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Kühtai apartments get highest customer reviews: 9.6 Exceptional

We are delighted to report that the Kühtai 2020 Residences built and sold by Kristall Spaces and operated by our sister company All-Suite Resorts all-suite.com have received the highest customer review scores in Kühtai in only their first 7 months of operation.

Kühtai 2020 Residences have scored 9.6 and been classified as Exceptional. 

An impressive result considering that the aparthotel is still in its first year establishing itself in the market.  All the customer comments have been 100% verified by Booking.com as real customers and can be reviewed on this link

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A summary of the customer comments about the apartments is provided below:

  • The location of the apartments often scores 10 out of 10 (ski in and out, opposite ski shop and ski school and next to one of the best restaurants in the village)
  • Customers love the south-facing views and balconies
  • The quality of the interiors, the comfort and cosiness
  • Parquet floors and high-end finishes and equipment e.g. Miele kitchens, Hans Grohe bathrooms
  • Sound proofing and privacy – no noise from neighbours
  • Lift and free parking right outside

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Summary of customer comments about the operator All-Suite Resorts and its service:

  • The professionalism and friendliness of the All-Suite Resorts staff
  • Cleanliness of the apartments
  • The quality of the free WIFI service
  • Large sauna and steam bath running from 17h00 to 20h00

There are 5 apartments still available which have not been rented out and are in pristine condition waiting for new owners to occupy them.

Our sister company All-Suite Resorts is offering a guaranteed 4% net return for first 3 years and with the winter and summer visits to Kühtai growing each year and future lift expansions planned, buyers can be assured of a low-risk and hassle free investment.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have an interest in one of our last 5 apartments.

Key facts about Kühtai 2020 Residences:

  • 5 apartments left for sale and ready to be occupied
  • Completed December 2016
  • Luxury apartments in Austria’s highest ski village
  • Ski-in, ski-out
  • On-site wellness: sauna, steam room and relaxation area
  • Managed rental service to cover running costs
  • Prices start at € 379,890.00
  • Guaranteed 4% net return for first 3 years

17 January: update on Kristall Spaces projects

The Austrian Alps are nicely covered with snow and as much 229cm in Sölden.  We at Kristall Spaces are busy handling dozens of enquiries each day and managing site visits for prospective EU and non EU based buyers.

We have 4 key projects with pricing & availability

St Anton apartment for sale – construction is underway and one of the buildings containing half the apartments has all the floors in place and the roof on.  It is possible to enter the building with one of our representatives and get a feel for the floor spaces and different views.  Of the 28 upper luxury apartments in this project, 14 are still available.  Voted Best Apartment in Austria & Europe.

Kühtai 2020 Residences – construction was completed last month. There are 5 apartments (out of 17) left but we expect them to sell in the next few months.  There are quite a few buyers who have reserved or are about to reserve in this development, the highest in Austria.  Come and look round one these fully furnished luxury apartments which are ready to occupy now.

Sölden – we will start construction after this ski season. 3 of the 8 apartments have been sold or reserved and there is good interest for the last 5.  It is easy to set up appointments in the Gasthof Zwieselstein where you can meet the developer and the Gstrein family who will manage the rental business of your apartment.

Mountain Lake Resort Ötztal – we have just finalised floor plans and pricing for this exciting dual season location. 100 metres from the ski lift and in a prime location to make the most of the Ötztal’s strong summer season facilities.  State of the art spa and choice of swimming pools for summer. Restaurant and bar on-site.  We already have 7 reservations!

Coming soon – new projects

We will soon release floor plans for Galtür (Ischgl) and Fieberbrunn, so keep your powder dry if you want your own apartment in one of these locations!

Galtür (Ischgl) – floor plans for Mountain Spa Resort Paznaun coming in February 2017.  We will update all our prospects with a newsletter.

Fieberbrunn – floor plans coming in February 2017 also.  Again, all our previous enquiring customers will receive a newsletter.

Karwendel – 28 leisure residences with no rental obligation although we provide a rental service if owners would like to rent their apartments.  Swimming lake & on-site wellness.  On-site brasserie restaurant & bar. 1 hour from Munich & 40 minutes from Mittenwald.

Register your interest 

Contact us today if you are interested in any of these locations and we will keep you updated with progress.

Austria shines in Savills report on Alpine properties

There are some useful data in this year’s Savills report on Alpine properties – here are the out-takes for buyers considering property in Austria.

