Candy cane-wrapped luxury makes for a sweet ski-in/ski-out vacation in the Austrian Alps.
Located in the Salzburg region of Austria, Obertauern is a picture-perfect ski destination. The ski area is a giant snow bowl with 62-miles of groomed runs: 60 blue, 36 red, and four black. Intermediate and advanced skiers can spend the day circling the entire bowl via a circuit of connecting lifts. The resort also features Bibo Bear family ski park, where new skiers and boarders can hone their skills.
What to do besides skiing?
There's more to do in Obertauern than just downhill skiing and snow boarding: cross-country skiing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, snow kiting, snow biking, and ice skating. Or maybe you’ll choose a horse-drawn carriage ride through the awe-inspiring alpine landscape.
Where to stay?
My family’s choice in Obertauern is Sportshotel Edelweiss with its ski-in/ski-out luxury. The hotel (that once hosted the Beatles) is located near the base of Edelweissbahn, one of the easier runs and site of night skiing. The hotel also has an in-house skiing and snowboarding school with English-speaking instructors and an ultra-convenient ski storage room with heated boot rack and sleds. Ski rental for kids 10 and under is free at the hotel with a paying parent. The hotel offers two-bedroom suites and larger apartments for families, all decorated in a cheery, candy cane-striped decor similar - I’m sure - to Santa’s North Pole lodge. The rooms have large entryways, convenient for hanging wet snow gear, plus fluffy bathrobes and comfy slippers.
You can swim in the inviting indoor pool; just watch out for the tourists who bare it all in hot tub! The spa offers massages, including a kid’s massage with cocoa oil. Afterwards, your child will smell like a chocolate bar!
In the evening, teens can enjoy the game room with table tennis, foosball, and PlayStations. Or socialize with other families around the lounge fireplaces.
Finally, the resort provides free child care during the holiday season, but do book in advance to make sure the center is properly staffed.
Prices start at $87/person/night but increase substantially during holiday and festival periods. Children 5 and under stay free.
Where to eat?
Meals are one of the highlights at Sportshotel Edelweiss. The room rate includes breakfast, but I’d recommend adding dinner as well. Breakfast is a rich buffet of organic foods. For dinner, order from the main, vegetarian, wellness or kids’ menu. Make sure to try the Austrian schnitzel and save room for a delectable array of freshly-made desserts.
KidTripster Tip: Christmas Eve is a truly magical night at the hotel. Guests share a traditional dinner with spirits and ciders, carols, Kris Kringle, and a candlelit reading of the Christmas story in German.
Obertauern is an one-hour drive from Salzburg. From the Salzburg airport, take a shuttle or hire a car. You should avoid driving yourself, as the snow-covered mountain roads can be treacherous.
Make sure to spend a few nights in Salzburg, too. Click here for more.
Editor Shellie Bailey-Shah and her family still remember this vacation as one of their best holiday getaways ever.