Forget every tired cliché about Alpine hotels and Alpine vistas. This is the real thing. Deep in the countryside, the only morning sound we heard was the tinkling of cowbells in the pasture below the house. From our balcony, we watched deer scuttling from the garden into the pine forest.
   No wonder we felt envious of the regulars who come here year after year to ski in winter and hike or climb the mountains in summer. The house dates from 1872 and has been in the family for six generations. The Gerharters are natural innkeepers, making little separation between their life and that of the guests.
   The cooking is home-style and filling, with dishes such as Kasnockerln (cheese noodles) and Ennstaler Krapfen (doughnuts filled with brown crumbly cheese) which are best partnered with schnapps. Peaks such as Grimming, Kammspitze and Dachstein provide names for the bedrooms that, like the rest of the hotel, have rustic, homely comforts.