Mellau, a small village in Bregenzerwald, Vorarlberg, Austria is full of charm and exciting outdoor activities. Hotel Bären is the main hotel in town, offering cozy accommodation in the heart of the valley. Check out the Hotel Bären Mellau review below, together with the list of the best things to do in Mellau, Vorarlberg.
I’ve never heard of Mellau, Vorarlberg before my late summer trip to Austria. I was attending a blogging conference Propel, staying for a few days in Hotel Bären Mellau. All I knew before, was that the town is home to only 1,300 people and that is surrounded by mountains. Here is what I discovered when I got there.
Mellau, Vorarlberg, Austria – great outdoors and the village charm
Imagine a little town perched at the foot of the spectacular Kanisfluh massif in western Austria. Conveniently located not far from Austrian borders with neighboring countries, allowing for enjoyment of places and activities not only in Austria, but also in Switzerland, Germany, and Liechtenstein. From here, the mountain adventures, the relaxation on the edges of famous Lake Constance, and the city life of Bregenz, Feldkirch, and Vaduz are only a stone’s throw away.
Amongst spectacular mountains and green pastures, in the middle of the center of town lies the coolest hotel in Mellau – Hotel Bären Mellau.
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Hotel Baren Mellau Vorarlberg – Review of my stay
I stayed in Hotel Bären Mellau for three days, while visiting Vorarlberg for a blogging conference. At a first glance, it looks like a nice boutique hotel in the Alps. And from there, it only gets better.
There are clean, comfortable rooms with little kitchenettes and adorable touches, such as coffee mugs and linen shopping bags. There is a warm family feel and a beautiful mountain backdrop. You can enjoy the organic and local breakfast spread in the morning, practice yoga in the cozy library in the afternoon, and take a sauna session on the rooftop in the evening.
The hotel building is a traditional Austrian house dating to the 19th century. However, the hotel has been upgraded significantly since, using natural materials and guided by sustainability. Check prices, availability and book here.
Location of Hotel Baren Mellau
Hotel Bären is located in the center of Mellau village. A short walk to the restaurants and shops, a church, a river, and a city hall. In winter, a free bus takes guests to the Damüls-Mellau ski area in just a couple of minutes. Despite its central location, the Hotel Bären is quiet and tranquil. In the morning, you can watch the fog rising above the mountains and listen to the stream nearby.
Rooms in Hotel Baren Mellau
Hotel Bären has 26 modern freshly renovated rooms with furniture supplied by local craftsmen from Bregenzerwald, that show a balance between comfort and simplicity. You can choose between the rooms with the terrace, from where you can admire the panorama of the mountains, or the apartments with small kitchens. Find the list of the rooms here.
Additional amenities of Hotel Bären Mellau
Some of the amenities of Hotel Bären Mellau include a puristic sauna and relaxation room with stunning mountain views, as well as a retro telescope for watching stars. There is a yoga studio and yoga retreats, a library with books for hiking tours and maps, and Cafe Deli with local “super breakfast” and specialty coffee.
Food in Hotel Bären Mellau
During my 3-day stay in Hotel Bären, I had a chance to try everyday breakfast and also food during lunch.
What can I say, the “Super breakfast” in Hotel Bären Mellau really is superb. The spread is served in the Cafe Deli and is quite big. The best part is the variety of food and where the ingredients come from – everything is fresh, local, and delicious.
Every day, there are different dishes made in the hotel’s kitchen, featuring some of the most famous Austrian delicacies and regional specialties. There are dairy, and eggs from Vorarlberg, homemade jams and spreads, fresh fruit and juices, local honey, real bread from a local bakery, and specialty coffee. Hotel Bären breakfast is so famous, that even locals stop there to start their day right.
The food we were getting for lunch and mid-day snacks was also always fresh and delicious. And, of course, there was cheese. A lot of cheese.
When I travel, I try to be a responsible traveler and minimize my impact on the environment. That’s why I try to choose eco-friendly and sustainable hotels. Luckily, Hotel Bären in Mellau is one of them. The place is based on the idea of “slow travel”. There are no excessive decorations, no fuss, no making things faster. There are natural materials, seasonal products, fair-trade coffee, clean electricity, and waste separation, reusable shopping bags, and an emphasis on sustainability.
Things to do in Mellau, a tiny mountain town in Vorarlberg, Austria
There are plenty of interesting things to do in Mellau, Vorarlberg, either in the summer or winter. Especially if you like hiking and outdoor activities.
Mellau is known for its hiking trails. As a part of the largest nature reserve in Vorarlberg, Bregenzerwald features more than 1,500 km of signposted hiking trails ranging from easy, to medium, to challenging. You can take one of the cable cars to the start of the hike, or hike from the bottom of the valley. One of the most famous hikes is the one to the top of the rugged Kanisfluh massif. Once a week, there is even an organized guided sunrise hike there. Find the list of local hikes here.
Canyoning and rafting
If you’re an adventure junkie, you can find adrenaline activities of canyoning and rafting in the Alpine rivers near Mellau.
Tired of hiking? You don’t have to give up on the views. Just take a ride in a cable car and admire the mountains from above. In Mellau, try the Mellaubahn cable car, which transports you up to the mountains in just 6 minutes. During the trip, you can admire spectacular views, and on the top station, enjoy a meal in a traditional mountain inn or get on a hike.
Climbing and via ferratas
Thanks to the variety of mountains around Mellau, there is no shortage of climbing opportunities. There are also some via Ferrata options After trying my first via Ferrata routes in Norway, I got hooked and I thoroughly enjoyed my via Ferrata experience in Montafon, Austria. I can highly recommend trying them if you are in the area. Just remember, if you have never done it before and you don’t have enough experience and equipment – always go with a guide.
Mellau and surrounding areas are perfect for any type of cycling. You can cycle on the roads and cycle paths discovering local gems, or you can try mountain biking in the hills. There is also a bicycle and e-bike rental, that allows you to try cycling even if you don’t have your bike with you.
Skiing and Sledding
With the ski area of Damüls-Mellau, there is a lot of skiing slopes and trails to choose from. There is also the “Dosegg,” a 2-km long sledding track.
Follow Umgang Bregenzerwald walk
Umgang Bregenzerwald is a walk through Mellau that provides insights into the design culture of traditional Bregenzerwald houses with shingled wooden facades. One example is the historically protected “Nazes Hus”, which is also an inn we ate at.
The new buildings are made out of timber and have wooden facades. The Umgang Bregenzerwald walk is marked with rust-colored pillars that indicate the stations and give you information about each one of them.
Have you ever been to Mellau, Vorarlberg? Would you like to stay in Hotel Baren Mellau? Let me know in the comments!
Disclaimer: I was hosted on my trip to Montafon by Montafon Tourism Board, Vorarlberg Tourism Board, and Sportshotel Grandau as a part of Propel conference press trip. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
Read about more adventure activities here:
- 10 Adventurous Things To Do In Montafon, Austria’s Best Kept Secret
- Best via Ferrata in Norway
- Norway on a budget
- Essential camping equipment
- Best outdoor gifts for the adventurer
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