We get asked this question often! Both of these beautiful resorts are popular choices for luxury ski holidays in Austria. Lech vs St Anton is an age-old conundrum with both of these wonderful Arlberg ski resorts offering some of the best skiing in Austria, whilst each offers a very different holiday experience.
So here are a few things to consider when planning your next luxury ski holiday in Austria…
Legendary Off-Piste & Après vs Chic & Sophisticated Luxury
St. Anton am Arlberg, is one of the best ski resorts near Innsbruck, situated in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps in Austria, at an elevation of 1,300m. This mountain town is known as the gateway to the Arlberg ski region and is often called the “cradle of alpine skiing” for its role in inventing the sport. It is a big, busy, bustling, resort spread along the valley. St Anton still maintains a traditional feel with its pedestrianised main street lined with shops, restaurants and bars on either side. With a great snow record, incredible off-piste, legendary après ski and over 300km of pisted runs, St Anton has to be one of the best destinations for luxury ski holidays in Austria.
Lech sits in the heart of the Austrian Vorarlberg at 1,444m. It is a traditional farming mountain village as well as one of Austria’s most fashionable, chic and exclusive ski resorts and is known to be one of the best luxury ski resorts in Austria. The picturesque village is dotted with chocolate box chalets and sits alongside a meandering river.
Lech too, has one of the Alps’ best snow records. It links to the slopes of neighbouring Zürs and Oberlech via a heated chairlift, and by the Flexenbahn to nearby St Anton, creating a vast ski area of over 300km of pisted runs.
Terrain options: what is the skiing like?
St Anton is one of the best resorts in the Alps for the advanced and adventurous skier. There are many challenging black runs, as well as limitless off-piste – enough to keep any expert smiling for the season let alone a week’s holiday! Intermediates can now explore the whole Alberg ski region with over 300km of pistes, due to the connection to Lech & Zurs. Although St Anton may not be the number one choice for beginners, there is a great nursery area in the quieter end of town, called Nasserein. The Nasserein area is a fantastic location for your family luxury ski holiday in St Anton, with great skiing for the kids and adults alike.
Lech has spectacular skiing and is situated in the heart of Austria’s biggest ski area. It is a beginner and intermediate skiers paradise with local skiing links to neighbouring Zurs, making it an ideal location for families. For beginners there are some great learning areas on the edge of Lech and also Oberlech, just above the main village. For intermediates the choice is almost limitless – there are 255km of immaculately groomed blues and reds in the Ski Arlberg. For an unforgettable ski experience why not ski the The White Ring Ski Circuit?
For the more adventurous skiers they can connect easily to the more challenging slopes of St Anton by the Flexenbahn.
That all sounds great… but what is there for non-skiers?
St Anton has much to offer the non–skier. Ride on a traditional horse-drawn sleigh around the village or take in the breath-taking scenery whilst hiking or snowshoeing on one of the numerous scenic walks. For the more adventurous don’t miss the famous toboggan run offering 4km of sliding fun. If the weather closes in or you feel like a pamper, head over to the Arlberg Wellness Centre for a sauna and swim. If that’s not enough, why not try your hand at ice skating or curling? As a non-skier in St Anton, you will never be bored!
Lech is also a great destination for non-skiers. There are 36 prepared snowy walks through the scenic winter wonderland. Amongst other activities are snow shoeing, exclusive shopping, ice skating and curling. After enjoying a lovely winter walk, why not jump on a sleigh ride back to one of the many cafés, bars and amazing restaurants in Lech lining the main street?
Don’t forget you can take a bus from either St Anton or Lech to St Christoph and meet the rest of your party for a delicious lunch at the Hospiz Alm, with stunning views and a unique slide to take you down to the loos!
How hard do you want to party?
St Anton is not only famous for its skiing but equally as famous for its après ski! Two of the most well-known après bars in St Anton are the Mooserwirt whose philosophy is ‘Probably the “baddest” après ski bar on Arlberg mountain’, and the Krazy Kanguruh which has the largest open-air dance floor and the best après-ski party in the Arlberg. Having made it back from the slope-side après, it doesn’t stop there as the main street in St Anton, full of bars and cafes, comes alive!
APRÈS SKI IN LECH
By contrast don’t come to Lech expecting wild St Anton-style après. However, some of the bars at the foot of the lifts can become lively – whilst a round of drinks might cost a small fortune, the views are breathtaking. For a classy option, there are a number of lounge bars, perfect for sipping cocktails or relaxing with a glühwein
Head to the Ice Bar at the Hotel Krone for a bit of lively après ski and an aperol in the sun, the Schlegelkopf Restaurant Bar for some live music or the champagne bar at the Hotel Montana.
On your luxury ski holidays in Austria, you’ll be spoilt for choice by way of luxury accommodation. Apart from Sweet Little Home, one of the most photographed chalets in St Anton, the luxury chalets are stretched across the valley to make the most of the stunning mountain views, and offer guests a private experience. A popular area is Nasserein, where there are some good ski-in/ski-out locations. There are so many luxury chalets in St Anton to choose from to suit all criteria.
Chalet Lena is one of St Anton’s finest luxury chalets. It is a large chalet with 900sqm of living space and can sleep up to 23 guests in its 9 spacious bedrooms. Chalet Lena is situated in the quieter district of Nasserein and boasts stunning views of the valley. Even though this impressive St Anton ski chalet is very close to the Nassereinbahn lift, Chalet Lena has its own private shuttle which is great for tired legs at the end of the day.
The chalet has the most stunning state-of-the-art spa and wellness area, featuring Finnish and Bio saunas and a steam room. There is a modern gym which overlooks the indoor/outdoor swimming pool and a hot tub. If that is not enough why not unwind and relax after a hard day on the slopes with a choice of massages and beauty treatments.
Most of the luxury chalets in Lech are located in Oberlech, an exclusive luxury satellite, 200 metres above the main resort. Oberlech offers spectacular views and highly sought after luxury ski chalets in prime ski-in-ski-out positions.
Lech has three five-star superior hotels and many luxury chalets and apartments to choose from, such as…
Chalet Überhaus is nestled just above Lech in the pretty, exclusive enclave of Oberlech. This luxury chalet is 685sqm, and can sleep up to 14 guests in 5 luxurious suites, two of which are ideal for families with additional bunkbeds.
Überhaus has everything you could possibly want on your luxury ski holidays in Austria. With wood burning fireplaces, a gym, outdoor hot tub, sauna, hammam, massage room and cinema room, the whole group will be entertained for hours on end with a stay at Überhaus.
TO SUM UP – WHICH IS THE BEST ARLBERG SKI RESORT FOR YOU?
Lech and St Anton are two of the best resorts for a luxury ski holiday in Austria. Two neighbouring resorts with two very different vibes. Head to Lech if you are looking for a sophisticated holiday with superb well-groomed intermediate pistes, sleigh rides and beautiful scenery. If you are looking for more challenging pistes, superb off-piste skiing and a buzzing “après” vibe, then the bustling town of St Anton is for you.
If you would like any advice on where to spend your luxury ski holidays in Austria, or would like more information on our luxury ski chalets in the Arlberg, please do get in touch with our Ski Specialists who will help you decide which luxury Austrian ski resort is best for you. You can send us an email or give us a call on +44 (0)1202 203650.