Even from the road we reckoned Gasthof Michaelerhof would make a good place to stay, and closer inspection proved us right. The Schiestls took over this farmhouse in 1965, turning it first into a restaurant, then a hotel. Louis Schiestl worked as a chef all over the world, in Istanbul and Nairobi, Japan and Sweden before settling in this tiny hamlet and marrying a local woman.
Proof of his confidence is his ‘open kitchen’, visible through windows in the bar and the doorway opposite receptin. Menus reflect his international career, with Nasi goreng from Indonesia, curry from India and smoked fish from Scandinavia alongside the familiar Schnitzel and Tafelspitz.
Similarly, animal skins from Africa lend an exotic touch to the traditional Austrian interior. Instead of one main restaurant, there are four little Stuben: one has a collection of wooden bowls, another French windows that open to the patio in summer. Only ten minutes’ drive from the middle of Innsbruck, this is as popular for Sunday lunch as it is for business visitors during the week. Bedrooms are comfortable, if unexceptional. There are tennis courts, a playground and trails in the forest.