Ski holiday extras add up quickly – ski rental, lift pass, lunch on the mountain – and you might find yourself a little out of pocket when night falls and apres ski dawns, so where can you enjoy a good night’s apres ski on a budget and without breaking the bank?
Here are three ski resorts where it is possible to keep your après ski antics well within budget by socialising in hostels, enjoying hostel bar happy hours as well as sticking to local haunts for dinner and drinks.
Something of a golden oldie, and among the best known ski resorts in Austria, Kitzbuhel still retains much of its vintage ski resort charm. A good all-rounder you can fill up on good value pizza and sport - if you didn't do enough of your own - at Seppi's Pub. Take Five might be the best club in Kitzbuhel but you will pay through the nose for entry, putting your coat in the cloakroom, drinks then retrieving your coat at the end of the night. Cheaper options include Olympia or the Royal.
Low cost dorm beds are available at Alp King Hostel, Kitzbuhel - so perhaps you'll have enough for a drink and a dance in Take Five after all! Alp King has a great party atmosphere, which starts as soon as you walk through the door with a Schnapps welcome drink. Staff will introduce you to their oddball shot concoctions from the bar including Snuffmachines and Fireshots. The hostel organises toboggan trips, pub craws and theme nights to get you in the mood too. If you are worried about how any skiing will happen the next day, the breathtaking views of the Wilder Kaiser as you enjoy a free Austrian buffet breakfast will have you back on your skis in no time.
Other hostel options include the SnowBunnys BackPackers Hostel, in the centre of Kitzbuhel with 8 rooms and free Wi-Fi, plenty of restaurants, bars and shops nearby and just a 5-minute walk from the Hahnenkham ski lift. Large or small most hostels fill up fast so be prepared to book well in advance, but if there are no rooms available, Kitzbuhel offers a wide selection of local Pensions offering bed & breakfast accommodation at relatively low cost.
It might be the most well-known ski resort in Canada and regularly voted the number one ski resort in North America, but there are still bargains to be had in Whistler for your cheap apres ski thrills. The problem is room - everybody wants a cheap deal here and you might have to fight for that restaurant table or spot at the bar. Your best bet is to head where the locals head. Dusty's is a popular choice with plenty of live music and prices are very reasonable compared with the rest of Whistler's nightlife.
It may be a hostel but if it was good enough for the 2010 Winter Olympics Teams then 'HI-Whistler' is certainly good enough for us. There are plenty of luxurious touches to spoil you after a weary day on the slopes. The slick lounge area, complete with roaring fireplace and dark wood furniture is the perfect place to kick back with a 52 inch HD TV. There is also a free pool and football table for friendly competitions or join a Friday or Saturday night club crawl organised by the hostel. Make the most of the free pasta dinners or hot dog nights on the terrace, the free popcorn on movie nights or join the hostel's Creekside pub night for a tour of the favourite local hangouts.
After a day of enjoying the varying slopes at Cerro Catedral, make Bariloche your base. Probably second only to Buenos Aires when it comes to after dark antics, it's the large student population that provides the town with a heady array of nightlife. There really is something for everyone from quieter bars for enjoying some fine Argentinian wine, sweating it out on the dancefloor or refuelling on some quality Argentinan steak at one of cheap eats and local parillas.
Apres ski starts on your doorstep at the Tangoinn Soho Hostel; in the bar you can enjoy cocktails and other competitively priced drinks and they host regular events including karaoke, DJ nights, live sports on their big screen or why not challenge your fellow guests to a game of pool? The bar closes at 2:00am so you can still get a good night's sleep. For the 'morning after' there is a free hearty breakfast included in the price.
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