Austrian ski property prices are 28% below other alpine countries but price growth is higher at 8%.  See the chart below.

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With ongoing infrastructure investment and growing international skier participation there is room for upward price movement in Austria.  Other sources (e.g. Tiroler Tagezeitung) recently highlighted a record first half in 2016 of apartment sales in Tirol with an average capital growth of 6.2% for the region.

Reassuring feedback then from separate sources on increasing asset values which will be sustained by careful town planning restrictions on over-development and therefore supply.

Austria is clearly more successful than France and Switzerland in developing its non-skiing attractions and summer tourism business which drives up rental yields, infrastructure investment and future resale values for Austrian property owners.

The report points to a 1.6% year-on-year decline in total ski visits to the top 8 global markets is reported (USA, France, Austria, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Canada and Germany).

Austrian property investors need to be careful and review local tourism figures in isolation.

The Tirol region has delivered a >10% increase in visits in the first 6 months of 2016 clearly bucking the trend of competitor ski markets.

Innsbruck airport is increasing its inbound capacity for German passengers by 180% this year and introducing new routes from British Airways.  The Tirol Tourism board and the ski resorts are again forecasting a year-on-year growth in visitor numbers.

One successful strategy paying off for the Austrians is their focus on the millennial generation (age 20 to 35).  The successful Alpine resorts of the future will be the ones which innovate and draw new visitors with different activities throughout the year.

Examples include Kühtai which boasts Austria’s biggest half pipe and nearby Area 47, one of Europe’s largest extreme sport adventure parks which even has a wakeboard park at 812m above sea level and Mediterranean water temperatures to boot:

Ischgl is one of the biggest ski areas with the longest season continually ploughs lift profits back into its dizzying array of slick infrastructure and glitzy / urban amenities, including 3 Michelin star restaurants.  In Ischgl you can even ‘fly home’ down the valley with or without skis at 85kmh on a dual zip wire – 2km long and 50m high (total investment €2m):

Incredibly, family-friendly Oetz has just reported a 30% increase in lift sales this summer thanks to new investment in family amenities in the Hochoetz ski area.   Astonishingly, Oetz draws 45% of its annual visitors outside the winter season.  Oetz has 80km of its own skiing and tourists can access Sölden in 20 minutes with its 2 glaciers but it has all-year round tourism status – not just in the Summer but through to early Autumn when the Acherkogelbahn makes a brief pause before the Winter season starts again on 16 December.

Hochoetz’s new adventure playground, Widiversum – parents can even leave children in supervised groups and head higher into the mountains for the day:

Currency impact:

In the wake of the UK’s EU referendum and the weakening of sterling, Swiss Alpine property has become 8.6% more costly to GBP buyers (May to Sep 2016), while French or Austrian Alpine homes have become 7.6% more expensive.  Despite the Pound’s fall, there are still some determined UK buyers who want to buy their Austrian property now and get into Austrian Land Registry before Brexit is finalised.

For US Dollar, Euro and Swiss Franc buyers, the picture is unchanged and the customer base is very international including non EU buyers as well as increasing numbers of Germans, Dutch, Belgian and Scandinavians.

Please read our FAQ about buying and owning an Austrian property or Contact us today with any questions.

Buying & owning Austrian property FAQ

ZONING AND OWNERSHIP

What is a “tourist residence” and what restrictions can an owner expect?

When purchasing a property constructed on land zoned for touristic use you are obliged to rent the property within the framework of a tourism enterprise.  The enterprise is managed by an appointed Rental Management Company.

Why do the local authorities zone properties in this way?

The local government invests in infrastructure in the resort such as ski lifts and development of the ski area, which is financed by usage.  Therefore, it is important that owners do not leave their properties empty when not using it.

Does this mean I can’t use my own property?

No. For purposes of attaining optimum capacity and usage you are permitted to use your apartment within the framework of a tourism enterprise.

How do I rent my property to tourists?

We appoint professionals to provide rental and facility management services relating to the running and tourist operation of the property.  They maintain a booking and reservation system and accept bookings throughout the year.

Am I investing in a hotel?

No.  You will be officially recorded in the Land & Property Register as the owner of the freehold of your apartment.  You are not purchasing shares in a hotel. Furthermore, you will own a share of the land and the common areas in the property. This includes the wellness facility, technical rooms, ski and boot room, etc.

