Austria spotlight: Insider tips from our Lech and St Anton Resort Managers

 

Why choose a ski holiday in Austria?

Austria brings together the epitome of amazing skiing, a vibrant culinary and nightlife scene, and a culture of impeccable service.

Celebrated for their state of the art lift systems and wonderful Tyrolean architecture, Lech and St Anton are both continuously investing in their infrastructure, encouraging their loyal fan bases to return season upon season. Brimming with rich cultural heritage, Austria is home to some of the largest snowfalls in Europe, and you can experience it all from our hand-picked portfolio of beautiful luxury apartments and ski chalets. There really is more to discover here than just lederhosen and beer steins!

Austria ski lift and view over Lech

We picked the brains of our Lech and St Anton resort managers – Alen and Richard – for their best insider tips, starting with why they love their resorts. “It is just so pretty and fairytale-like” Alen says of Lech. This resort is certainly bursting with alpine charm, with a fantastic culinary scene both on and off the mountain, an abundance of luxury shops to peruse and picture-perfect Austrian architecture lining the edges of the meandering Lech river. Richard also speaks of the amazing facilities, restaurants and bars in St Anton, but he insists that “people really come here for skiing.” Despite its prestigious reputation, he says “the town holds on to a traditional feel and the après bars are unpretentious and fun!”

Austria architecture

Piste perfection

We let Alen and Richard talk us through a perfect day in their resorts. First things first – where would they ski? Alen’s top choice would be “just from the Schlegelkopfbahn down to the town, a wide piste with perfect flow and stunning views over Lech”, while Richard, who snowboards, says “Red 1 from Rendl is my favourite piste in St Anton. There is also a cosy little bar at the end of the run that is a perfect place for schnapps at the end of the day.” Sounds ideal to us!

Skiers in Austria

On-slope lunch

When it hits lunch time, every weary skier hunts for the ideal pit stop to refuel and recharge at. So where would Alen and Richard head? “I am vegan and in the past it was really difficult for me to eat on the mountain”, Richard says. “However, there are now a few places with great options for everyone. I like to stop at Arlberg Thaja in St Christoph for some food or a hot chocolate with rum in the sun.” Whatever atmosphere you’re after, St Anton’s establishments won’t disappoint, from Sennhütte with its beautiful terrace, traditional fare and live music six days a week, to Verwallstube, a gourmet restaurant ideally located for skiers and non-skiers to regroup and share a sophisticated lunch amidst snowy peaks. Alen keeps his lunch order traditional, going for goulash (a hearty meat and vegetable soup), kaiserschmarrn (a type of pancake) and skiwasser (a non-alcoholic raspberry and lemon drink famous in the Tyrolean area), which he’d order “anywhere in Oberlech at one of the hotel terraces”. Visitors to Lech are spoilt for choice too, with a plethora of sun-soaked terraces to enjoy, including the likes of Panorama restaurant, the Barbeque Terrace at the Hotel Goldener Berg, Mohnenfluh, or Balmalp, and between them you’ll be sure to find a delicious dish that hits the spot.

Skiers and lunch in the sun

Austrian Après

Although sadly at the moment après ski is subject to COVID-19 restrictions, we really hope to see these fantastic establishments back in full swing soon. Après ski in Lech is much more champagne terraces than bar-top boogying, with quality over quantity being the general consensus. Many people head to the exclusive Hotel Krone for cocktails and oysters, but as a year-rounder, Alen recommends Der Wolf, with it’s DJ sets and a varied menu, and Schneggarei with its straightforward concept of good pizza & drinks, good vibes and a great sun terrace. The season is rounded up in April with the fantastic Tanzcafé Arlberg music festival, where electro meets old-school jazz to the backdrop of the spectacular mountains. St Anton is renowned for the great atmosphere of its après scene, with options including jam-packed MooserWirt between Zimmermoos and St. Anton, and Krazy Kanguruh found at the side of run no.21, home of lively parties since 1965. Richard says ‘for me, the best après ski on the mountain is Sennhütte. Unlike some of the bigger bars this place offers a more traditional but no less raucous party. It is more of a rock bar but plays all the Austrian après favourites and has a live band every day.’

