We’ve been hearing chatter about family hotels ever since we had Livy, and after 13 months of her beautiful little life we decided to finally pull the trigger and check it out for ourselves. If you’re not familiar with the concept of a family, or kinder (children’s) hotel, they are a niche of hotels specializing in the family experience, creating a carefree getaway for the whole family. From family-owned beach properties to luxury mountain wellness hotels, there is something for every taste. Whether you’re looking to take advantage of their childcare, full board dining options, wonderful locations, or all of the above, there are so many amazing advantages to vacationing at one of these wonderful family hotels.
PC: Holiday Check
For our very first family hotel experience we recently visited the Alpina Family, Spa & Sporthotel just outside of St. Johann im Pongau, Austria. With living abroad and being so far from family, friends (and babysitters!), Tyler and I have had very few moments to ourselves since Liv joined the crew. The thought of placing her in childcare at a hotel was, I’ll admit, a bit nerve-wracking, however I’m almost 8 months pregnant and decided to give it a go and look forward to a bit of free time with my hubby. Our experience was nothing short of delightful, and we loved it so much that we’ve already booked a ski-vacation here this winter! Check out the full details of our weekend away at the wonderful Alpina Family, Spa & Sporthotel:
Our stay at Alpina Family, Spa & Sporthotel was provided at a discounted rate in exchange for an honest review of the property and services. All opinions are my own, and always 100% honest.
Travel // At approximately 3 hours from Munich and a little under 5 hours from Stuttgart, a weekend getaway in the Austrian Alp town of Alpendorf was exactly what we were looking for. We had heard of the “Kinder Hotel” concept since we arrived in Europe, but this would be our first personal experience and we were cautiously optimistic.
After getting stuck in a mess of traffic on our way in (have a backup plan to avoid the tunnels around 35 minutes outside of Alpendorf should there be a backup!) we were ready to relax once we arrived.
First Impressions // Everyone is so friendly and so accommodating! We toured the hotel and the children’s area, enjoyed a delicious dinner, and turned in early after relaxing in our spacious room overlooking the mountains. The view from our room was breathtaking, and provided for a beautiful wake-up the following morning 🙂 The hotel has the perfect combination of renovated luxury and Austrian charm, and both Tyler and I agreed that it had the most functional and well stocked gym either of us had ever seen (as a reminder, I work in meeting and conference planning and visit hotels all the time!)
Day 1 // Sleep in, work out, breakfast and babe drop off. Gondola and hike, lunch, nap. Workout, spa, relax. Babe pick-up, dinner.
I’m not an egg fan myself, but Tyler gave the omelet station RAVE reviews (and I was over the moon about the fresh fruit and yogurt bar). The coffee was also 💯 and the staff was sweet enough to lend me a carafe to take up to the room before breakfast (while we were waiting on Miss Liv to wake from her slumber). I highly recommend going with the full-board option here, but at the very least do yourself a favor and book the breakfast!
Since babysitters are hard to come by in our area, we rarely have childcare outside of friends and visits from family. I was a pretty solid mix of excited and nervous to be away from my little bestie, but after meeting with the staff in the childcare area I was calm enough to let Liv play away from us for the day. I have to say as a whole the hardest part was having her head off and not care AT ALL that I was leaving.
We had no idea just how close the hotel was to the gondola (or just how much of a ski mountain this actual is), and decided to take the ride up and scope out the slopes for future ski trips. They do an amazing job of creating a fun environment for kids and families to enjoy outside of the winter months, and we were so impressed with the amount of activities there were up on the mountain for kiddos to enjoy. Definitely not an easy hike if you plan to walk to the top, but thank GOD they have a little train that runs to the top and for the sake of my pregnant belly (and Tyler’s sanity) we took the train the last 3/4 of the way up.
Day 2 // Workout, childcare, breakfast, relax, golf, spa, dinner
The Hotel Gym to Beat All Hotel Gyms
So ya’ll know I see a lot of hotels in my line of work, and sometimes (ok, maybe not as much as I should…) I’ll use the hotel’s gym facilities to get in a quick run or lift in before meetings/site-inspections, etc. Basically I’ve seen my fair share of hotel gyms, and I have to say the gym at Alpina is THE ABSOLUTE KING of hotel gyms! Every machine is state of the art (we’re talking fresh!), and their crossfit section is second to none. Tyler was super impressed (and that’s saying something!) and even though I stayed in my own pregnant mama corner on the elliptical, I have to say I was pretty blown away. This destination is great for the fit fam, and the gym is a deal sealer. *Follow me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/alexandria_fairchild and check out more Gym highlights under the Travel highlights on my page!
With so many activities within the hotel walls, we chose a day to relax and take advantage of all the hotel had to offer. When we did our initial scouting out of the place we found their golf simulator (next to the indoor tennis courts…yes for real) and thought this would be a great little day-date for the two of us. Although my big ole baby belly got in the way of my swing (which wasn’t too impressive to begin with), we had so much fun hanging out together for a little adult time. *Have I said how amazing the in-hotel childcare is? 🙌
If you’re a Mom, how many times have you actually been to a spa since your babe(s) were born? If you’re like me, that number is low (like, real low…). Having access to an amazing on-site spa was absolutely divine, and even though I spent only one day receiving services I was able to use the rest of the facilities throughout our entire stay. I loved the relaxation rooms with the gorgeous view (and total silence), Tyler loved the finish sauna (big sauna guy), and we both enjoyed having some alone time to reset and rejuvenate. I’ll have to admit I’m bummed I wasn’t able to use one of the saunas or steam rooms, but I have big plans for our winter getaway!
We opted into the full-board option with our reservation, which meant all meals were included during our stay. Aside from all-inclusive Caribbean resorts, this was a new idea for me in Europe, and I didn’t have any real expectations. I’ve already told ya’ll how fab the breakfast was, and the dinner was like 10x as amazing. 5 courses, all gourmet (but not snooty gourmet, just really great food). There were a handful of choices that included meat, fish, and vegetarian options (we even went rogue and ordered a pizza one night). The salad bar was 💯 , the cheese platters were mind blowing (they had this habanero jelly that would knock your socks off), and I definitely wasn’t mad about the DIY ice cream bar for dessert (all the flavors…all the toppings…bomb.com). Every evening we were seated at the same table, and with the hotel’s on-site baby monitoring system, some nights Olivia joined us, and others she turned in for an early bedtime and let Mama and Daddy dine alone. The relaxation was real.
If it sounds like I am fangirling over this property, it’s probably because I am. I can’t fully express what a wonderful surprise this hotel was for us, and for Olivia. The perfect mix of outdoor activity, play, and relaxation, was just what the doctor ordered for our little family.
For more information on ALPINA Family, Spa & Sporthotel, please visit http://www.sporthotel-alpina.com/en/