sky with mountains, snow, trees, and lights

The drama of Lech by night. Main photograph by Isabella Sheherazade Sanai

High in the Arlberg ski region, the bijoux village of Lech has attracted royalty and aristocracy to its slopes for a century. We visit the contemporary hyphen chic Hotel Aurelio, in the middle of the slopes, and the classic Hotel Gasthof Post in the village centre to experience a unique mix of tradition, gastronomy, style, and high-quality skiing

In the far north of Austria, in an open valley leading ultimately to Germany’s Bavarian Alps, the village resort of Lech is in many ways the antithesis of some of certain Alpine resorts favoured by the rich and famous. The sublime little village, with a river running through it and views to a bowl of mountains all around, is chic in an old-world, old-money way. This is where you come when you don’t need to see or be seen.

outdoor pool with snow around it and wooden houses in background

The heated pool at the Hotel Gasthof Post

Even the luxury hotels are understated. The Hotel Gasthof Post, in the village centre, was a posthouse, convenience store and mountain inn; it was acquired in the middle of the 20th century by a family of skiers and mountaineers and formed a central part of Lech’s ascendance to a place where royals went to (not) be seen. There is something very rebalancing about sitting in your wood-panelled room and looking out over the snowfields.

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Our other proposal for Lech is the Aurelio, a classical-contemporary ski-in, ski-out boutique property on the lower part of the main slope down into the village. The artistry of the design is evident in every detail, from the experience showers and herbal baths in the spa, to the photography of the ski slopes – think Martin Parr for the mountains – on display in the public areas. The prominence of photography continues in the rooms, along with light, natural woods, locally crafted furniture and neutral tones in the furnishings.

interior shot with chandelier, light brown furniture and wooden bannisters

Classical-contemporary elegance at the Aurelio

We also like the focus on sustainability in the kitchen, with local ingredients and presentation that is an art in itself.

food steaming with fork and spoon on right

Locally produced cuisine at the Aurelio

The bar/lounge is coolly discreet, and the terrace sees skiers land (sometimes literally) for an end-of-day martini.

Read more: The serene beauty of little-known Alpine resort Drei Zinnen

The skiing in Lech is beautiful, and new connections allow a tour over to the equally upmarket mini-village of Zürs up the road, and over to the much busier slopes of St Anton, across the mountains, though we’re not really sure why you’d want to do that. Just make sure you leave your bling at home: this is not that kind of place, darling. Now tell us, how old were you when you found out that you’re next in line to the throne?

Find out more: postlech.com; aureliolech.com

houses in line covered in snow

Picture-postcard Lech by day

This article first appeared in the Autumn/Winter 2022/23 issue of LUX