If staying in a picturesque resort with a warmly welcoming atmosphere is a high priority, Austria will generally come up trumps. Many of its ski resorts have grown up around traditional farming villages with onion-domed churches that benefited from generous long-term grants under the American Marshall Plan for the rebuilding of European economies after World War ll.
Down the generations, hoteliers have grown rich on the tourist harvest, but the cosy hospitality embodied by the German word Gemütlichkeit is very much in evidence.
Austrian resorts are famed for foot-stomping but friendly après that starts on the slopes in the afternoon – traditionally with ski boots on – and continues until the small hours in the most party-orientated resorts. Think everything from convivial times in rustic mountain huts to clashing Steins and schnapps in lively bars.
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