Spectacular scenery is a given but Austrian decor is no longer all wood panelling and antlers, Brian Johnston says.
Mooser Hotel, St Anton
When the owner of infamous apres-ski bar Mooserwirt announced he was converting the upstairs of this raucous venue into a chic on-slope hotel, jaws dropped. But entering this hotel through sliding glass doors is to be transported into another whole world, where hush prevails and serene beauty is created by well-considered designer furniture, minimalist decor and huge windows looking onto snow-covered pine trees. This hideaway is refined, high-tech and achingly hip. The turquoise-coloured infinity pool is gorgeous, the restaurant fine and you can ski in and out.
Rooms from €230 ($330) including breakfast. See mooserhotel.at
Great views over Lech and the mountains provide the requisite outlook, but Kristiana sets itself apart with contemporary interiors and splashes of colour; no sign of antlers and woodcarvings here. Every room is different, all are plush. High tea in the lounge is the ideal after-ski treat, and there's also a wellness area. Service is impeccable and, apart from ski valet and butler, you can avail yourself of a leisure consultant, ski nanny and bath butler too. Only downside: a walk to the ski lifts, though the hotel has a shuttle.
Rooms from €317 ($455) including breakfast. See kristiania.at
Zürserhof Hotel, Zürs
The Arlberg region's best-known resorts are Lech and St Anton, but both are linked by ski lifts to romantic little Zürs and the fabled Zürserhof. The family-run hotel has quality service and a touch of Austrian formality. Its restaurant provides sumptuous buffet breakfasts amid alpine panelling and stags' heads; the bar and lounge feature ornate woodwork and open fire. In the basement, the ski room has heated boot racks and storage, with access straight to the snow, while tired ski muscles can be soothed at the sauna or spa.
Rooms from €290 ($417) including breakfast. See zuerserhof.at
Arlberg Hospiz Hotel, St Christoph
The Hospiz is seeped in Austrian hotelier tradition: family run, and emphasising stately service and traditional dining. Yet there's innovation too, with a stylish spa, kids club and interesting collection of contemporary art, often with an artist in residence. Rooms come in a confusing range of sizes and styles; rustic alpine-style suites are best. You only have to cross the road to catch a chairlift that links St Christoph to 80 other Arlberg lifts; the little village is also known for having top ski instructors.
Rooms from €195 ($282) including breakfast. See arlberghospiz.at
The A-Rosa brings resort glamour to the Alps; the hotel is built in the style of a Tyrolean Schloss but has contemporary furnishings and decor. Mountain views unfold from just about every window. The wellness centre is heaven after a hard day's skiing: perspire in the sauna, then head to the ice grotto, where you can rub down with crushed ice, making the skin protest and tingle. Afterwards, sip wine by the open fires in the lounge or sit on the terrace gazing over the rooftops of Kitzbühel to the mountains.
Rooms from €208 ($300) including breakfast. See a-rosa.de/kitzbuehel
Hotel Zur Tenne, Kitzbühel
This hotel offers the best of both worlds: a short walk to the ski lift serving the famous Hahnenhamm run, but right in the middle of fashionable Kitzbühel's old town, packed with boutique and restaurant choices. The hotel rambles behind bright red facades and features Tyrolean alpine-style decor, with a great deal of warmth created by abundant wood and cheerful textiles. Some of the suites have fireplaces and steam baths. The restaurant is Gault Millau recommended: its venison saddle or beef goulash certainly satisfy after a day's skiing.
Rooms from €174 ($250) including breakfast. See hotelzurtenne.com
The writer travelled courtesy of the Austrian National Tourist Office and Emirates Airlines.