forest, the 265-year-old Hirschen comes with a side of history. Over the centuries, it has been a meeting place for princes, artists, poets, writers, and gourmets and is renowned for its artistic and musical soul — with the modern art collection and concert series to prove it. Run by charismatic 10th-generation hotelier, Peter Fetz, the hotel is split across the 18th-century main house and the more modern Wälderhaus. Ask for the handsome and frescoed King Max Suite in the former, it’s the perfect place to bed down after days spent in the great outdoors. Schwarzenberg hosts the World Cup downhill skiing race, and has excellent hiking —our tip is to hike up to the Alpe Rothenbach, the Hirschen’s cozy mountain hut.
A contemporary eco-lodge with a well-being focus, the Fuchsegg was inspired by the Vorsäß huts that are typical of the Schterregg region. Architecturally integrated into the surrounding environment, the resulting clutch of six buildings is home to five different types of accommodation, including lofts and chalets — all geared towards a wonderful night’s sleep. Embedded in nature, this is a great jumping-off point for Alpine sports: take the in-house bikes for a spin in summer and enjoy its ski-in/ski-out perks in winter. For something more gentle, the hotel’s yoga space has a magical setting on the edge of the forest, complete with beautiful mountain views, there is an extensive Sauna House and a heated outdoor pool. You’ll be well fed and watered here, whether it’s in the Gasthaus restaurant, or the Kaminbar — from coffee to wine.
The iconic Post Bezau, run by the beauty mogul Susanne Kaufmann (the founder’s great-great-granddaughter) is known for its holistic approach to hospitality. Powered by the surrounding nature of the Bregenzerwald Valley, the 19th-century hotel offers numerous detoxes and retreats throughout the year, from yoga to traditional Chinese medicine. We love its tranquil Scandi-style rooms, especially the west-facing ones — as well as the epic spa, with its saunas, swimming pools, and tailor-made treatments. It’s not all about the detox, there are hearty breakfasts inspired by the region, afternoon snacks, and daily four-course gourmet dinners. Ski or toboggan in winter, or take long forest walks, scented by wild herbs, in summer.
Surrounded by mountains and fir forests, this contemporary hideaway is a love letter to Bregenzerwald architecture and craftsmanship. Designed to be self-sufficient and carved from local timber, the Halwina was built on the family farm of your host Edith — who still remembers her grandparents working the land. Sitting just outside Sibratsgfäll, an extremely pretty village in the Vorderen Bregenzerwald, it’s a great winter base for skiing or biking, hiking, and swimming in the Subersach in summer. The Hideaway has two generous apartments with magnificent mountain views, fir-clad walls, and floors, married with tactile floral wallpapers and giant oval baths. Ask for Hannah, the three-bedder with a penthouse floor featuring a yoga deck, sauna, and reading nooks. The kitchens are well-equipped to prepare everything you need, but you can also opt for the neighborhood baker Sabine to drop off a daily breakfast.
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