Ischgl.. Relax if you can!
Stuck on the mountain? Stuck for what to do? Not in Ischgl you aren’t. Allow me to show you why the motto of this resort is ‘Relax…if you can’.
If the calling of the beer is first heard on the mountain, then Ischgl offers you one stonking option: Get involved with the outdoor umbrella bar of Paznauner Thaya. From 3pm, the traditional Austrian tunes can be heard from the top of the E1 chairlift that provides access back to the main ski area of Ischgl. You will find yourself propped up against a wine barrel, making up words to ‘Schatzi Schenk mir ein foto’ within minutes.
If the calling of the beer is heard closer to your Ski Total chalet, then don’t worry: dinner is a very short walk away in your ski boots!
Guests of the Chalet xtra Belmonte are less than 5 minutes away from some of the best-known après ski in Europe at the Pardatchgrat area of town. Guests of the Chalet Zita are a mere short walk and a Travelator away (approx. 7 minutes).
Let’s start with the jaw dropping truth about après In Ischgl town: Schatzi Bar, part of the 4 star Hotel Elizabeth by the Pardatchgratbahn lift is probably the most famous bar in town. At 3pm, girls in miniature versions of traditional dirndls appear on the bar, and don’t stop entertaining the (mostly male) crowd until 7. The music is based heavily on electronic/dance remixes of classics and modern tunes, and it really turns up a notch when the lasers kick in! You may notice your wallet to be a little lighter, and have lipstick on your cheeks (gentlemen). The splashing €250 on the bottle of grey goose vodka will probably help you forget this though…
As a personal recommendation, for the Pardatchgrat end of town, I would have to go with Kitzloch. An après ski bar from 3-7pm, it transforms into the top rated trip advisor restaurant by night. Don’t think this means it is gentle on the après ski though: this is probably the first place in town to get people in their ski boots on the tables and dancing to the beat of a mix of traditional Austrian songs (like Artemlos) and more English favourites (think AC/DC and Bon Jovi). The best bit? Your Ski Total reps are there pretty regularly, and can often be found leading the conga line by the steering wheel, through the kitchen and out the other side!
Finally on this side of town, Nikis Stadl (Nikis little stadium) is an Ischgl institution. Owned and run by local celebrity Niki Ganahl, who can often be found directing the flavor of the music from the DJ booth, and showing his music videos on all the TV screens. The taste is distinctly Austrian, with hunting trophies adorning the wood lined walls. The music follows suit, and unless you attract the DJs attention with your particular dancing style, you can join in the Germans and Austrians their near constant waltzing (to almost any song) with the partner you brought with you, or the one you found that evening. Après ski starts at 4 and is lively until around 7, when it’s probably time to get back for canapés at your Chalet. Don’t worry though: It gets busy again around 10, and goes until late night.
On the way to the other side of town, you may need to chill out somewhat. This year, there is a new wooden lodge (Käfer Alm), which offers just this opportunity. Fur lined benches and pretzel trees await, along with regular slots of live music and the smell of freshly cut wood.
Guests of the Chalet Hotel Abendrot near the Silvrettabahn lift needn’t worry though. They are the shortest of staggers away from some cracking après and late night stops:
You can’t talk about Ischgl without mentioning Kuhstall (Cow stall). They are incredibly proud of their heritage of previously being a barn (a bit of a theme in the ex farming village of Ischgl), and have decorated the bar appropriately, and the DJ can’t stop himself making mooing noises before, during and after songs.
If there is one phrase you really need to know though, it is this: APRES SKI. KUHSTALL. DING-A-LING-A-LING. DING A-LING-A-LING. ALLE ATZEN SING! You’ll thank me when your mates think you are an Austrian Apres God…
Trofana Alm certainly warrants a mention, if only for how comfortable you will be dancing in ski boots! Again, it used to be a barn, and you can definitely tell this. Its pretty basic inside, but my recommendation is to get yourself a table upstairs. Close to the rafters, the heat and atmosphere build up like nothing else in town. Dancing on the tables is a must, and swinging from the light fittings is not unheard of. Just make way for the waiters carrying humungous trays of beer and schnapps to the table and keep up with the pace of drinking of the Germans around you and you’ll have a ball!
To sum it up, if the miles of piste and bucket loads of off Piste in this resort aren’t enough for you, then you can be sure the Après is gonna get you!
Relax if you can…but when it’s this good, why would you want to?