Cutting-edge designer hotel opens. In where?

7th January 2009, by Chris Gill

Austria is the home of the neat-but-plain guest-house, with traditional decor that’s all too often a bit drab. But at the same time it is up with the leaders in opening razor-sharp designer restaurants, hotels and other stuff. This is not entirely surprising in resorts like St Anton and Ischgl, catering to sophisticated international tastes. But in Mellau? In where?

OK this isn’t strictly news - the place opened just in time for Christmas - but your editors have just checked in to a hotel in a quiet valley village in the extreme north-west of Austria that for designer style bears comparison with anything, anywhere. Everything is rectangular, obviously. Smooth but not too shiny, obviously. A shade of brown, obviously (with the occasional bit of red).

Mellau is in the beautiful and exceptionally snowy part of Vorarlberg called Bregenzerwald - the forest of Bregenz, an affluent town on the shore of the Bodensee where Austria, Switzerland and Germany meet. Dave and Chris are revisiting the area’s little village resorts after too long an absence, and will be filing more reports during the week ahead.

And the hotel? It’s called Sonne Lifestyle Resort. (Sorry about that.) On the plus side: a seriously good restaurant, and rooms that are painfully up to the minute, even down to the shower-not-really-separate-from-the-bedroom thing.

Hotel Sonne

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