WHY GO THERE
St Anton is one of Europe’s top skiing destinations and boasts the biggest connected ski area in Austria. It has more than 305 kilometres of slopes, 200 kilometres of off-piste terrain and some of the most consistent snowfall in the Alps. Visitors may recognise it, as scenes for both Chalet Girl, the popular romcom starring Felicity Jones and Ed Westwick, and Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason were filmed there.
The charming resort is also renowned for its legendary après-ski scene and you’ll find plenty of places to unwind with a drink or two. Plus, there are three airports within two hours’ drive, so if you’re looking to escape for a few days on the slopes, this is the perfect place.
WHAT ACTIVITIES SHOULD I DO?
To make the most of our long weekend, OK! signed up with one of Skischule Arlberg’s ski school’s savvy guides, who showed us the quietest slopes, shortest lift queues and some off-piste skiing.
When you’re ready for a break from the slopes, head for a spin on the town’s ice-skating rink (open subject to government Covid restrictions), then enjoy a pamper at the Arlberg-Well leisure centre. Here, you’ll find a large indoor and outdoor heated pool, steam, sauna and massage rooms as well as a restaurant with alpine views. And be sure to take the Gampen chairlift up to the toboggan run, where adrenaline junkies can whizz down the valley. It’s a blast!
Before the pandemic, St Anton had a reputation as a party hot spot, with revellers flocking to slope-side bar MooserWirt. At the moment, however, restaurants and bars are running differently, and guests are asked to pre-book tables and follow social-distancing measures.
WHERE TO DINE
The Museum, an alpine wooden chalet (which acted as the residence in Chalet Girl), has both a restaurant and a museum of skiing. With a hearty post-piste appetite we tucked into Austrian classics such as Wiener schnitzel, Kaiserschmarrn (a pancake dessert) and apple strudel.
For succulent steaks cooked on a charcoal grill, try Al Fuego. The restaurant has an open kitchen with a buzzy vibe and friendly staff who gave great recommendations, such as our antipasti sharing starter.
On the mountain, treat yourself to a gourmet lunch at Verwallstube, one of Europe’s highest fine-dining restaurants. OK! feasted on tuna sashimi followed by truffle tortellini, washed down with a delicious Austrian wine. The panoramic views are phenomenal and there’s an outdoor terrace if you wish to sit outside.
WHERE TO STAY
Crystal Ski Holidays offers 15 three-star to four-star superior hotels in St Anton. If you want to stay in the heart of town, the contemporary style Hotel Banyan (above) is a top choice. The boutique hotel has 39 rooms with OK!’s featuring a small balcony with mountain views and the comfiest of beds. Before a day on the slopes, guests can load up from the huge breakfast buffet before making the short stroll to the main Nasserein and Galzig gondolas. After a day’s skiing, we loved coming back and having a dip in the pool before stints in the sauna and steam room to ease our aching muscles.
WORDS: LAUREN RICHARDS OZZATI
EDITED BY: ANNABEL MACKIE