Skiing in Austria with kids- Skiing Alpendorf

  • St Johann-Alpendorf Ski Resort

If you are looking for a resort where you will enjoy an exciting family ski vacation in Europe (Austria), then the Alpina Family Spa and Sporthotel is just the place to be.  My family, along with some family friends, went there for a skiing vacation during the kids’ winter break; we had a great time skiing in the Alps.

Alpendorf is a quaint village that is about 55 km away from Salzburg and 3 km away from the town center of St. Johann Im Pongau. It is part of the Ski Amadé region of Austria, which has about 28 ski areas and towns, making it the second largest ski area in Europe.  Alpendorf is about 2hrs 30min from the Munich airport and 50min from the Salzburg airport.  We flew through Munich as it was much cheaper than flying through Salzburg. Our hotel arranged a van to pick us up from the airport.

Why did we decide to choose this resort for our family ski vacation in Europe?  We were looking for a place that was both kid- and adult-friendly.  Here are some key reasons why we choose this hotel:

Why we picked this hotel and destination?

Ski:

  • St Johann-Alpendorf Ski Resort

The hotel was less than 20 steps from the gondola station, which was really convenient.  The hotel sold lift tickets at reception.  The hotel’s heated ski lockers/ski cellar were right outside of the entrance of the gondola station.

There were two ski schools/rental agencies in the hotel.  We choose the Alpendorf ski school.  Adults received 10% off of ski rentals and 5% off of ski lessons as a hotel guest.  Kids (under age 10) received free ski rentals (if adults rented skis).  We were fitted in our ski gear the day that we arrived and booked full-day ski lessons for our kids from 10 am – 3 pm.  There was also an option for half-day ski lessons.

All ski programs start on Sunday and last for up to 6 days. Kids have the same coach for the entire program.  On Thursday, the kids participate in a ski race followed by a medal ceremony.  What a wonderful and unique experience!

The resort provided the option of picking up the kids outside the hotel/gondola and dropping them off at the same spot. That made it easier for us to take adult ski lessons, which started at 10:15 am and ended at 1:45 pm. Lessons for kids and adults were taught in either German or English, depending on the enrollment.  My kids really enjoyed the lessons, so much so that my son was very sad when we returned to the states because he missed his coach.

Rooms:

  • Alpina Family Spa and Sporthotel - Our room

The hotel was very comfortable. The hotel offered both standard rooms and apartments with kitchenettes.  We booked a standard room that had a large living room with a pull-out couch for the kids.

Our room had a balcony with a small sitting area and a very beautiful view of the Salzburg valley. We could not use the balcony because it was cold, but we did enjoy waking up to a breathtaking view every morning.  Our room also provided robes and slippers for kids and adults, as well as a basket full of pool towels.

Kids club:

There is a great kids’ club at the hotel, which is open from early morning to 9:30 pm.  I love hotels with kids’ clubs, and so do my kids. The club is open to kids of all ages, from 4 weeks old (yes, 4 weeks old) to 15 years old.

The kids’ club has multiple rooms, including a climbing wall, table tennis, dart, foosball, video games, TV, a kitchen, and crafts.  The club also serves lunch, snacks, and dinner — free of charge.  There were different activities throughout the day, and the staff was super friendly.  My kids really loved the bowling party, dress-up, face-painting, and bracelet-making.  (The staff also organizes interesting outdoor games and excursions during the summer.)

For those with babies, there is also a baby kit, a baby monitoring system, a baby kitchen, and a baby room equipped with everything you need for your baby.  Awesome, isn’t it?  (Not something that I have to worry about since my babies are now big.)

Pool:

  • Alpina family spa and Sporthotel -outdoor pool
    Alpina family Spa and Sporthotel - The outdoor heated pool with the view of the Alps.

One of the highlights of our vacation was the hotel’s pools.

There was a heated infinity pool with a breathtaking view of the Alps; a large lagoon pool with a waterfall and a hot tub; a small indoor pool with a waterslide for kids; and a baby pool.  The kids loved running from one pool to another, lounging and swimming, and called it a pool party.  (In fact, every Wednesday, the hotel has a “mermaid swim.”)

Spa/Gym/Smoothie bar:

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Right next to the pool was a spa, adult sauna, kids’ sauna, and gym.  There was also a smoothie bar with juices and protein shakes.  The kids loved the juices so we tried all of them.

There were plenty of spa treatments for adults.  Who wouldn’t want a treatment after an intense day of skiing?  I really enjoyed the signature facial.  I highly recommend a spa treatment — especially if you can leave the kids at the kids’ club.  You really don’t want to miss out.

The spa also had fun treatments for kids like a chocolate massage.  Wow!  The kids chose a manicure and pedicure treatment; they had fun painting their fingers and toes with their friends.

