The direct flights to Innsbruck from London were not running yet, but as eager as we were we opted for a flight to Munich to hire a car to venture off into the mountains.
We made it up to Solden in one piece and located Das Central just off the main drag through the centre of Solden. Despite being around for a while Das Central has had a makeover in 2015 to bring it into the 21st century. This renovation is quite apparent from when one first enters the spacious, modern reception to walking down the corridors to the rooms. Our Otztal Junior Suite had the same modern feel, with clean smooth wood interiors and furniture, simple fabrics and the bathroom echoed the same quality with rain shower, big bath plus twin sinks. Sadly the Wifi did not seem to work, but perhaps that was just teething problems. The Bar seems to have several areas all with very different interior styles, from modern to the more classic hunters lodge style lounge.
Having arrived quite late, we changed for dinner and made our way to the main Feinspitz Restaurant. This part of the hotel feels very different from the rest, with its classic Austrian charm, wooden paneling floor and ceiling, beautifully set tables and a large buffet area used for dinner and breakfast. The waiting staff were second to none and we were looked after from start to finish under the watchful eye of Saskia and Mario the Maitre’D. We looked forward to every evening meal with anticipation. The food was fantastic with a 5-course gourmet menu for two of the nights with such courses as veal carpaccio and tartare, oxtail bouillon, turbot and risotto with pepper ribbons, Chamois with bacon and potatoes and the amazing sorbet selection of chervil, basil and mint with dill. The salad bar and buffet area was possibly one of the largest I have experienced with countless cheeses and a phenomenal dessert extravaganza that beggars belief.
We were also lucky enough to experience the fabulous 6-course Gala evening with the most tender duck, local Char, palate cleanser Tangerine sorbet with sparkling wine followed by three types of beef, a choice of cheeses and then Baked Chocolate Praline. It goes without saying that this would not be an Alpine trip without the novelty Fondue in the Wine cellar, just thinking about the meat fondue and chocolate fondue is making my mouth water as I sit and type! The Wine Cellar had a very old world feel, what with the waitresses dressed in the classic Tyrolean Dirndl we could have been dining in the 18th century.
Breakfasts were a buffet delight on a grand scale, with a plethora of local produce, an Organic corner, breads as far as the eye could see plus every style of egg dish prepared on demand. It really is the perfect place to fuel up for the antics of the day. I can easily say that you will not be disappointed with the culinary creations emerging from the Das Central kitchens under Head Chef Gottfried Prantl. His food is inventive and exciting, but he still manages to keep hold of the classic Tyrolean roots of many of these dishes.
After the first day of skiing in the Solden mountains it was time to experience the Spa area. The Spa seems to be a labyrinth built over 3 floors covering 1,500m². It has ten different types of sauna and steam room plus my favourite ice room. The spa also has a large 16 room wellness and treatment area with a large gym too. It really is a great place to unwind after a day on the mountain whether to soak your muscles in the heat, the cold or pummel them in the jacuzzi you will be stuck for choice. My personal choice was to jump between one of the hot saunas and the Ice Grotto, great for jump starting the immune system. The full body massage is definitely worth experiencing… as usual I fell asleep.
The hotel has 103 rooms and 18 suites. The hotel went through some major renovations during 2015 and was still having the final touches put in place when we visited in late November. Apparently, each room has its own individual style from elegant Provencal, English country home style to modern or rustic Tyrolean. The room we stayed in was modern and very comfortable but I have to say that I slightly missed the cosy Tyrolean atmosphere that I have come to know and love. I am glad that the hotel has been through these renovation and all the different areas of the hotel are lovely In their own right, but sometimes the interior design across the hotel seems to be a little in-congruent, perhaps there is more work to be done to finally bring the whole look together.
One of the key strengths of Das Central are the staff who are always willing to help, from the waiting staff to the kitchen staff and the girls behind reception, they are continuously ready to go one step further. Whether tweaking the menu for special culinary requests or researching your latest request for information the staff make one feel like a 5 star guest.