Whether you are a piste newbie or a 2018 Pyeongchang Gold medalist, the Austrian resort of St. Anton and the surrounding Arlberg ski region will keep you on your toes with challenging, endless runs and some of the liveliest après parties well, anywhere. Add to this the exciting cuisine on offer across traditional Austrian, winter warming fondue and on-piste fine dining and you are sure to take maximum advantage of guilt free holiday calories after an exhilarating day on the slopes.
With all this to look forward to, a pre Alpine-adventure Snozone visit is a great way to find your legs before setting boot on the mountain. Located in Milton Keynes, we suggest donning your thermals as Snozone serves up an authentic slope experience complete with fresh powder, button lift and sub zero temperatures. With private, group and family lessons available for all abilities, Snozone’s experienced tutors prepare skiers and boarders alike for the real deal.
Base camp for the week was Inghams’ Kohlereck located Mountain Lodge, which is made up of four shared chalets, each named after one of the local peaks of Galzig, Kapall, Rendl and Albona. This provides a great opportunity to meet other like minded snow junkies while having the privacy of a secure, en-suite room. Add to this the basement spa facilities and Mountain Lodge provides a fantastic set-up for a week in the mountains. Inghams’ hosting style is modelled on Austrian hospitality, a distinct differentiator of Austria’s offering versus other well known ski nations. Our on-site chalet team, headed up by hosts Benjamin and Becky, worked tirelessly to deliver a fantastic breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner, while ensuring all guests had everything necessary to focus on the mountains at hand.
As the home of Alpine skiing, St. Anton and the surrounding Alberg is famous for its beauty, reliable snow and excellent slope conditions. A total of 88 cable cars and lifts service over 300km of marked runs, which are superbly prepared for all ability levels. Add to this over 200km of off-piste and deep-snow runs, the snowboard fun parks, carving areas, permanent racing circuits, and numerous cosy meeting places, and it is no wonder St. Anton continues to attract increasing numbers of visitors from all over the world.
Should you survive the Krazy Kanguruh and MooserWirt après with any remaining faculties, St. Anton has a great array of evening entertainment which, in peak season, includes the weekly Ski Show or “Schneetreiben”. Here Austria’s top SkiSchule instructors take to the slopes to showcase the evolution of skiing in the Alberg and prove to would-be slope pros why their tuition is worth every last cent. SkiSchule Alberg is the largest in Austria with around 380 qualified snow sport instructors offering tuition and some of the best off-piste guiding in the world. Free to watch, the show also has a ticketed option for €30 per person, granting show lounge access, three-courses of hearty Austrian cuisine and an open bar to indulge on before the show.
Another off piste activity to be enjoyed in St. Anton is a visit to the Arlberg-WELL Centre. Here guests can enjoy the heated outdoor pool and hot tub with glorious 360 views of the surrounding snowy mountains. And with an array of specialist saunas and steam rooms, embrace the code nude policy and sooth those weary muscles! For those feeling inspired after the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, both ice skating and curling are also on offer here.
WHERE TO EAT
Hospiz Alm – Tradition & Hospitality (https://www.arlberg1800resort.at/en/cuisine/gourmet-restaurant-arlberg.html)
Hospiz Alm in the nearby village of St Christoph offers diners an extensive, well executed menu that pays homage to traditional Austrian dishes. The restaurant is one of five in the Alberg 1800 resort, four of which are within the 5-Star Hospiz Hotel that is also connected by underground passage to a concert hall and modern art gallery. Hospitality is at the heart of the Hospiz ethos, which was noted by the warm welcome from the traditionally dressed waiting staff. Hospiz’ cosy setting, complete with roaring open fire and the snowy mountain village scene outside, provides a dream spot to dine on traditional Beef broth, Tyrolean roasted Duck and the show stopping ‘Kaiserschmarrn’ (shredded pancakes with rum soaked raisins, served alight with a side of whipped cream and plum sauce).
