Imagine welcoming the New Year in your own, private, snowy mountain hut? Sounds pretty good eh? And I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced it myself, so I can vouch as to how magical it can be.
So how do you go about celebrating the incoming year in your own, private cabin? Unfortunately you’re probably too late to book for this New Year: most will have gone already. But the best advice is to book for next year now. And don’t worry: I’ve done the research for you, so please find below a selection of ten Mountain Cabins for your 2015/16 New Year celebrations.
PS: One consolation for those who’ve missed out for this New Year’s Eve – any cabin holiday with friends, family or loved ones can be a brilliant experience, and not just for New Year, and as well as a beautiful wintery experience, don’t forget that cabins, refuges, and mountain shelters of all kinds are usually open year round.
The Alfenalm cabin in the East Tirol mountain village of Innervillgraten is – to me – the epitome of a traditional Tirolean hideaway cabin. Deep in the mountains you’ll find this four-bedroom chalet that is perfectly set up to host 14 people. In an area famous for its traditions and old-school charm, the chalet boasts Villgrater sheep woollen mattresses (said to provide the best sleep you’ll ever have) and a perfectly controlled room temperatures. Add in accessories and furniture from the local area (the lamps are Alfons Steidl – a renowned local blacksmith – are masterspieces, and were commissioned solely for the Alfenalm).
Accessible by car, with an optional car-free transfer to the cabin.
It’d be pretty difficult to find a mountain cabin that’s closer to the slopes than the Gampe Thaya Hut in the glacial, snow-sure resort of Sölden. With space for between 2 and 5 people, this is old-school charm (the hut has been remodelled into the perfect romantic setting) that has all the comforts of a hotel but with the total seclusion and privacy of a hut. At 2,000-metres above sea level, the cabin overlooks the Gampe Thaya, said to be the best pasture in Tirol.
The Gampe Thaya Hut is accessible by snowmobile only. Contact owner Jakob Prantl for further info.
Looking for a self-catered mountain hut for a large group? The 320-year old Rahmhof Mountain Hut – set on a sun-drenched plateau above the resort of Wörgl could be the perfect space. Able to house between 25 and 40 people, the lodge boasts access to the fantastic Wilder Kaiser-Brixental ski area, and the towns of Hopfgarten and Itter are only 4-km away.
Now this is ski-in, ski out! Guests of the Kohlerhütte in the Ziller Valley can fall out of bed, onto their skis and outside the door you’ll find the Speiljoch piste at the end of the patio. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s a number of amazing apres ski bars within a few minutes walk. With a living area spread over 100m-squared, this is an ample space for 8 people, and those who wish to book half-board accommodation only, the adjoining hotel The Kohleralmhof is less than 100-metres away.
At 1,900-metres above sea level, the Schatzberghütte is as adventurous as it gets. And with direct access to the Wildschönau ski area (also known as the Skijuwel Alpbach area) you’ll be guaranteed first on the hill in the morning. Not that this is a cold, mountain refuge: with modern comforts such as underfloor heating, flat-screen TVs and a private spa and sauna, the ‘new’ perfectly complements the ‘old’ with cosy fireplaces and views to die for.
Accessible by ski only, with the hut owner organising luggage transfers.
For those looking for luxury, the Stanglwirt in Going is the perfect romantic mountain getaway. On the southern flank of the Wilder Kaiser range, the Hüttlingmoos Chalet is a sun-drenched, classic mountain cabin nestled into a forest clearing. With rustic touches and decor to match the forest surroundings, and accommodation for four adults and two children, this is first class mountain cabin all the way. Heavyweight boxing champ Wladimir Klitschko stayed here, and no doubt took advantage of the private chef and butler.
Accessible by car, snow-conditions permitting (it’s up an old forest track). Transfer service, butler and chef can be booked via the Hotel Stanglwirt.
On the forest edge near Steinberg am Rofan you’ll find the Stoaberghüttn, a mountain hut that was completely renovated in 2012 and can accommodate up to 12 people. Four bedrooms, two baths, modern kitchen and a living room with fireplace make for a memorable stay. For the adventurous types, the cross-country ski trail starts in front of the cottage, or jump on the ski bus and head ten minutes down the road to the the ski resort of Christlum Achenkirch.
The Stoaberghüttn is easily accessible by car, but please be aware that winter snow tires are needed (and possibly snow chains).
With panoramic views over the Zillertal Valley, the simple Zillertal Chalet offers exactly what a mountain hut should: an open fireplace, a fantastic vista, and the peace and quiet of the mountains. Sleeping up to 12-people over 4 bedrooms, and at 1,200-metres above sea level, easily accessible by car.
If seclusion is high on your list of priorities, then look no further than the Pumphaus at the foot of the Kienberg Mountain. With over 200 square metres of living space, this is a beautifully furnished chalet offering accommodation for up to 8-guests. Take a snowshoe walk through the neighbouring forest, or join a waymarked trail and go for a longer hike.
The Pumphaus is accessible by foot after a 20-minute hike.
High above the East Tirol city of Lienz is the ski resort of Zettersfeld, where the Kristenmoarhütte has commanding views over the Dolomites. A self-catering chalet sleeping up to 7-people, expect to get the best night’s sleep you’ll ever get, and for those staying in the front bedrooms, have the sunrise over the peaks gently wake you before a hearty breakfast and a full day on the slopes!
The chalet is inaccessible to cars, but luggage and transfers via snowmobile can be arranged. Parking is up to 15-minutes distant.