Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
Charming boutique in a historic Austrian-style building
In a historic, Austrian-style building in the center of Vail Village, the Austria Haus feels like a blend of mountain lodge with a European twist, craftsman-style home, and rustic Spanish villa. Its stucco walls, tile floors, and arched doorways point to the European influence, while the leather chairs, wood-burning fireplaces, and dark wood accents remind you that you're in the mountains in Vail.
In the heart of Vail Village, a stone’s throw from the lifts
Right in the heart of Vail Village, the Austria Haus is accessible from the the town's main drag, Gore Creek Drive (a charming cobblestone street lined with shops and restaurants). Some of the room balconies face the Village.
Perhaps the biggest perk of staying at the Austria Haus is its proximity to the slopes. The Vista Bahn lift is a mere hundred yards from the hotel, making skiing easy -- or at least the getting up the slopes part.
The 25 rooms at the Austria exemplify craftsmanship and simplicity, with antique carved wood doors, understated real wood furniture, and simple homey decor. You'll find plush robes, humidifiers and fans, and in some rooms, fireplaces, and balconies with views of the mountain or the calming Gore Stream.
Rooms also feature exposed wood beams and warm colors -- red throws on the plush, white bedding, off-white walls, brown carpets and chairs. Bathrooms, which were upgraded in 2011, have marble tile and -- most impressively -- heated floors. Some have deep soaking tubs. Only the showerheads could still use an update.
Austria Haus is an older property with only 25 rooms, so don't expect the features of a larger hotel. There's not much on-site -- just a cramped, lackluster fitness center, a library/business center, and a tiny outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.
The pool does have a beautiful view of the stream, but it's small, even for a hotel with so few rooms. Luckily, because the same company manages the Austria Haus as The Lodge at Vail (and because the hotels are vey close to each other) the Austria Haus is allowed full use of The Lodge's amenities, including its two outdoor pools, six Jacuzzis and 11-room spa. This access makes the Austria Haus a much better deal for the money than it would be otherwise -- if you're willing to walk the extra hundred yards.
A free breakfast buffet, but no full restaurant
While the Austria Haus offers a free breakfast buffet to guests (which includes hot and cold breakfast staples), there is no full restaurant. However, it's a short walk to The Lodge at Vail's Cucina Rustica and Elway's.
This 25-room upper-middle-range boutique offers solid value, with homey rooms featuring rustic touches (such as wood beams and sturdy wood doors) and marble bathrooms with heated floors. While there aren't a lot of on-site amenities, guests get free access to The Lodge at Vail's spa, pools, and Jacuzzis, which are worth the short walk. The hotel's most notable asset may be its great central location in Vail Village square, close to the Vista Bahn ski lift.