Every January, Kitzbühel in the Austrian Tyrol heaves with winter sports fans and TV crews when it hosts the Hahnenkamm World Cup races. The rest of the season, however, the picturesque medieval town is altogether quieter, a favoured destination for the rich and famous where they go to relax rather than to be seen.
Perched above the town is Hahnenkamm Lodge, whose special brand of laid-back luxury includes personally tailored service for every guest, which starts even before they arrive. “We can arrange collection from the airport, whether that’s Salzburg, Innsbruck or Munich,” says Natacha Hoffman, the owner and General Manager.
“On arrival, guests are greeted with a welcome drink and a snack by the fireside, accompanied by soothing music,” she says. “By the time you arrive, the staff will already have a comprehensive knowledge of your needs and preferences, and are able to make arrangements for every facet of your stay.”
The lodge sits at an altitude of 1,645 metres, only 50 metres away from the start of the Streif, the legendary downhill course on the World Cup circuit. However, before and after the competition the Streif reverts to an intermediate-level family run, and with 53 lifts and 179 km of well-groomed pistes, the Kitzbühel ski area offers first-class skiing for all abilities.
Hahnenkamm Lodge’s five suites can accommodate 12 people and, unlike a hotel, it is designed to be rented by one group at a time. All food, a comprehensive selection of international wines, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages, ski passes and many other comforts are included, and the ski-room door opens straight on to the slopes. “From up here, we can really enjoy nature, and we have a pleasing view over the roofs of Kitzbühel,” says Natacha.
In summer the landscape takes on a different kind of beauty, with 311 miles of hiking trails and 74 miles of mountain bike paths to explore. The lodge has a bar, lounge, fitness area and spa, and the dining room is fully catered. The chef will prepare Austrian and international dishes, according to your specific wishes and requirements.
As well as families and friends, Hahnenkamm Lodge also hosts business groups, who come for workshops, brainstorming, bonding and meetings. “We have all the facilities for business, but we use the dining room and lounge rather than a conference centre, so the atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming,” says Natacha. “People tend to clear their business in the morning, then take to the slopes after lunch.”
A member of staff can be in attendance to serve food and drinks, or, for confidential meetings, on standby close at hand. Hahnenkamm Lodge also provides its guests with a unique experience at sundown. “You sit on the terrace around the fireplace watching the last few skiers going down the hill,” says Natacha. “And then you have this great sense of tranquility. You are totally alone with nature. This combination of being active during the day and this feeling at sunset, with all the endless mountains around you, is amazing.”