Zillertalerhof in buzzing Mayrhofen is no ordinary boutique hotel, it is a Wunderkammer of eclectism, design and urban chic, whereby those gorgeous, familiar hallmarks of Alpine traditions cradle the interiors with heritage. Introducing a fresh take on Alpine chic, Zillertalerhof sees a new generation of hosts emerging through family-run traditions to rewrite the alpine dream in the heart of the Tyrolean Mountains.
Riotous wallpapers from the likes of House of Hackney and Christian Lacroix flank a menagerie of flamingoes and botanical accents, with traditional Tyrolean fabrics, peacock-blue banquettes and wood panelling.
Upstairs, the accommodation slips into a more seductive colour palette of Pink Panther hues, coppers, raw pinewoods and fern greens – Zillertalhof’s scene is decidedly hot following the owner’s mantra of “Tradition Reloaded”.
Design icons from Minotti, B&B Italia, lighting from Tom Dixon to Flos, and Vitra nudge up to traditional Austrian fabrics in the Hof Bar, while in the chic timber-clad restaurant, classic ‘Oma’ alpine plates are fused with Middle Eastern spices and Oriental scents.
An al fresco dining lounge with low-slung mid-century styled seating by Ethima allows more opportunity for fine dining and fresh air and the heated outdoor pool is ready for aquatic endeavours come snow or sunshine.
And for more of that snow and sunshine, the Zillertal range beckons like an outstretched arm. Glorious glaciers glitter invitingly, meadows are a carpet of wildflowers and waterfalls carve through rock faces. It’s an alpine playground for hikers, skiers and mountain bikers, all easily accessible from stylish retreat Zillertalerhof.
The bedrooms are a mix of doubles and suites all set against a neutral-palette background of pale wooden floorboards and white linen. Splashes of colour come from the chic art deco headboards made from deep velvet in muted hues such as moss green and lightly blushed pink. Furnishings are chic with Scandi nods – copper light fittings are angled by the bedside and gold-rimmed mirrors reflect from the wide windows, letting that bright mountain light into the room.
In keeping with the warm hospitality throughout the hotel, the rooms are what Zillertalerhof describe as “dahoam is dahoam” translated as ‘home is home’, a Tyrolean expression that pertains to be familiar and genuine, although we’d also add a certain panache to this – the rooms show a confident flair that comes from thoughtful design.
Bathrooms are a monochromatic dream, with deep freestanding tubs, white tiling and custom-made cosmetics - vegan and without dyes, parabens, silicones and mineral oils – sitting in black ceramic dishes. A spa bag containing slippers, towels and robes promises a smooth transition to relaxation. Thoughtful touches include a designer carafe with fresh spring water from the Zillertal Alps and wide balconies have dreamy mountain views.
The cosy, panelled restaurant with its light wood-scented ambience brings memories of atmospheric mountain huts, the refuge from the harsh, craggy peaks. However, this is no den of rusticity. As with everything in this forward-thinking hotel, tradition is embraced before twisting it to incorporate a new slant. Here Austrian traditional cuisine meets Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare.
Dinner here is an epicurean feast. Gourmet menus come with six courses and showcase a wide -ranging and eclectic taste sensation, accompanied by sommelier-chosen wines. Breakfast takes the best of the locality and is full of regional produce, which can be taken on the sun terrace accompanied by a freshly roasted coffee or Bloody Mary’s. Expect a veritable feast: farmer’s bread, organic jams, local meats, forest honey, cask butter and Zillertal mountain cheese.
The hotel has an indoor and outdoor pool area, both of which can be used in summer and winter. This all-season area is also beneficial in other ways – the water has seeped through the rock layers of the mountains for many years and flows to the pools, filtered and rich in minerals.
A state-of-the-art sauna area showcases Tyrolean traditions encased in the latest health technology. An authentic Alpine herbal steam bath is kitted out in sleek black marble, Finnish and bio-saunas regulate temperature with infra-red; and ergonomic couches sculpt the super-relaxed with the assistance of aromatic showers and a sonic water fountain. Massages can ease any remaining stress with Far-Eastern Ayurveda treatments using essential oils, or a soothing Lomi Lomi massage which releases blockages in physical energy flow.
“Only with strong roots can you grow beyond yourself” is a motto that owners Franz-Josef and Katharina take seriously. Both were born and raised among the deep-rooted traditions of the Alps but independently sought to experience the world – both bringing back a cosmopolitan flair to Zillertalerhof. For Franz-Josef and Katharina, tradition is a mindset rather than a rigid concept and aim to give the hotel a new face and a new spirit while remaining deeply committed to tradition.
Mayrhofen is a skiers paradise, with two skiing regions directly on Zillertalerhof’s icy doorstep – the Leisure Mountain Ahorn (vast and laid-back) and the Action Mountain Penken (with Harakiri slope and a fun park).
For learners there are picturesque cross-county trails and for non-skiers winter markets, tobogganing and age-old Alpine customs make it a sparkling winter wonderland.
With mountain eye-candy stretching out in every direction, this nest egg of casual style is the perfect bolthole for urbanites who love the rural idyll framed by modernity and crowned by its fabulous rooftop infinity pool of sheer wow.read more
A chilled habitat of modern alpine vibe, this ski bolthole is dapper, plush and Martini cool. A suave lair of modern alpine style that flirts with the traditions of the Alps and is the perfect habitat for the ski fraternity and summer activity junkies.read more
A buzzy place in a historical part of Kyiv (Kiev), Bursa is a small, creatively inspired boutique hotel in the artsy old-town district of Podil. The Bursa is where the hotel meets with art; a place where local artists can connect with travellers and wanderers from across the globe in an open, cosmopolitan atmosphere.read more
Once the grand resting spot for the weary English mountaineer brigade heading high up the Alps, this wonderful historic spot has been brought smack up to date and is the creative hub of the town. This is a fabulous example of Swiss culture melting into English eccentricity – a place where the urbane greets the mountains, all in fresh modern tones.read more