PURCHASE PROCESS – RESERVATIONS, PAYMENTS, COSTS AND HANDOVER.

I am keen on a particular apartment but worried another buyer could reserve it before I’ve had chance to go through all my queries.  What should I do?

To allow a prospective buyer time to go through all of the important questions that come up, we can reserve a unit for a period of one week with no obligation.

I’ve decided to move forward – how do I proceed?

The first stage is to sign a Purchase Offer (Kaufanbot) which is sent to you by email for signature.  A 1% deposit of the net purchase price is due upon signing as an ‘Earnest Money Payment’ and this may be refunded if the construction has not started according to the due date in the Agreement, or other special requirements are not met.

From whom am I purchasing the apartment?  Kristall Spaces?

No. Your Sale & Purchase agreement is with the development company which owns the land.  The Developer appoints VenturePlus AG and Kristall Spaces AG as experienced development consultants to assist with the delivery of the project.

Can I buy the property through a company in Austria?

Yes, many purchasers use a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). The only requirement is that the SPV acquiring the property has to have a registered office inside the EU. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary for the shareholder or ultimate beneficiary to be a European citizen.

What if I want to sell?

There are no restrictions on resale; you may sell your property at any time.

What happens if the Developer selling the apartments has financial problems part way through the development?

Buying property off-plan in Austria is extremely secure.  New-build chalets and apartments are paid for in stages and all payments are made to a lawyer and held in a Trustee Escrow account.  Stage payments are not released to the developer before an independent, court-appointed surveyor has inspected each construction stage and signed off the building progress for the Trustee.  Construction begins only after the financing bank has released funds for the development and the development is fully funded to completion.  Furthermore, the development is ‘ring-fenced’ and completely independent of any other commercial activities.

What is the schedule for the stage payments?

  • 15% at start of building works (including the ‘Earnest Payment’ of 1%) due within 14 days of both parties having signed the Sale and Purchase agreement
  • 35% on completion of the building shell and roof
  • 20% on completion of plumbing and electrical installations
  • 12% on completion of the facade & windows
  • 12% on completion of the property
  • 4% on hand over of keys
  • 2% after the developer provides a bank guarantee to the Trustee to cover any unforeseen defects.

Who drafts the contracts and handles the legal aspects of the purchase – what are the legal fees?

In Austria, a Trustee lawyer or Notary acts on behalf of both the purchaser and the vendor. Occasionally, the purchaser appoints his or her own solicitor for a second opinion – this is not necessary but may provide peace of mind. In this case, the purchaser’s solicitor will liaise directly with the Trustee. The legal fees are 3% of the gross purchase price.

Why are the legal fees so high?

The Trustee lawyer has more responsibility and employs more resources over a longer period for an ‘off-plan’ purchase compared to a typical re-sale transaction.  The role of the Trustee is to draft the Sale and Purchase Agreement, Rental Agreement, Contract of Administration, etc. in German and English and prepare all documents required to transfer legal ownership to the Purchaser.  The Trustee is obligated to offer impartial legal advice, collect stage payments and release funds to the Seller in accordance with the contract.  The Trustee acts for the Purchaser and the Seller during construction, engages an independent, court appointed, sworn witness to confirm building progress and concludes all aspects of the conveyance.

When and where do I sign the Sale and Purchase Agreement?

The Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) and all documents required to transfer legal ownership are drafted in German and English and signed by the Purchaser and Seller in the presence of a Notary Public.  The Purchaser will receive a copy of the SPA by post and is required to sign before a Notary Public (not a solicitor) in their country of residence. Once the Purchaser’s signature is witnessed the Notary Public sends the document to the Foreign Office to be apostilled. Most choose to sign at the Austrian embassy in their home country as they can also provide the apostille, thus speeding up the process.

What are the average purchase costs?

Purchase costs for buying a property in Austria are 7.6% of the gross purchase price.  The purchaser pays the Trustee fees after the SPA has been signed. Fees are calculated as follows:

  • Purchase Tax (Stamp Duty) is 3.5% of purchase price
  • Registration in the Land Registry is 1.1%
  • Trustee legal fees – 3% + VAT (VAT is refunded)
  • Court costs, administration fees – approximately 150 euros.

Do I pay agency fees?

No, Kristall Spaces does not charge any fees to the buyer.  Buyer’s fees can be as much 3%, so there is an instant saving when you buy through us.

Do you arrange finance?

