Family Hotel Gorfion – Malbun, Liechtenstein

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The hotel greeted us with open arms and our children immediately ran to explore their new surroundings. Nestled in a remote and peaceful valley, Family Hotel Gorfion in Malbun, Liechtenstein was exactly the type of holiday we needed as a family. The hotel knows what children and parents need in order to offer respite from the day – to – day stress that often bogs us down as we try to juggle all the demands of raising a young family.

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As the morning sun peeked out over the horizon we would slowly make our way to the outdoor playground for a morning swing, or dig before eating a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, we fell into the true rhythm of the hotel and encouraged our children to play, create and explore with others in the child care, while we set off to discover the beautiful peaks that dominated the landscape. After a few hours of solo hiking, we would return to pick – up our always happy children, who were all too eager to tell us what they had done in our time away. We would then enjoy a family lunch and participate in an afternoon activity with the children. For us, the hotel offered the perfect blend of family time and the alone time we desperately needed as a couple.

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For those parents who are raising their children alone (think expat life), hotels such as the Family Hotel Gorfion might just be the perfect solution to finding the alone time you crave as a couple. This was our first mini-vacation that actually felt like a holiday, as we were able to hike as a couple, talk as adults and relish in each others company. Our time alone was enhanced by the fact that our children were able to play, meet new friends and create their own memories away from us. Children need breaks from their parents as well!

With incredible child care available onsite, amazing activities to keep our children entertained and a ton of onsite amenities, this establishment restored our faith in family hotels. To learn more about the hotel, please visit their website, but we have provided a quick overview of the amenities and services the hotel provides for families.

Rooms:

  • Small but adequate
  • Immaculate
  • Modern
  • Perfectly accommodated our family of four (small bunk beds were available with side rails for the children)
  • A small table and chairs were also in the room for the children to use for coloring, eating, etc.
  • Robes were provided for the entire family to use at the pool or spa

Facilities/Amenities:

  • A small, indoor swimming pool available onsite (our children loved this)
  • A great playground outside just by the terrace so that the parents could enjoy a drink or meal, while the children jumped on the trampoline, dug in the sand – pit, enjoyed the swings, played ping pong, or rode the many Bobbi cars available
  • Kinder Care – check website for details and hours
  • Strollers available onsite
  • Hiking Backpacks available onsite
  • Spa for adults
  • Lounge for adults
  • A common area that offered a refrigerator, washing machine and dryer and microwave oven! Amazing!

Meals:

  • Drinks available all day at children’s level so they could help themselves
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Snacks in the afternoon
  • Lunch
  • Dinner – parents can opt to eat with or without children
  • Fresh baby meals prepared daily onsite with organic and local ingredients. Parents of small children are provided with a menu to select meals from. Wow!

Needless to say, we all had a lovely time and our children were quite sad when we told them it was time to go home.

Hotel Website: https://gorfion.li/

 

Pools!

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Summer, oh my, it is heating up this summer and the best way to escape the heat is to hit the pools. These pools aren’t just rectangular lap pools, nope, they are all kinds of amazing in Switzerland. From baby pools, to slides, to diving boards, to just straight up incredible, we are fortunate enough to have several public pools in our area.

If you do not already have the Familien Pass, considering purchasing this handy little card that not only provides discounts for family activities, but for just SFr 30 per year, it comes with two pages of coupons, including multiple free passes for pools in the area. Free entry is a very good thing!

Tip:  Place the pool coupons in a jar and allow your children to grab a coupon at random.  Once you see what the coupon reads, that will be your summer activity for the day.

Schwimmbad Aesch – Dornacherstrasse 85, 4147 Aesch

A personal favorite is the Aesch pool. Yes, prepare for a rather long journey to get there, but the pool is perfect for little people. The small river is a hit with our son who loves to watch balls and toys float down the path, I can watch both of them without having a mommy heart attack and if they are up for it, we can all three enjoy the slide together. A restaurant onsite and ample grass space, I simply adore this pool. Arrange to meet friends here on a sunny day and pack enough provisions for the day.

