The chic resorts of Lech and Zurs are not far from St Anton, the party capital of the Arlberg Region of Austria, and are covered by the same lift pass. That, however, is where the similarity ends. Where St Anton has a non-stop party feel and can occasionally resemble a snowy Magaluf, Lech and Zurs can only be described as ‘for grown ups with deep pockets’! Champagne replaces lager as the drink of choice and sweaty bars and clubs are less evident than the piano bars and cocktail lounges. Visitors can easily sample the nightlife of both Lech and Zurs thanks to a late night shuttle service that runs nightly until 4am.
Lech is proud to be the most awarded gourmet village in the world and the majority of its top restaurants are linked to the unusually high number of 4 and 5 star hotels. At the foot of the slopes above the village the satellite resort of Oberlech is fast becoming the place to be seen. This also provides many of the best options for lunch as the area is surprisingly poorly endowed when it comes to mountain restaurants. The only place to top Lech in terms of star quality is neighbouring Zurs, a small high-altitude hamlet of some 25 buildings, most of which are classy hotels. They say that money attracts money and indeed it is unusual to go to Zurs and not see royalty or celebrities. In such an environment fine dining rules the roost and après ski exists but in a very different form to that enjoyed by the average skier. There are reasonable food and drink prices to be found if you know where to look, but don’t be surprised if you decide to carry sandwiches in a backpack for lunch.
Make no mistake Lech/Zurs is stunningly beautiful and rightfully takes its place in the elite ‘Best of the Alps’ club of ski resorts. The chocolate box architecture and stunning views will take your breath away. The problem for the average traveller is that the menu prices generally leave you gasping for air too!