Europe's best mountain hotels for the summer season
Peak your interest with these luxury Alpine hideaways
It goes without saying that those of us who have been stuck in cities over the past year will never again take wide open space, a sea breeze or clean country air for granted. And few landscapes can offer these three in such abundance as a majestic mountain range.
For those looking for the ultimate countryside escape consisting of dramatic views, fresh Alpine breezes and world-class facitilies, here is a roundup of the best luxury mountain hotels in Europe.
VALSANA HOTEL, AROSA, SWITZERLAND
Located in the charming Swiss alpine village of Arosa, in the Romansh-speaking region of the country, Valsana Hotel is an eco-powerhouse running on recycled energy, limiting its ecological footprint to just 4% with virtually zero Carbon emissions.
Arosa is the perfect summer destination with exceptional hiking around the lakes, wild swimming, fly-fishing, horse riding and mountain biking suited for all abilities. Valsana Hotel runs yoga, trail running and hiking retreats, and has its own bike shop and tennis courts on site. Families and couples can learn to sail on Lake Obersee or swing through the trees at the Arosa Rope Park.
Nearby, the Arosa Bear Sanctuary, home to three rescued brown bears, is a conservation protection project in partnership with the animal welfare association FOUR PAWS.
DAS CENTRAL, SÖLDEN, AUSTRIA
The iconic Das Central is a modern Alpine escape in the heart of Sölden, high in the Austrian Alps near the Italian border. In the Ötztal valley, guests can enjoy a range of scenic hiking and biking routes varying from leisurely walks and rides through idyllic pasturelands and alpine lakes to challenging peak conquests and mountain hut tours. Sölden is also home to AREA 47, Europe’s largest adventure park, offering white water rafting, wakeboarding, a high rope course and zipline.
Meanwhile the hotel itself has 125 individually designed rooms, two suites and a lavish presidential suite, as well as a stunning spa with over ten different saunas.
Be sure to stop by Europe’s highest gourmet restaurant, ice Q, at over 3,000m. Famed for its setting in James Bond’s Spectre, the restaurant offers stunning panoramic views across the mountains of Austria, Germany and Italy.
HOTEL SASSONGHER, CORVARA, ITALY
Hotel Sassongher is in the heart of the glamorous town Corvara, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the jewel in the crown of the distinctive Dolomite mountains. Based at the foot of the Sassongher mountain, mornings can be spent running along scenic trails, taking in the panoramic views. After an active day on their feet, guests can unwind in the rooftop jacuzzi and sauna, the latter of which uses infrared to relax muscles and boost the immune system.
Every evening the hotel hosts live entertainment, and guests can enjoy local delicacies in a choice of three traditional Stubes, one of which dates back to the 16th century.
Don’t miss the bee trail between Piz Sorega to Biochem. A third of the world’s food production depends on bees, so to add a fun and educational note to hikes, you can enjoy watching the movement, or ‘dance’ of the bees at five bee stations on an easy hiking path. Each of the stations has a viewing panel and provides information about local flora and fauna growing in the Dolomites.
SCHLOSS ELMAU, BAVARIA, GERMANY
Just 100km south of Munich and 1,000m above sea level, Schloss Elmau features six separate spas, a TCM Health Spa, yoga centre, eight restaurants and a unique Cultural Programme in its legendary concert hall.
Re-energise in the mountains and practice Nordic Walking to Eckbauer with panoramic views of the Alps, jog alongside the rushing Ferchenbach stream, swim in the Geroldsee lake or enjoy white-water rafting on the Loisach River.
Be sure to check out the annual Yoga Summit from 3-8 October led by outstanding teachers, all of whom are leading experts in the most effective yoga disciplines.
ROSA ALPINA, SAN CASSIANO/ST KASSIAN, ITALY
Located in the picturesque village of San Cassiano, Rosa Alpina is the perfect place from which to discover the dramatic mountain ranges in the majestic Dolomites and their diverse landscapes. Jagged peaks, peaceful valleys and idyllic villages are the perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy a summer break. This season Rosa Alpina will offer two extreme mountain sports and rock-climbing retreats, as well as summer cycling on the same route used by the professionals in the Giro d’Italia.
After a day of challenging high-altitude activities, guests can retreat to the hotel’s luxurious glass spa with floor-ceiling windows to enjoy relaxing with panoramic views of the forest, and enjoy a massage using mountain herbs, such as arnica, to soothe muscles.
In typically Italian fashion, gastronomy is key; the hotel’s three Michelin-starred restaurant, St. Hubertus, widely recognised for its commitment to offering sustainable gastronomy, has also been awarded with Michelin’s newest distinction, a green star.
SONNWIES, LUSON/LÜSEN, ITALY
Founded by the Hinteregger family in 1999, Sonnwies has grown organically from a small guesthouse on the owner’s farm to a modern family’s paradise. With 70 fully refurbished rooms, the family-only hotel offers the perfect accommodation for all group sizes. Many of the mountain villas and suites have saunas, hot tubs, fireplaces and private gardens.
A weekly programme is available for families to participate in whichever activities are of interest, from cooking classes, guided hikes, picnics in one of the hotel’s mountain huts, sleepovers in the hay barn and daily wine tastings for the grown-ups.
Children can visit the hotel’s original farm where they can feed the animals and collect their morning eggs from the henhouse, and for a taste of something local, the Hinteregger grandmother teaches guests the art of butter churning and cheese-making in a hands-on class.
TSCHUGGEN GRAND HOTEL, AROSA, SWITZERLAND
The majestic landscape of Arosa offers solace and adventure for an active summer getaway. The therapeutic effect of nature on physical and mental health lies at the heart of this Swiss town, which was first established as a health resort by German doctors in 1883.
Have a go at wild swimming in the lakes, cycle and take a picnic for lunch in the hills and sleep under the stars at the top of the Weisshorn mountain. The iconic Tschuggen Grand Hotel welcomes respite at the end of an active day in the mountains with the 5,000m2 Mario Botta-designed Bergoase Spa and Michelin-starred dining in La Vetta restaurant.
This stunning hotel offers unparalleled views across the valley from its spacious suites as well as a private funicular for taking guests up the Weisshorn, and patrons should be sure to check out the hotel's new ‘Moving Mountain’ concept, a holistic programme to help people rediscover nature.