Looking around at my fellow, expert skiers on the pistes of Serfaus in Tyrol, it’s almost as if they were born to ski – not an exaggeration given how many three-year-olds I’ve already spied on the slopes. They literally ski with their dummies here!
This Austrian hotspot for ski tourists is just 90 minutes from Innsbruck and snow sure all season long, as well as offering up 200km of pistes, so plenty to suit every skill level.
Among them are the youngsters, nurtured by The Ski School Serfaus, which offers a magnificent variety of children’s runs and each level having its very own ‘magic carpet’ to transport the kids back up the slope, from babies in skis to the ones almost ready for the chairlifts.
Our teacher for the week was Paul. He took Gabriel, our three-year-old and transformed him into a skier, which was well beyond his ambitious mummy’s wildest dreams!
Whether playing or skiing, no time here is wasted. There’s also a dedicated children’s restaurant where they can eat with their newfound friends and teachers.
Serfaus is a truly family-friendly resort. The village is car-free, the mountain plays host to a fun animal trail, and even has its own mascot, Murmli.
We rented skis from Patscheider Sport. With a ski shop in town beside the hotel and at the bottom of the cable car station and the top, these guys provide a red carpet service.
Not only is the equipment top notch, but there is a ski concierge – a real game changer in a bigger resort, because it means going from the hotel to the ski run in your shoes, then swapping for skis and boots on the mountain.
Aside from the pretty much perfect skiing conditions, we were attracted to Serfaus for The Hotel Furgler, located right in the centre of the village.
During our stay there, we met many guests who had returned multiple times – some for 30 years running – and it’s easy to see why.
This is the ultimate family hotel, run by a family. There’s a happy feeling that starts when you arrive and it doesn’t wane.
From the minute we parked outside, when our cases were whisked away and our car was taken to be parked (never to be seen again until we were ready to leave), to the efficient chambermaid who kept our room spotless, the small but perfectly-formed hotel provided us with everything we could want from a family holiday.
For younger children, there is a large soft play area set over two floors in the basement, complete with slide and trampoline, safe enough to let the children find their own way down to play happily after dinner, to a fully supervised Furgli kids club, that takes babies from six months onwards and operates from 8.30am to 9pm.
There are supervised activities and meals can be taken together there too, allowing parents time alone.
For older children, there are PlayStations, table football, table tennis, a bowling alley and much more, all arranged nicely over the lower floors.
Trying to tear my children away from the triple water slide next to the main pool wasn’t easy either!
There’s a splash pool for the youngest guests and a magnificent outdoor spa pool looking directly out to the mountains.
A brand new sauna, steam room and family sauna top off the relaxation area.
This hotel has its offering honed to perfection.
The bedrooms are comfortable and cosy, and we loved the children’s room with bunk beds, cleverly separated from our room by a partition that could be opened or closed whenever needed, and a balcony looking out onto the peaceful village beyond.
An oversized bath and plenty of hanging and cupboard space made for relaxing and practical family accommodation.
The dining rooms form an integral part of the hotel, where good times and good food are had by all.
Seated next to huge windows with views, each meal surpassed our expectations, from the Tyrollean platters groaning with interesting local cheeses, meats and crunchy pickles, to homemade cakes and dinner featuring sumptuous buffets.
A real winner with the kids was the ever-popular ice cream bar, complete with sauces and toppings!
Imaginative choices and gourmet ingredients make up five-course menus, and there is a separate, fully vegan and vegetarian menu available.
As a foodie, I was blown away by the quality and attention to detail. Simply put, the food was exquisite.
While our visit coincided with the ski season, the Hotel Furgler is just as appealing in the summer, when tourists take to hiking, biking, flying high on a zip-wire or staying closer to the village for pony rides, trampolines, sandpits and petting zoos.
Families can’t help but have fun in these mountains – whatever the season.
Caron and her family stayed at the Hotel Furgler in Serfaus, where a family suite for two adults and two children starts from €3, 633 (£3,059) for six nights, all inclusive. For more information, visit www.furgler.at or call
+43 5476-6201. For tourist information, visit www.austria.info or www.serfaus-fiss-ladis.at/en