Lodging: St. Anton, Austria

When Europe calls, this Tyrolean outpost lays out the welcome mat.
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When Europe calls, this Tyrolean outpost lays out the welcome mat.
Rahlves SG 03 07 04

Perhaps Europe is on your life list. Or maybe you've never even considered it. You should. St. Anton, whose residents know how to host a vacationing skier, won't disappoint. A stay here promises a slice of the good life — ski large, relax deeply, eat like a gourmand, sleep like a baby, repeat — with a globetrotter's gold standard of comforts and its own unique sense of place. The challenge is deciding where to stay. With 9,500 guest beds, the choice is rivaled only by where to ski amidst the area's 273 square miles of terrain. Here are our picks.

LUXURY: Schwarzer Adler
The slopeside Schwarzer Adler opened its doors in the 1570s (no, that's not a typo). Today it's a 70-room, four-star hotel mingling historic details (the original tavern's medieval carvings) with upscale fineries (spacious pine-cased rooms). Diversions include afternoon tea, wine tastings and the Adler Vital, the hotel's luxury spa, which offers such intriguing treatments as Tyrolean hay wraps. And speaking of hay, after a four-course Austrian feast in the restaurant, you'll be more than ready to hit it. $142—$485 per person, per night, with breakfast and dinner; schwarzeradler.com; 011-43-5446-2244-0

A short walk from the slopes, the 14-room Himmlhof looks like a classic Tyrolean chalet. It operates, however, like an upmarket B&B, where après-ski apertifs are served in front of a fireplace framed by overstuffed couches and Bergere chairs. Renovated in 2002, rooms feel fresh, with feather beds, Tyrolean tile heaters and sitting areas. And the hotel's spa features saunas, steam baths and an invigorating ice water grotto. $98—$185 per person, per night, including breakfast; himmlhof.com; 011-43-5446-2322-0

SLOPESIDE: Aparthotel Anton
This modernist lodge combines Zen-style minimalism with contemporary Euro design. Floor plans are flexible, with sliding walls that allow B&B rooms for one or two to become self-service apartments for eight, with terraces, flat-screen TVs in the living areas and even a napping nook that overhangs the slopes. A rooftop sauna affords moonlit mountain views, and the popular après-ski bar, cafe and coffeehouse make the Anton quite the gathering spot. $120—$170 per person, per night, including breakfast; apartments $196—$825; hotelanton.com; 011-43-5446-2408-0

Classic: Hotel Post, from $125 per person, per night, including breakfast and dinner; hotel-post.co.at; 011-43-5446-2213-0
Slopeside: Berg Schössl, from $102 per person, per night, including breakfast; bergschloessl.at; 011-43-5446-2220-0


In 1907, Hannes Schneider was hired as a ski instructor in Austria’s Arlberg region, four ski areas spread over six villages.  There, he began developing the Arlberg technique: the modern-day parallel turn.  Over the next few years, Schneider smashed the notion of skiing as cautious step turns.  It became about speed and flow.  And the Arlberg began drawing skiers who wanted to experience it for themselves.  Little has changed.  Since 1999, Swedish photographer Mattias Fredriksson has shot in the Arlberg at least once a year.  He goes for the suffocating powder, narrow tree fields, and cliff-dotted terrain.  But he also goes to pay respects to the tracks laid down before him.  “Hannes Schneider showed people from all around the world the parallel turn,” says Fredriksson.  “I skied with Pep Fujas, Henrik Windstedt, and Sean Pettit in the same area he taught in.  that was pretty cool for me.”  The photos that follow, all of them Fredriksson’s, are a tribute to the area, its history, and skiing as we know it. Pictured: Stina Jakobsson above the village of Zug.

St. Anton, Austria

Inbounds descents down powderfields up to five miles long dump you in the middle of the Tyrolean frescoes and church steeples of a too-cute ski village.