Yes, once a Purchase Offer has been signed “subject to finance”.  Austrian banks will fund up to 55% of the purchase price with a loan period between 15 and 25 years.  Some banks may charge set-up fees and/or an appraisal fee of 0.5% in addition to a notary a fee of 1.5% for the amount of the mortgage to be registered in land registry.  If required, it is possible to add the mortgage related costs to your mortgage.  Variable interest rates are currently 2.5%.

Austrian mortgage agreements generally need to be signed at the bank in Austria.  Some buyers therefore time this to coincide with signing of the Sale and Purchase agreement.

Why do you not provide a fixed date for completion and handover?

We are obliged to make every effort to complete construction and hand over your apartment on time.  However, we are building in a high-alpine environment at the mercy of the weather with a short construction window of May to November.  Also, we are governed by the local laws, which often restrict construction during the tourism seasons.  We offer an estimated date for completion in the contract but no guarantees can be made.

Parking

Each apartment must be purchased with a minimum of one space.

Will Wi-Fi & Sat connections be provided to all parts of the development?

Internet by Ethernet cable and Wi-Fi is available in your apartment. Cable TV is available in each room.

Will there be any separate storage space for owner’s belongings such as ski equipment and clothing?

Yes, a minimum 2m² of storage per apartment is provided and included in the purchase price. Owners must provide their own personal padlock.

Please confirm the arrangements surrounding the use of the washing machine & tumble dryer.

The washing appliances are metered and for the use of the owners and their guests.  Alternatively, each apartment has the option to install the connections for a washer/dryer in one of the bathrooms if instructed during construction.

HANDOVER, SNAGGING AND BUILDING GUARANTEES

How do you hand over the apartment?

You will be contacted two weeks in advance with a date for the official handover of the apartments. If you cannot be there in person, the Trustee Lawyer and independent, court appointed surveyor will represent you.

What about snagging?

The developer provides a 3-year bank guarantee to cover unforeseen snagging defects.  A report will be produced documenting any snagging issues at the time of handover.  Any issues raised will be fixed within six weeks if the apartment is vacant.

Is the apartment delivered to the owner turnkey?

At the time of handover, the apartment will be fully fitted out with all contents and appliances included in the inventory and the design scheme chosen by the owner.

A full furniture pack including cutlery and crockery is included in the purchase price.  Everything required for rental is supplied with the apartment and is detailed in the Building and Furnishings specifications sheet you will receive prior to purchasing.

A choice of three high-quality design schemes for the apartments have been created and owners are invited to choose their preferred interiors.

Are there any building guarantees?

Yes, we negotiate bank guarantees with tradesmen for the following:

  • 10 years for the roof covering
  • 5 years for the mechanical systems (heating, electrics, lifts)
  • 5 years for the remaining works including the shell of the building
  • 2 years for electrical goods

Furthermore, Austrian Building Law allows for a 30-year Statute of Limitations for all hidden defects.

POST HANDOVER – RENTAL INCOME, CONDOMINIUM FEES (WEG) AND PERSONAL USAGE

What are WEG fees?

WEG fees are your condominium fees and owners are invoiced these monthly in advance by the Facility Management company.

What is the Facility Management Company’s role and who appoints them?

We appoint the Facility Management Company to represent the Condominium Owners Association before handover of the apartments.  The Facility Management Company will read the meters for water, electricity and heating on the handover date and appoint the caretaker, utility and maintenance providers, and ensure the building has full insurance coverage.

How much are the WEG charges and what do they include?

The total operating costs of the building are divided proportionately between the Condominium Owners Association (WEG) according to the size of each owner’s property.  These are payable monthly in advance.  Your share of communal service charges is determined by a court-appointed assessor based on the title document for each individual apartment, which is detailed in the Sale & Purchase Agreement.   The heating, water and electricity costs of running your individual apartment are metered in the owner’s name, so you can see exactly what you are using and paying monthly.

We generally estimate the fees to be EUR4 per m² of your apartment per month.   The estimate includes the following services:

  • Heating
  • Waste water
  • Electricity and lighting in the general areas
  • Refuse disposal
  • Building insurance
  • Caretaker services
  • Snow removal
  • Cleaning of common areas
  • Chimney sweep
  • Heating maintenance contract
  • Lift maintenance contract
  • Maintenance of common areas
  • Internet
  • Cable TV
  • Auditing costs
  • Sinking fund for future maintenance

At the end of the year, individual calculations will be made for each apartment according to actual usage.  If you have overpaid, you will be refunded and if you have underpaid you will be invoiced for the balance.