Before being transformed into a fine dining restaurant in the evening, Hospiz Alm provides a unique lunch spot complete with a slide that allows lunchers to glide to the bathrooms. Aside from the thrill factor, this comes in handy when navigating the stairs, in ski boots, after one too many Schnapps… This short trip also affords sliders the opportunity to sneak a glance of one of the finest large bottle wine cellars in Austria, worth a staggering €7 million at last count!
Museum Restaurant- Location & Heritage http://www.museum-restaurant.at/en
Sitting picture perfect just off of the blue Galzig piste is the stunning Treir villa, otherwise known as The Museum. At 106 years old, the traditional Chalet speaks volumes for the rich history of St. Anton and surrounding Alberg with the upstairs museum paying homage to the evolving relationship between people, the mountains and winter sport. With fantastic mountain views, The Museum provides a quaint lunch spot to take a break and soak up the wooden clad charm and gourmet dishes served daily here. These included Tyrol onion soup with locally sourced mountain cheese dumplings, local beef with onion sauce and a selection of alpine cheeses, washed down with local Austrian wine.
Post lunch, and after checking out the museum, the stunning balcony was a great spot to enjoy a few aperol spritz’ while expertly commentating on the technique and tribulations of passing skiers and snowboarders.
Ooben Im Mooser – Gastronomy & Service https://www.mooserhotel.at/en/dasmooserhotel/Restaurant.html
Home to the self titled “Worlds baddest après bar”, Das Mooser hotel attracts hoards of thirsty skiers to its MooserWirt bar to truly party like rockstars. However, excessive beer, Jägermeister and cheesy tunes aside, the luxury hotel is also home to fine dining restaurant Ooben Im Mooser that sits perched atop the hotel, offering diners panoramic views the unspoiled Mühltobel Gorge. Traditional Austrian dishes are often hearty and homely, while the kitchen at Ooben has turned these stodgy classics into refined, delicate plates fit for service in a Michelin starred restaurant.
With attentive, professional service, Ooben Im Mooser was yet another example of the outstanding hospitality of the Austrian people. Standout dishes like the Zander Fish from Lake Constance and Wels Catfish from Zug showcased the exceptional local produce, while taking our experience of Austrian cuisine to new heights. The stunning ‘Yeast’ dessert, or Germknödel, was the best of the week and after seeing small children devour mounds of this dish during lunch, Ooben’s elegant take was hardly recognisable, served with a plum stew hidden in a mountain of vanilla yeast topped with poppy seeds. An all round fantastic dining experience, well worth stepping over the late après dwellers for!
St. Anton has a stellar reputation as one of the worlds best ski resorts and after a week of navigating endless runs, dining on fantastic cuisine and partying our salopettes off at Après, it is clear to see why. The flawless Ingham’s service, inclusive of flights, seamless transfers and brilliant resort team allows guests to fully embrace all that St. Anton has to offer, ensuring a holiday to remember! The fact that it is socially acceptable to have shot of Schnapps before midday is also a very strong selling point!
Please note Mountain Lodge will not be available for the 2018/2019 ski season. Inghams offers a seven-night holiday on a catered basis (including daily buffet breakfasts, and afternoon tea with cake and three-course evening meals with complimentary wine for five days) at the four-diamond Chalet Larissa in St. Anton, Austria, from £899 per person based on two sharing in January 2019. Price includes return flights and airport transfers. Lift passes, equipment hire and tuition can be pre-booked through Inghams. To book, visit www.inghams.co.uk/ski-holidays or call 01483 791 114.
Tuition in St. Anton was provided by Skischule Arlberg (www.skischule-arlberg.com).
Tuition in the UK was provided by Snozone (http://snozoneuk.com/)
A huge thank you to our trip partners Inghams Ski Holidays, Snozone Milton Keynes, Skischule Arlberg, Ooben Im Mooser, Museum, Alberg1800 Resort and the St. Anton Am Alberg tourism board who hosted us during our stay in Austria. All opinions are our own.