In the middle of March (2023) I had the chance to experience a couple of the superb Falkensteiner hotels in Austria and Italy. A family run hotel group that originated in South Tyrol (Italian Dolomites) they now have 32 properties, mainly in Austria, Italy and Croatia. The two mountain hotels I visited were very different however both were perfect for a short ski break or summer Alpine getaway.
The new 5* luxury property, a Leading Hotel of the World, is set in the Voralberg, Austria’s most western province. In the relatively undeveloped Montafon valley, it’s about 2 hours drive from either Zurich or Innsbruck airports, Classed as a 5* Family active hotel it is located at 1000m with gorgeous views across the valley to the slopes of Schruns. The hotel was only completed in 2022 and is classed as climate neutral.
The hotel is all about families and welcomes children of all ages with Baby, kids and teenager zones and care. The facilities are simply superb, with science labs and play zones while the daily entertainment programme well really designed. Rooms have been deigned for families with pretty much all of them having a separate child’s bedroom with up to 3 beds. There are a superb set of pools (indoor and outdoor) with kids area, slides and lots of space. There is also a huge spa zone.
The hotel is sold on a half-board plus basis which is effectively breakfast, dinner and ‘jause’ – a ‘snack’ served early afternoon (14.30-16.30). Jause, by itself, would be a full meal for many people. The main restaurant area opens out on the wide terrace with valley views and is buffet style. This does not do it justice as it is a 5* buffet service with many cooking stations and a simply superb array of dishes, both local and national. The design is exceptional to give a high class dining experience with the ease of a buffet.
The hotel is set on Golm mountain, part of the Montafon ski area. Rising to 2,120m there are 7 lifts and plenty of runs to keep beginners happy and intermediates busy for a couple of days. It is 5 mins walk to the mid lift station from the hotel (they also run a shuttle bus) so is perfect for a young family looking to learn to ski and it is easy to head up the mountain for an hour or two if one of the kids then wants to head back into the warmth and the pool!
The wide ski area (Montafon) has 72 lifts which you can access by car or ski shuttle buses. It would be great for a family looking to try out skiing with younger kids of varying ages (right down to a baby). There’s lots to do in the hotel, you have a ski mountain right on your doorstep and there’s great childcare if you want to split up! In the summer mountain activities continue with ziplining, go karting, mountain slides and bikes (e-bikes).
Although geared up for families this is not to say adults would not enjoy the hotel. The main reception and bar area are calm. The restaurant is designed really well so it is not difficult to find a quieter zone and the spacious spa complex is as calming as you would expect.
Driving across western Austria and through the Brenner Tunnel we moved to the South Tyrol and the home region of the Falkensteiner group. Here our home was the stylish Hotel Kronplatz on the ‘sunny side of the Alps’. Set just outside the charming town of Brunico it is 1.5 hours drive from Innsbruck Airport and just over an hour from Bolzano.
A Leading Hotel of the World it is classed as an active 5*.
The property is low-rise, a maximum of 3 stories in a series of buildings around a courtyard. It blends in so well with the location looking almost like Alpine barns. There a fine mountain views in all directions with Kronplatz mountain (Plan de Coronnes) rising to the south side. The welcoming atrium area is super stylish and feels more like a chalet or club than a hotel. There are two pools, one on the roof with a panoramic lounge, a huge spa complex and indoor climbing wall. The rooms are very modern Alpine with excellent views and private terrace or balcony. The larger suites also have their own saunas. Children are welcome, and the rooms can take extra beds/families
The hotel is also sold on a half-board plus basis which is breakfast, dinner and ‘jause’ – a ‘snack’ served early afternoon (14.30-16.30) in and around the reception/atrium. The pride and joy is the 7Summits restaurant with slow food that highlights the best of South Tyrol cooking combined with dishes from the highest mountain regions of Europe. It is a la carte with an open ‘show’ kitchen and bakery. This is a region that justly prides itself on its food and the restaurant is innovative and superb.
The hotel is right next to the main lift station giving access to the Kronplatz (Plan de Coronnes) ski area. With 31 lifts and 120km of pistes this is one of the largest stand-alone resorts in South Tyrol with plenty of runs disappearing in all directions from the summit at 2,275m. It is also part of the Superski Dolomiti ski region with its myriad of resorts – shuttle buses run every 20 mins to Alta Badia (taking 20 mins or so) which will give you access into the wide region and Sella Ronda. From the top of Kronplatz you can see the Sella Ronda massif and the Marmolada in the distance. There is good varied skiing in Kronplatz and it is excellent for a few days or long weekend.
For a longer stay you would probably use a car to get into the main Superski Dolomiti area or Cortina d’Ampezzo which is an hour’s drive away. As a summer base it is brilliant with easy access into a range of mountain and valley activities. The hotel also has an in-house Experience Concierge who can talk you through ideas, activities and hidden gems both during summer and winter stays.
This is a super stylish & modern hotel which would be a brilliant base for a long weekend/short stay in South Tyrol. It gives instant access to mountains for skiers and at a junction of different valleys there is plenty to see away from the winter months. Extremely comfortable and relaxing, with wonderful food, this is a superb mountain bolthole and base to enjoy the delights of South Tyrol.