What is the Administrator’s role and who appoints them?

The Owner appoints the Administrator to carry out the following roles:

  • Reception and/or concierge services
  • Accommodation Administration and Management
  • Supervision of the wellness facility

The total Administration costs of the building are divided proportionately according to the size of each owner’s property.

What is the role of the Rental Operator?

The role of the rental operator is to market the apartments, maintain a booking system, handle guest deposits, organise check in/check out, keys, cleaning and fresh linen, oversee quality control within the apartments and the payment of tourist tax to the authorities.  They also publish the rental income and distribute it to the owners.  The accounts are audited annually for complete transparency.

What kind of rental income can I expect?

The rental yields vary depending on the apartment size, number of bedrooms and floor.  Please refer to the rental income projection document for guidelines.

How are the rental rates decided?

The rental operator compares rates of similar establishments within the resort, as well as information from the local tourist board regarding occupancy rates.  Rental rates are published annually in advance.

Who will do my accounting?

We have negotiated a very reasonable tax package with an Austrian accountancy firm specialising in tourism residences.  You can engage the tax advisors at the time of purchase.  They will register you for VAT in Austria, advise you on tax issues during the purchase process and handle your VAT and Tax returns in the future.

How does the local tax system work?

The local authority charges tax on the land of the building, a proportion of which will be paid directly by you, as a part owner of the freehold.  The Land tax is a nominal sum and the council will issue you an invoice annually.

Do I have to inform the rental operator when I want to use my apartment?

Yes, please inform the rental operator in writing, a minimum of 5 months before the start of the winter season.  In order to make a success of the rental scheme, the operator needs sufficient notice to market the apartments.

What about spontaneous visits?

The rental operator will always try to accommodate the owner assuming the apartment is not already booked.  This may result in you having to stay in an alternative apartment.

Do I have to pay to stay in my apartment? 

Owners may be obliged to pay a small administration charge during weeks of personal usage.

What if I want to spend several weeks in my apartment outside the main winter season?  Is this allowed? 

Yes, please inform the rental operator in writing 2 months before arrival. Occupancy rates are lower outside of the winter season and short-term visits are generally not a problem.

The Jump Returns to Kühtai for a Third Series

Channel 4’s reality ski show, The Jump, is returning to Kühtai for the next few weeks for its third series, and the line-up of personalities has just been announced. As before, the contestants are drawn from the worlds of entertainment and sport — though not from wintersports, naturally.

Kühtai is the ideal choice for the makers of the programme because of its altitude and therefore guaranteed snow conditions and also because of the close proximity to Innsbruck and its airport – just 35 minutes away.

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The Third Series

Series 3, like its predecessors, will be based in and around Innsbruck and Kühtai, the highest ski resort in Austria. The contestants are trained and tested in a variety of disciplines — previously including speed skating, bobsleigh, ski cross, skeleton and giant slalom — and the two with the slowest times face an elimination ski-jump.

The show will be presented by Davina McCall, returning to her previous role, and there’ll be the usual group of mentors. The full mentor line-up hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s known that Graham Bell and ski-jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards will be taking a role.

This year, though, will see one difference. For the first time, the contestants will share a house on air, so not all the excitement will be on the slopes and viewers will be able to get exclusive footage on how the various participants get on away from the slopes and wintersport activities.

Still, the winter sports are what this show is about at heart, and we’ll be waiting to see who’ll master the pistes and how they’ll handle those jumps.

The Contestants

Twelve contestants have been confirmed so far, though it’s not clear whether this will be the complete line-up:

Beth Tweddle — Olympic gymnast
Brian McFadden — former singer with Westlife
Dean Cain — star of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
James “Arg” Argent — star of The Only Way Is Essex
Linford Christie — Olympic gold medal athlete
Louisa Lytton — actress, formerly in Eastenders and The Bill
Mark-Francis Vandelli — star of Made in Chelsea
Rebecca Adlington — Olympic gold medal swimmer
Sarah Harding — former singer with Girls Aloud and actress in Coronation Street
Sid Owen — actor in Eastenders
Tamara Beckwith — socialite
Tina Hobley — actress in Holby City

Coming Soon

Channel 4 has already released the first trailer for the new series, in which the skies over Kühtai start raining celebrities, causing panic and a lot of screaming for a local family.  The reality, though, won’t be anything like that scary, and if you’re lucky enough to be holidaying in Kühtai right now then you may find yourself bumping into a celebrity or two, either up on the slopes or during après-ski.