Apres ski in Austria

Dinner & drinks

Heading into the evening, there are no shortage of cosy corners by crackling open fireplaces to while away the hours in with a drink in hand. Lech has some of the most diverse wine cellars in the Alps, as well as a vast array of culinary offerings to delight the senses. Fux Concept Store boasts over 4,500 bottles, to be enjoyed alongside their chic Euro-Asian menu, as well as being home to the best Old Fashioned in town according to Alen. Or, try some wonderful Austrian vintage bottles at Almhof Schneider Wunderkammer or Achtele wine bar, with both locations also offering delicious, hearty menus and excellent ambience. Alen’s top choice of dinner spot is Hotel Goldener Berg, which he describes as ‘a cosy hotel with a fireplace, piano lounge and beautiful views over Lech, with perfect cuisine.’ 

Fine dining meal and a wine bar

Richard opts for a down to earth dinner in St Anton, at the cosy Underground on the Piste. ‘It is by no means fine dining but the owner is brilliantly eccentric and very entertaining. They have live music during dinner and hand out maracas for everyone to join in’, he says. Never fear, if you prefer your meal minus percussion, try the fresh, seasonal menus of Galzig Bistrobar or Endlich restaurant, or hearty, fuss-free fare at the jovial Sonnegg restaurant or Theo’s. For an after dinner tipple, Richard concludes that ‘the best cocktails in town are served by Jimmy in Hannes Schneider bar.’ Jimmy also happens to train all of our hosts at the start of the winter to make cocktails for our guests, so they are certainly in good hands.

Chefs in the kitchen and an Old Fashioned

Top tips

To round it all up, we had to know what our resort managers top insider tips would be, and any not-to-be-missed experiences. Alen recommends a magical horse-drawn sleigh ride in Lech, and a stop at Hagen’s butcher and delicatessen, with its delicious local produce and a cosy restaurant in the back. Richard lets us in on ‘a fondue restaurant on the mountain that is only reachable 2 days a week by riding on the front of a piste basher, which is a really fun thing to do with a group of friends.’ The name of this establishment remains a mystery, so maybe you’ll be lucky enough to stumble upon someone who’ll let you in on the secret during your stay in St Anton, if you ask nicely!

Horse sleigh ride and fondue

The Arlberg Ski area

With both resorts connected by the Arlberg Ski area and a fantastically efficient infrastructure, Richard explains ‘it is possible to ski to Lech in a day easily. I would highly recommend spending a day there for a more chilled vibe. To beat the crowds in St Anton, go to Rendl for a few runs first thing in the morning. All the skiers that wish to ski to Lech will go to Galzig. Fresh tracks and no crowds!’ This expansive ski area has so much to offer, and any visitors to Lech and St Anton can pick and choose the best of both resorts to create their ideal holiday with something for everyone. 

Arlberg ski area

Our Austrian portfolio

Our amazing array of luxury ski chalets and apartments in Lech and St Anton will allow you to find the ideal base for your ski holiday. From a peaceful, private couple’s escape at a stylish apartment, to an impressively luxurious fully-catered stay, we can confidently offer something tailored to meet your unique wishes.

Available during March 2022, we have a selection of immaculately finished apartments in the exclusive Brunnenhof development, situated just a 6-minute walk from the nearest ski lift and 10 minutes from the heart of Lech. Due to their individual owners, the apartments each have their own unique atmosphere, making this development not only flexible dependent on party sizes, but also on personal taste. 

Chalet Maria Schnee and Brunnenhof apartment

The Brunnenhof Residence

For groups of up to six, Brunnenhof 12 is an ultra-chic apartment that has been beautifully designed with retro artwork and trendy finishing touches throughout. For those who look for a paired-back interior and neutral colour palette in their holiday accommodation, Brunnenhof 10 sleeping ten, or Brunnenhof 13 sleeping 8+2 are both available, complete with sleek and modern features such as statement fireplaces and lighting features ensuring warm ambience. For up to 6+2 guests, the super plush Brunnenhof 9 is ideal for those who relish the luxurious feel of velvet and fur as they lounge in the sumptuous bedroom or living room. Meanwhile, the considered designs of Brunnenhof 3 sleeping six, or the Brunnenhof Penthouse sleeping 8+2 both perfectly implement the subtle use of luxe textiles, alpine materials and high-end finishes, for an elevated homely feel.

Brunnenhof interiors

Guests staying within any of these apartments will enjoy shared use of the fantastic wellness facilities, including an indoor swimming pool, spa, hammam, sauna and a treatment room, making this a perfect base for a relaxing and refreshing break in charming Lech.

Brunnenhof pool & sauna

View our property availability throughout Austria, and begin planning your most memorable ski holiday yet in this welcoming, charming country with so much to offer. 

 

Photo credit: Yves Garneau, TVB St Anton am Arlberg (Patrick Bätz) & Lech Zuers.

 

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