Five unique places to stay in the Alps

From lakeside saunas and forest-fringed swimming pools to stunning high-altitude vistas, these hotels and luxury lodges maximise their mountain settings.

Exterior of Das Achental, Germany.

Photograph by DESIGN HOTELS
By Sarah Barrell
Published 8 Mar 2023, 10:37 GMT

1. Das Achental, Germany

This boutique beauty raises the bar for Bavarian accommodation with its modern hunting-lodge aesthetic, set in a revamped 1950s horse farm deep in the Chiemgau Alps. It offers a two-Michelin-star restaurant, an expansive spa overlooking the forest around Lake Chiemsee, and rooms equipped with organic toiletries and vast soaking tubs. Doubles from £273, B&B. 

2. UCPA, France

For a bargain adventure holiday, try UCPA. France’s sports hostel network offers dorm and family rooms, generous catering and an even more generous menu of sports, from river rafting to mountain biking and climbing. Food, equipment and tuition (four activities) are included. A five-day stay in Argentière, high above Chamonix, costs from £550 per person.

3. Faern, Switzerland

With views of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana is revered by skiers, and in summer it’s an idyllic Alpine spot. Five lakes are within easy reach, as are plenty of adventure sports and hikes. Several smart hotels have opened here, including Faern, home to several swimming pools, a spa and chic rooms. Doubles from £185, B&B.

Balcony at Hotel de Len.

Balcony at Hotel de Len.

Photograph by Helenio Barbetta

4. Hotel de Len, Italy

This design den in the Dolomites comes with a rooftop spa, acres of minimalist reclaimed wood, colourful contemporary furnishings and a restaurant-bar with a cosy little speakeasy. The peaks, lakes and forests of the Dolomiti d’Ampezzo regional natural park are on the doorstep, along with several via ferrata trails and hiking/biking routes. Doubles from £200 B&B.

5. Coolnest, Austria

Opened last summer, Coolnest in Ramsau brings beach-club chic to the Zillertal Valley. All guest rooms have a leafy garden or terrace, there’s a panoramic rooftop pool, and a spa where Austrian peaks are pictured through glass walls. Zillertal is home to 870 miles of hiking trails, 750 miles of cycling and bike tracks, plus climbing and trail running. From £270 B&B.

Published in the Alpine 2023 guide, distributed with the April 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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