These resorts take their après-ski and nightlife as seriously as their skiing…
Perhaps you’ve wanted to get your group of girlfriends together for a long-overdue week of skiing, pampering and partying. Maybe you’re the Best Man in charge of organising the Stag Do and looking for some snow-fuelled inspiration for a raucous week away. Or perhaps you want to throw shade on Valentine’s Day this year and head to the mountains with your ready-to-mingle single friends instead.
Either way, the ski slopes are a great place to meet likeminded people, but not all resorts are geared up to entertain the masses around the clock.
Some smaller resorts like Obergurgl in Austria are, frankly, just better-suited to host families, with a quiet ambience and little by way of big, après-ski venues. Whereas other resorts like those in the list below were made for partying.
So, get your group of guys and girls together and start booking your trip to one of these exciting resorts (not forgetting the fancy dress).
Note: This article discusses the best resorts for lively, around-the-clock fun for groups of singles, stag do’s and hen do’s, but there are plenty of ski tour operators which specifically market singles’ weeks if you are travelling solo. Get in touch if you would like us to recommend a few.
St Anton, Austria
One of the best resorts for taking its skiing and nightlife seriously, St Anton marries hard skiing with hard partying. During the day, you can find piste-side bars and restaurants packed with Brits, German and Dutch skiers and snowboarders letting loose.
200km of fantastic off-piste ski routes can be had during the day, as well as 305km of groomed pistes. But when the skiing is done, there’s no better place to head for a wilder-than-wild après-ski than the infamous Krazy Kanguruh Bar, or the Mooserwirt just across the piste. Here you can experience the rush of table dancing, group fancy dress, and waiters effortlessly carrying 30 drinks at a time, stacked on doubled-up trays.
Another perk of St Anton is its location; with a two-hour drive from, not one or two, but three international airports and a train station right in the heart of the town. Great if you’ve got people in your group travelling from all over the place.
Val Thorens, France
It’s hard to know where to start with Val Thorens, one of the highest party resorts in Europe. Let’s just say there’s a reason why ski seasonaires continue to flock to this party town year on year.
The Folie Douce Val Thorens is perfectly positioned with panoramic views just above town, making it easy for even the wobbliest members of your groups to descend after a few pints.
The highest pub in Europe, The Frog and Roast Beef is a must-visit, with live music, DJs and an ever-lively crowd of British skiers and snowboarders who can be found challenging bar staff to games with the chance of a free round of drinks. But there’s a whole strip of bars and clubs to carry you through to the night should its Brit-centric bars disappoint, like underground club Malaysia, if you’re wanting to take things up a notch.
For a classy, sophisticated group holiday, Verbier is the ski resort for you. Indeed, après-ski bars and night clubs here feel more Mayfair than Mayrhofen.
Plenty of bars, pubs and restaurants lie at the foot of the mountain, not far from Place Centrale. Ice Cube après-ski bar (and sister venue Le Mouton Noir) can be found near Les Ruinettes and are a great place to hit up for a happy hour. Head to Le Rouge for a chance to flex your language skills and see how the Swiss, German, Dutch revellers like to party, with all nationalities coming together.
Head to the Hotel Farinet bar for an unforgettable après-ski party in their glassed-in terrace. If you’re there when it happens to be snowing, enjoy the spectacle of the whole roof sliding off, transforming the place into an open-air Alpine disco.
Verbier is also a fantastic resort for groups wanting to book early or late in the season, thanks to its 1,500m to 2,700m altitude.
Val D‘Isère, France
For groups looking for glitz, glam and no-party-expenses spared Val D‘Isère ticks a few boxes.
Perhaps the most British ski hotspot on this list, there’s something for every class of après-skier. Find stylish Instagram-friendly cosmopolitan bars next to sun-soaked terraces with live acts and DJs.
For single skiers looking to meet new people, the link with neighbouring Tignes means there are over 300km of ski runs across the two areas, increasing the likelihood of a chance chairlift meeting.
Check out the original (and some argue, the best) Folie Douce for an afternoon of music, entertainment and drinking. Other highlights include The Morris Pub or The Underground Café. At night, head to the original Dicks Tea Bar for a night of Brit-friendly clubbing.
More than 50 tour operators run mainly British trips to the buzzing ski resort of Méribel each year. And there are numerous British-run pubs and clubs, so if your French is a bit patchy, have no fear!
Quite literally one of the most iconic après-ski spots referenced on this list, Le Rond Point (affectionately referred to as the Ronny by seasoned experts) sits above Meribel’s town centre. It’s big, it’s round, and guarantees spectacular views of the surrounding Rond Point des Pistes. Here, toffee vodka can be ordered by the bottle and is must-have party fuel for the hen and stag do’s that gather here by the masses each season.
Jack’s Bar is another excellent option for groups with widescreen TVs showing sport, themed nights and 1 euro pints.
Because the lively resort of Tignes shares its ski area with neighbouring Val D’Isère, not only can you make the most of double the number of après-parties, but you’ve also got 300km of groomed slopes to play with during the day.
Tour the slopes on a happy hour bar crawl from 3pm onwards, where you may find yourself ending up in The Loop Bar, the Melting Pot or, for North American lodge cabin vibes, head to Grizzly’s Bar at the base of Val Claret lift (complete with sun-soaked terrace).
Le Brasero Bar in Le Lavachet is laden with English-speaking visitors and has historically been popular with British skiers. If you are looking for something a bit more formal and chic, head to So Bar where you can sample excellent French wines, beers, spirits and fine alpine cuisine.
(There’s also the incredible Le Lagon Aquacentre, should the weather turn, or when your group needs a day-off to recover.)
While we can’t guarantee a chance of audible conversation in any of these lively après resort locations, or a cure for the hangover that follows, it’s sure to be a memorable group holiday when you book into any one of these resorts.