With the ski season well under way, we have already taken our groups to ski resorts across Austria, Switzerland, and France. Our clients do love skiing, but we can confidently say the best part of every ski trip is the après-ski! The combination of post-ski adrenaline, excitement to be in the mountains, good music and Prosecco is just magical.
Today, we have decided to check the best après ski spots in Europe according to Condé Nast travel. We are happy to say we’ve got most of them covered, even this winter season!
For: a high low mix of international glamour and beer-soaked live gigs.
Everyone knows the après is on par with the first-class skiing in Verbier. The Swiss resort has a ski-hard play-hard mentality that sees early risers maximise slope time before piling into a long lunch, which invariably rolls onto a rosé-fuelled afternoon at Bar Le Rouge. If pounding tables in ski boots to live music is on the cards, head to Le Mouton Noir, Le Farinet for its live music and retractable, fair weather roof, and seasonaire hotspot pub Montfort. Where you choose to après, it’s Verbier tradition to visit a hole-in-the-wall bakery en route home, soaking up the rosé with a pain au chocolat.
For: a metropolitan take on the mountains
This French resort’s après scene is as vast and varied as its terrain. Except for La Folie Douce on the lower green Brevent piste, après mostly takes place back in town or at the foot of the lifts. Skiers energised after a full day on the slopes spill onto Marmottons’ terrace for panachés and Indie performers. At the north end of town, Chambre Neuf is the classic, where cool beer, bro-beanies and live music coalesce in sticky, sweaty rapture. Just opposite, ski guides and real-deal mountaineers debrief the day’s adventures at Elevation 1904, which swiftly loosens up into bar mode.
For: A boot-stomping belter of a party
With over 305 km of varied piste to carve and conquer, St Anton is a hard-and-fast snowglobe of fun for skiers. Krazy Kangaruh is St Anton’s après original where Schnitzels, beer and table dancing convene for a party that kicks off around 11am. Fellow mountain party cabin, MooseWirt, pumps out the Euro tunes for ski boots pounding the tables under a giant disco ball. Basecamp collects those unwilling to go home and get changed. Bodo’s is the spot for a clipped cow-bell spin on karaoke and cocktail-fuelled dancing.
For: mountain cabaret and subterranean clubbing
As the highest resort in les Trois Vallées, Val Thorens’ snow cover is as sensational as its après. La Folie Douce enjoys a near-sacred status in this resort, despite its spin on the Val d’Isere original, where performers lift the terrace onto tables from their chalet balcony stage. The Brits descend on the Frog and Roastbeef for happy hour and pub grub, or join the locals at Rhum Box for an unbuttoned après. For full-throttle clubbing, Malaysia is the Alps’ biggest club, with world-famous DJs oiling the crowds until the early hours.
For: city-grade nightlife without the VIP nonsense
High-altitude Livigno offers some of Europe’s best skiing. From a sleepy, Lombardy village in the 1950s, the resort now offers a cornucopia of post-ski frolicking. Yes, there’s the salopetted-and-booted après at Alegra with its crowd-pleasing tunes, or the circus-themed Statlet, both at the bottom of the black Carosello run. But Italians do things a little differently. Rather than a beer-soaked après, they break up a day’s skiing with a long lunch or a red wine and chicchetti pit stop, then a shower, snooze and suddenly it’s aperitivo hour. At precisely this time, Milky’s Aperitivo Bar switches on the charm with Bombardinos or Aperol spritz, while Tagliede après ski is more about the relaxed pizza and Peroni.
For: the original, hardcore après
Val d’Isere’s après scene remains predominantly British and invariably wild. By 2pm, ski helmets are typically tucked over chairs at the original La Folie Douce, at the top of La Daille gondola, where a saxophonist loosens the crowd and cabaret dancers lure in diners from La Fruitiere and la Cucina. Just above the Olympic gondola, Cocorico’s heated terraces host a more home-spun style of show, with the tabletop dancing to live music and a short slide home that can barely be categorised as skiing. The party typically moves from the slopes to the foot of the runs around 4pm.
For: how the other half après
St Moritz is essentially one chic century-long party laced in curious traditions and star-studded lore. Most tales emerging from years of refined revelry lead back to Badrutt’s Palace, St Moritz’s fairytale turreted hotel, which recently opened its own mountain club, Paradiso. Here, a mix of serious skiers and gondola-riding designer creatures sip Champagne to Euro hits. Sternbar Marguns has been around a little longer, with its sun trap terrace and famously louche bar 2,838 metres high. Schneebar Pirates on the Rocks is another less ritzy spot at Corviglia’s top station, whose live music and laid-back allure feel out of step with everything St Moritz stands for. Finaly, the Roo Bar at Hauser is a St Moritz classic, whose cellar dance floor mops up the après crowds who’ve made it home to change.
For: the fireside drinks that just occasionally get spicy
Kloster’s après takes its cue from the resort’s clientele – discreet royals and old money eager to pelt down its 320km tangle of pistes for a Swiss hot chocolate or lunch at Wolf’s Den. Most après take place in the cosy, amber-lit Pellegrini Bar and the traditional chalet-style Alpina Bar by the station. A curious blend of traditional chalet and school disco, Casa Antica absorbs the revellers, with its pocket-sized dance floor and cosy booths.