St. Anton is one of the oldest and finest resorts in the Alps, bursting with stylish hotels, restaurants and chalets. Known for its impressive snow record, St. Anton lies deep in the Arlberg region at the western end of Austria, one of Europe’s snowiest spots. Just two hours away from three international airports, the village is remarkably easy to get to. Intermediate and advanced skiers are in their element here thanks to the varied ski area and the extensive network of pistes (305km) and lifts (97).
The village has more than a few luxury chalets and hotels but also caters well to more modest budgets. It is safe to say, however, that if you are looking for a hotel with the wow factor, you are sure to find something to fit the bill here.
After a day carving up the mountain, it’s worth checking out St. Anton’s renowned après ski scene. Arguably the spiritual home of après ski, St. Anton was put on the party map back in the 60s thanks to the two legendary bars either side of the Galzig piste: The MooserWirt and The Krazy Kanguruh.
Resort Altitude: 1,305m
Resort Skiing: 2,811m
Total Ski Area: 305km
Blue Runs: 133km
Red Runs: 135km
Black Runs: 37km
Cross Country: 40km
St. Anton arguably has some of the best terrain in Austria, making it one of the most popular resorts in Europe. Best suited to intermediate and advanced skiers, the resort has a variety of wide, sweeping runs as well as steep, sharp pistes. St. Anton is renowned for its amazing après ski, making it popular with everyone from young adults to A-listers.
Austria’s most iconic ski area offers a range of awesome challenges, especially off-piste. St. Anton has a huge variety of different runs with a fantastic lift system that has been gradually upgraded over the past few years, with plenty of high-speed quad chairlifts being installed. St. Anton has another, completely separate, ski area at Rendl, on the opposite side of the valley, that gives skiers plenty of terrain to explore. Many visitors to St. Anton will probably want to spend a day skiing in neighbouring Lech, which is covered by the same lift pass.
Freeriders will love St. Anton; it's the perfect playground with a little bit of everything, from powder bowls, tree-lined pistes and big drop-offs. There is plenty of off-piste and some long runs back into St. Anton that are great for intermediates and above. For those looking to make tracks in fresh snow, it is advised to go with a guide to ensure safety.
The St. Anton Ski School is merged with the Arlberg Ski School, so there is one option for those wanting group lessons. For off-piste enthusiasts, however, Piste to Powder Mountain Guides offer guiding/tuition for clients and is an increasingly popular service.
The resort runs two Children’s Centres at the base of Peak 8 and Peak 9 offering all-day childcare. The centre at Peak 8 takes children from two months and at Peak 9 from three years. Children aged from three years are offered a combined programme with the Ski School. The Kinderhut is an independent kindergarten located at Beaver Run taking children from six weeks to six years of age.
In St. Anton, there is plenty to choose from, with options ranging from traditional Austrian to Italian and Asian. Although many of the hotels in St. Anton have good restaurants, the very best ambience is to be found in the individual establishments. In the town, the elegant 1912 villa that now serves as the Ski Museum also functions as a restaurant. Die Einkehr is a traditional restaurant with a menu of Tyrolean specialities. Dolce Vita is a plush, up-market restaurant serving the full gamut of Italian cuisine.
Arguably the spiritual home of après ski, the party scene really got kicking in St. Anton back in the 60s thanks to the two legendary bars either side of the Galzig piste: the MooserWirt and the Krazy Kanguruh. At the bottom of the mountain is Anton/Square Bar, a favourite amongst the ski instructors and visitors alike; things kick off here from about 6 pm. Next door is Basecamp, another good choice for an après jig with a covered outdoor bar, dance floor and live DJ playing every afternoon.
Although St. Anton is very much a winter sports town, non-skiers will not feel excluded here. The resort centre remains reasonably lively during the day and there are shopping opportunities. Non-skiers can access several of the mountain restaurants by cable car or foot. Day trips by rail to cities such as Innsbruck and even Zurich are another possibility. Many of the leading hotels here, including the Alte Post, Post and the Schwarzer Adler, have lavish state-of-the-art swimming pool and spa facilities.