When describing the Schmelzhof, you have to mention the hosts. Gitti and Robert Strolz. It is not easy to enter the place without running into one of them. Which is a blessing. Because they are the owners. They are warm and welcoming. And they also live and breathe the philosophy of the house. On a normal winter day you would see Robert walking around in a vintage ski sweater from the well-known Ski Club Arlberg. Gitti directs the action in the lounge both master key and cell phone in her hand.
Speaking of the lounge: To describe it as colorful is probably an understatement. but look again and it’s not only easy on the eyes, it’s also very fitting. And super comfy. Sit down anywhere and enjoy relics from earlier days scattered around or hanging on the walls. The cushions feature the starting numbers of former ski races. The lamps remind you of Paris (Gitti: “I love Paris, we go to Paris every year.”) and the guests are very international and quite well dressed. Something you do not get to see much in other hotels these days.
But the Schmelzhof is located in Lech, which happens to be one of the best and coziest ski resorts in the Alps. Daniel Craig or Kate & William are regulars and mingle with the guests on the slopes. Most of the hotels in Lech are family-run, exclusive and preserved in the traditional Arlberg architecture. You don’t see architectural eye-sores like in Sankt Moritz or Courchevel here.
After the easy check-in and a welcome drink in the blue bar later you move into one of the 44 comfortable rooms. All of them have been recently renovated. The feel? An eclectic atmosphere befitting the rest of the house. But make no mistake, the Schmelzhof is not a hip design place and doesn’t want to be one. The guests are supposed to feel like being at home with the Strolz family. It goes without saying that there are a large number of regular guests here.
We were delighted with everything that was served at the Schmelzhof. In the morning, you get all the trouvailles of a breakfast buffet. Or – in other words: If there is something missing here you won’t find it at the Ritz either. Those who (like us during our visit) like to enjoy a light lunch at noon after skiing will find something in the Bistro menu. The speciality here: SCA pasta, named after the Ski Club Arlberg (SCA), of which host Robert Strolz was president for two decades. (It’s spaghetti with tomato sauce and mozzarella, yummy).
And in the evening, typical local delicacies are served. Here they not only make sure that it tastes delicious, but also that it is presented in the right light, in a comfortable place, on beautiful dishes. All under the supervision of the owners, of course. During our visit we lucked out, fondue was on the menu, each table had its own pot and the ingredients kept coming. Two thumbs up!
On the first floor of the Schmelzhof you find a very generously designed wellness area with sauna, steam bath and relaxation room. You may also treat yourself to a massage or a treatment after skiing — the products here are from St. Barth, so prepare to get pampered.
Those who know Lech: You come up here to ski, because the area is one of the best in Europe (and one of the highest. You can still ski in April). To get to the slopes and gondolas it’s a three minute walk from the house. If you prefer it more quiet, you can walk or take a carriage to the neighboring village of Zug, which has recently developed into a culinary hotspot. Chefs Jakob and Ethel, for example, create a purely regional and organic menu at star level in the Klösterle restaurant.
Once a week, Schmelzhof landlord Robert invites guests to a torchlight hike with a schnapps tasting. Afterwards, the guests mingle at the snow bar at the house and enjoy mulled wine with Leberkäse-Semmel.
The Schmelzhof also rents two large apartments, which are also suitable for larger families and groups. The Gartenlodge with 100sqm (very stylish) and the Arlberg Suite with 145sqm and three bedrooms. All information is available here.
Double rooms from 300 euros per person including breakfast and gourmet dinner.
People who would rather pay a little more for a dreamlike ski vacation than less for an average one.
Booking & Contacts
Open from December until April.