In the history of British school ski trips to Austria, these have typically involved coaching to and from the resort each day, good quality, no-frills youth accommodation and hearty Austrian cooking.
However, if there is one thing my week away with Walthamstow Hall School for Girls on their ski trip to the resort of Bad Kleinkirchheim in Austria (known as BKK amongst the Brits) this February has shown, is that Austria can also offer a touch of luxury!
Here are my 5 reasons why:
1. Piste-side chalet style accommodation at the Feriendorf Kirchleitn in Sankt Oswald
Walthamstow girls were divided in chalets of 6 with a staff chalets in each building. We had access to a film room with a projector to watch the film “Suffragettes” one evening, as the UK were celebrating 100 years since women received the vote whilst we were out in resort. Due to the proximity to the pistes we were able to return between lessons at lunch time for the fantastic buffet style meals, typically soup to start, with a tasty main, salad bar and not forgetting dessert to fuel up ahead of the afternoon lessons!
2. Austrian efficiency at ski fit
Usually the most stressful part of any ski trip? Think again! Intersport had 40 girls kitted out with some fantastic gear in less than an hour! We were also able to store our skis in the shop to avoid lugging these on the short walk back to the hotel each evening.
3. Unrivalled instructors!
Our instructors for the week were JJ, Christin, Thomas, Lukas & Sina – and they really were just “our” instructors. Unlike in some other European destinations, where instructors are often teaching private lessons at lunchtimes, our instructors stayed with us all day every day and even came to lunch with us. This meant they could build a fantastic rapport with the girls over the week and could focus on making the week as enjoyable as possible!
4. The après ski
As well as the in house film night at the hotel, we also took a visit to the Thermen St Kathrein local spa in the centre of BKK. The spa has recently undergone a million euro renovation and certainly helped everyone unwind after a few days on the slopes. We then walked to the pizzeria next door where everyone had a choice of pepper, ham or margherita pizza!! The more adventurous in the group went night skiing on Thursday, joined again by our instructor Lukas on the floodlit slope near to our hotel. Last but not least, we were able to fit in some time for souvenir shopping on the last night!
5. The resort itself
As you can see from my photos below the resort felt far from overcrowded for a February half term and we only bumped into 2 other English school groups on the slopes throughout the week. The resort offers some fantastic skiing for all levels and intermediate skiers in particular.
Later in the week the advanced groups were able to travel over to the other side of resort, taking lunch in an on slope restaurant, where they skied the famous Franz Klammer World cup piste!
All in all a fantastic week, with a touch of luxury enjoyed by all!