Lech, Austria

Photo: Hotel Arlberg Lech

How does one more ski trip sound? Yes, this year. It may be spring, but there’s still snow on the mountains—with more in the forecast. So while most people are thinking about baseball and Easter, you could have the slopes all to yourself.

Arlberg is the perfect place to end the ski season. The mountain range, in the Central Eastern Alps, is known as the birthplace of modern alpine skiing. It’s one of the snowiest areas in the entire Alps range. Plus it’s home to the largest connected ski area—encompassing 190 miles worth of trails and 87 cable cars and lifts—in Austria. Sure, you might see some green patches in the lower elevations. But once you leave the little villages, there’s still a lot of deep powder higher up. Skiing will continue until April 23rd.

Your sights are set on Lech, a charming village along the river of the same name. There are chalet-style houses, a 14th-century Gothic church, and a historic house—showing what life was like in the area before the ski resorts were built—in the center of town. Snow-covered mountains are in every direction. While a ski-in/ski-out hotel offers a warm spa, a bar with a fireplace, and even a sun terrace after you ski.

Photo: Hotel Arlberg Lech

Those aren’t the only reasons to stay at Hotel Arlberg Lech, though. You find that the rest of the family-run hotel is just as cozy, when you arrive on a ski coach from Zürich. Soft fabrics, antlers, and reindeer figurines are common themes throughout the hotel. Your junior suite has a hardwood floor, furniture that you sink into, and candles in addition to dim lighting. There’s a south-facing balcony and a modern bathroom with fluffy robes and slippers, as well.

The hotel also features La Fenice, an elegant Italian restaurant with red-velvet chairs, and Stube, a traditional Austrian restaurant that serves bubbling fondue. The wine cellar is stocked with Grüner Vetliners, Rieslings, and Blaufränkisches from the eastern side of the country. While an extensive breakfast buffet—just ask if you’re craving something in particular—will fortify you before a long day on the slopes.

But back to all the après-ski stuff. After your last run of the day, ski into the downstairs ski room, where your gear will dry out overnight. Sip a glass of wine on the terrace, while the sun is still bright and warm. Head inside to the bar and its fireplace, to trade stories from the day’s adventures, when it starts to get chilly. Then move to Senses Spa to relax in the indoor pool, the outdoor jacuzzi, or the Finnish sauna before dinner. You need to make sure you’re loose for your first run in the morning—especially since the trails will be empty.

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