You know that feeling you get when you first arrive at a faraway destination and the sheer beauty makes you suck in your breath. Kitzbühel, Austria is like that. Arriving at the train station, you’re welcomed by the sound of cow bells from a family of dairy cows grazing by the tracks. Ten minutes away on the outskirts of town, the luxurious 82-room Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel Golf & Ski Resort sits atop a hilly plateau looking down over the heavily forested valley. On either side, long meadows scale up the parallel mountain ridges disappearing into the clouds. The resort opened in 2009; the golf course has been here for over 10 years.
The main selling point is the incredible sense of bliss you feel from the moment you walk in. This is one of the most luxurious resorts in the Tirol region, but the staff and overall experience is exceedingly warm, welcoming and completely lacking of any pretense. For an amazing European alpine incentive program, we kept hearing about Kitzbühel. So we checked in with the DMO and this is the hotel they recommended for U.S. groups.
Everywhere inside Grand Tirolia is designed with natural woods, stone and large windows framing the spectacular scenery. The vibe is upscale, modern and immensely comfortable. Just off the lobby, the main lounge is a great meeting spot for apres ski and pre/post dinner cocktails. Or jause, a traditional Tyrolian afternoon snack served from 4-5. You’ll feel comfortable here wearing anything from ski tights to Tori Burch.
There are two restaurants located close to the lobby. The main Eichenheim Restaurant serves a bountiful breakfast buffet, 4-course dinners and lavish fondue arrangements. Love the two walls with floor-to-ceiling windows and beautiful views of the golf course and mountain backdrop. Try the lacquered sucking pig from Salzburg with caraway sauce, caramelized Bavarian cabbage and pommes macaire. Private seating is available for 60 pax.
The fine-dining restaurant is the 50-seat Petite Tyrolia with vaulted beam ceilings, wood floors and candles/flowers on the white tablecloths. The menu is Austrian/Asian fusion cuisine complemented with over 600 labels in the wine cellar. Petite Tyrolia has a separate entrance and private dining for 16.
The rooms are a big highlight at Grand Tirolia due to their woodsy-luxe ambience, large bathrooms, tartan rugs, plank floors and fantastic balconies with killer views of the valley. There are seven categories and 18 suites. Above is a Double Room Deluxe.
The bathrooms share the same natural wood and clean alpine look as the rest of the hotel. Showers tend to last longer than usual here.
The 2-story Presidential Suite is one of the largest accommodations in the Austrian Alps. With its long wood table seating 12, cool fireplace, bear rug and a 500-sf terrace, it’s also popular for small group gatherings and VIP dinners.
The 16,000-sf Grand Alps Spa will blow you away. This is a destination wellness center with 11 spa cabins (with showers), seven different saunas, two cosmetic suites, reception area waterfall, long fireplace, yoga room and amazing indoor/outdoor pools.
Located on-property, the 18-hole, championship Eichenheim Golf Course will buckle your knees with its beauty. It is not easy by any stretch and the ridiculously beautiful scenery doesn’t exactly help you focus on your golf game. This winter, Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel just opened a large new ski/golf facility opposite the port cochere. The venue encompasses an advanced golf instruction school, a great ski/golf shop and the Golf Bistro with outdoor seating in summer overlooking the fairways.
Kitzbühel, of course, is one of the world’s top 10 ski resorts. The main ski areas are Hahnenkammbahn and Hornbahn in Kitzbühel, and Wagstatt in nearby Jochberg. Grand Tirolia offers free shuttle service to all three sites.
So come to Kitzbühel. It’s five hours by train from Vienna if you’re combining a split program with Salzburg. Most groups fly to Innsbruck and then take the short train ride into Kitzbühel. Tradition is important here. Men and women still wear lederhosen at night to attend special functions, like a brass band orchestra playing Austrian music in the town square while we were here.
The center of Kitzbühel consists of two winding pedestrian streets rimmed with medieval churches and high-end fashion boutiques. People walk everywhere between stops at the many relaxed cafes and restaurants, like Chizzo for paprikaschnitzel with spätzle. We get around a fair amount here at Prevue. But after almost five years, this is easily one of the most beautiful and ultra feel-good places we’ve ever visited.