For the rest of us, though, the question will be who’ll manage to jump furthest, will all the celebrities escape injury — and does Superman have an unfair advantage?

The opening of the Ski Season in Tyrolean Resorts

As holiday resorts that rely on sun and sea wind down towards the end of the season, ski resorts are gearing up for opening, if the season hasn’t already started.  Here’s some information about the season openings in three of the top resorts in Austria’s stunning Tyrol region.

Sölden – 10 October

Some of Sölden’s glacier runs are already open subject to daily snow conditions, with the lifts going up from 8 am till 3.30 pm and the last downward journey at 4 pm.  On the 10th  and 11th  October, the iconic Rettenbach Glacier opens with a celebration including free tests of top-branded ski and snowboarding equipment, not to mention a big party throughout the resort.  The offical Winter season starts on the 14th of November when more lifts will open.

One of Austria’s leading ski resorts, Sölden gives access to 146km of slopes for all levels of skiers, though it particularly suits the adventurous intermediate skier.  The Rettenbach regularly hosts the first event of the World Cup, the Giant Slalom, from the spectacular stadium on the glacier, giving holiday-makers the opportunity to rub shoulders with the world’s top skiers, whether on the glacier or at the resort’s lively après-ski scene.

Kühtai – 27 November

Although Kühtai’s higher slopes have snow to allow year-round skiing for die-hards and photoshoots, the season properly gets underway on the 27th November when all slopes and lifts open for the winter.  From then on, the lifts and pistes open at 9 am, with the pistes closing at 4 pm and the lifts a quarter of an hour later.

From Kühtai, you have access to 41 km of pistes slopes (80 km when you link to Oetz), consisting of blue, red, black and freestyle parks, offering everything from a safe environment for children to learn to real challenges for the experts, whether skiing or snowboarding.  The resort’s height, at 2,200m, means that you can always rely on good snow even on the bottom slopes from November right through to May.

St Anton – 4 December

St Anton has a justified reputation as a party resort with spectacular après-ski, that’s secondary to the main business of skiing.  The season kicks off on the 4th December with a three-day festival of skiing and music, with its highlight a concert on the 5th featuring 80s pop star Kim Wilde.

Properties in Austria - Kristall Spaces St Anton - Kim Wilde concert

Once the season is underway, St Anton’s 97 lifts and cable cars give access to 350km of managed pistes and 200km of challenging off-piste slopes.  There’s something for everyone.  Although the area is especially known for its expert-level slopes, it also offers some of the best children’s lessons in the Alps. And there’s always that lively après-ski scene in the evening.

Kristall Spaces has ski apartments for sale in all three resorts.  Contact us today in case you are visiting the area and would like to visit on of our developments.

First impressions of Kühtai

The drive up to Kühtai reminded me of Maine in the States: snowy roads and a small river running by the roadside; but it was the sense of being in the wilderness that really fires the imagination. I expected a moose to run across the road at any moment and yet we were only 10 minutes from the Oetztal Bahnhof. No wonder those Habsburgs liked the hunting round here so much.

My host for the day was a Kühtai connoisseur (a Chemistry teacher from Innsbruck who was born on skis in Sölden and thanks to his Tirol ski pass can pick any of the top resorts for a day’s skiing when he fancies). He and his pals favour Kühtai because “the snow is the best” as soon as you come off the very first lift (no uphill trek needed to find quality pistes); the atmosphere is never showy and for the abiding fact that your personal space is never invaded. I distinctly recall following him down from the top of the Dreiseenbahn to the foot of the Gaiskogelift and not once did I adjust my line or speed to avoid other skiers. “So, it’s true what they say: it really does feel like being in your own private ski resort,” I thought to myself.

The snow was excellent too. We only started skiing at 2:00pm but it was still cold and smooth as we flew down the pistes. No slush or sudden moguls here or those annoying piles of snow where skiers have scraped all the loose snow into a mini snow drift leaving a sheet of ice as a run-up. In fact, the piste is so consistent that you will see various ski teams (US and Austrian) training by the side of the slope.

