FOUR REASONS TO HEAD TO LECH, AUSTRIA, THIS 2019-20 WINTER SEASON STAYING AT HOTEL KRISTIANIA
One of the most beautiful alpine winter resorts in the Alps and the birthplace of modern skiing, Lech is located in the Arlberg region of Austria - a sophisticated hangout for those in the know, where the hotels are stylish and the skiing superb. For those looking for something more from the slopes this season, Lech has a full programme of events, from a traditional Austrian Christmas market and jazz music festival to the world-famous White Ring and Rufi 900 Uphill Challenge – there is something for everyone.
One of the most beautiful alpine winter resorts in the Alps and the birthplace of modern skiing, Lech is located in the Arlberg region of Austria – a sophisticated hangout for those in the know, where the hotels are stylish and the skiing superb. For those looking for something more from the slopes this season, Lech has a full programme of events, from a traditional Austrian Christmas market and jazz music festival to the world-famous White Ring and Rufi 900 Uphill Challenge – there is something for everyone.
Boutique hotel Kristiania is a small family-run hotel and the perfect place to stay when exploring this charming town. From the outside it might appear to be a traditional ski chalet but once inside the interior reveals a spectacularly curated contemporary art collection to rival any world class museum. The hotel has 29 unique guestrooms, each boasting incredible views of the mountains, and the largest collection of Schnapps in the Arlberg region. Guests staying at the Kristiania are spoilt with a selection of quirky butler services – including a ski butler, a bath butler and even a reading butler. There is also a ski nanny for younger guests, and a D.O.G Dog service for those who can’t leave the favourite pet pooch at home. Kristiania’s two restaurants offer international modern cuisine and sophisticated fine dining as well as traditional Austrian fare including fondue and raclette at an open fireplace in the hotel’s cosy and casual Kaminzimmer. Other facilities include an outdoor sun terrace and a small spa with sauna and treatment rooms.
‘TIS THE SKI-SON TO BE JOLLY…LECH THE FESTIVITIES COMMENCE
Travellers visiting Lech between 13 – 16 December can get into the festive spirit and head to the picturesque Christmas market located in church square. Local brass bands and choirs help to create a magical atmosphere, alongside the stunning backdrop of the snow-capped roofs and mountains beyond. Guests can enjoy local delicacies such as hot punch and whiskey sours and buy traditional souvenirs and seasonal treats to take home for family and friends.
READY, SET, SNOW! PARTAKE IN THE ANNUAL WHITE RING SPEED RACE
Every January Lech plays host to the world’s longest ski race – a 22km circumnavigation of the famous ‘White Ring’ ski trail – which, this season will take place on 18 January. For one day only the circuit is closed to the public as over a thousand amateur racers charge around the course. The circuit comprises five downhill rings, five ropeways, an intensive ascent and a challenging backcountry ski run. The White Ring race first started in 2006 to celebrate the circuit’s 50th anniversary and has become a key event in the Austrian ski calendar. The Kristiania is no stranger to ski racing having been founded by former Olympic Gold medal champion Othmar Schneider.
APRÉS-CIATE THE MUSIC AND CELEBRATE THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING…
Celebrate the arrival of Spring, with the Tanzcafe Arlberg festival, which next year will take place from 29 March to 13 April. The stunning landscape of Lech serves as the backdrop for the festival which is a celebration of jazz, swing and the golden age of the 1920’s. Lech has long been the resort du jour for the rich and famous. Once known as a sleepy mountain town, the 1920’s boom, a period of decadence, prosperity and parties, brought a new avant-garde clientele to Lech, hosting numerous parties and masked balls, where they danced the night away to jazz bands and swing orchestras. This festival is the perfect opportunity for guests looking to swap their skis for dancing shoes and celebrate the end of another successful season.
IT’S ALL UPHILL FROM HERE…CONQUER THE RUFI 900
This April marks the fifth year of the Rufi 900, which will take place on 4 April. The Rufi 900 is an Uphill Challenge in Lech where travellers attempt to conquer the steepest ski route – the legendary Long Train ‘Lange Zug’ – uphill. The Long Train is one of the most spectacular ski routes on the Arlberg and ski tourers, mountain runners, hikers and cross-country skiers take part, with participants able to use whatever equipment they like, as long as it’s not motorised. The route of this breath-taking challenge is 5.5km long, with the altitude varying by 960m and the gradient in some parts as high as 80%.
Double rooms start from €400 per night on a B&B basis. This includes bottle of champagne in room, complimentary mini-bar, Wi-Fi and snow shuttle van