Top 5 Resorts for Apres Ski
30th December 2014
Many skiers and snowboarders like to ski in groups, and see winter sports as a group activity but is a group ski holiday more about the après ski, than just the skiing or riding.
Put a group of 12 friends together and the chances are some will be beginners, so like steep runs or even to ski off piste and some like to stop at every bar you pass, so spending a day skiing together can be either frustrating if you are the quickest skier or terrifying if you are the timid beginner. So lots of groups tend to sub divide the group into matching abilities.
It’s the après ski that brings a group together at the end of the day, a chance to regale and embellish your day on the slopes and compare your ski tracks statistics and of course enjoy a beer or three.
The Best Apres Ski Resorts
#1 Val d’Isere
Val d’Isere is our number one selling ski resort, it’s a party town. The fun starts around 3pm at the top of the La Daille gondola at the Folie Douce, the original party bar since 1968.
Today there are four of these legendary bars the others being In Meribel, Val Thorens and Alpe d’Huez. Folie Douce really know how to get the crowd dancing, with DJ’s, dancers, roof top musicians and fire eaters entertain huge crowds from about 3:00pm onwards.
Champagne isn’t just for drinking at Folie Douce, bottles of champagne are sprayed over the crowd at regular intervals.
The Saloon (under the hotel Brussel’s) fills up as the ski lifts close. At La Dialle the bar at the Samovar is a good choice for a quieter beer.
It’s in the evening that Val d’Isere deserves its reputation a party town, Café La Face is owned by the same owner as the Folie Douce but is a small club with dancing which tends to get busy from around 22:00. The Morris Pub, which also offers simple low cost accommodation often has live bands performing and gets very lively. On big sport nights the Pacific Bar shows live all the big sporting events and has cheap beer. Try the Blue Note jazz bar for a quieter more sophisticated evening. Barique is a new, trendy wine bar with live music and dancing.
After midnight the party crowd make their way to the resorts legendary Dick Tea Bar which remains opens until dawn, with DJ’s and acts and lots of drinking.
#2 St Anton
St Anton is Austria’s best party town and its Skiline’s second bestselling resort, The Après ski starts mid-afternoon with a number of slope side bars, the first you come to is Heustadl, with German cover bands. It seems even first time skiers and riders have heard of at least two of the resorts legendary bars, Krazy Kanguruh and Moosewirt these two slope side bars attracts the party crowd from mid-afternoon. On sunny days the crowds can be huge many staying until its dark and the view of the drunkest attempting to ski back to the village can be hilarious.
Many of the St Anton’s bars open for après ski. The Base Camp with its large terrace can be fun, it’s located at the bottom of the lift station and attracts a mixed crowd including many of the resorts ski instructors. The Piccadilly is busy early on and again at the end of the evening when it gets a second win. Bar Cuba gets crammed and a favourite venue for seasonaires.
Verbier come in at number 3, this trendy Swiss ski resort has always been in Skiline’s top ten ski resorts. Like in Austria the Après ski starts in the slope side bars as you come back to the village, many bars have “happy hour” between 4pm and 5pm. Bar like the Rock bar at Ruinettes, Chalet Carlsberg and the Yurts of bar 1936, all attract good crowds. For people watching the Offshore coffee bar is ideal, located at Medran. For live bands head for the Farinet which is packed during happy hour.
Later in the evening try the Casbah, which is open until 4am and ships in DJ’s from Ibiza with a party table top dancing crowd. Cocktails are available from the Crock No Name and has a resident blues band and DJ.
If you are wealthy try the Farm Club, its outrageously expensive. But you can buy a bottle of whiskey and keep it behind the bar for the week. For the seriously loaded Russian oligarchs there is only one place to be seen, the Coco Club, where a bottle of bubbly starts at £100 and goes up to £11,000! It’s also the home of the world’s most extravagant cocktail at nearly £5000 a pop, even a mojito is £50! The décor in the Coco Club is almost as loud as the clients, one of the walls is covered with £30,000 of gold leaf.
Meribel opened a Folie Douce a couple of seasons ago and its proved to be every bit as popular as the Val d’Isere counterpart. It’s located at the mid station by the Saulier gondola. It makes for a great alternative to the Rond Point other busy après ski venue at the top of the resort. For live music try Jack’s close to the main lift station is popular.
The ring of bars in the main square which are always busy from 4pm onwards. In the evening the Doron attracts younger crowd with loud music, pool and live bands. The Poste has a French hip feel and is popular with the youth.
Later on the ever popular Dicks tea Bar now renamed O’Sullivans stays open until dawn, its newly open gastro “Den” is just next door. It’s little further out of town, but always attracts a big crowd.
In Meribel Village the Lodge has live band twice a week and DJ’s from 4pm onwards. In Meribel Mottaret the bars at the foot of the slopes get packed from 4pm onwards.
#5 Sauze d’Oulx
Sauze d’Oulx has long since shaken off its tag as a larger Louts resort, but their après ski is just as lively as it has ever been. Max’s café has a 4 hour happy hour and is a popular venue when either Rugby or Football is showing. Bar prices are perhaps the cheapest here in Sauze d’Oulx than in any of the other five resorts we have highlighted in this Blog. The Grotte has some of the cheapest beer in town and during happy hour serve sliced pizza and other finger food.
Mira is other busy sports bar and also offers an antipasti spread at happy hour. For a cocktail the Scatto Matto is the perfect venue at the end of a sunny day, the huge sun terrace is an ideal venue to discuss the falls and bumps of the day.
Scots bar in the Stella Alpina is located directly at the food of the Clotes home run and attracts many of the resorts ski instructors.
Later on in the evening try the Assietta renowned for its generous glasses of Prosecco and live music. Osteria dei Vagabondi has late night music with bands and DJs stays open late. So too do the Club, (formally the Schuss Bar) and the Cotton Club.