Mrs. Kim Hollywood kindly send us her family’s experience of her stay (26 Oct – 2 Nov 2013) at Europe’s 1st Baby and Children’s Hotel. Read what the family thinks of Kinderhotels…
Autumn half-term break. There, I’ve said it, and for many a parent it’s a stressful what-do-we-do-with-the-kids time when the weather can be questionable, and UK attractions crowded to the max. As I’m writing this after the fact, let me just preface this short report by saying that we lived through half-term and we loved it – in Austria.
After a quick (1 hour and 45ish min), and fairly inexpensive Ryanair flight, my husband, two daughters (2 ½ & 4) arrived in Salzburg. From there, the hotel had organised a transfer service complete with two appropriate car seats already secured in the car. Our destination was ‘Europe’s 1st Baby and Children’s Hotel’, a member of the Kinderhotels collection of hotels that for some 25 years have found great success in specifically catering to families.
I’m not even sure where to begin except that I’m quite sure that it was on day two, when I nipped down to the spa for a pedicure, safe in the knowledge that my husband had our small charges well-entertained in the soft play Pirate Land area, that I was already thinking that this was the absolute perfect holiday choice. Let me just say in the days that followed, we all played outside in the gloriously fresh Austrian air, we became a party of four kids splashing around in the generously heated pools as the girls even braved the 100m water slide, we sung around an open campfire with stars above, and of course we ate….and then ate some more (the food was wonderful and despite a lovely daily selection of kids‘ favourites, who knew that our girls would even be open to trying such things as red snapper, chamois, and venison?!) The hotel facilities were cosy, clean and with thoughful touches throughout such as child appropriate toilets/sinks, child-height banisters, and mini robes in the rooms. A fascinating world of play awaited inside and out, and despite three full days where we stayed indoors due to rain, it never was a bore.
For us, one of the absolute highlights was each morning when one of the hotels‘ three mascots would come down to the kids club area and sing and dance with all the families. Mascots are really surprising entities I think with their magic sometimes lost on us adults, but to our surprise, our whole family was completely enamoured by Smiley, Smile-lina, and Hubsi Hu the kangaroo. One of our daughters, who is speech delayed, would, in the middle of the singing, always turn to us and say “I like it” – brought tears to our eyes, and quite frankly, this morning ritual is one of our favourite memories of our stay.
Also, while I am able to hold a basic German conversation, the hubby and kids can’t. This wasn’t a worry either as all staff that we encountered spoke enough English that we never had a problem. Menus and daily progranmme highlights were also provided for us in English and no request was too much trouble.
The hotel was not filled to capacity as this was not a half-term week in Austria, so it was marvellous to really unwind in the relaxed and uncrowded atmosphere. In fact, at one point during the week we were already remarking that we should do another Kinderhotels trip at exactly this same time next year, and that to me is the sign of a terrific holiday.
Thank you to all our new friends at ‘Europe’s 1st Baby and Children’s Hotel’– we want to keep you our little secret but we can‘t resist spreading the word!