Gartenbad St. Jakob – St. Jakobs Strasse 400

St, Jakob pool is a gorgeous, outdoor haven for swim enthusiasts.  The baby pool has been completely redesigned, making it safer and more enjoyable for small children, which is a plus for parents with small children. The slides are always a big hit with older children, as are the diving boards.  With five pools, ample grass space, a restaurant, changing areas and showers, you might just spend an entire day here.

Gartenbad beim Scholss Bottmingen – Burggartenstrasse 15

This pool is lovely in every way. With an expansive lawn area, a sliding board, diving boards, a generous lap pool and a whirlpool, the children can be entertained for hours. There is a restaurant onsite, plus showers and a large locker room.

Naturbad Riehen – Weilstrasse 69

This is truly a one-of–a-kind experience. The Naturbad is just that, natural. No chlorine, no blue pool, rather, the “pool” looks like a lake. I must admit, the pool is hard for our daughter to embrace as she cannot see underwater, but, it has a wonderful relaxed vibe and is perfect for those people who may not do well in chlorine. Small, but delightful, this unique swimming pool is worth a visit.

Why We Wrote A Book

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It is interesting how dreams manifest themselves. I have loved writing since I was a young child, but the thought of writing an actual book at times felt overwhelming, paralyzing and down right daunting. We, like the rest of the world, do our best to juggle all of the demands of life. Work, raising children, taking classes, living a life abroad, and everything else that spins itself into the course of our days.

Our book wasn’t just created or born overnight. It was a genuine labor of love.  Many late nights, working on holidays and obsessing about word choice. We placed a great deal of emphasis layout and all that goes into making a book. Our ultimate hope is that this creation sends ripples of immense value into the hands of the public.

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As many of you know, we are passionate about nature. We believe children and families can bond and create deep connections in the natural world. We have observed our rambunctious son transform into a relaxed, at ease child when surrounded by nature. We have witnessed a hyper, spinning family, fall into peaceful bliss with birdsong as our calming backdrop. We have been struck by moments that fill us with wonder together on Alpine trails and thus, that love, those miracles that have infused this family would not be as meaningful if we did not share them with others. For this love was simply too strong to keep to ourselves and thus Fresh Air Kids Switzerland was born.

Our hope is that you are inspired to seek all of the gifts the natural world has to offer, all the while creating family memories that last a lifetime.

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Books of Change for Children

Wonder

This little blue book has the power to change lives and influence children (adults too) in such a positive way, that if you haven’t yet read the book to your children, go buy it now. Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a child born with a facial difference and as the reader, we endure his painstaking journey through life.  The book is honest, painful, funny and heartwarming. It teaches children empathy and encourages us to celebrate our differences.  Thank you R.J. Palacio for so many teachable moments.

Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different

Ah, this book quickly became a favorite at home with both of my children.  The short, yet inspirational stories, the colorful pictures are all captivating.  For some, the honesty and the subject matters may be too mature for small audiences, but for this family, I believe openness and honesty are paramount.  As an adult, the take-a-way is simple, it takes all kinds of people to make this world a beautiful place and our definition of what it means to be “male” is shifting and yet to be defined.

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2

We were so intrigued by the first book, that the second book was a must.  Again, the short stories about powerful, brave women caught our attention and encouraged us to be better; to dream and create ideas of our own.  The book makes for the perfect bed time read, as the text is short, but the stories fill us with messages of hope and often, we couldn’t help but keep turning the pages and allowing bedtime to slip late into the night.

The Inventor's Secret

I’ve read this book four times in the last two days and each time I read the words, not only are the little people that stare up at the pages intrigued, but I too find myself inspired.  The beautifully illustrated book portrays the lives of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.  Two tenacious inventors, each relentless when it comes to pursuing their dreams.  I won’t give away the “secret” the two inventors cling tight to in the book, but boy is that secret the key to a life well lived.  What a genuine delight of a book!

Happy reading!  Psst…books make perfect gifts for the holidays!  Give the gift of reading this holiday season.