My wife and I love going to the Alps for a hike every now and then. We generally try to avoid routes that are heavily traveled by mountain bikes or spoilt by a ropeway. A serviced hut close to the summit or along the way, however, never hurts. We are great fans of the traditional, handmade alpine cuisine that is served in many of them (do not forget the compulsory beer!).
Some lodges, like those run by the Deutscher Alpenverein (German Alpine Club), are open almost all year round. Local farmers, however, use to operate their huts only during summer, when the cattle grazes in the surroundings.■