When it comes to summer holidays, I’ve got a secret to tell but keep it to yourselves or when we come to book, they will be full!
They don’t advertise in the UK, so most are in the dark about what really is on offer for summer mountain holidays with children – especially very young ones. We accept that we have to suffer; that ‘holidays’ as we know them don’t exist when you have children.
Mountains in summer are glorious. I have fond memories of walking in St. Moritz, back-pack filled with chocolate, cows with cowbells, mountains restaurants and walks along ice cold glacier-filled rivers. No cramming onto packed beaches and somehow, less sunburn. I’m as pale as it gets so the thought of sunning myself for hours has never really been of interest, or a viable option.
Mountain holidays are still summer holidays. Most days we were hitting 30 degrees plus, plenty of time for swimming in the warm bathing lake or the stunning, state of the art thermal outdoor pool that emptied each night and refilled in the morning. The hotel’s owner goes twice a week to the neighbouring village to collect healing thermal water for it.
The minute we arrived at the Post Family Resort, I fell in love. Just a twenty-five minute drive from Salzburg and you have arrived. The hotel is typical, traditional Austrian in feel but with an updated contemporary edge. I love the traditional interior, especially for winter but more and more hotels, as time progresses, have needed to refurbish and this hotel has taken advantage of that to really make a positive aesthetic difference.
As we drove in, past the hotels own ‘ranch’ and into the car park, excitement was mounting, as ponies and horses, mini golf and archery come into view. Once inside, we unpacked. Our home for the week a two bedroom family suite. The kid’s room was perfect with a bunkbed, the bottom bunk a cotbed and an extra single bed, a built-in changing table, night lights and blackout blinds. Our bedroom was huge with a massive seating area leading onto our balcony with views out to the pool, lake, tennis court, park and beyond.
The hotel offers rooms and apartments with configurations and facilities to suit every family size . One really clever addition in the bathroom, a pull-out step, like a drawer, for the little ones to reach the sink. Small things make all the difference.
Unpacking was easy with so much storage. Half of it went unused and I pack for a week, what you need in a year. However, this time I did cut down a little, knowing that the hotel offers free washing and drying facilities. With young children, you either take 3 changes of clothes a day or you wash them. Now, I never would expect to enjoy washing but there’s a sense of achievement about getting kids clothes washed and clean on holiday! The hotel is very laid back too, which means that you don’t need to show off, stand on ceremony or dress up. Comfortable and casual works well and means less fuss and more time to just enjoy.
So much to do it’s difficult to know where to start. The hotel is small but perfectly formed and never feels crowded. A couple of minutes walk to anywhere you wanted to go. My favourite spot was the natural swimming lake. A completely new experience for us; warm and clean with pedalos, an inflatable ‘iceberg’, a swim-up trampoline plus a long waterslide built in to the hill.
There’s a cordoned off, shallow and shaded areas for the very young and there’s even sand. All the fun of the beach but much cleaner! Plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas, an overlooking all this, hidden up on the hill, a massive climbing wall.
We chopped and changed between the indoor pool (there’s a baby pool too), the outdoor, thermal pool and the lake. Otherwise, it was a question of relaxing in the park whilst the kids took their pick of the climbing frame, sandpit, cars, bikes, trikes, zipwire and diggers.
This is a real outdoor paradise with a mountain backdrop. The hotel also has loads of bicycles with attachments at the back for babies to sit in or baby seats. We cycled to the nearest village, an easy ride and so refreshing compared to the heat of the beach.
Kid’s club is split into three age groups. All with age appropriate activities throughout the day. From 9am until 8pm there is childcare. Including meals if you so desire. Older kids can learn something new; riding, swimming, golf, tennis or climbing, whilst there’s plenty to do inside with a softplay set over two levels and age appropriate playrooms with all the toys imaginable. A lot of thought goes into the activities here and I was really impressed.
We took the cable car from Unken, the nearest chocolate-box perfect village, up the mountain. A lunch and a play for the kids in a mountain playground and a walk around proved to be a lovely outing. Another day, we drove to Salzburg. A magical city complete with a castle, a palace, a river-side location and great shops and restaurants.
Our time at the Post Family Resort ended too soon. The hotel runs smoothly with staff at the ready to make your experience truly wonderful. Value is so important for families and the all-inclusive nature of the offering is a godsend. Everything is included, down to powdered formula and baby food.
To make travel easier, as usual we used Airportr to check-in our luggage the night before from home. This is a service that is catching on fast. They offer check-in now for five airlines including Easyjet, Thomas Cook, Virgin, Cathay and American Airlines. Priced to save on a taxi, I’ll always use them where I can. Meet it at the conveyor belt at your destination and walk straight through at Heathrow, avoiding bag drop and check-in altogether. Also, give Eden Parking a go. They offer Meet and Greet – quick and easy from the short-term car park. No waiting around for cabs at either end, just make your way to the airport in your own time. They are a Heathrow Airport recognised scheme and although relatively new, their reviews are good. Always important!