Schloss Velden, Velden $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
A lakeside resort in Carinthia, Austria's southernmost province, Velden could easily have inspired writer Anita Brookner's Hotel du Lac, a novel about life in a genteel and slightly faded Alpine resort. The new Schloss Velden, however, is light-years from the potted palms and fussy high teas that Brookner describes: This ginger-colored Renaissance château with deep balconies has just been brought into the twenty-first century after a top-to-bottom renovation that graced its 105 rooms with such amenities as built-in behind-the-bathroom-mirror televisions and electronic touch-pad light switches. There's also a beach club with a swimming pool, as well as a spacious spa with an indoor pool. All of this modernity hasn't blunted the old-world appeal of the hotelstaff are almost painfully polite, and rooms remain gemütlich nests done up in bronze silk damask, the beds covered with fluffy down duvets. An international crowd comes here for short-break R and R, creating a cosmopolitan vibe that's also reflected on the menu of the hotel's excellent Schlossstern restaurant.2008 Hot List
When to go: May and June offer the weather of the summer season without the high prices or the crowds.
Which room to book: Request a standard double like No. 212 with partial views of the lake, or opt for a deluxe double with the full-on panorama. Avoid the newer annex, which has none of the charm of the original château.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›