Dana Freeman, Trekaroo.com
April 3, 2010

As you drive up the winding road, there’s a very good reason the welcoming sign includes “family” in the Trapp Family Lodge. From the warm and friendly staff that makes you feel at home, to wide variety of activity and events sure to please everyone in your group, Trapp has it all.

1. Slayton Pasture Cabin
The hills were certainly alive with the sound of my children as we ascended to the cabin via the black diamond trails on XC skis. There were a lot of “are we almost there yet?” and “how much long-e-e-rr?” But plied by energizing sport jellybeans and chocolates bought in the Nordic Center before we left, the kids continued to power up the path. Six kilometers uphill on cross-country skis is not easy. But when you get there, you will find this perfect little cabin welcoming you in with the aroma of a wood burning fire, homemade soups and sandwiches. It is like a reward for the effort you put forth in getting there. My husband declared his peanut butter and jelly sandwich on thick-crusted whole wheat the best he’s ever tasted. Sit on the porch, take in the view and imagine what it was like for the von Trapps to once have this little slice of heaven all to themselves.

2. DeliBakery at Trapp Family Lodge
Just a short walk down the road from the main lodge you can have lunch at the DeliBakery—a hidden gem for local Vermonters and a must do for hotel guests. We will certainly be bringing our out of town friends here for lunch and to enjoy the outstanding view of Stowe—or even to pick up food before a Mozart Fest concert in their meadow.

Lunch choices consist of soups like corn chowder or cheddar ale, various salads and sandwiches such as turkey, bacon, cheddar on cranberry focaccia or an Austrian meat combo with kraut on pumpernickel. The real stand out here though is the desserts. One look at the cupcakes and my daughter was pretty much done. Located just below the Deli is the new Trapp Lodge Brewery, which is opening mid-April 2010. 
 
3. The History Tour at Trapp Family Lodge
My only regret is that we didn’t do this sooner in our stay. Everywhere you look in the Lodge, in the hallways, in your room, in the stairwells, there is Trapp Family memorabilia and this tour puts all of that into perspective. It starts in St. George Hall with a staff member telling the real history of the von Trapp family, which differs quite a bit from the Sound of Music version most people are familiar with. For instance, I didn’t know that Johannes, whom I had met that night before, was the Captain and Maria von Trapp’s 3rd child. Yes, they had 3 more children after the original 7 from the movie. Or that the von Trapp’s almost settled in Brattelboro, not Stowe. The tour also includes a documentary film featuring Maria von Trapp. She retells the history of the von Trapp family so poignantly that when we got home Sunday evening both my children asked to watch the Sound of Music for the umpteenth time!

4. The Fitness Center & Kids Club at Trapp Family Lodge
During our stay at the Trapp Family Lodge we made good use of the Fitness Center. It located just across the street from the Main Lodge. From the outside it maintains the same look and feel as the rest of the property, the quaint Austrian Alps Lodge style. Inside you are at a brand new spa that houses the indoor family pool, fitness center and massage rooms. In the warmer months, it’s worth noting the two heated outdoor pools – one is for families, one is adult-only. In the winter, don’t miss the outdoor, over-sized hot tub that felt great after 4 hours of cross country skiing. The fitness center is also the home for the Kids Club and Activity Center. Guests staying at the lodge should check the on-going schedule for fun events like mountain madness, rock wall climbing, tye-dye t-shirt making, cookie decorating, sing-a-longs and more.

One evening my husband and I went to a wine tasting (adult only) meanwhile our kids went over to the perfectly timed evening activity at the Kids Club (both the wine tasting and the kids club “Make your own Peace Flags” activity were from 4-6PM). It seems that many of the kids club activities are timed as such, a nice plus for the parents! 
 
 5. Trapp Family Lodge
We took a XC ski lesson on the first afternoon we arrived. The trails are in great shape. They are groomed every day. The scenery at Trapp is incomparable to anywhere else we’d ever been. Simply put–stunning. The Nordic Center has everything you need including Pulks (sleds built for carrying 1 child) and Nordic Cabs (a little chariot that can fit 2 smaller kids or 1 larger up to age 6) for rent.

Afterward my daughter and I went to Afternoon Tea in the Lounge. Appropriately, there is a nice selection of tea and cookies that you can take into the Library, Lounge or any of the adjacent rooms. There is a fireplace that you can cozy-up to while you gaze at the Trapp Family or Sound of Music memorabilia.

During our stay at the the Lodge we made good use of the Fitness Center, located just across the street from the Main Lodge. It houses the indoor family pool, fitness center and massage rooms. In the warmer months, it’s worth noting the two heated outdoor pools – one is for families, one is adult-only. In the winter, don’t miss the outdoor, over-sized hot tub that felt great after 4 hours of cross country skiing. The fitness center is also the home for the Kids Club and Activity Center. Guests staying at the lodge should check the on-going schedule for fun events like mountain madness, rock wall climbing, tye-dye t-shirt making, cookie decorating, sing-a-longs and more.

One evening my husband and I went to a wine tasting (adult only) meanwhile our kids went over to the perfectly timed evening activity at the Kids Club (both the wine tasting and the kids club “Make your own Peace Flags” activity were from 4-6PM). It seems that many of the kids club activities are timed as such, a nice plus for the parents!

We stayed in the Austria Suite which was well designed to accommodate families. We had a king sized bed with a full master bath and a separate living room with a pull out couch for the kids and another ½ bathroom. There was also a wood burning fireplace, a wetbar, coffee maker, and a balcony. It was almost like our own little condo minus a cooking area.

One night we ate in the Lounge for a casual dinner. The kids loved listening to the musician who played classic Sound of Music tunes on the piano throughout our meal. There is a kid’s menu with choices like chicken fingers, grilled cheese, grilled chicken, and whole-wheat penne with meatballs & sauce. Although it isn’t on the menu, they also have a kid’s burger.

One night we ate dinner in the Main dinning room where the dress is “business casual”. That meant we saw folks in sequined tops with shiny baubles around their necks as well as people dressed in khakis. The food was outstanding and while the menu is Austrian inspired there were plenty of choices for everyone. My kids were shocked that even though I am not a dessert person, even I had the “world famous” Linzertorte and boy, was it good.

As locals, we are looking forwarded to heading back to Trapp Family Lodge in the warmer months to explore the 60+ kilometers of wooded hiking trails. And on June 1, 2010, they are opening, for the first time ever, mountain bike trails for hotel guests. Bike rentals will be available onsite.

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