Strangely for someone so immersed in all the joys a Lakes and Mountains holiday entails, St. Anton am Arlberg has hitherto remained under my radar. Now, people will tell you that despite the infinite possibilities for the alpinist, hiker and climber in this rugged corner of the Tyrol, St. Anton itself can have a feeling of being a ghost town in the Summer, with many of the hotels and bars shut betraying the sense that the Winter trade is so good, they have little need to open up in the warmer months.
This of course leads one to a ‘chicken and egg’ situation: do the aforementioned establishments shut from May-November because insufficient numbers of guests visit the town; or, are visitors put off from visiting St. Anton because of the amount of premises with the shutters down? I suppose we will never know. Having experienced a similar set of circumstances in Obergurgl I did though come to realise that the Winter season is so lucrative at the higher-end of the market that 1 – many of these hotels etc have no need to open in the Summer and 2 – the proprietors and staff are so exhausted from the punishing amount of hours worked in the Winter they see the sunnier months as a good opportunity to recharge their batteries in North Africa and/or the Mediterranean.
I felt it was time to see what St. Anton has to offer; really, notwithstanding my previously stated reservations about the area I cannot believe that I, an avowed Lakes and Mountains fanatic, haven’t ventured there before. Galzig; Gampen; Valluga, are all names that trip of an alpinist’s tongue as peaks of distinction that demand solemn respect. For those happy to interact with the mountains but in a more leisurely manner, the range of cableways available make that a reality. Having the attractive nearby settlements of St. Jakob, St. Christoph amongst many others to visit, as well as the further afield – but well worth the journey as well as the arrival – Ischgl, Galtuer, Lech and Zuers, gives a breadth of choice not evidently obvious to the uninitiated. In a nutshell, there is enough for the hiker and non-participant to be truly satiated.
So, this in a somewhat circuitous manner brings me back to the Hotel Post. As is the right of passage for any traveller on a Lakes and Mountains ticket, I had the almost obligatory problems sourcing a single-room that had a bath. It has been said before but it is worth restating: why do people want to use a shower but not a bath after a long day out trekking? To me at least, it makes little sense. Having though finally found through Inghams’ excruciatingly poor website a hotel that had several rooms available for the single-traveller with EITHER a bath OR shower, I contacted the Hotel Post directly to ascertain if the rooms they had left for the period that I wished to visit – to be used by Inghams guests – actually had a bath in them. Note to Inghams: a category of rooms stating for use by a single-traveller containing a bath OR shower is not good enough – you need to be more explicit in the level of detail you go into. Otherwise, the unaware traveller specifically wanting a bath(or shower) might blithely book a room and on arrival be disappointed. If you have for example four rooms left that are bath OR shower, split the category into two or three stating 1 – bath only; 2 – shower only; 3 – bath AND shower. Yes, it will take up more room on your online booking system and in the brochure but to the traveller, there is no greater enemy than ambiguity.
I was greatly impressed by the response from the Hotel Post both in its rapidity and courtesy. A first impression will always matter and this was a good one. Armed with a confirmation that two of the rooms available did indeed have a bath I duly booked with Inghams over the telephone, although, they being so uncertain due to the nebulous nature of their electronic-records regarding if the room would have a bath, shower or both, I was asked to forward the email received from the Hotel Post to them to ‘make sure’ my booking preferences were taken into consideration. It remains to be seen if Inghams manage to stuff it up…
Anyway, in August I am going to St. Anton from where I look forward to providing this blog with
‘on the spot’ appraisals of the hotel, resort and area. From the limited contact with the hotel and having extensively perused their website, I can endorse the Hotel Post. I hope to be able to say the same once I’ve sampled it first hand.
Below are some links to the Hotel Post and the iconic Valluga that you I hope you might find of interest: