Austria Haus Hotel - Vail, Colorado - small Alps-inspired hotel in the Colorado mountains

As the name suggests, the Austria Haus Hotel has a distinctly European ambience to it and visitors might be forgiven for thinking that they are in the Alps, rather than the Rockies. It's a small hotel with just 25 rooms; all of these, as well as the public areas are comfortable and lavishly decorated and feature such touches as vaulted ceilings, natural wood and artwork.

There are several different types of room at the hotel, ranging in size from 270 to 600 square feet. All rooms feature extras such as Bose radios and DVD players; some rooms offer balconies which have spectacular views of the mountains, while others boast cozy gas-log fireplaces. The hotel also assesses a resort fee of $30 per room per day, which covers such extras as internet access and parking, as well as a voluntary fee of $1 per night, which goes towards protecting the White River National Forest, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation.

After a day of skiing, hotel guests can relax in the comfortable surroundings of the Lobby Lounge. The hotel doesn't have its own restaurant, although there are plenty of places to eat within walking distance and guests also enjoy charge privileges in the Lodge of Vail's several restaurants. In keeping with its European atmosphere, the hotel serves guests a continental breakfast each morning. The buffet style meal includes a selection of meats, cheeses, bread, and rolls.

For visitors not interested in skiing, the hotel offers plenty of other amenities, including a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, a well-stocked fitness center, and an on-site library. The hotel's concierge can help not only with skiing and other winter sports, but also with anything from arranging a babysitter to booking tennis lessons. Hotel guests also enjoy preferred tee times at the Red Sky golf club, which was recently voted the best mountain golf club in Colorado, as well as one of the best public courses in the country.

Of course, most of the guests at the Austria Haus come for the chance to enjoy some of the finest skiing in North America. Vail is consistently voted the country's best ski resort and offers more skiing options for both experts and beginners than many other resorts. Easy access to the extensive system of ski slopes is provided by the Vista Bahn chairlift, a short walk from the hotel. Guests of the hotel can also enjoy complimentary slopeside ski storage during their stay.

The hotel has a convenient location right in the center of Vail and is located on the banks of the Gore Creek. The center of the town is pedestrianized, making it easy to get around and there is a good selection of restaurants, bars and shops within walking distance, as well as the town's famous covered bridge. The closest airport to the Austria Haus is Eagle/Vail, which is about a 45 minute drive from the hotel; Denver International Airport is about a two hour drive. The hotel can arrange shuttle service to and from both airports.

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