Why did we chose Austria for our winter holidays?
Last year we discovered the amazing concept of Kinderhotels where you can leave your children with the Kids club for up to 12 hours a day so that you and your partner can go skiing, enjoy the sauna, steam bath, pool and some well deserved adult time. Everything is included in the weekly fee: all meals, i.e. breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, kids club and activities, swimming pools, sauna and steam bath facilities, ski lessons and ski hire for the children etc…
We had always been tempted by Club Med ski holidays but it’s too expensive, too crowded a bit of a hassle to get to. The Kinderhotel we went to last year was only 2 hours drive from our Zürich home.
This year, we received brochure from Kinderhotel Post as early as September. We were on their database as we made an enquiry last year but it was already full. Their marketing is very good: they proactively sent us a letter and once you’re on their website, every page ends with a call to action “book today” or “ask for a commitment free quote”. To be honest, they got me at the cover of the brochure: beautiful thermal outdoors bath surrounded by the mountains and nicely little chalet house.
Rooms at Kinderhotel Post are generous and nicely appointed
The room we wanted was 45sqm2 and could comfortably fit us and the kids in a separate area, with a balcony for only 2,500 euros all inclusive. My mum was the one who said: you’d better book early! So we did, around October, and that room type was already booked out! We had to upgrade to a bigger room with 60sqm2 including:
- a master bedroom
- a large children room with bunk beds plus a sofa, a desk and wardrobe with lots of cupboards,
- a lounge room with TV, sofa, dining table and chairs,
- a very large bathroom with shower and separate bathtub, toilet, double sinks, heated floor, towel heating rails and PLENTY of shelf space for your vanity case and beauty products
- an extra separate toilet (luxury we can’t live without anymore)
- and a very well designed entrance where you can store all your shoes, coats, jackets, and additional cupboard, storage space and a full length mirror (very important to me)
What with the separate doona in Northern Europe? We discovered this custom for the first time in Sweden, then in Switzerland, Norway and now Austria!
Each bunk bed had its built in side table and individual light. Both bedrooms had a door to the bathroom, so the kids enjoyed running in circle…
Nice gestures and details:
- at check-in you are greeted with soft toys for the children
- you discover in your room two bars of chocolate, unfortunately one is white chocolate and the other one is strawberry flavoured chocolate 🙁
- they provide each room with a woven basket which is very handy to carry towels to go swimming or to carry your laundry(see laundry section below)
- at check-out you get offered a gift bag including some local dried rose and lavender, some crayons and toys for the children, a cook book and their Summer catalogue.
INTERNET TIP: There is only wifi at reception, and each time you want to use it on a device, you have to login with a code and password. The connection is rather slow as everyone is sharing the same. There is also high speed internet through a cable in rooms so what we did, because there is no way we can live without wifi in our room, was to bring a router so all our devices, including our sister’s in law’s who was staying in the room right above us, could have access with no set up required.
Pools and wellness centre: heaven for children and parents
This was the absolute highlight of the trip. The kids totally loved it and went swimming for at least an hour every day. There are three swimming pools at Kinderhotel Post:
- an outdoor thermal bath heated at 31 degrees, emptied every night and filled back around 10am every morning. Before dinner around 6pm you can hear the bells of the nearby church ringing, look a the dark sky, snowy mountains and the glowing moon as you relax through the bubbles of the pool. BLISS. Unique experience that was totally worth the whole trip and every cent!
- an indoor swimming pool, 140cm deep so you still have to keep a close eye on you children
- a baby and toddler pool heated at 35 degrees with a Jungle Book theme and fun water features.
There are lots of toys there available to all guests including floaties, noodles, balls, things to dive and grab under water etc… all you need is to bring your swimmers.
And here is the wellness center with sauna, steam room, relaxing room, solarium and spa massage services, all very clean and decorated with good taste…
Everything is designed for children at Kinderhotels
- Bathroom steps so they can reach sinks
- Children size bathrobes and slippers
- Soda fountain and Ice cream bar
- Slides everywhere
- 700 sqm2 playground plus video games and fusball
- Baby pool with water heated at 35 degrees
- Hipp Baby shampoo available in the showers of the pool area
What is provided free of charge for babies and infants:
- Bottle warmer, kettle, vaporizer
- Pram, pushchair and back carriage
- Changing pad
- Baby Monitor
- Cot and baby rocker
- Highchair, Bibs
- Baby Bath
- Bicycles and bicycle helmets (summer)
- Carriage, Bobs, snowtubing and ice skates (winter)
You can travel light without portacots and usual baby equipment. How cool?
Very important criteria for me! Verdict…. it was really good, tasty and well presented.
On Saturday when you arrive it’s buffet for everyone with fancy canapés, which makes sense from a business point of view as it’s the day when people check-in and check-out.
From Sunday on, dinner is a four course menu and you choose your main during breakfast.
It’s important for us that dinner is served at the table, otherwise it’s a hassle to look after the kids and go and get your food at the same the time. Children have the option to have dinner a bit earlier, at 6pm, with the other kids at the kids club but ours preferred to have dinner with us. Plus we went with my sister in laws’ family and my father in law, so it was a bit like a family reunion.
With no further due, here is the food porn:
Hearty Breakfast with local produces (eggs, milk, butter, yoghurt) from the surrounding farms:
My eldest son had a chocolate doughnut every single morning… 🙁
Austrians know how to make bread, yum!
The waffles were not crispy but very tasty, eggy. The scrambled eggs where soft and juicy, unlike the dry version you usually find in hotels. There were also perfectly cooked soft boiled eggs, fresh from the farm! and it’s still a mystery how it can stay there under the heating lamp and not turn into hard boiled…
or you could have made to order sunny side up eggs or omelettes with speck and mushroom.
You could either have lunch at the hotel or you would be given 8 euros vouchers to eat at selected restaurants on the slopes. Note that the Austrian signature dish on the slopes is NOT grilled entrecote but rather sausages: 3 or 4 types of sausages to choose from, with fries i.e. bratwurst, curry wurst, ein paar wiener, ein paar frankfurter (those come in pairs). Most also had chicken nuggets, schnitzel and spaghetti bolognaise or burgers.
TIP: You can find chargrilled meat day on Thursday at l’Apres Ski Restaurant in the lower part of the Lofer ski field, but we found out after we already had lunch (and it was not covered by the vouchers). Once you’re on the slopes, it’s on your way down towards the first set of gondolas.
Between 15.30 and 16.30, the hotel serves afternoon tea with a selection of nice cakes, not too rich, and some fruits (usual fruits you find at breakfast).
All day, you can help yourself with fresh fruits from fruit basket, organic tea with a dozen variety of black, roiboos or herbal tea and of course the soda fountain and ice cream bar for the younger crowd.
The lounge area is just divine with its cosy and stylish fireplace, comfy armchairs and table with white thick tablecloths and sofas with cushions against the windows dressed with luxurious curtains and filling the room with lots of natural light.
It was also the perfect place for after dinner drinks: digestive, tea, coffee, to spend more quality time with your family. There is a soft play area in the lounge so the little ones could stay nearby without getting bored.
The four courses consisted of:
- a well presented entree
- a creamy soup,which we all loved whether it was trout, cabbage, corn, or capsicum based
- a main, with a choice between two meat and one vegetarian dish
- a dessert
Cheese was always available at the buffet and they had some a fine variety of tasty cheeses we all really enjoyed: goat, cow, hard, soft, double cream etc…