New Year's is the time, Austria the place if you need an excuse to go all-out with the best après on the planet. It's not all about swinging steins to Oompah music: you'll find some downright charming spa towns for that all-important R&R, and families are welcomed with arms opened wide.
Whatever New Year's holiday you have in mind, it's hard to beat an Austrian chalet. Mountain views, hot tubs and cosy living areas are made that much better by meals laid out 6 days a week.
Enjoy the rule of the roost by booking out a small property like St Anton's Chalet Mooserwirt, where you won't be far from the legendary bar of the same name. At the other end of the scale, try a chalet hotel like the Abendrot in Ischgl for the size of a hotel but the meal plans of a chalet. If previous years are anything to go by, you'll be close to at least one of the five firework displays.
To ski some of Austria's best New Year's Day snow, stay in one of Lech's chalets like the Chalet Hotel Montfort – the nursery slopes and ski school meeting point are moments away and more experienced skiers can get to the Rüfikopf Gondola in around 5 minutes.
We love Chalet Alpenblume for families: not only are the in-house services tailored to children's wants and needs, Obergurgl's main gondola and the ‘Boboland' children's ski area just around the corner.
Whether you're there as a family, group or couple, crown a day in Mayrhofen with a journey on the famous New Year's steam train before coming home to Chalet St. Lukas, set away from the main town.
With the likes of gala dinners and firework displays at New Years, the party practically comes knocking in an Austrian hotel. There's choice aplenty - whether you're putting creature comforts first in a facility-filled complex or becoming a part of the family in a small, out-of-the-way Gasthaus.
Hinterglemm's Hotel Alpine Palace always gets rave reviews – positioned near the Reiterkogel Gondola, you've got easy access to Austria's glorious Ski Circus area every morning.
Meanwhile, St Anton's Hotel Alte Post is in the town centre, so you'll have all the festive action on your doorstop… the impromptu fireworks display is a New Year tradition unlike any other.
To take your R & R to the next level, set your course for a spa town like Bad Kleinkirchheim, where hotels like Thermal Spa Hotel Pulverer will start the New Year at a slower pace.
When skiing comes first and foremost, book a ski-in ski-out hotel like the Hotel Schweizerhof. It has some wonderful views over Kitzbühel and you're seconds from the Hahnenkamm gondola's access to the infamous Streif – one of the trickiest runs in the world if you fancy a New Year's Day challenge...
Let the week pan out your way by booking the most flexible (and often cheapest) way to ski Austria for New Year. From no-frills blocks to apartments with spa access and self-catered chalets, there's nothing like having your own space at the end of the day and complete control of meal plans. Cook your own dishes, eat out or opt for both with a half board package.
A favourite for foodies, the Dejakom Apartments in Mayrhofen will place you close to local restaurants like the Wirtshaus zum Griena.
Families will love Alpbach where the Haus Edelweiss Apartments are near the village centre. Another firm favourite's Obergurgl, where the ski in - ski out Gurglhof Apartments give quick access to some of the best New Year's snow in the Austrian Alps.
Waking up to amazing views over Zell Am See is one of the delights of a Mountain Lake Resort apartment. Only a minute's walk from the City Xpress gondola, you'll also be near the aptly named Crazy Daisy's where you might end up partying until the wee small hours on December 31st…
For the flexibility of a self-catered holiday with a more traditional feel, try one of St Anton's self-catered chalets like Chalet Gerlinde.
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