There’s a definite Alice in Wonderland vibe to the unmarked doorway on the fifth ground of the Mooser Hotel. You exit the elevate and observe an extended hall to this massive wood door, behind which you’ll simply make out the uninteresting thump of a bass drum and the faint roar of a crowd of drunken revellers.
And then you definately open that door and there it’s: the MooserWirt, the self-described “baddest apres-ski bar on the Arlberg”, probably the most infamous on-mountain celebration venue in all probability in all of Austria, if not all of Europe. Every different apres-ski bar on this planet needs to be just like the MooserWirt, a magnet for the “ski hard, play hard” crowd, a spot to celebration within the sunshine, to bounce to dangerous music and make out with strangers and wildly embellish tales of your on-snow heroics from the day that was.
That door on the Mooser is the rabbit gap. On one facet you could have an opulent lodge, plush and trendy, four-star that feels distinctly like 5, quiet and clear, a sanctuary from all concern. On the opposite facet, Wonderland, solely this Wonderland is full of Austrian individuals in ski gear standing on tables, chugging beers and waving their arms alongside to YMCA.
Europe’s wildest celebration venue can also be a lodge. One of Europe’s best on-mountain motels can also be a wild celebration venue. How does that even occur? How are they getting away with it?
I’m truly pretty doubtful once I arrive in St Anton, within the Arlberg ski area in Austria’s west. I’ve been to the MooserWirt earlier than: the bar has been round for the reason that late Nineteen Eighties, when Tirolian native Eugen Scalet took over his dad and mom’ slope-side farmhouse and determined to show it right into a purveyor of chilly drinks and tacky music, and a legend was born. I do know what goes on right here, and it isn’t luxurious.
Pretty a lot everybody who involves St Anton – sometimes nicknamed “St Manton”, given the attraction the ski resort’s notoriously steep, tough terrain tends to have with teams of adrenalin-junkie dudes and foolhardy bucks events – calls previous the MooserWirt no less than as soon as. They accomplish that to hitch the legions of apres-skiers who collect there each afternoon to sing songs and dance on tables and have the time of their absolute lives.
I’ve performed that. I’ve liked it. And I’ve additionally by no means even thought of the likelihood that you would whack a luxurious lodge onto the again of the MooserWirt and make a hit of two polar reverse concepts.
But there are extra sliding doorways right here to contemplate. The first seems on the driveway into the complicated, the place a small button opens a car-sized elevator that our taxi simply drives all the best way into and we’re lowered a number of flooring down right into a Bond-style mountain lair-slash-underground carpark. It’s time to test in.
The quiet foyer space is panelled in blonde wooden and light-weight tones. The smiling workers put on conventional Tirolian gown. My room is a Scandi-adjacent dream, all designer furnishings and trendy conveniences, with wooden used all through. There’s a “Swiss Stone Pine Climate Box”, a wood contraption that purifies the air and provides a refined scent of the forest. There’s an Illy espresso machine; a comfortable lounge; a mattress with the signature northern European double doonas.
And there’s one other doorway, this time to the balcony, from which the majesty of the Austrian Alps unfurls earlier than me, all towering snowy peaks and tree-lined valleys. Glance down from my balcony and I can see the heated out of doors infinity pool; lookup and I can see a number of ski runs and gondolas. And I can hear one thing, too, simply over the speeding of the close by stream: the uninteresting thump of a bass drum.
That’s it. That’s the one indication you could have that the MooserWirt exists on the mountain slope simply above. You cannot see it. You (principally) cannot hear it. Even within the Mooser Hotel eating room, excessive up on stage six, the place hangover-busting breakfasts and fine-dining dinners are served with model, there isn’t any sense in any way that the pumping dancefloor of Europe’s wildest celebration venue lurks simply metres away.
You rise up within the morning on the Mooser and eat a kind of killer breakfasts, chilly meats and cheese and bread, Bircher muesli and fruit, sausages and eggs and low. You ski onerous all day, you energy down the steeps and tear by the powder. And then you definately stumble into the lodge within the afternoon and make a name: heat your chilly, aching bones within the steamy out of doors pool; sweat it out within the sauna; chill in your room with a drink and a view; or get into the elevate and press “5”, stroll out into the hall and thru to the wood door and put together to go down the rabbit gap.
The Arlberg’s baddest apres-ski awaits.
Rooms on the Mooser Hotel begin from $226 per particular person per evening twin share in off-season, and $405 in excessive season. See mooserhotel.at/en/
The author stayed as a visitor of the Austrian National Tourist Office, see austria.data/en