You landed in Innsbruck not much more than an hour ago and yet you find yourself now winding up towards St Anton, the excitement in the minivan is now palpable. A relief because the little ones are not known for their patience on long car journeys, especially on twisty Alpine roads. As the ski lifts come into sight you peel right, off the main road and up into the snow covered pastures where a vast, majestic wooden chalet awaits, surrounded by pristine glistening snow.
Looking for all the world a traditional chalet the glistening sharpness of the walls and the virtually wrap around balconies bely the truth; Chalet Austria is recently built, promising inside all the mod cons of a contemporary property, and yet outwardly exuding Tyrolean style. In a prime position just a couple of minute’s stroll from the Nasserein nursery slopes and the lifts this is solid, family ski holiday territory and just what you’d been looking for. It’s going to be a great week.
Chalet Soline extends across the entire middle floor, generously proportioned and cleverly dividing the space to provide both intimacy and a feeling of expansive luxury. The rooms are light, with bright, natural woods, white walls and heavy, extravagant curtains giving warmth. The bathrooms are spacious and the modern kitchen is equipped with all you need to cater for the family should you wish – but for sheer indulgence take the catered package, and your every need is taken care of.
With no stairs within the apartment you sink back into the sofa and relax, reassured that the little ones won’t come to harm. Readily you accept that first glass of chilled champagne and take in your surroundings. There is a stylish backdrop to this year’s annual family ski trip; a bookcase fills one whole wall, fresh flowers fragrance the room and your eyes fall on the striking standard lamp in cast iron. It reminds you of flight paths circumnavigating the globe, and you think to yourself that these latest travels have started very well indeed.
Shortly after you arrive, so do your skis all pre arranged for you with the greatest of ease, and they are professionally fitted by the technicians in the building’s shared ski room. They are eager to offer advice on the current snow conditions and where you should head for your first day’s skiing – conditions on Schindler Spitze have been incredible. Luckily your complimentary ski instructor is with you for the first two days, so he can whizz you around the Arlberg while the children are safely installed in their ski classes.
While the kids’ boots are fitted you explore a little further and discover the shared hamam and wellness area. Discounting the gym – last thing you need on holiday – you look forward to spending quality time down here after big days on the mountain soothing aching limbs.
By now the kids have discovered the second sitting room; a cosy TV snug with huge corner sofa and plenty of games and DVD’s to keep them occupied while you recline with a good book and a glass of Cab Sav. Your private chalet chef serves up children’s supper and impressively he has remembered to keep Tilly’s pasta and sauce separate, just how she likes it.
You are treated to this level of attentive detail throughout your stay; chauffeur standing by to collect you after experiencing the legendary Austiran après at the Mooser, your favourite wine poured, dinner a glorious affair. Each night seems more special than the last and nothing is too much trouble for your chef and host. As a treat to round of a superb holiday you asked them to arrange a hot stone massage for Claire on your last night and her face says it all; when can we come back?
Please note: This chalet can be taken on a luxury catered basis if you truly want to appreciate it's full class and high levels of service but for those who just prefer mum's home cooking or for 'Masterchef wannabees', the chalet is brilliantly equipped for self-catering (with the odd meal out !)
Bedroom 1 - Master double with en-suite bathroom
Bedroom 2 - Twin/double with en-suite bathroom
Bedroom 3 - Twin/double with en-suite bathroom
Bedroom 4 - Twin/double with en-suite bathroom
Bedroom 5 - Bunk room (2 sets - suitable for adults) with en-suite bathroom
Piste 2 min walk
Ski Lifts 5 min walk
Resort Centre 3 min drive
Innsbruck (INN): 1h / 100km
Zurich (ZHR): 2h / 200km
Munich (MUC): 2h 50m / 236km