And hardly any snowboarders sat around in groups philosophising over Jägermeister and Limp Biscuit. They’re all in the K-Park: supposedly Austria’s biggest half pipe with a series of big air kickers and gnarly looking bits of metal sticking out for them to slide over or do whatever they do. I quite fancied one of enormous kickers – maybe I would pluck up the courage to have a go later in the day.

kuhtai jumps

We skied down into the snow bowl in which the resort is positioned surrounded by white peaks which mostly lead to nowhere. We had been skiing on the North facing slopes and so ventured across to the South side where the night skiing had been the night before. No queues anywhere by the way as I reminded myself that this was a Thursday afternoon in March, so still high season.

It was like being in our own ski resort: there were even fewer people on this side! The runs down from the Hochalterbahn were pretty much ours. And the views were spectacular as we chatted over a Weizenbeer looking back down into Kühtai.  I was now talking up trying one of those kickers: the ones were you have to be traveling at over 60kms to get enough speed to make it over the 6-metre lip between the end of the ramp and the landing so steep it looks like the start of a speed skiing course. The science teacher explained these facts. Also, that I was 43, not wearing a helmet and he didn’t fancy hanging out in Innsbruck hospital.

So, overall impressions were very, very good. I have skied in countless, medium sized resorts and I was trying to compare Kühtai but it’s unique. There is a lot skiing of here and the runs are really smooth and nicely pisted. No grim moguls waiting round the corner – just wide motorways. I loved the fact that I felt like I had the piste to myself and there is definitely a different tempo here compared to the bigger, more famous resorts. It’s more relaxed and yet it’s only 35 minutes from Innsbruck and that’s a major attraction if you are looking for an Austrian property: quick access to the airport means you can land and be on the slopes the same day like I did.  It’s also close to the hospital if you get carried away in the K-Park.

Anybody can train in Channel 4’s The Jump winter disciplines

The new reality show, The Jump, sees celebs try a whole host of adrenalin-fuelled wintersports in Kühtai, Austria.

Taking inspiration from last year’s Winter Olympics, The Jump showcases eight disciplines including ski cross (see video below – most exciting FIS event), giant slalom, skeleton and ski jumping – all performed by 16 famous faces who are competing to be crowned snow king or queen.

Brave contestants include Made in Chelsea star Louise Thompson, former England cricketer Phil Tufnell and Joey Essex from TOWIE … or our favourite, Mike Tindall.

If you’re feeling inspired by the celeb efforts on the show, why don’t you give these challenging winter sports a go?

Here’s our summary of the most exciting and where you can try them for yourself on the slopes of Austria.

Bobsleigh

Fear factor: 3/5

Crammed into a steel pod only 3.8m in length in teams of two or four, participants make timed runs down a 1.5km narrow, twisting, iced track in a gravity-powered sled – reaching speeds of more than 80mph. Tantalisingly terrifying, but extremely fun.

Try it: Based near Innsbruck, Austria, at the kilometre-long Olympic bobsleigh track, you can learn to navigate a two-man bobsleigh through the track’s 14 bends: Olympiaworld Innsbruck (+43 512 377160 from €95 / £71).

Ski jumping

Fear factor: 4/5

Definitely not one for the faint hearted. Beginners should start with jumps of 10m and reach 20m after a day’s tuition.

However, whatever the size of the hill, it takes an extraordinary amount of courage to race down the icy runway on extra-long 2.4m skis and take that leap of faith – especially with the near-vertical ramp to start you off.

Try it: Towering high above Innsbruck on the wooded Bergisel Hill, the Bergisel Ski Jump offers the perfect opportunity to give ski jumping a go.

Skeleton

Fear factor: 5/5

Face down on a small sled just inches from the ice, participants hurtle down a frozen track reaching speeds of more than 90mph – with no brakes. Of all the Olympic adrenalin-fuelled sports, this has to be the scariest.

Tri it: Momentum Ski (020 7371 9111) offers a two-day Skeleton Experience with Amy Williams in Innsbruck, Austria, including a full track day with Amy, a passenger bobsleigh ride, two nights b&b accommodation, transfers and two dinners with wine from £1,500 per person.

Downhill and giant slalom

Fear factor: 3/5

In giant slalom, brave participants negotiate a series of widely spaced gates on a rock-hard piste at high speed. Downhill takes the game to a whole new level. It has only a few control gates and is over a much longer and steeper course. Plus, the surface is injected with water to make it icier.

