For a slightly different experience, I decide to take the train via OBB (Austria’s Passenger Train Service) from Graz Austria to Ischgl. Trains in Europe are generally very punctual and I miss it by just two minutes while attempting some last-minute shopping. Note, if you happen to miss your train, you are forced to buy another ticket so the lesson here is to be on time! After my costly lesson, I am rebooked and back on track… I booked first class for some added comfort and privacy and was not disappointed. The ride offers great views of the Alps along the way and many small villages and towns.
When I arrive at Ischgl Florianparkplatz station, there is still another 30-minute ride via bus or taxi, I take the taxi to make up for lost time. The trip is approximately 70 Euros.
I soon arrive at the Elizabeth Art Hotel. The hotel has an excellent location with the gondola within steps of the front door, ski rental shops including their own, and just a short walk to other restaurants, shops, and bars. The après ski bar, Schatzi is very lively and crowded upon arrival. The hotel has excellent amenities including ski storage, restaurant, a pool on the top floor that looks out over the mountain, sauna, and spa. The pool and sauna are a great way to unwind after a long day of skiing and a wide range of drinks can be ordered here. The staff here is friendly and very accommodating.
Since I had a long day of traveling, I opt to eat at the hotel restaurant, Eliza, where I enjoyed an excellent multi-course meal. For an added touch of class, champagne is served in solid silver champagne flutes – so cool!
The next day, I rent out ski equipment, buy a few forgotten accessories, and head up the mountain. I take the gondola up and I am dazzled with exceptional views of the alps. I head further up the mountain to take my first runs; the conditions are perfect and the views are so beautiful. The next day of skiing was again absolutely outstanding – perfect conditions and sunshine. Ischgl is a truly a spectacular ski resort and certainly one of the best ski resorts in the world.
After several runs, I pause for some wine and food at Idalp. I recommend going to Panorama on the top floor for a more expensive but enhanced experience. I enjoy Italian red wine, the views, and the sun.
I complete my day with delicious meal at Lucy Wang’s, an excellent Japanese themed restaurant where I have duck and other amazing dishes….. This restaurant is definitely worth a visit and I highly recommend it.
The next day, I repeat my ski experience and I am treated to a picture-perfect day and great skiing.
It is my last night in Ischgl before heading to Munich so I do what I typically do on the eve of departure and celebrate with a great dinner, music, and champagne. I have dinner at Stiar, which offers traditional Austrian food in a multi-course format. The food was great!
After dinner, I hit a few clubs and lounges. One to avoid unless you want to be smashed into a smoky and overcrowded bar is the Champagne Hutte – not a place I recommend unless you enjoyed getting burned by cigarettes and so forth. Instead I opt for Schloss-Lounge, a classier place that offers a DJ, dancing, and a well-appointed bar. Finally, I end up at Pancha, a club at the Medlein Hotel, a first-class place where you can often find stars, models, and actors before heading home for a couple of hours of sleep. Ischgl has an incredible good party scene!
Ischgl was an amazing experience and I will go back every ski season to enjoy this world class resort!