24 Hours at the Hotel Central, Sölden
After a picturesque stay at The Cambrian Adelboden in the heart of Switzerland, our tour continued to Austria. More precise, the Tyrol: the origin of Travel Executive. and home of my colleagues Daniel and Thomas. We have passed by the beautiful Swiss scenery, the lovely country of Liechtenstein and continued through the Arlberg Tunnel until we reached the highway exit of Ötztal, the longest side valley in the Tyrol. The capital of this amazing region is Innsbruck: a remarkable city and now definitely on the list of my favourite places - the airport is truly unique itself. Back to Ötztal and its biggest town called Sölden, which recently got famous for being the new hotspot in the Alps and due to hosting the first FIS World Cup race of the season. During these days, Sölden is completely busy with lots of people partying and celebrating the beginning of the winter season.
Thanks to the glacier, accessible from the town, Sölden guarantees an extended ski season from end of September until May. Anyhow it is an all-year destination for ski in winter and hiking and mountain biking in summer. Directly in the center, just slightly off the main street, there is one of the leading properties in the valley and the best hotel of Sölden: the hotel Central. Without big signs indicating the hotel, we took a small and narrow side road and then slightly saw a big building indicating a luxury hotel. We drove in front of the entrance and stopped the car. Then we unpacked the back of the car and made our way towards the front desk. There we were greeted in a friendly way by a lady dressed with an Austrian Dirndl - a typical dress in the alpine area of Austria. We were allocated rooms 226 and 225 in the brand new part of the hotel.
Upon opening the door, we were impressed by the airy and fresh look of the rooms. With lots of wood and local fabrics, you could immediately recognize the location. We were staying in a double room "Vent", measuring 30 square metres plus a balcony with most amazing views of the glacier. The bathroom had a separate toilet area, a single vanity with hotel-branded toiletries plus a walk-in shower. While this might be a perfect place for couples, it is definitely not the best room for same-gender friends on a gents- or girls-getaway due to the window from the shower into the bedroom (and there is not even a curtain). A small sitting area next to the bed is creating a cozy atmosphere inside the room while the two chairs on the balcony ensure the possibility to have a cigar post-dinner. The highlight of the room? Definitely the AMAZINGLY heavenly beds, putting Sheraton or Westin beds in shadows. Maybe it was me being tired or the softness of the bed, I just remember a perfect sleep with such a pure air (I left the window open all night to gather a bit of the alpine air).
After checking out the room and the views, we were ready to discover the gastronomic part of the Central. In general, all their rates are including half board, which means breakfast and 6-course dinner menu. Every room is allocated its own table and we also had the same pair of servers throughout the evening and breakfast which is a lovely touch when you stay for one week. So the staff gets familiar with your habits and can serve you accordingly. The dinner was really nice, with excellent dishes. For starter we had a parfait of beef ham with strawberry cream, followed by fillet of rabbit with pepper jus. I really loved the tender slice of veal fillet along two ravioli. Instead of the dessert we had the cheese selection which was perfect. As we were not in the mood for a full bottle of wine, we went for a wine pairing - definitely nice to get to know the Austrian wine world.
According to Daniel's recommendation we went outside of the hotel post-dinner, but before that we enjoyed a lovely cocktail in the cool looking bar of the hotel Central. Luckily, all clubs are just around the corner and everything is in walking distance. There are really nice clubs in Sölden and I can understand why so many young travellers head to this ski resort. It's really not just about skiing, dining and sleeping. The morning after, Thomas and me enjoyed the vast buffet in the restaurant and had a lovely selection of local products for breakfast. In articular I loved the fresh bread and their butter which is from a local farmer. There is even a live-cooking station where they prepare your eggs in the style you would like to have them.
Before we left for our drive to Innsbruck, we had a quick glimpse into the "Wellness world Venezia" as they use to call it. A wonderfully styled spa with a relaxation room, indoor pool and jacuzzi in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Sölden was waiting for us. Although it looks quite nice, we were missing the exciting part. It is surely perfect for a ski getaway and to recharge your batteries for a few hours after a day on the slopes of the Ötztal valley. At noon we checked out and left the hotel Central. Unfortunately we did not have the chance to visit the hotel's mountain restaurant called Ice Q - a spot of the James Bond movie Spectre.
All in all it was a very comfortable stay in Sölden's best hotel and one of the leading luxury hotels in the Tyrol. The service is charming and helpful, some rooms freshly renovated and very stylish and the location is truly perfect for both: the skiing guest as well as the party tigers.
Niklas and Thomas were generously invited by the Hotel Central Sölden to write about their experience. All above written has not been influenced in any way.