Tirol is home to many traditional guesthouses resplendent with colourful frescos and wood-panelled dining rooms. We have selected ten of the best offering hearty food and cosy accommodation.
The Wildschönau in the Kitzbühel Alps is an area that lives up to its name, being both "wild" ("wild") and "schön" ("beautiful"). The smallest and highest village is Thierbach, a picture-perfect settlement with a traditional church spire and tiny primary school educating just 18 children. In the heart of the village you will find the Sollerwirt, a stately guesthouse dating back to the 17th century which has been run by the Moser family for the last 160 years. It is located next to the church and is an excellent startig point for walks into the Kitzbühel Alps. When you get back in the evening, ask for a table in the historic "Speckbacherstube" snug with its wood-panelled walls.
Zams Postgasthof Gemse
The Postgasthof Gemse in Zams is a traditional guesthouse offering everything to be expected at such a location: a majestic building, central location and excellent food. The kitchen is run by the legendary Sepp Haueis. In 1976 the Postgasthof Gemse was given the status of an "Erbhof" by the regional government – an honour reserved for guesthouses which have been owned by the same family for more than 200 years. However, its history dates back even further. Indeed, some historians think the Postgasthif Gemse could be Tirol's oldest guesthouse. The rooms are comfy and cosy, but you will find yourself spending most of your time in the wood-panelled snug – trying out everything on the menu.
St. Johann in Tirol Landhaus Schwarzinger
As they approach the building with its magnificent facade, visitors to the Landhaus Schwarzinger will soon realise that this is more than just an average guesthouse. Situated in St. Johann, it has been run by the same family for many generations. The Trenner family offers guests a warm welcome and cosy accommodation in 13 rooms, each of which has its own style. The grandmother of the current owners was a passionate collector of traditional furniture. Indeed, some regulars book the same room each year!
Alpbach Alpengasthof Roßmoos
The Alpengasthof Roßmoos is known for its excellent food made using produce sourced from the region, including game hunted in local forests by the grandfather of the current owner. The guesthouse is situated 1.5 kilometres from the centre of Alpbach and, like most of the buildings in the valley, has a traditional chocolate-box appearance with a whitewashed ground floor giving way to dark wood on the first floor. This former farmstead with a huge roof and long balconies overlooks the rest of the valley and is a good starting point for walks to Inneralpbach. It dates back to the 13th century.
Reith bei Seefeld Gasthof Hirschen
When Goethe travelled through Reith on his Italian Journey and descended into the Inn Valley, he was left almost speechless by what he saw: "The landscape is indescribably beautiul, and the aroma generated by the warm sun made it a truly wonderful experience." It is likely that Germany's most famous poet passed the Gasthof Hirschen on his travels. It lies at 1130 metres above sea level, at the point where the visitor begins to gently wander down into the Inn Valley below. Even back then, when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe passed through Tirol, it was 255 years old. Once used for food and shelter by merchants, it is today surrounded by lush meadows dotted with grasing cows. The Scholl family has invested much time and work in keeping the guesthouse in beautiful condition. The rooms were recently renovated. And the views are just as spectacular as when Goethe was here.
Hinterriss Gasthof zur Post
The Rißbach river divided the village of Hinterriß in the Karwendel Mountains into two settlements. On the western side the Reindl family settled in 1922 and opened the Gasthof zur Post. Since then the guesthouse has been renovated and updated at regular intervals while at the same time maintaining the original facade. Today it is the fourth generation of the Reindl family which is in charge. The Gasthof zur Post is an excellent place for walkers and hikers in the Karwendel Nature Park to stop off and recharge their batteries. Overnight stays are also possible in the cosy rooms. Facilities include a sauna and a whirlpool. The Gasthof zur Post is known for its excellent food.
Kufstein Gasthof Neuhaus
Hikers and pilgrims in search of peace and quiet (plus some incredible views of the Wilder Kaiser Mountains) take on the steep trail leading up to the Thierberg-Kapelle, a mountain chapel erected in 1280. The shortest and quickest way leads past the Gasthof Neuhaus, a majestic farmstead with intricately decorated wooden balconies as well as an art-deco-style dining room. The guesthouse dates back to 1890 and has been run by the Webhofer family since 1950. Highlights include the delicious poppy seed cake and various fruity tarts. The perfect place to combine a holiday in the mountains with a little urban exploring.
Breitenbach Gasthof Schopper
"Hearty food with head, heart and the courage to try new things." Those are the warm words of praise in the Falstaff restaurant guide about the Gasthof Schopper. For the third year in a row, head chef Bernhard Kammerlander and his team have received an outstanding review from Austria's leading food guide. With its wood-panelled snug, large dining room and sunny garden, the Gasthof Schopper is a wonderful setting for a dining experience to remember. It is also an excellent starting point for exploring the Alpbachtal Valley with its many mountain lakes.
Innsbruck Gasthof Koreth
Once upon a time, the settlement of Mühlau would echo with the sound of the mill and sawmill hard at work powered by the rushing waters of the Mühlauer Bach. It was here that the first electric-powered tram operated. Today, Mühlau is a district of Innsbruck and the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a little rural relaxation. At the same time, Mühlau is just 500 metres as the crow flies from the cable cars that whisk visitors from the city up to 2,000 metres above sea level in just a matter of minutes, giving easy access to the Karwendel Nature Park, the largest nature park in Austria. In the heart of Mühlau you will find the Gasthof Koreth, which dates from the reign of Emperor Maximilian and was built in 1493.
Oetz Gasthof zum Stern
How many feet have stepped inside this wood-panelled snug? Which eyes have admired the frescos on the walls? The Gasthof zum Stern has a long and rich tradition dating back almost a thousand years. It is first mentioned in a document issued by Henry the Lion in 1166. The historic paintings on the walls and intricately decorated furniture was "recently" renovated in 1912. If these walls could speak, they would have many tales to tell about rulers, citizens and workers. The perfect place to travel back in time.