As the world of wellness evolves — especially in Europe — it’s no longer uncommon to find spa destination resorts outfitted with children’s activities and farm-to-table dining. However, for Austria’s Green Spa Resort Stanglwirt, blending wellness with fun, farm-fresh food, sports instruction and lyrical alpine ambiance has been a family affair since its inception.
The 400-year-old institution, tucked into the Kaiser Mountains between Innsbruck and Munich, was refreshed last year with a multimillion-euro renovation, including a new spa and wellness area more than 129,166 square feet. The 5-star resort focuses on using its own resources for the energy supply of the new spa and wellness area by using solar water heating and the mountain water of the Wilden Kaiser through an innovative heat pump system.
While parents will love the new spa’s contemporary look and emphasis on organic products and natural cosmetic treatments, the resort has much to offer infants, children and teens, blending modern adventure with an old-fashioned sensibility.
The Stanglwirt experience for children over 3 is rooted in its fully supervised kids-only farm. The 200 -ear-old farm complex within the resort is a year-round Alpine wonderland with a daily schedule of activities including various games, cooking classes, craft projects in the joiner’s workshop, petting zoo chores, Cowshed Cinema movies for nights and rainy days, family lunches on the farm, and even opportunities to experience a tree house and hay barn as kids may have had a half-century or century ago. Those not yet old enough to hit the farm have their own daily afternoon toddlers’ group.
Teens have the option of hitting the well-stocked teen club or immersing themselves in the mountains with programs that may include football tournaments, boxing, make-up and grooming courses, outdoor adventure tours and more, depending on the season. There are also sports and fitness tracks at the resort that allow kids and teens to participate, from courses at the Ski School, Golf Sport Academy, PBI/Peter Burwash International Tennis School and Stanglwirt Riding School (for guests aged 8 and older).
The resort’s “water worlds” are also a big draw, especially as several of them are dedicated to children. Round lines and varying depths in the pool areas’ design, created using all-natural materials, play a big part in ensuring kids at different ability levels will have a fun and safe experience. There is an area for children’s movie viewing as well as two waterslides (one for younger kids and one for everybody else), and an infant splash pool with all kinds of bells and whistles.
For the heads of the family, the resort offers an opportunity to get back to nature in a uniquely European way. The main farm extends more than 160 acres of arable land and 128 acres of pasture, spread over four municipal districts. It is a working farm producing milk, curd cheese, butter, yogurt, cheese and bread used at the restaurants. Some of it goes to the kitchens of the Gasthof Stanglwirt, specializing in old school Tyrolean cuisine. Daily changing, multicourse menus and the themed buffet evenings keep the culinary experience interesting.
Beyond outdoor pursuits, parents enjoying some “me” time have the opportunity to join psychotherapist “witch” Ave Annama once a week for a hike during which they can select their own herbs for an herbal bath and learn more about the meaning and practices of herbal treatments. The spa, meanwhile, also offers exclusive treatments from Hollywood cosmetic doctor Dr. Barbara Sturm, known for her famous molecular treatments.
Other perks and amenities available to families on request include cots with the Stanglwirt’s own children’s bed linen, baby monitor, kettle, small stool, highchair for feeding, bottle warmer, children’s bath, security gate, diaper changing facilities, protective covers for sockets, sterilizer, diaper bin and toilet training seat. Beyond that, there are goodies awaiting younger guests that will make them feel as pampered as their parents, including a souvenir Stanglwirt coloring book with crayons, luxury skin care products for kids, kid-sized bathrobe and slippers and even a colorful beach ball.
A camping trip in a national park or other area away from city lights is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the night sky. Children living in cities rarely have a chance to see the myriad of stars that fill the sky, so stargazing can be a new experience to enrich your family travels. These tips will make stargazing fun — and a learning experience as well.
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