Sea and sand holidays are wonderful, but some of us feel more at home in the crisp mountain air. We’ve hand-picked this selection of mountain hotels in Europe to suit lovers of tranquil lakes, fresh-air adventures, and culture that captures the imagination.
1. Waldhaus Sils: St Moritz, Switzerland
Opened in 1908 and still owned by the same family, the legendary five-star Waldhaus Sils has played host to everyone from Albert Einstein to David Bowie. Just outside of St Moritz, its rooms are windows to diverse and majestic views: watch dawn break over Lake Silvaplana or the sun lower its head into the Fex Valley to the south. After a day of fresh-air fun exploring forests, lakes and mountains, step inside a temple of tranquility at Waldhaus Spa. If you have time, try and catch Felix Dietrich (father of hosts Claudio and Patrick and Waldhaus host for three decades) for one of his mesmerising stories.
2. Hotel Alte Goste: Puster Valley, Italy
The Dolomites are the poster boy of European mountain holidays. And if you want to match them up with the creme-de-la-creme of mountain hotels in Europe, set your compass for Hotel Alte Goste in South Tyrol. First mentioned in 1142, the serene stay harmoniously blends history and modernity. Guests’ favourite spots are the enchanting spa – inviting you in with steam, hay and herbal baths – and the idyllic garden, where you can linger and savour the postcard-worthy views.
3. Kurhaus Bergün: Bergün, Switzerland
Meet some of Switzerland’s loveliest mountains at Kurhaus Bergün. This Art Nouveau building dates back to 1906, when it was a wellness hotel. Following a stunning renovation in 2002, the unique property is once again a magnificent sanctuary for lovers of revitalising mountain air, creative cuisine and grand architecture. From the blue ballroom to the original canteen kitchen, this is one of the best mountain hotels in Europe for interior buffs – it’s even won awards for its unusual collection of Art Nouveau light fittings.
4. Hotel Royal Palace: Turčianske Teplice, Slovakia
Sublimely beautiful, steeped in history and wonderfully removed from day-to-day life, Hotel Royal Palace is Slovakia its most gorgeous. This is one of the most luxurious mountain hotels in Europe, located on 13th-century thermal springs once enjoyed by Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg and Duke Maximilian of Habsburg. Today, this healing mineral spring forms part of the astonishing Royal Bath – a special rarity of a Slovak spa. After a bath, treat yourself to a royal massage, hydrotherapy, thermotherapy, or other wellness treatment. Another unique speciality: Royal Palace is the only hotel in the world to offer a procedure using 24-carat gold.
5. Rubezahl-Marienbad Castle Hotel & Golf: Marienbad, Czech Republic
Rubezahl-Marienbad Castle Hotel & Golf, built in 1903, is one of the most legendary mountain hotels in Europe, thousands of metres up up on the shoulders of Slavkovsky forest, in a luscious area for hiking. You’ll be staying within the charming spa town of Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad), which has been flocked to for centuries for its natural healing mineral springs. As well as its stress-melting services, mouthful-savouring gastronomy and extravagant ballroom hall, this West Bohemian beauty is also something of a fairytale – legend has it that the magical spirit of mountain guardian Rubezahl can make all your wishes come true. The gentle giant still stands in the castle grounds today, waiting to hear your dreams.
6. Fossheim Hotell: Oppland, Norway
With azure window frames that match the valley-hugging lakes surrounding it, Fossheim Hotell looks like something from a Pinterest board. But photographs could never do it justice – these characterful log houses are built according to age-old traditions, decorated with art, antiques and roaring fires that create a rustic and homely atmosphere. Your host is the warm and welcoming wine connoisseur Svein Garmo, who has gone above and beyond to take uniquely Norwegian traditions to new heights. After a day hiking heavenly landscapes, tuck into local, seasonal food – which is worth the trip to Fossheim alone.