Our family team has crossed the border, and now we are surrounded by the Alps with Austrian registration. We decided to make the first seven-day stop in the Gastein Valley, choosing the cozy thermal-ski resort Bad Hofgastein, which is famous for its miraculous radon baths, as its home base. We already radiate health after two months spent in the mountains, and now even after a week of bathing in radioactive sources, I’m afraid we will start to glow – and not only from happiness.
On the first day, we spent four blissful hours at the local Alpentherme Spa. And although it uses thermal water, purified from radon, we were quite pleased with its effect: usually restless Tim and Luka this time hung in the children’s pool, equipped with an exciting “laboratory” in which you can do different tricks with water, and gave us the opportunity relax a little. Such a small but very pleasant miracle for parents.
In general, our main impression of this modern water center, fully updated ten years ago: everything is done with care for every client, including the smallest one. For example, at the entrance, near the turnstiles, dozens of free prams are parked so that visitors with babies can use them to comfortably move around the vast territory of Alpentherme. Another complex is conveniently divided into zones. There is Family World for parents with children, where we spent most of the time. There are two swimming pools – the “splash pool”, which is rather filled with toys than water, and outdoor, with geysers and massage jets. In the same zone there is a lazy river, along which you can navigate on inflatable bagels, a pipe with toboggans and a grotto with a huge screen where cartoons for children and football for dads are broadcast (it is assumed that mothers enjoy water and warming procedures in the women’s zone – Ladies World, where there are swimming pools, saunas, sun terrace with sun loungers and panoramic windows, and where men are strictly forbidden to enter).
Zone Relax World, designed for all, is also replete with all sorts of pools. Indoors there are already three: one – with geysers and sun beds, where you can get a portion of underwater massage (free aqua aerobics classes are held here), the second – with massage jets, beating straight from the wall, the third – with hot water (36C) and underwater massage. On the street there is a sports pool with ordinary water and 25-meter paths, and thermal. There is also an infrared cabin, a relaxation room with a fantastic view of the mountains and a roof terrace for sunbathing.
Special mention deserves the hottest zone of the complex – Sauna World. In order to try out all its possibilities on yourself, you will have to sweat a lot: four saunas are located on the street (among them, a local celebrity, the Cascadia sauna, which seats up to sixty people) and four more indoors. You should definitely look into the salt grotto and get your portion of healing heat in the infrared cabin. In addition to all kinds of saunas, there is a bar with special herbal teas and tinctures that will help fill the body fluids after a rich bath tour.
While we were doing an audit of all zones of the complex, our children were hungry, and we had to look into the local restaurant, located next to the children’s pool. They are allowed right there in bathrobes or in towels, which is again convenient, since you don’t have to go to the locker room and spend time changing clothes. The play zone at the entrance to the institution gave us the opportunity to quietly order food while the children were building towers of cubes. The restaurant works on the principle of a buffet, but the girl who takes orders at the counter, directly at you cooks chicken with curry sauce and pineapples or spaghetti bolognese. Low tables and chairs allow children to sit on a par with adults without extras. For complete feng shui, we lacked only dishes for the smallest – Tim and Luka had to somehow wield heavy forks and spoons. Well, the children’s menu, as elsewhere, consists entirely of nuggets, sausages and french fries. At our request, the children were cooked chicken without curry, so that in the end no one left the restaurant hungry.
Another significant point worth mentioning. Going home, I suddenly discovered that I had forgotten to capture Tim Pampers, and the one in which we came was thrown away a long time ago, and the sweaters were wet – in general, there is nothing to pack a guy into. I rushed into the nursery with changing tables, where sometimes there are disposable diapers, but there, except for the tables, there was nothing.