As we head off for our first family break for months, we’re buzzing with excitement about reaching our destination – the Denman Hotel and Spa boutique mountain retreat in the stunning Snowy Mountains Kosciuszko National Park. Perfectly positioned in the heart of Thredbo Village, the hotel boasts breathtaking mountain views.
It was going to be a long car journey (with three-year-old Lucca and my two teenage girls Ruby-May, 12, and Georgia-May, 15, in the back!) so we stopped on the way at Cooma to put chains on our car and hire ski gear at Rhythm Hire, where the helpful staff were great with all the children’s needs.
After what seemed like an age on the road, arriving at the Denman in the late afternoon was a welcome relief. Thredbo looked picture perfect as the sun was setting. Once settled in to our two-room suite (giving us some privacy from the kids) we were all keen to stretch our legs, literally, so geared up and headed towards the snow. We hired a toboggan and everyone was so thrilled to see, touch and play with the snow. Lucca had a fast lesson in why you must always wear gloves when picking up snow!
After watching darkness fall over the village from the slopes (with twinkling lights and white cover of snow it was like being in a fairytale land) we headed to local pizza joint Alfresco for a fast and easy feast for all our tastebuds. Then it was just a five-minute walk back to the hotel.
The next day we awoke to a breathtakingly beautiful morning filled with snowflakes and the children ran outside in their PJs and danced in the snow! After fuelling up with a fantastic hot continental buffet breakfast at the hotel, it was on to Fridays Flat. We dropped Lucca off at Thredboland, while the girls joined us on the snow for the morning and lunch, before heading off for their two-hour lesson. This gave us time to ski the mountain at our pace and have a gulwhein (German/Austrian winter drink) at Eagles Nest. At 3pm we picked up Lucca and had a play in the snow before the girls came back raving about their handsome instructor and how much they had learned!
After a fantastic day on the snow, we were looking forward to steaming hot showers and dinner at hotel’s Terrace Restaurant after a quick drink at the famous Apres Bar. Friendly staff helped us select our food quickly so as to get the children fed and there was lots of choice for everyone. The kids especially enjoyed the chocolate mousse!
Another day, and more amazing snow! The thrill of the day was coming down the mountain to Fridays Flat and seeing Lucca skiing down, arms out and making the most beautiful “piece of pie” (that’s kids speak for snow plough). Just two days on the snow he could balance and control his skis, well almost. After dinner and a stroll back to the hotel we enjoyed a relaxing evening watching DVDs, with the prince tucked away in the other room dreaming of snow and snowball fights.
On our last day of skiing we squashed in as many runs as we could and enjoyed some more skiing time with Lucca. All that guilt of leaving him ski instructors was worth it – the Prince could now stop on his own! That night Georgia-May babysat while mum and dad went out for some serious après ski action and good old fashioned pub grub. The next morning, it was time to say goodbye to the snow, exhausted but exhilarated. This trip was just what the ‘family’ doctor ordered … a great family holiday.
Snow and tell
The Denman Hotel & Spa’s Family Snow Adventure Package offers by the which includes an easy half-day snow-shoeing or cross-country ski lesson for you and the kids. The deal includes three nights’ accommodation in a family room, full breakfast each morning, two gourmet dinners for two adults and two children in the Terrace Restaurant, lift passes and a half-day snow-show adventure including lift pass. For more information go to www.thedenman.com.au