St Anton comes in three main chunks, the town centre (Dorf), Nasserein, and Oberdorf.
The town centre is where you want to be for quick access to the main lifts, as well as the legendary nightlife, and the resort’s indoor pool and climbing wall/bowling centre. Nasserein – 10-15 minutes’ walk from centre of town – is for those who still want good access to St Anton’s skiing (courtesy of the Nassereinbahn gondola), but aren’t so interested in the nightlife. It’s also the best place for beginners and children, because the best nursery slopes in St Anton are right next to the Nassereinbahn.
Meanwhile, Oberdorf, up on a hill above the Dorf, is St Anton’s most tranquil spot. Each morning, there’s a walk downhill to the main hub of lifts and pistes, which can be slippy if there’s compacted snow on the road. So it’s best to leave your ski boots in overnight storage (for example, at Alber Sport) and go down in something with more grip.
Central St Anton: for lifts, bars and cool hotels
Central St Anton is unsually pretty and well-proportioned – a triumph of careful planning regulations and pedestrianisation. But it can be noisy at night. If you don’t like the sound of someone else’s après-ski, check there isn’t a bar beneath your room. Those who are staying on the Dorfstrasse should bring earplugs, too.
This is the district where most of St Anton’s hotels are concentrated, and there are some stunners amongst them. Come here for comfort and the convenience of being only a couple of minutes from the key lifts, ski hire shops, bars and restaurants. But give yourself a healthy budget. This is some of the most sought-after accommodation in Austria.
Welcome to Planet Zen
Opened in 2009 by three brothers (Mansuet, Michael and Markus), m3hotel offers four-star minimalism in a tight, town-centre setting. Don’t come here if you’re looking for old-school Tirolean atmosphere or a big spa. But for large bedrooms, clean lines and the sense of having St Anton on your doorstep it’s hard to beat: especially when you’re sitting in rooftop Sky Lounge having breakfast. The en-suite bathrooms are all equipped with infrared cabins and rainforest showers.
Arty, friendly and utterly convenient.
Sharp-edged, low-rise and faced with weathered wooden shingles, the Hotel Anton ruffled a few feathers when it opened in 2002. But now it’s surrounded by copies. No wonder. It manages to look both utterly modern and as old as the hills – and unlike some of its imitators, the atmosphere is as friendly and comfortable as a favourite pair of slippers. Big windows, generous room sizes, and interesting art add to the appeal, as does the groovy rooftop spa – and best of all it’s only a minute’s walk from the lifts up to Galzig and Gampen.
Quiet, unassuming, and rather beautiful
The Himmlhof is our favourite four-star in St Anton. Run with charm and efficiency by Margarita and Sebastian Penz, it’s tucked away down a quiet side-street, and combines crackling fires, flickering candles and rough wood panelling to soothing effect. Yes, the style is quite traditional, but there’s something about the use of texture and bold blocks of colour that’s also modern and self-assured. And they serve a magnificent breakfast too.
Raffl’s St. Antoner Hof
If Julie Andrews had red hair and a hipster tatoo…
By a considerable margin, this is the Arlberg’s funkiest five-star – a determined attempt to make Tirolean ski hotels contemporary. Think sushi bar, industrial lighting, retro furniture and comic-book murals in the Stubn restaurant. Some will find the decor a bit too busy – but at the very least you should come in for a drink and a bite to eat. Despite the irreverent decor, the Stubn takes its food seriously, and now has 16/20 points and two toques from the Gault Millau guides.
Chalet Hotel Rosanna
Home-from-home for skiing Brits
Not everyone wants the fuss and formality of a hotel: and if it’s the chatty, feet-up atmosphere of a British-run chalet you’re after, this is the place. It’s one of Mark Warner’s adults-only chalet hotels, and it’s long been a favourite for those who want to be first on the lifts in the morning, and don’t mind the odd drink at the end of the day to celebrate. Don’t expect artful interior design or the pin-sharp attention to detail you’ll get in a Tirolean hotel. But it’s hard to argue with the central location and the bright-eyed, up-for-it atmosphere.
Hotel Alte Post
Well-mannered stalwart of the St Anton scene
Back in the 17th century, this was St Anton’s coaching inn, and it still has the prime spot in the heart of town. It’s a place for those who like their hotels traditional and convenient – along with good food, spacious rooms and painstaking service. Get a room at the back of the hotel if you can, away from the Dorfstrasse. You don’t want a 2am serenade from the après-ski brigade to puncture the hotel’s deep sense of calm.
Oberdorf: cute and quiet
Oberdorf is up the hill, to one side of the main hub of lifts and pistes. It’s a canny choice if you want a quiet location, but only a short walk into town and the choice of skiing in the Rendl sector as well as on Galzig and Gampen.
Revamped hotel run by upmarket British operator
On planet posh, this is what a Brit-friendly chalet-hotel looks like. Built in 1932, it’s been owned by the same family for 80 years, and is now run by upmarket chalet specialists VIP. So expect modernist architecture (from the first time it was fashionable), flat screen TVs and cowhide stools in the bar. VIP also offers its own English-speaking childcare – which is a rarity at this end of the resort. It’s only a short walk from the main hub of lifts and pistes – downhill in the morning, uphill at the end of the day, so it’s best to leave skis and boots each night in storage Alber Sport by the Galzigbahn gondola.
Nasserein: the stronghold of British chalet operators
Prices are a little lower at this end of town – as they should be. Yes, you’ve got the Nassereinbahn gondola on the doorstep, and St Anton’s best nursery slope, but it’s less convenient if you want quick access to the intermediate-friendly pistes of the Rendl sector, or you’re planning to ski over to Zurs and Lech on several days. That said, if you’ve got kids or beginners in the family, or you’re in the market for mid-priced chalets, this is your hunting ground. There is a sprinkling of bars around the villagey streets here, so if you’ve travelling in a group you can create your own apres-ski buzz. Otherwise, it’s a 10-15 minute walk into Dorf.
Chalet Pepi Gabl
Ultra-convenient base with its own nusery and kids’ clubs
This is the perfect location for a family-friendly chalet-hotel in St Anton – at the bottom of the nursery slopes, next door to the gondola, with the ski-rental centre on the ground floor. As with most British-run chalets, you shouldn’t expect cutting-edge design or brand-new fittings. But if Mum and Dad are both keen and athletic skiers, and their kids are new to slopes, that won’t matter. What’s important is Esprit’s enthusiastic childcare, and the chance to click into your skis and explore one of the world’s best ski areas for more advanced skiers, while the littl’uns are perfecting their snowplough turns. The only drawback is the 10-15 minute walk to the public pool in centre of town.
Haus Hochkar and Haus Gamskar
“Ruthessly-engineered for the skier”
On a quiet road to nowhere in particular, these two chalet-apartments offer sturdy, spacious accommodation and a simple, unfussy style. They’re run by upmarket chalet specialist VIP (so you get champagne on arrival and tea/coffee in bed in the mornings), and you can ski from the back door to the Nassereinbahn gondola. Local bar Tom Dooley’s is a couple of minutes up the road, if you want to pop out for a quick drink, rather than a night that lasts till 2am.