If you’re planning a summer holiday in the stunning Austrian mountains or looking ahead to next year’s family ski trip, Moar Gut is a parent – and child – pleasing hotel.
Laura Burkitt, mum of two and co-founder of Each Peach Baby, tells us why this Alpine retreat is such a great property to visit at any time of the year, kids in tow.
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOU
If you used to live for your annual ski holiday, but now have young children – can you still get on the slopes?
Moar Gut means very good in German, and for parents travelling with children what makes it ‘very good’ is that family is at its core. No surprise when you learn that it is run by four generations of the same family, who also still run an organic farm on-site. Set in a valley in the fairytale Austrian mountains, a convenient hour transfer from Salzburg, this five star resort is magical all year round but prettiest when dusted with snow. The childcare is flawless, there are boundless activities to keep everyone entertained, the food is nourishing and every experience feels magical.
With a modern Alpine aesthetic, Moar Gut certainly doesn’t look like a ‘kinderhotel’. Pared back yet practical, it has been lovingly renovated over 60 years with a tapestry of sustainable natural materials timber cladding, rustic stone walls and Scandi furniture layered with cosy neutral textures. The main building still retains Austrian charm – there’s an antique dresser for a schnapps bar and warm staff wearing traditional dirndls – but it has been modernised with black cabinetry and a gleaming brass staircase. True ‘chalet chic’. Each of the 46 minimalist family suites have at least one separate kid’s bedroom, a terrace or balcony with mountain views, and most have electric fireplaces. Hygge at the flick of a switch.
The Food + Drink
Each guest is on a full-board rate and meals have set menus and times. But forget any preconceptions about package holidays; the cuisine is outstanding. From warm waffles served with Grandma’s homemade jam and a raw juice bar at the bountiful breakfast, to a gourmet twist on homely Austrian classics at the six-course evening banquet. Not forgetting the Viennese gateaux every afternoon. Food is seasonal, regional, and most importantly, delicious. Tiny mouths can tuck into the Hipp organic bar or early evening schnitzel, before being whisked away by the hotel mascot, Gusti (a giant singing rooster) for a disco. Is there anything more luxurious than reading the wine menu without it being scrawled on with crayons?
The Child’s Play
From Bugaboo strollers to eco-friendly nappies in every bathroom, families are thoroughly looked after – and that’s before you even head downstairs. With over 1000 square metres of play area, this is kiddy heaven. They can climb, swing, scoot and slide safely on equipment crafted from natural materials (the hotel is plastic free) and play with Montessori approved toys. Alongside the parent-child play area, there’s a spacious crèche for babies over one month, with 10 hours of childcare included every day. Yes, this is parent heaven too. The daily schedule always begins with feeding the farm animals in the petting area, followed by a roster of nature-themed activities, from baking bread to making hay dolls in the woodshop. Older kids can build campfires, enjoy pool parties or escape to the games room. Outdoors there are sensory trails, sandpits and treehouse pods as well as a dedicated tropical splash area and water slides. After bedtime, the iPad in your room can be used as a baby monitor.
The hotel take sustainability seriously. No chemicals are used in the cleaning. The resort is fed from its own mountain spring and even the swimming pool water is of drinking quality. Luxury is not compromised though, and the sleek spa is no exception. If 1,300 square metres means nothing to you then understand this: the spa is so big that there are days we didn’t run into another guest. We actually got lost on one occasion. There are multiple saunas, infra-red cabins, a sculptural brass ice fountain, an icy outdoor mountain plunge pool and a whole separate floor with day-bed after day-bed enveloped in cream boucle wools, ideal for curling up with a good book. Treatments include a massage with hot basalt rocks and cold marble stones, or a complimentary sauna infusion experience.
The To Do List
The ski area of Grossarltal-Dorfgastein is a five-minute shuttle away, or there is a nursery slope right outside the hotel, where parents can enjoy a gluhwein from the sunny terrace whilst watching ski school. There are toboggans and a cross-country ski trail, or take an excursion to the famous Christmas markets of Salzburg. In summer you’ll find tennis, an archery trail and dips in the natural bathing lake, as well as hikes and bikes through the flower-filled valley. Whatever the season, ride Icelandic ponies in the impressive new equestrian hall or sit back on a romantic carriage ride. Still have energy? The sports centre has a climbing hall for bouldering (no ropes) as well as a yoga studio and gym. Or get crafty: hire the creative art studio for a family session.
Follow Laura on Instagram @lauraburkittstylist