TV Presenter Lisa Cannon Recalls Memories Of Swapping The Sun For A Ski Holiday Fit For Royalty

With 2020 forcing many of us to cancel or put travel plans on hold it’s safe to say we’ll never take the freedom of jumping on a plane and jetting off on holiday for granted ever again. 

With travel temporarily on hold for most and plenty of time to plan (and dream) the big question for 2021 has to be ‘where to next?’ 

To help fuel your wanderlust television presenter Lisa Cannon will be taking a trip down memory lane and sharing some of her favourite holidays with The Style Edit – starting with a skiing trip to the spectacular  Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat in Lech.

During the colder months, many of us like to jet off to warmer climes to get a much-needed sunshine fix. This year though I decided to trade in white sand beaches and margaritas for powder white snow and hot toddies.

We found our snow-covered paradise in Austria which, of course, is a favourite destination of ski and snowboarding enthusiasts far and wide. The Alps offer some of the best skiing conditions in the world. Anyone with experience in snow sports will know how disappointing it can be when you arrive ready for a week of fun on the slopes only to find the snow hard and icy. You needn’t worry about Austria though as you are practically guaranteed snow which stays very powdery even into spring. I found the conditions to be perfect while I was there. I’m certainly not in the running for the next winter Olympics but myself and my husband Richard had some great runs of this trip and the conditions made it so smooth and easy.

Another reason why you should consider Austria for your next ski trip (besides their famous après ski which of course is second to none) is that the level of infrastructure is unrivalled. The country invests millions into the industry every year meaning that the facilities are of the highest calibre. The pistes are always perfectly maintained, the ski lifts and equipment hire facilities are top-notch. And with top of the range snowmaking facilities, you are guaranteed quality snow even when Mother Nature is uncooperative. 

Of course one of the main draws to Austria are the resorts which retain that quaint traditional charm of the old world. And our resort of choice was exactly that. When we arrived at Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat in Lech my jaw hit the floor; it was like something from a fairy tale. The immaculate wood cabin looked so cosy and inviting nestled in the snow but even though I wanted to run inside and explore I had to pause outside for a moment. I was taken aback by how stunning our surroundings were. Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat is located right in the heart of the Lech Alps. After the stress of Christmas and a hectic start to the new year, I felt so at peace breathing in the fresh air and taking in the natural beauty of the mountains around me. There is nothing quite like fresh alpine air. It is the most invigorating force I’ve ever come across. Then after a few minutes basking in the alpine wilderness, I was ready to get inside and warm up! 

The interior of the hotel did not disappoint. I feel like ‘cosy’ will be a word I’m going to use a lot in this article. It was so warm and cosy inside, made only warmer by the friendly greeting we received from the staff. 

We hurried up to the room which was absolutely stunning. The furnishings are rustic yet contemporary, a perfect blend of that traditional alpine fairy tale with sleek modern luxury. All the rooms are decorated with the highest quality furnishings from the Italian label Minotti, box-spring beds by Wittmann that felt like sleeping on a cloud. I was so struck by how beautiful the room was that I almost missed the welcome bottle of champagne that was left for us. I couldn’t wait to pop it open and enjoy a glass by the fire. Yes, we had a fireplace. It couldn’t have been cosier. The real highlight of the rooms has to be the incredible views of the mountain scenery. There is nothing more enchanting than sitting out on your balcony with a glass of champagne or a coffee (they have Nespresso machines in the rooms too!) looking out at the absolute majesty of the Alps. 

Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat has a selection of nine luxury suites and one two story  ‘Residence’. The suites range from 47 to 67 m² in size and include Junior suites, Family suites and Senior suites. The family suites have the cutest little wooden bunk beds if you’re travelling with kids. The crowning glory of the resort is The Residence, a sprawling abode that spans 423 m² and can accommodate eight people! This would be an amazing idea for the ultimate hen or stag party or getaway for the whole crew. The residence even has a private cinema! As a movie lover I, of course, could see myself snuggled up for a cosy night in with my favourite films – maybe next time! While not all the rooms come with a private cinema they do all come with top of the line televisions from Loewe and sound systems from Revox sound systems. They have iPads built into the walls for controlling the multimedia and lighting. So cool!

The ski resort of Lech Zürs is truly a mecca for a ski enthusiast. With 305 km of pristine slopes more than 200 km of which are deep-snow descents, you’ll never get bored of the fabulous runs.

I could honestly stay in the room for days and days and never want to leave but as Lech is located in Arlberg – one of the world’s finest skiing areas – I was itching to get out on the slopes. The ski resort of Lech Zürs is truly a mecca for a ski enthusiast. With 305 km of pristine slopes more than 200 km of which are deep-snow descents, you’ll never get bored of the fabulous runs. If you’re new to snow sports then fear not, Lech Zurs is home to a variety of professionally managed ski schools. And I as I mentioned before, you are practically guaranteed perfect conditions. Lech Zur has altitude differences ranging from 1,450 to 2,811 metres and with 88 lifts and cable cars you can count being able to find a glorious ski run to suit your level of experience. Severin*s is not a ‘ski-up’ hotel but it does offer Shuttle transfer by arrangement to one of the ski lifts in Lech, your gateway to some of the best ski runs in the world. 

Anyone who has been skiing before knows that it’s a pretty serious workout. To heal our achy bodies after a day on the slopes we made use of the divine wellness spa at Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat. The indoor pool was ideal to soak our muscles in. And of course, what better way to warm up after a day in the snow than by lounging in a traditional Finnish sauna, an infrared cabin or a steam bath? Severin*s truly has it all. 

Feeling both invigorated from a day of skiing and utterly relaxed from the wellness spa, we would practically float down to the restaurant for dinner in the evenings. In a word, I would describe the restaurant at the hotel as ‘heavenly’. The food was not only delicious but also extremely creative, and elegant. The food on offer is an innovative fusion of traditional Austrian and modernist global cuisines. I’m a lifelong foodie and one thing I love to do when I travel is to make sure I get to try truly local produce. At Severin*s, head chef, Kevin Szalai and his team take great care to showcase fresh, local produce in their stunning dishes. You could choose anything from the delightful and varied a la carte menu and you would never be disappointed. However, I would have to recommend treating yourself to the ‘Menu Alpine, a tasting menu put together by the genius Kevin Szalai and his team. You can choose between having 4, 5 or 6 courses and you have the option to add wine pairings at an additional cost. Each dish is a surprise (although they do of course take note any dietary preferences or allergies) but what isn’t a surprise is how outstanding each course is. I was blown away. 

Our time Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat flew by all too fast. Of all the hotels I’ve stayed in this one really stands out as such a unique experience. The fact that the hotel only has nine suits made it feel so exclusive. We felt like royalty on this trip and a big part of that was the stellar service provided the staff at the hotel. They made us feel so welcome and special and helped make this the ski trip of a lifetime. So consider skipping your next beach holiday and escape to the snow instead. You won’t regret it.  

FACT BOX:
Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat
https://www.severins-lech.at
Prices start from 690 euros per night based on double occupancy
Internet
Free WiFi in all parts of the hotel
Parking
One space per suite in heated basement car park
Transfer
Shuttle (for a fee) from and to the railway station of Langen am Arlberg (about 16 km) or St. Anton (about 22 km) and to the ski lifts (free)
Zur Lech Ski Resort Info:
https://www.lechzuers.com/en/

***Please check FCO advice and the latest travel quarantine rules  before travelling***

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