The Anton Files… Ladies First

Given its propensity for attracting big groups of blokes, St Anton has somewhat unfairly earned the moniker ‘Manton’.

But for three weeks in January, women will be taking back the power thanks to an ingenious initiative called Ladies First. 

Basically, this entitles us to heaps of discounts and deals while the men pay usual prices. I like it. A lot. 

Women holidaymakers just have to roll up to the tourist office in the village centre where they’ll get a booklet crammed with money-saving, female-friendly vouchers. 

Ladies First runs from January 9 to 30, but – in the interests of spreading the word – I was lucky enough to sample just one of the treats on offer ahead of the big launch. 

And my back massage with Bianca at the Schwarzer Adler Hotel – which is cutting 10 per cent on all its treatments for Ladies First – could not have been more timely. 

Still struggling to get my legs back after eight months off, I was recovering from a body-punishing 40km ride across the Anton area followed by a back-breaking cleaning session at the hotel. 

As you can see from the pictures, when I wandered into the Adler Vital reception, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. 

Bianca is part of a three-woman team at the hotel, offering everything from standard cosmetic and beauty procedures to ear candle treatment, a St Anton hayflower and Alpine herbal bath and (Bianca’s top recommendation) the Big Abhyanga full body massage with oil. 

But my back was at breaking point so 30 minutes of lying face down in a fluffy towel listening to soothing music while Bianca smothered me in essential oils was just what the doctor ordered. 

I didn’t want to get up when it was over. A big tension cloud had been lifted and when I finally ventured into the street, I walked home encased by a warm glow, despite it being -15 degrees. 

The 4* Schwarzer Adler is a seriously swanky hotel, but massages start from €29, most of the baths (including mare’s milk – how cool) are €32 and eyebrow shaping is €10. You’d probably pay more in London…

But back to Ladies First. Some of these offers are seriously worth having. 

There’s free waxing (boards not bikini line) at Hannes Schranz, the main hire outlets are offering free upgrades to VIP kit and the Skischule Arlberg is giving out free safety equipment (rucksack, shovel, probe and victim search equipment) with bookings on off-piste guiding courses. 

For après, women get a free drink when ordering a meal at Krazy Kangaruh and Mooserwirt – possibly the two most notorious early evening venues in Austria. 

And after-dark, ladies get a free drink at two of the town’s hottest nightspots – Postkeller and Kandahar. 

It’s like being let loose in a sweet shop.

Get yourself out to Wo-manton, ladies. The snow’s pretty good too…





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