Haus Hirt, Über family-friendly in the Austrian Alps

February 15, 2010 0 comment

First of all, it’s not wilcomen, it’s willkommen. Thanks for telling me after the previous post. Truth is, it was much easier for Marcelo than for me to make friends in Austria with his usual introductory sentence “i don’t speak german. i speak english.” Straight to the point, and a nice ice-breaker.

We’re back from Bad Gastein. A one week fully-inclusive stay at Über Family-Friendly Haus Hirt. It is definitely one to recommend: A perfect mix of tasteful yet relaxed family hotel combined with an extremely kids-friendly environment.

The ideal schedule:

9am: shuttle picks up the children from 4 years old to take them to the ski school, until 3:30pm.

4pm: hot chocolate for all the children, on the house.

4:30-5:30pm supervised splash time at the indoor pool. A crazy zoo where they all scream and laugh

6pm: supervised dinner for the children, followed by an evening in the playroom until they can’t keep their eyes open and move to bed smoothly. Alternatively, the baby monitor in the room catches every breath while parents can enjoy a 4-course dinner downstairs.

Of course, it’s never quite as the theory would like and Marcelo decided he did NOT want to ski after the 2nd day! Oh well. Evelyn the manager & owner found a solution (and a babysitter) to every situation, and I still managed to go skiing a few times.

Also, the hotel has so much at the disposal of the parents: snow buggies, bottle warmers, sleds, baby monitors, baby name it.

Cons to be aware of:

It’s really better if you speak some German as this is not an international ski resort. We did not and we still had a good time, but better to warn you. I think this hotel would be the perfect place to go with a group of friends and their children, so everyone has a nice time together.

The ski school Dorf-Aktiv is a 20-min drive from the hotel so it’s not ideal if you want to see your children in the day. There are others closer but guests tend to go to this one because it’s supposedly smaller and more personable.

The village is very picturesque, yet not much is happening for apres-ski. So you tend to spend your time doing nature walks or at the hotel. Which is fine because they are both beautiful. There’s a really nice Aveda spa for example.

This is a little sample of my window-shopping there:

Pros aside from the kids-friendly aspect:

It’s a stunning mountain. The ski resort is not that big but enough for a week-stay, with good off-piste as well. Still very protected with plenty of slopes where you can be among the pine trees. Also, the horse-carriage trip in Gruner Baum is a must with the family.

It’s very easy to reach from Salzburg airport (one hour drive), which is connected to London and other main cities in Europe with several flights a day.

The hotel is beautifully decorated, with a very accommodating staff. You feel willkommen immediately. The rooms are simple but comfortable, families stay in a duplex. It would be worth going for a valley-view room, and booking a long-time in advance because they have a lot of repeating guests each year. Always a good sign.

BozAround tips:

There’s a Snow Jazz festival in Bad Gastein from March 12th til the 21st.

Book your spa treatments in advance or else you will be disappointed.

Try to add a night in Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. Haus Hirt has a sister property there, Villa Auersperg. We did not and we regret. We’ll be back. Maybe in the summer next time…

Special thanks to Kids Modern for featuring this hotel and allowing me to discover it.

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