The gym offered a variety of workout classes, but who needs to go to the gym if you spend your days skiing, right?

Restaurants:  

The hotel had many restaurants to choose from. You could decide to go with the hotel’s meal plan (breakfast buffet, lunch buffet, and a 5-course dinner). We chose breakfast only option, as we wanted to try different restaurants.  Here are several of the restaurants that we enjoyed during our stay.

  • Bistro:

Pizzachef_1

This is a casual dining restaurant that offers pizzas, salads, and pasta dishes. It also had many ice cream and dessert options for kids, which ours loved.  The restaurant even has indoor tennis courts, a golf simulator, and billiards tables; and the hotel hosts movie nights for kids on certain days there.  We ordered a family-size pizza and salad, which was big enough for two families to share. Bistro Menu.    Bistro Pizza Menu

  • Restaurant Panorama:

restaurant

This is a formal restaurant with prix fixe options. The food and ambience were both great.  There was even a magician in the dining room to entertain the guests.  Our kids were at the kids’ club, but we enjoyed the magic tricks.

  • Zirbenstube:
  • Alpina Family Spa and Sporthotel - Fresh squeezed orange juice machine part of the breakfast buffet

This is the breakfast restaurant.  Breakfast was included with our stay.  There was a crepe and eggs station, French toast, meats, cheeses, sausages, fresh honeycomb, fresh fruits, vegetables, and much more.  There was even a machine that dispensed fresh butter.  But the highlight of my morning was a big machine to squeeze fresh orange juice.  What a refreshing breakfast!  It was definitely a highlight and an excellent start to our day of skiing.

Bar and lounge:

We enjoyed the beautiful view of the mountains while sipping cocktails. The hotel serves complimentary juices for kids and alcoholic drink for adults in the evenings.

The hotel also has indoor tennis courts, a golf simulator, a billiards table, and an apres ski bar.

Other restaurants around the resort

  • Wellness Gourmet und Relax Hotel Zinnkrügl:  
  • Hotel Zinnkrügl - Gourmetstube restaurant

This lovely family-run hotel was just a two-minute walk from our hotel.  We went there for dinner one day and found the food delicious.  Our host, Frederick, told us about the gala night that the hotel hosts every Wednesday, so we went back for the gala night.  The decor of the dining room, the table settings, the view of the mountains (it was snowing, so beautiful), the dining experience, and the live music made the night truly magical.  We had a prix fixe meal for the gala dinner, and the kids enjoyed the kids’ buffet.  The staff was super friendly to the kids, who enjoyed an enormous amount of ice cream for dessert.  After dinner, the kids went to the game room while we enjoyed drinks with great music — courtesy of Frederick.

I must say that this was one of the most memorable dining experiences that we had during this trip. I would highly recommend this hotel.

Restaurants menu  

  • Hotel Tannenhof:
  • Hotel Tannenhof - Hotel restaurant

This lovely family-run hotel was just a two-minute walk from our hotel.  We went there for dinner one day and found the food delicious.  Our host, Frederick, told us about the gala night that the hotel hosts every Wednesday, so we went back for the gala night.  The decor of the dining room, the table settings, the view of the mountains (it was snowing, so beautiful), the dining experience, and the live music made the night truly magical.  We had a prix fixe meal for the gala dinner, and the kids enjoyed the kids’ buffet.  The staff was super friendly to the kids, who enjoyed an enormous amount of ice cream for dessert.  After dinner, the kids went to the game room while we enjoyed drinks with great music — courtesy of Frederick.

I must say that this was one of the most memorable dining experiences that we had during this trip. I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Oberforsthof Alm Ges.m.b.H.:

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This great restaurant is just a 5min walk from the hotel. Oberforsthof Alm Ges.m.b.H is a traditional Austrian restaurant with a traditional menu.  You can ski in and ski out during the day.  The restaurant was family-friendly, and our waitress quickly won over the kids. website

 Things To Do Around The Resort:

Salt Mine Hallein:

  • family ski trip to the Alps

After a relaxing breakfast one morning, we went to see the salt mine, which was only 50min from the hotel.  The hotel arranged the car, and we bought tickets online for the 1 pm tour.  The tour was a big hit with the kids.  Who wouldn’t love a train ride, two miner’s slides, and a boat ride in the middle of a mine that is hundreds of years old?  The tour lasted for 2 hours, and then we had some snacks at the cafe. The kids had a blast, and we learned about the salt mine that helped build Salzburg. website

Salzberg:  

Salzberg is 45 min from the resort by car or 1 hour by public transportation.  This charming city is rich in history, architecture, culture, music, and shopping.  Salzberg is the birthplace of Mozart and also popular among tourists for The Sound of Music tours.  It is a beautiful old city easily explored on foot — and so much fun.

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