Welcome back to ‘Traveller Stories’, where we share unique experiences from amazing locations you can visit through holidaylettings.co.uk. Charlotte Todd recently returned to the Austrian Alps for her annual aprés adventure, but this time she was joined by her one-year-old son.
After missing our annual ski trip to St Anton last year due to having a new baby, we were itching to get back to the Austrian hills for some alpine air, fresh powder and, of course, a dose of what St Anton is famous for… the aprés.
We decided to be brave and take our one-year-old son, proving reactions from our friends such as, “you’re taking him with you? Good luck with that!”
But we did it.
Any winter sport aficionado will know there are less logistical holidays – and that’s without a toddler… skis, boots, winter-wear, helmets, goggles, the list goes on. Add a pushchair, a baby carrier, and a huge bag of nappies to the mix and you’ve got yourself a rather interesting travel experience. After making the rather frugal decision to pay for only two hold bags with Easyjet, our volume of hand luggage qualified for more than a heavy duty Gatwick trolley!
Arriving into central St Anton on a buzzing Saturday evening, our rental situated at the Landhaus Murr Apartments was a welcomed hideaway. It was fitted out perfectly for our little boy, with a cosy travel cot and high chair fit for a king (albeit a small one). We were also just across the hallway from the rest of our family, which meant he could happily crawl between the two apartments (he’s not quite at walking or skiing standard just yet!).
Unfortunately for us, St Anton doesn’t have a nursery facility for toddlers still needing nappies, so we all decided to juggle the week splitting babysitting and skiing. Whilst there were a few teething problems at the start of the week involving my husband discovering he had no shoes in the boot room after blissfully removing his ski boots for the evening, this actually worked very well. We all enjoyed lots of challenging but fabulous skiing and a ‘moderate’ level of aprés (some more than others I might add!).
St Anton itself is a beautiful town to explore, even with toddler in tow. But with only so much to see in the town of the ‘Cradle of Alpine Skiing’, we decided to invest in The Pacer, a 3ft plastic sledge with the sole objective of providing a minimum of 30 minutes entertainment. We played with this around the Kindergarten slopes, where he could watch the children charging around on skis for the first time.
For an elevenses warm milk stop, there is an array of coffee shops and restaurants in town that all seemed only too happy to accommodate little people. And when we were feeling really brave, a trip up in any of St Anton’s gondolas with him in the baby carrier was easy enough with staff giving us priority over skiers (who knew?).
In terms of other non-skiing activities (a side to St Anton we have never experienced), there is also a new and very impressive Wellness Centre, with both indoor and outdoor heated pools, spa facilities and a play park outside. Had we been organised enough to pack swimwear, I’m sure the swimming would have been a superb activity for the little one! The play park wasn’t quite the success I was hoping for – due to several days of heavy snowfall, the swings and slides weren’t quite in full action.
As we dined in most evenings (following the occasional heavy aprés -ski session), we were keen to all eat out together on our last night. With a certain someone’s bedtime being 7pm, we had to plan this strategically. We stumbled across a little gem, The Dorfstubn, with typical Austrian fayre, lots of local charm, and open arms to a one-year-old. Highly recommended.
All in all, our skiing holiday was a huge success for the whole family, and I would recommend St Anton to anyone up for the challenge.
Follow in Charlotte’s footsteps with a stay at this excellent four-bedroom chalet in St Anton. It’s great for children of all ages and even boasts a private tennis court!
Did you enjoy reading this post? Perhaps you’ll also like ‘Traveller Stories: Northern Lights and Whale Watching’ by Libby Austin.