Christmas is generally less commercial in the Austrian resorts and more focused on honouring traditions. Villages are decorated festively throughout advent and many have Christmas markets. Glühwein serves as a welcome winter warmer and you’re likely to experience some weird and wonderful and ancient customs; Christmas tree diving in Zell am See, Kitzbühel’s 'living advent calendar' and Ischgl’s ‘Christmas in the Mountain’ concerts are highlights.
From old Tyrolean properties brimming with mountain charm to new-builds oozing modern chic, our chalets are fantastic for a Christmas stay in the Austrian Alps. Look out for chalets with a fireplace for some essential chestnut-roasting - superior options have top facilities including spas and swimming pools for an extra Christmas treat. Book a small chalet that sleeps the same number as your group size and you can enjoy the place to yourselves or opt for a more sociable Christmas in our larger properties and chalet hotels which have communal living and dining areas to share with others. All of our chalets are catered meaning you can really put your feet up during the week. Most put on a special dinner with all the trimmings on the day itself, allowing you to focus your time on family, friends and festivities. Father Christmas may well drop by if you’re travelling with children too...
Treat yourself to modern luxury in St Anton’s Chalet Gampen which sleeps up to 10 or relish the benefits of a ski in / ski out location from somewhere like Chalet Karlberger in Kitzbühel. You’ll find some of the best snow around in Lech if the pristine powder is your priority – we love Chalet Hotel Montfort. Another resort famous for its snow conditions is Obergurgl, which is one of our favourite resorts for families - with family orientated chalets like Chalet Verwall you can all have an amazing week. Groups after a livelier nightlife should have a look at Chalet House Tirol where you can enjoy Mayrhofen’s legendary après as soon as you step out the door.
Booking a room in a half board or full board hotel makes Christmas fun and hassle-free for single travellers, couples, groups and families alike. You won’t have to worry about getting up early for food preparations or having to wash up afterwards - most hotels provide festive gala suppers on the big day with staff taking care of all the hard work. Our best hotels come with state-of-the-art facilities, from spas and pools for something to do after a day on the slopes to kids clubs and crèches making things easy for families with young children. Many properties have their own bars where you can enjoy an après ski sherry or two without having to stray too far from your room.
In a resort oozing luxury, Lech’s Hotel Arlberg is a brilliant choice for an upmarket stay in the mountains. Lech is also a good place to stay if you’re looking for quality skiing this early in the season and another snow sure resort is Kaprun where centrally located Hotel Orgler is well worth checking out. Get straight out onto the slopes on Christmas morning by booking a ski in / ski out hotel like the fantastic Skihotel Galzig in legendary St Anton. Groups looking for somewhere with lots to do should consider the Astoria Relax Spa Hotel in Seefeld. Zell am See is gorgeous at this time of year and we love it for families - Hotel Schwebebahn is brilliant if anyone’s taking lessons as it’s right next to the ski school meeting point as well as the Schmittenhöhe gondola.
Having your own space and dining plans means you can really tailor your Christmas to suit you - spend the day as you please, continuing the usual traditions in your alpine home from home or skiing as long as you like without the restriction of meal times. Many Austrian resorts host advent markets where you can buy ready-made delicacies and local ingredients to make cooking at Christmas extra special. Having the catering in your own hands means the big meal can be made just how everyone likes it and the day carried out the same as it is at home – you also have the option to skip the cooking altogether and book into a restaurant if you prefer the work to be done for you. Best of all, self-catering holidays are often the cheapest way to enjoy the mountains, so you shouldn’t have to stretch the Christmas budget too far to enjoy a fantastic week on the snow.
If you’re looking to stay somewhere with the best snow this early in the season, check out Obergurgl – while it’s not one of Austria’s biggest resorts, the conditions here are known for being amazing. Most properties including the Gamper Apartments are ski in / ski out too, which makes getting to the piste an absolute breeze. Obergurgl’s also great for families – as well as Niederau, where you’ll find the cosy Almdorf Cabins. For winter charm in one of Salzburg’s hidden gems, check out Rauris where you’ll find the Rauris Apartments. Ellmau is another village offering self catering surrounded by traditional charm in the huge SkiWelt with a choice between the Fuchs Apartments and Sojer Apartments.