Our family is passionate about skiing. Weeks before any ski holiday, the boys are already counting down the minutes, dragging their thermals out of storage and challenging each other to see who will hit the slopes the fastest. Breaking an arm or a leg is an automatic disqualification and yes, that’s actually a rule in our house.
As every parent knows, you can’t rely on one activity to carry you through a week’s vacation with the kids. Exhausting the little ones on the ski slopes is one tactic but these guys have an endless amount of energy and a chronic case of “what’s next.”
Sölden, Austria to the rescue. Boasting a glacier reaching 3340 meters, this resort generally maintains decent levels of snow from October through to May.
We’re a family of five who love to travel. One of our biggest challenges, however, is combining a fantastic holiday for our kids with some rest and relaxation for ourselves.
Through trial and error (lots of trial and lots of error) we came up with a way to bring a bit of adventure, a little luxury, and lots of laughs into our trips away. The following is our tried and tested Mission to Austria: Sölden. Give it a go – it’s an easy itinerary for you, lots of fun for them.
Sölden, Austria is a lively Alpine resort in the Ötztal Valley offering plenty of shops, a nonstop après-ski culture and great places to eat, from casual pizza joints to fancy fine dining restaurants.
For the purpose of this kids’ mission, the story goes that the jewel of the mountain has vanished. Only this clue remains:
High is the price
For this special ice
For a chance to find the jewel, the kids must follow a very specific path. Get ready to channel 007…
Sölden’s only 5-star luxury hotel Das Hotel Central has spy blockbuster written all over it. This slick alpine hotspot provides pampering for the parents and non-stop entertainment for the kids. Boasting top notch… everything, Das Hotel Central is brimming with sophisticated elegance (in a shaken not stirred kind of way). With so many attractions to choose from, the jewel could be anywhere but here’s a few spots you might want to check out first:
Kid’s Club: Kids, leave your parents at the hotel and head down to the Kid’s Club for games, arts and crafts and tons of toys. You’ll find everything from board games to video games. There’s even a kids’ climbing wall.
The Venetia Experience: Swim a few laps in the luxurious indoor heated pool which comes complete with a life-sized gondola in its centre. Soak in the Jacuzzi or relax in one of ten saunas and steam baths, all designed to help your whole family revive those tired ski muscles.
Spa: Do your best to tear your parents away from one of the best spas in Sölden – keep in mind it might be tough going though!
Gourmet dining: Serving a different menu nightly, this culinary experience treats your taste buds to haute cuisine from far off lands combined with local influence.
Sun deck and martini bar: Between the sun deck and the martini bar you could easily live it up like Bond, but the search for the jewel must continue – time to hit the slopes.
Intersport Glanzer is the logical choice for finding the necessary equipment to take your search onto the mountains. Skis, clothing, snowboards, helmets and goggles- you name it, they’ve got it. With friendly staff to find your perfect fit, renting or buying your gear couldn’t be easier.
Sölden is filled with gentle blue slopes enabling newbies and experts alike to enjoy a day of skiing. However, the really good snow conditions are on the adjoining glacier. Make sure you’re up to the task by snagging a few lessons with Skischule Sölden-Hochsölden. Groups every level and qualified teachers await to make sure no skier gets left behind. We give the ski professionals at Skischule Sölden-Hochsölden 5-stars for patience and professionalism. Special shout out to Frank. You were awesome!
You’ve skied all day; you’ve had a blast but still no jewel. That’s when you see it….
A façade of glass and steel nestled amongst majestic mountain peaks at 3048 meters up the mountain.
Restaurant Ice Q is the stuff straight out of the movies…literally. The restaurant was featured in the James Bond film Spectre.
Pick the corner table with uninterrupted views to the breath-taking backdrop of the Ötztal Alps and order from the restaurant’s mouth-watering 5 star menu.
Just as your waiter brings the dessert, you discover….
…the jewel of the mountain. And it’s certainly a tasty one!
Getting there: Sölden is located around a 3-hour drive from Salzburg airport. The Salzburg to Sölden route is also served daily by rail (Salzburg Hbf to Sölden Postamt). Private transfers can also be booked online.
Flights to Austria
- Karyn Gorman and Olav Adami