Review: Places Hotel, Obertauern's Buzziest New Ski Resort
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Review: Places Hotel, Obertauern’s Buzziest New Ski Resort

Heading to Obertauern? This is the place to rest your head

Felix Milns checks in to ski resort Places Hotel in Obertauern, which has recently been revamped under the Valamar group.

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Hotel Review: Places Hotel, Obertauern

STAY

Bedroom at Places Hotel, Obertauern

Obertauern is having something of a moment. Renowned as the snow king of Austria, the resort has seen a boom in popularity recently leading to a clutch of new four and five star openings, including the reimagining of Obertauern’s most famous address. The Marietta hotel was where the Beatles stayed when they shot their feature film Help here in 1965, and the hotel hosted the only concert the Beatles ever played in Austria. This season it has been fully refurbished and reopened as a Places Hotel, part of the growing Valamar group, a Croatian hotel collection that now runs three hotels in the resort.

Places hotels are their lifestyle brand and this is the first of its kind in the Alps. It’s young, fun and buzzy, with a strong emphasis on visual design, and ober-word play. Whether you are ober dreaming or ober eating neon sign writing abounds, guests are greeted on first name terms and play complimentary pinball while waiting to check in. The informal staff uniforms are designed by Juraj Zigman, Croatia’s hottest fashion designer, more used to dressing Beyonce than barmen.

Dark Inchryra Blue walls and ceilings, mountain profile upholstered headboards and open shelving give the rooms a cocooning contemporary feel, and the ober-comfy beds are recast as dream playgrounds, with complimentary ‘pleasure boxes’ containing either condoms and lube or ear plugs, two very different kinds of dreamy.

Pool at Places Hotel, Obertauern

DO

Skiing is a given and Obertauern has over 100km of snow-sure slopes laid out in a 360 degree ring around a giant bowl. The hotel has its own rental shop in the basement and the slopes are a 20-metre walk away, right under some giant cut outs of the fab four. Off the slopes the hotel offers plenty too. The entire top floor is given over to one of the most impressive games rooms I have seen, with pool, table tennis, table football, indoor soft play, retro video games, pinball and 10 different 65-inch TV gaming stations, as well as seating areas for cards, Connect 4, chess and board games. Floor to ceiling windows look out over the mountains. For a more zen affair head for the Thai themed spa, pool and large wellness area. The Oberflow pool is a playground for kids; giant flower petal waterproof cushions float in the pool, surrounded by multi-level chill out spaces. In keeping with the hotel vibe and heritage there is either a dj or live music every evening in the famed lobby bar. 

Restaurant at Places Hotel, Obertauern

EAT

The main restaurant serves a fabulous buffet breakfast, with a fresh juicing station, cooked breakfast, freshly sliced meats and all manner of fresh fruits and pastries, with occasional treats such as champagne and oysters. The buffet concept carries in for the evening half-board meal, and the quality and variety is excellent. There is a pizza, pasta and oriental station each evening with different grilled meats and fish, casseroles and daily changing salads and an enormous dessert buffet to finish. 

Ski slopes in Austria

THE LAST WORD

One of the key differences here however is the flexi half board concept. If you decide not to eat in the main restaurant you get €30 credit per person that can be offset against your bar bill, spent in the hotel shop or at the a la carte ‘Obertasty’ restaurant, great for steaks, sushi and classic Austrian fare. So come and channel your mountains spirit of the Beatles in this rather fabulous place.

BOOK IT

Prices start from £218 per room per night with Flexi Half Board, valamar.com

A journey from London to Salzburg by plane (economy, one way) has a carbon footprint of 159kg of CO2e.