The name is Q, Ice-Q. Majestically overlooking the resort of Solden, high in the Austrian Oetztal Alps, is this ultra modern mountain restaurant, famously a major location in the recent filming of Spectre, the latest film in the Bond franchise.
Ice-Q also sits atop a highly impressive recent gondola, the Gaislachkoglbahn, as well as being just a short distance from another major new lift, the Giggijochbahn. It also stands as a powerful symbol for these recent multi-million euro developments. Solden is sending out a big message out to the ski world – this is a resort that aims to be a major player over the coming years.
Fittingly, in the resort centre, Vaya Fine Living Resorts has joined the party with the opening this year of the Vaya Solden – a spectacular new hotel with a stunning design, one of a series planned for many of Austria’s major ski resorts.
Cleverly using its triangular footprint the architects have created a building that looks perhaps more like a futuristic ship than a hotel. Set over five levels the glazed wrap-around balconies provide the marine look whilst bronze metal combined with wood cladding give a pared back industrial appearance.
The theme continues indoors with plenty of bare metal, glass and steel with a warmth and comfort supplied by parallel lengths of natural birch log, roughly hewn wood and natural stone floors. It is all supplemented by discrete and atmospheric lighting.
Most of the ground floor is occupied by a very pleasant dining area where recycled wood tables are matched with comfortable chairs upholstered in leather or heavy fabric. It surrounds a long bar that matches the shape of the building – an excellent spot for an apres ski beer or cocktail that offers an stylish, upmarket alternative to some of the rowdier joints available in town.
The restaurant meanwhile has an eclectic menu of nicely presented, although very straightforward, options: steaks, schnitzel, baked potatoes, burgers and spaghetti were all on a modest menu. However, would much more inventive and healthy offerings be a better fit for such a special environment?
The design theme continues upstairs in the wonderfully atmospheric rooms and suites. The recycled woods and heavy fabrics are supplemented by top quality beds and linens. Wooden floors provide a warm ‘mountain chalet’ feeling.
Bathrooms are attractive – cream or dark-tiled with wood trim – and have either baths or showers and excellent quality fittings. Towels, slippers, robes and toiletries are again all fine quality.
A significant extra bonus is that all rooms open out out via big floor-to-ceiling windows on to an extensive balcony with excellent views. A well presented and better than average breakfast buffet is included in the room rate and is served in the ground floor restaurant.
Last but not least the Vaya Spa Panorama Heaven occupies the top floor of the hotel. The reclaimed wood and panoramic windows set a wonderful stage for the Finnish sauna, steam bath and herbal sauna, where afterwards you can relax on a balcony that enjoys magnificent 360 degree mountain views.
From this delightful modern and stylish hotel you can step from the door on to mountain footpaths, bike routes, high speed ski lifts or in to the resort shopping or night-life. Summer or winter this is a very special designer hangout, from which to enjoy this spectacular mountain region.
CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of Otztal Tourism and Vaya Solden Fine Living Resort
Read more about the local region in our feature Skiing in the Otztal – Solden, Obergurgl & Hochgurgl, Austria
For more general information visit www.oetztal.at
For ski/summer in Solden visit www.soelden.com
For ski/summer in Obergurgl/Hochgurgl visit www.obergurgl.com