It’s easily done: spend enough time in hotels and you get to thinking that you could create your own, infinitely better one. As you rant about power sockets located miles from the bed and drip your way from bathroom to bedroom to scoop up a towel “thoughtfully” placed on the bed, your own peerless hotel takes imaginary shape.
Yet, it takes a true entrepreneur to put his millions where his mouth is and actually build a hotel. Meet Andrew Flowers, British entrepreneur and owner of what promises to be the hottest new hotel in the Alps, Blumen Haus in Lech, Austria. By no means a silent investor, Flowers has been directly involved with the conception and build of Blumen Haus (meaning Flowers House – clever, eh?). Single-minded in his determination to raise the already sky-high luxury benchmark for chalets in Lech (home to the pimping Chalet N, 1597 and Überhaus), Flowers has injected undisclosed millions to create a super chalet comprising nine suites, a master apartment, restaurant and spa.
So far, so not very new, you’re thinking. Another gazillionaire builds another flash chalet for other smug gazillionaires to enjoy. But hold your cynical horses: Flowers is a businessman and, in his first sortie into the hospitality industry, he’s here to prove himself.
Thus, Blumen Haus is actually a boutique hotel in chalet form – each of the nine suites is sold individually by the night (although you can rent them on an exclusive use basis from €212,625 / £182,670 per night). Yes, the walls are clad with reclaimed wood and the roof fashioned from copper according to Alpine tradition, but the “Living Room” garage is lit with colour-changing mood lighting and equipped with a sound system, for when you want to chill with your Bentley. (Do a Blumen Haus self-drive and the team will clean your motor and fill her up, thus saving on petrol.)
Clearly something of a tech geek, Flowers has equipped the suites with top-notch Loewe TVs (with Netflix), Revox sound systems and iPad wall activations to control the lighting, air con, heating and fireplace. While the boys play with the toys, the ladies will love the lost-count-of-the-thread-count Egyptian bed linen, Italian-sleek Minotti furnishings and assortment of furs, pelts and cashmere throws.
Unsurprisingly, the ski room and spa aren’t shoddy. The former houses a quiver of handmade Indigo skis and limited edition helmets created specially for Blumen Haus. The latter features a treatment suite, hair salon, indoor infinity pool with a current stream and whirlpool, two saunas and a steam room. If ski-in/ski-out access to the Arlberg isn’t enough to satiate your fitness needs, Flowers has installed a state-of-the-art Technogym and cardio area in the Blumen Haus. But the pièce de fitness résistance is the hypoxic chamber, a super-handy bit of kit that enables one to train at an altitude of 5,600m.
After après at 5,600m, you’ll need top nosh, and Flowers doesn’t disappoint, having drafted in Gordon Ramsay protégés Steven Ellis and Barbara Mairhofer to rustle up exceptional cuisine served in the restaurant, your suite or the James Bond suave wine cellar. Alternatively, push the Titanic out and book out Flowers’ master pad so you can dine there. The four-bedroom apartment spans two floors of the Blumen Haus and comes with its own elevator, cinema, pool table, whirlpool, kitchen, dining room, butler and chauffeur. Book it for a night (€120,000 / £105,000) or two and you’ll come up smelling of Blumen.
Top price: €415,312.50 / £356,803 for one night’s exclusive use of Blumen Haus
Bargain price: €2,340 / £2,010 for one night in a Blumen Haus suite