Both disciplines require varying combinations of technique and bottle. You won’t learn either overnight – and downhill training is extremely difficult to acquire because it involves a whole section of the mountain being fenced off and closed to the public.

Try it: Snoworks (0844 543 0503) runs racing courses in Austria under the direction of expert instructor Phil Smith and Emma Carrick-Anderson.

Kühtai need-to-know facts:

Kühtai is situated at an altitude of 2,020 metres making it the highest winter sports resort in Austria;

It’s 35 minutes from the region’s capital Innsbruck and its airport;

Due to its almost guaranteed snow record, this season Kühtai has already hosted the first event of the Luge World Cup (Natural Track), an International Paralympic Committee World Cup race as well as two women’s World Cup ski races in Giant Slalom and Slalom;

EU and non EU buyers can now own a property in Kühtai thanks to the new Kristall Spaces 2020 Residences right in the middle of the resort with doorstep skiing.

Snow-sure Kühtai: the choice of the FIS to host the World Cup

The World Cup tour came to Kühtai at the end of December after the Semmering races were cancelled due to a lack of snow.

The FIS took the decision to relocate the two Ladies World Cup technical events to Austria’s highest ski resort in Kühtai thanks to its unmatched record of early and late season snow and ideal temperatures to ensure the best racing conditions.

Kühtai-Anna-Fenninger

Another deciding factor was Kühtai’s proximity to Innsbruck the most important city in Tirol.

Kühtai is one of the first places the inhabitants of Innsbruck head towards when they want quality skiing and ideal snow conditions, all within a 35-minute drive.

Over 6,500 spectators made their way up to the resort at 2,020 metres to cheer on their favourites racers which included an all-star line-up of Sweden’s Sara Hector, home country favourite Anna Fenninger and USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin whose form had been on a slight downward trend in recent races.

The courses were set right in the middle of the resort facing the exact location where Kristall Spaces is developing the 2020 Kühtai Residences, a collection of 14 brand new apartments in Kühtai for next Winter.

2020 Kühtai Apartments Now Available to Investors

Venture Plus AG and Kristall Spaces are proud to announce a stunning new build of holiday apartments in Kühtai, Austria’s highest ski resort. This is a unique opportunity to invest in ski property in one of the most snow-sure resorts in Austria.

Kristall-Spaces-Kuhtai-2020

Austria’s highest resort

At 2020 metres above sea-level, Kühtai nestles among the peaks and mountain lakes above the Ötztal valley — yet it’s only 35 minutes from Innsbruck airport. With snow on the higher pistes for most of the year, the resort has invested heavily in tourism, including a planned installation of a 100MB WiFi system, and it was voted by ADAC as Europe’s best value for money ski destination, as well as winning the SkipassIndex for 2013/2014.

2020 Apartments

The new 2020 apartments (named after Kühtai’s altitude) are being designed by one of Austria’s leading architects, with construction due to start in April. Designed for the luxury market, they’ll be ski-in, ski-out properties located centrally in Kühtai, with current prices ranging from €286,000 for a two-bedroom ground floor unit to €641,500 for a large, three-bedroom penthouse apartment.

All the apartments will be luxuriously fitted out, with traditional furnishings and underfloor heating beneath the Swiss parquet floors. Kitchen and bathroom fittings will be by designers such as Hans Grohe, Miele and Siematic, while they’ll be completely up to date with smart TVs and wireless LAN. Triple-glazed, floor-to-ceiling windows will allow you a perfect vista of Kühtai’s breath-taking scenery.

A unique investment opportunity

It isn’t often that this kind of opportunity becomes available in one of Austria’s top resorts. The authorities keep very strict control over holiday homes, and Venture Plus AG and Kristall Spaces have carefully acquired permission for a new build in such a premier location.

Kühtai’s winter sports season starts earlier than most other resorts and lasts a long way into the year.  There’s no shortage of snow at 2020 metres!  Whilst the summer offers visitors the chance to enjoy the breathtaking Alpine scenery with a range of activities suited to all ages, so there’s demand for holiday apartments all year round. Kristall Spaces will not only manage the apartments, but also arrange rentals through renowned tour operators.

With VAT rebates available on the properties and strong annual capital growth rates, they not only guarantee a good return on investment through rentals, but are also almost certain to appreciate in value.

You can reserve an apartment by putting down a deposit, but several have been sold already, and the rest are likely to follow quickly. Check out the details for a wonderful investment opportunity!  Download Brochure.