At last…. Last Christmas!
I don’t know about you guys, but around this time of year – with the holidays coming up – I always have to think about the classic video by Wham! from 1984. Writing this blogpost I realized that it’s been 30 years!! since I sat down in front of the TV mesmerized, when the iconic ‘Last Christmas’ video aired for the first time. Such a romantic and cosy setting to celebrate Christmas with friends in a chalet in the snow. It was definitely something I wanted to experience once in my life.
The official Wham! ‘Last Christmas’ Chalet
One turns out to be two
When I started my research for the perfect ‘Last Christmas’ Chalets I came across the background story on the Wham! video. I love to share this with you, because it reveals some nice facts. Unfortunately it was not shot in Austria – would have made it an even better story but in Saas Fee, Switzerland. I was surprised to find out, that it was shot in two different chalets.
Chalet Schliechten, tucked away at the edge of Saas-Fee, was used for the external shots of the holiday location, and its garden with the typical, wooden fence was featured in the snowball fight scene. The house was perfectly isolated in 1984, but nowadays it’s surrounded by new chalets. Today it would be difficult to recognize it at all, since it has been renovated and no longer has the deep brown finish to its outside walls, that it did at the time of shooting the video. The recognizable fence though is still there, and has not been painted over.
For the interior scenes, Chalet Steinmatte was used. It is located a little to the east of the village centre, and is now part of the Steinmatte congress centre. Tobias Zurbriggen, the manager of Steinmatte, used to deliver groceries to the lady who owned the chalet in the seventies. To create a more intimate atmosphere for the entrance and living room, some changes were made for the purpose of filming, such as the placement of an additional beam, next to the door leading into the living room. The alterations changed the face of the interior significantly, to the point where Mr. Zurbriggen initially had trouble believing that Steinmatte had indeed served as the setting for the cosy Christmas dinner setting.
The 5 ‘Last Christmas’ Ski Chalets
My family and I have celebrated Christmas in the Austrian snow many times. But always in hotels, never in a great, cozy chalet together with friends and loved ones. Since I’ve started blogging about Austria, I’ve met some incredibly nice Austrians, who know a lot about the finest places in their wonderful country. I’ve contacted them to give me insights on Chalets that would approach that specific Last Christmas feeling. They’ve assured me that these could be the ones…..
#1. Schmiedalm, Hinterglemm
#2. Almdorf Seinerzeit. Patergassen, Bad Kleinkirchheim. Kärnten
#3. Lech Lodge, Lech am Arlberg
4#. Cottage Resort Ladizium, Ladiz. Tyrol
#5. Chalet AnneWill, Bramberg am Wildkogel
Sources & Photo credits
Unmappedmag.com, Claudette Kulkarni
Almdorf Seinerzeit, Patergassen
Lech Lodge, Lech am Arlberg
Cottage Resort Ladizium, Ladiz
Chalet AnneWill, Bramberg am Wildkogel