We have just returned from a week of ski holiday at Familieparadies Sporthotel. We are frequent users of Kinderhotels and I would like to provide some feedback which perhaps is impacted by comparing it with some other Kinderhotels we visited previously.
The big advantage of the hotel is its location next to the lift which is an enormous help if you have young kids who need to attend ski school. There is a slop next to the hotel for very young beginners but they will eventually move to the Snowland which is located in the mountains. You really safe a lot of time being next to the lifts as well as having all related facilities such as ski rental and ski school under the same roof.
The hotel offers free of charge ski courses for kids and 2 hours of ski guide for adults (which we did not use so I am not be able to comment). The ski school for kids is pretty good. If you are not German-speaking family, you need to be a bit more enquiring on the first day to ensure your child(ren) ends up in the right group. We had some misunderstanding in the beginning and our 6yo daughter joined the group of the beginners whilst she had some experience before. The intro was in German so I guess we missed the point a bit but this misunderstanding has been resolved pretty quickly (we had to be there though). After that it went fine and the ski instructor (Inge) was really great. For my younger daughter it was the first experience and it was slightly more challenging. I found the group of 8 very young beginners quite big and our instructor Tamara had some difficulties managing the group. Kids cried a lot and the parents had to stay on the slop for a while to help her. Once the kids were up in Snowland it went pretty fine although you have to go on the lift with them and help your own child. So if you are not skiing take this into account. Although we knew that kids had to be picked up for lunch that was a slight inconveniences. The lessons run 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon with 1.5 hours break. There is no option to arrange a supervised lunch like we experienced at other ski schools. Having said that, our initial somewhat mixed feelings about ski school completely changed after the final race. That was a remarkable highlight of our stay. It was so professionally organized and created such a cool environment for kids as well as for parents that we almost forgotten all small flaws. You can also order professional video of the race which is absolutely outstanding (still waiting for our copy to arrive)! There is also a race for adults which created an atmosphere of community and generated lots of energy.
As at any other Kinderhotel, the kids club is a highlight. The kids club stuff was great, trying to include our non-german speaking kids into the activities. Kids clearly had fun and participated in many activities including the final show (my elder daughter had a role with her text translated to English). I would personally prefer a bit more inclusive show (it was a theater type performance) but given we were probably the only non-german speaking this is fine. Kids were happy and this was the most important. One point - the kids club is in the basement (which is to be fair the common practice at the Kinderhotels) with no windows or airco, so it can get pretty stiff there.
Now some points that we did not like as much:
The hotel's facilities are ok, however I found our room pretty outdated. We had one of the bigger suites which was spacious but with very standard design and outdated furniture and features, old lamp bulbs, noisy fan system in the bathrooms and almost no wifi (we complained, but i guess its just not modern enough to cover the whole area adequately so we had weird spots such as next to bathroom with perfect reception and almost blind areas elsewhere). Apparently there are renovated rooms and we were just not lucky to get that one. Yet it spoiled the impression because when I booked the hotel I thought all bigger suites were refurbished. Given I booked really in advance I would rather book a smaller suit but refurbished one. The swimming pools were ok but pretty standard. Kids were slightly disappointed having no no extra activities such as slides, jacuzzi and outdoor pools which I thought were pretty standard at ski resorts. There are several saunas and ice room which were ok.
My biggest disappointment was food. I used to get culinary treat at every Kinderhotel so far, but not really at Sporthotel. The dinners were ok, but breakfasts and lunches were somewhat disappointing. Very basic breakfast with no fresh juices (one was offered at 5 EUR per small glass!), very limited choices at the buffet and you can order either scrambled or fried eggs (no omelet and even that basic choices were taking way too long to be prepared). The restaurant gets very noisy, tables are really close to each other and we had one with the exit from only one side of the table so both of us had to always get up to let our busy kids in and out. The lunch (and afternoon snacks) were served at separate building Seealm, the restaurant which belongs to the hotel. My elder daughter loves food and she normally eats whatever is offered but even for her it was a struggle. The presentation of the food was not very nice which was a shame since a-la carte dishes at the same place looked really nice - they were just offered for extra charge. Same goes to afternoon snacks - very limited selection compared to other hotels. Coffee and tea at extra charge too. The last day of the stay (Friday) was somewhat better with music at Seealm and better (selection of) food.
So my conclusion is that overall it is good hotel if being next to the lifts is important and if you have young kids to join ski school with no extra cost (especially if you are not sure if your child likes it or not). Something to note though which has nothing to do with the hotel itself. I found the skiing area pretty small, only few slopes (very limited blue slopes and also not that many red/black, so regardless if you are a beginner or advanced it might be pretty limited). This might not be a problem as you need to pick up kids anyway :) I was not skiing this time and being up in the mountains was less enjoyable as there were no cool bars, music, nice lounges so you are pretty much dependent on the hotel facilities. Whilst we met some families that visited the hotel for the last few years we thought there were better hotels - perhaps further away from lifts- with better facilities, food and surroundings, perhaps slightly more expensive too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The upscale holiday destination for a fantastic family holiday in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps in Achenkirch, Austria. Spend an exclusive and relaxing holiday in our family-run 4-star hotel. We are one of the leading hotels for children in Europe. Our 5-Smiley rating sets us apart as an upscale and particularly child-friendly hotel. The exciting and varied range of holiday facilities for babies, children, and teenagers will delight your loved ones - and that's a promise! The kids are kept busy, romping and playing all day, so there's plenty of time for the parents to relax and recuperate. Treat yourself to a break for two and spend relaxing moments in our extensive wellness oasis. Our sports and leisure facilities at the Sporthotel Achensee offer something for everyone. The magnificent nature of the Tyrolean Alps ensures relaxation and calmness. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Familienparadies Sporthotel Achensee Achenkirch