All-in with an all-inclusive vacation in Austria
We all know the routine: you want to go on a holiday but everyone in the family has slightly different interests, so how do you plan a family trip that everyone will enjoy?
This past winter, I found myself in such a predicament. I was looking for a skiing holiday for my family. Worried that my three-year-old daughter might not take to skiing, I didn’t want to limit our activity options to the slopes. I had been reluctant of all-inclusive hotels or family resorts, but after spending a holiday at the Post Family Resort in Austria, I’m now a believer!
A post station turned hotel
Nestled in Austria’s Northern Calciferous Alps in the pretty village of Unken, the Post Family Resort has been around for a long time. As far back as 1640, it was a tavern which was converted into a post station—hence the name—and eventually a hotel.
The Post Resort is a member of Kinderhotels, a hotel organisation that specialises in child-friendly holidays across Austria, Bavaria, Croatia, Italy and Portugal. Everyone, from the youngest to the oldest and even pets in some cases, is thought of and provided for, and the balance between things to do for kids and adults, regardless of the weather or season, is faultless.
Catering to kids
The Post Resort has a fabulous kids’ club open daily from 9am to 8pm daily, which provides up to 11 hours of free childcare for infants and children up to 11 years old. Activities are organised by age groups and include lunch, snack and dinner. There is even a daily activity programme available for teens. Each age group is overseen by trained and certified care professionals, all of whom speak a variety of languages.
The kids’ club itself was a safe, vibrant and welcoming place. It was full of toys and things to do, and activities were planned for both indoors and outdoors. Staff were attentive, authoritative and seemingly excellent fun. We felt happy that our daughter was looked after and that her individual needs catered for. The litmus test was when we tried to take her out of the kids’ club; she didn’t want to leave!
In addition to the kids’ club, the hotel also offered a range of indoor activities, including an adventure soft play, swimming pools, cinema and a chill out area with a billiard table, table football, darts, games consoles and board games.
For outside play, kids can enjoy horse riding, a petting zoo, an adventure playground, and a play arena with trampolines, soccer, handball, volleyball, boccia, table tennis, badminton, archery and go-karts. There is also a water play area and a swimming lake with a giant water slide to keep them cool in the summer, and in winter, youngsters can use up their energy on a mini-skiing and tobogganing slope or at an ice rink.
Spoiling the parents
The high point for me was the evening meal, and it wasn’t just the delicious five-course meals or the nightly wine-tastings. Usually, I’m so busy looking after my daughter that I rarely enjoy a hot meal or spend more than a few uninterrupted moments speaking to my husband.
However, every evening, the kids’ club staff came to collect my little tyke, taking her off to enjoy whatever activity was planned. For over an hour each evening, I sat and tasted food—hot food—and my husband and I chatted with no interruptions. It’s a small thing, but most parents I know would value that little nugget of time allowing them to be grown-ups as well as parents.
With a daily programme of activities at the kids’ club to keep our little one entertained, my husband and I enjoyed a spot of skiing, a variety of walks, and even just lounging in comfy sofas reading newspapers and drinking tea together. The times we spent as a family were more fun and more relaxed, mainly because we had been able to unwind and recharge our batteries—the sauna, solarium and spa didn’t hurt either.
Of course, leisure isn’t the only sport at the Post Resort. Winter enthusiasts will enjoy cross-country skiing, mini-slope skiing and tobogganing. During the summer, there is football, golf, and swimming in the natural lakes. The resort also has a gym, horse riding, indoor swimming pools and a heated outdoor swimming pool.
In addition to the sports facilities on site, for an additional fee, the Post Resort offers numerous daily activities and excursions—fitness classes, hiking, archery, horse riding, rock climbing, skiing, swimming, and visits to museums, the zoo, parks, castles and more.
We also really appreciated, as many other parents we spoke to did, the professionalism of the staff. As wonderful as kids are, they are prone to screaming and shouting, throwing tantrums, and eating like a troop of monkeys. The staff at Post Hotel were unflappable; they remained professional, friendly and affable regardless of the situation.
It’s in the details
For us, the attention to detail was just as important in creating a relaxed environment for our family holiday. The hotel had covered every element of a family holiday—morning newsletters outlining the day’s activities, complimentary bowls of fruit, free detergent for laundry, wet wipes and nappies in the bathrooms, even a nightlight in our daughter’s room and a step stool in the bathroom so she could reach the sink. The hotel even offered packed lunch and breakfast boxes for day trips or if you needed to check out early.
If you are looking for a holiday, summer or winter, where the needs of your family are truly understood, then I can’t recommend the Post Resort highly enough.
Getting there: Unken is about 40km south-west of Salzburg, Austria and 130km south-east of Munich, Germany
The flight from Doha (DOH) to Salzburg (SZG) is approximately eight hours with a connection in Vienna. Doha (DOH) direct to Munich (MUC) is approximately six hours. From Munich, trains are available to the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof Train Station (~2 hours). Shuttle service can be arranged with the Post Family Resort from Salzburg train station (~40 mins) or Salzburg airport (~35 mins)
Cost: The cost of staying at the Post Resort varies depending on the time of year, type of room, number of people and extra activities booked. Summer packages for two adults and one child are EUR 861–2,387