Austria Winter Vacation
I love to travel. I always have. There’s something about discovering new places, meeting interesting people, and trying local foods that really gets me going! And I LOVE staying in hotels! I’m a bit of a hotel-snob. I am very particular in where we stay and I have a regimented process for picking a hotel or rental. So if I ever recommend a hotel, you know it’s good!
Since moving to Europe we have done some extensive traveling. It’s just so easy to hop on a train or plane or even down the autobahn and get to a new country. Since moving to Germany in January of 2017 we have visited 13 countries and several cities in Germany itself! We already have Spain booked for February and we found the Baltic Cruise we want to take in July. That’s at least 6 more countries in 2019! Plus who knows where else we will go.
The past Christmas we took a super magical winter trip to Austria! I had found a resort I wanted to go to back in 2017 but it was booked a year out. So when the window opened again, I called and made our Christmas reservations!
For our holiday vacation we knew we wanted to go south. After spending three white Christmases in upstate NY we knew we wanted SNOW! It doesn’t snow much here in Wiesbaden…
So we set our eyes on the mountains of Austria. We stayed at Gut Wenghof Resort, a super-family friendly, all-inclusive ski resort at the base of the Austrian Alps.
First, the hotel. It is a small resort and there’s nothing shiny or glamorous about it. You won’t drool over the decor of the rooms or the lavish amenities. It is small and quaint. And it is all about families! It is all-the-way kid friendly. Every guest there has at least one kid who isn’t listening and has decided to make a lot of noise. And it’s ok! It’s the norm! The resort opens to the reception area and a fireplace to warm up at. This is where the nightly kids disco takes place. Its right outside of the restaurant which hosts a large buffet for all three meals. And if you get hungry in-between, there’s pizza 24/7. The flow of dinner was to take everyone through the buffet and as the kids finished, to send them outside to play in the snow while we watch through the large windows or send them to dance to the disco with the other kids. While we drank.
And this is the best part: Gut Wenghof is all-inclusive —- including alcohol! They have two types of beer and a white and a red wine on tap. On. Tap. You just go get a glass when ever you want. Either at the restaurant or the lounge that also has juice, sodas, coffee and tea. Everything was included! And the price was really great.
The ski mountain is right across the street. There isn’t much else in the little town the resort resided in. There are a few other inns and a couple of restaurants. The big attraction is the ski mountain. Gut Wenghof is essentially ski-in/ski-out. You cross the street and get on the chair lift.
The area is beautiful. It was a magical winter wonderland! Fresh snow, pink sunrises, and starry nights. Plus it’s just around 45 minutes south of Salzburg. It’s an easy drive to the city and we did it twice to visit the Christmas market and some beer destinations that where recommended to us.
As for the kids, they had a great time! SNOW! They really didn’t need much else. Well maybe a pool which the hotel has too! They loved the kids buffet which had cartoons on the plates and was low enough that they could serve themselves. They liked the free flow of juice and their freedom to play. We vacationed with two other families with kids the same age so it really was a holiday for everyone!
I would definitely recommend Salzburg and the surrounding area. If you like to ski, the mountain was beautiful and the snow was good. (I don’t ski but the other adults in the group said it was great!) If you’re traveling with kids, Gut Wenghof is a great choice for your hotel. The value for your money and the attention to families is unparalleled! (They even had free daycare for kids 3 and up!)
Salzburg was a beautiful city to visit as well, especially at Christmas time. The market is in the Dom Platz so it is surrounded by beautiful old churches. It is small but the stands are warm and lovely. We took a horse drawn carriage ride from the market around town. And on our ride it began to snow. It was so magical I almost couldn’t contain myself! The food and beer in Salzburg is also fantastic! The history is rich and there is plenty to do. We only took in a little bit of Mozart by going to see The Magic Flute at the Marionette Theater. It was a neat experience!
If you’re interested in a truly magical winter wonderland vacation, I highly recommend Gut Wenghof and Salzburg!
Here are the details:
Hotel: Gut Wenghof book in advance! We booked in April for a December trip.
Where to eat in Salzburg:
Stiegkeller. Stiegel Beer is a Salzburg institution. You’ll find it everywhere! The restaurant is quite delicious serving traditional Austrian/German foods. Large dining halls and thick wood tables. We shared a table with another family. A must go to!
Augustiner Bräu. This is actually a monastery. And it is enormous! The monks brew one kind of beer and pour it from wooden barrels in to clay mugs. You get your mug at the front, wash it in the fountain and then get in line to have it filled. Simple and charming. The building has a handful of giant dining halls. Stained glass windows tour over the tables and most have standing reservations for groups to come dine and drink. The hall is set up like a market place and venders have their restaurants to purchase snacks and meals from. It smells amazing in there so make sure to come hungry!
Zum Fidelen Affen. Also known as the “Jolly Monkey” is a tavern that serves amazing food - quick! It was an amazing turn around! Family restaurant with cozy tables and delicious food! They serve Trumer Pils which can only be found in Salzburg.