There are those who love skiing and there are others who prefer the perks of attending a ski trip. Of course, I’m referring to Après Ski, the moment you jump off the slopes and migrate to the mountain’s social shenanigans for warmth, food and conversation. If you happen to enjoy both activities, then that’s always a bonus, but there’s certainly no pressure in Sölden to be on par with an
Lisa Haynes gives us our must-pack ski edit for a weekend in Solden.
Stay: Das Central Hotel
Das Central Hotel is the only 5-star hotel in Sölden, boasting a spectacular Venetian-themed spa. The 125 suites are individually designed but are equal in Alpine charm. There’s plenty to do in the hotel grounds, including a 50-minute massage to end all woes. Linger over to the hotel bar for a midday cocktail, because you can, or waft on over to the lounge area for a peaceful read with a view. Whether you’re out on the slopes all day or enjoying the hotel’s various gourmet restaurants, the sensation of warmth, casual luxury and comfort will have you feeling eternally relaxed.
Double rooms start from €200 per person, per night, based on two people sharing on a half board basis. Website
The ski area in Solden is ideal for beginners and improving intermediates. The thrilling scenery and majestic views will have you yearning to reach higher and higher in the Alps, especially owed to the speckles of sun that sparkle on the snow-capped peaks. The fastest and sturdiest cable cars in the world, Giggijochbahn and the Gaislachkoglbahn, are at hand to carry you above and beyond the perfectly powdered slopes to a wide range of pistes.
On the way to Das Central Hotel from Innsbruck airport, a picturesque ride that winds around the rolling hills, you’ll come across what appears to be three gigantic steamy flying saucers. These flying saucers are in fact outdoor pools perched high above the ground, perfectly positioned between a mix of virescent and snowy mountains that enclose the area without being claustrophobic. Mountain peaks poke out behind each other in the distance like eager ears. By night, the backdrop fades. Peace at long last.
Wein am Berg
If you manage to visit Sölden in April, then you’ll be in for a treat. Wein am Berg is Sölden’s annual wine festival, attracting gourmet lovers, wine growers and renowned top chefs from all over Austria and Europe to celebrate delectation in its finest form. Taking place in Das Central Hotel, the festival is devoted to the art of winemaking and the pleasures of wine pairing, when you manage to get it right. Burgenland winegrowers, known for their innovative growing techniques, will be returning this year to offer their expertise. There’s also the opportunity to learn all about Pino 3000, a bold red that is matured in wooden barrels in Sölden at 3,048 metres altitude, where it supposedly tastes its best. The event will be taking place between the 25th – 28th April 2019, so save the date.
Electric Mountain Festival
It’s all in the name: Electric Mountain Festival is a party high in the spectacular Austrian mountains featuring world-class international DJs. For two full days, expect a combination of energetic skiing and non-stop dancing atop the Ötztal mountain and amid the stunning Alpine scenery. Anyone who happens to enjoy Electronic Dance Music, skiing and a bit of an adrenaline rush will be thrilled to find that all three coexist here in Austria. The festival dates run between the 4th April – 5th April 2019. Admission to the concerts is free for holders of a valid Sölden day ski pass. Grab your tickets here.
Eat: ice Q
Framed by the Alps, ice Q can be found at an altitude of more than 3,000m, an ethereal glass-walled restaurant nestled in the Ötztal Alps. The Tyrolean architect, Johann Obermoser, was inspired by the idea of a crystal sculpture, which is reminiscent of stacked blocks of ice. Take a generous glass of Pino 3000 to the roof terrace that overlooks shimmering glaciers, before reverting back to the dining area decorated in dozens of Tom Dixon Void copper pendant lights. The menu is creative but uncomplicated; beef tartare with mushroom truffle puree and pumpkin risotto served with truffle foam are some standout examples. There’s vegetarian caviar too and the killer desserts include traditional Austrian strudel quite unlike any other.
(www.iceq.at/en / +43 664 96 09 368 )
Main courses from €24, open 09:00 – 16:00
See: 007 Elements
While you’re 3,000m above sea level, it’s definitely worth popping over to 007 ELEMENTS, a cinematic installation unearthing the very best Bond moments of all time. It’s no secret that ice Q was featured in Spectre, and it’s quite something seeing the building completely transformed and used for mischief in the movie. The installation plays with your senses, mixing video clips and interactive “spy” activities to (re)conjure childhood dreams of becoming a real-life spy. Or better: a Bond girl.
How To Get There
Fly into Innsbruck Airport (1hr – 1hr30min Transfer) or Munich Airport (3ht – 3hr30min Transfer)