Fun for all the family near Hamburg

by Julie Dawes
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My partner and I decided to treat the children, and of course ourselves, to a short break away where we could relax and make the most of being together – and this activity-filled hotel in Germany was just the place. We arrived on a Thursday, giving us a long weekend to enjoy ourselves.

On first appearances Van der Valk Hotel Hamburg-Wittenburg reminded us of a modern Austrian chalet with warm colours and natural wood decor – it was like being up in the mountains. Immediately behind the hotel is the massive ‘alpincenter’ – an indoor skiing hall that allows you the chance to ski, snowboard and even tube year-round.

Set in the rural outskirts of Hamburg, this modern and cosy hotel offers a range of winter sports – ideal for us as we’re a sporty (and slightly competitive) family. It’s well located – the centre of Hamburg is just a short drive away – so there’s no risk of cabin fever. We picked a junior suite, which had more than enough space for the four of us to share.

The television kept the kids happy in the large sitting room each morning, while we enjoyed a short lie-in before another activity-packed day out. And the promise of on-site sauna facilities and massage treatments was enough to keep me stress-free no matter what the day brought.

This three-star hotel offers first class sports facilities that would keep any active family on their toes – and we were certainly on ours for most of the weekend. Topping up our skiing skills, we used the on-site ‘alpincenter’ to practise and keep fit on the slopes, which the kids absolutely threw themselves into... literally, on a few occasions! As well as the main slope there is a smaller children’s facility where they could give skiing and snowboarding a go with kids their own age, while we sat back with a coffee.

We didn’t have all of our kit with us, but the hotel rents equipment, so we were ready to get started in no time. If you have younger children who aren’t so keen on the slopes, the indoor adventure area has plenty of fun and games on offer to keep them occupied. We tried go-karting too – a thrilling experience. I found enough time to wind down at the end of the day with a quiet half-hour in the sauna or on the massage beds before dinner – absolute bliss.

We found the Van der Valk Hotel Hamburg-Wittenburg to be a highly family-friendly resort. The restaurant also offers a separate menu for little ones – so everything is covered. Our kids said it was the best holiday they’d ever had and my husband and I had a great time too.

Hotel facilities
  • Several restaurants serving both light and hearty dishes, all-inclusive packages are available
  • A selection of bars, all with an après-ski atmosphere
  • For families there’s an adventure playground. Dogs are allowed in the hotel for a fee
  • Internet access available in rooms
  • Sauna, massage chairs
  • Skiing, tubing, snowboarding, waterskiing, high-wire climbing, go-karting, beach volleyball, quad biking etc

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