My job does not suck. Especially when I get sent to experience the best of Australia’s ski fields and bed down in style.
That’s what happened when I got invited to check out Astra Falls Creek ski hotel in Victoria’s Falls Creek resort. Let’s just say that the endless gushing TripAdvisor reviews are there for a reason. From the fancy pick-up to the tiniest little touches, Astra was designed by people who know exactly what a ski hotel experience should be like (the ski-in, ski-out is a serious bonus).
Owners, Seumas Dawes and Rosy Seaton, are the names behind both Astra and neighbouring Huski and founded the Traverse Alpine Group with big investment in the rejuvenation of Falls Creek in recent years (including the ‘new’ Cloud 9 and Frying Pan Inn).
They love skiing and they love Austria and it shows in Astra’s unique style that just screams Euro chic.
Ski in, slide out
Falls Creek appeals big to skiers and boarders because of the ski-in, ski-out village that’s completely closed off to cars during the winter months. Astra takes full advantage of this; being mid-mountain, you can clip your skis on at the door and head straight on down to a chairlift.
The whole closed-off-to-cars village thing normally means you’d have to book in for oversnow transport, but Astra has a handy and exclusive snow transfer service featuring the cutest little snow buggy of all time (basically a luxe mini cat with snow tracks and lots of room for your skis).
They’ll pick you up from the oversnow building after you’ve parked your car, and return you back on the day of your departure. Easy. And saves you about $40 per person not having to opt for the resort’s transportation service.
The heated indoor pool
And not the dodgy kind of heated indoor pool that you see at aquatic centres and steer clear of. Oh no. Astra’s indoor magnesium pool is the softly-lit, soothing little escape of your swimming pool dreams.
Enter with your handy waterproof wristband, which serves as a room key for the duration of your stay and allows you access to all the best spots in the hotel; help yourself to one of the plushy white towels; and relax into the steam wet room or the sauna before dipping into the pool, enjoying the views of the snowy landscapes outside.
Can you tell this article is in order of how much I loved things? When I wasn’t in the pool, or skiing, I was in the library. It was the ultimate in European ski-lodge chic, all plushy lounges and giant windows and general gorgeousness, the shelves lined with books shared by previous Astra guests, many with little notes left in them.
The best part was the little tea and water station set up in the corner – perfect for brewing up a cuppa and settling in to watch the snow fall after a big day on the mountain, or just for somewhere to hang out after dinner.
The rooms (oh yes, them)
I was so busy being obsessed with Astra’s amenities that I almost forgot about the rooms – which is, of course, the whole reason you get a hotel room in the first place. But there’s a lot to love about the rooms here.
I bedded down in a Deluxe Room, and despite being on the smaller side (you definitely want to keep your things in your ski locker – more on that later), they’re comfortable and have all the luxe touches you’d hope for; Nespresso coffee machines with pods, T2 tea bags, luxury linen, Triumph & Disaster bathroom amenities, Cocobetty make-up wipes, robes, Apple TV and complimentary Wi-Fi.
For those looking for more space, there are also studio apartments and two-bedroom apartments along with interconnecting family rooms available.
Two words: SNOWBOARDING ZOMBIE. Go straight to the Astra Bar & Restaurant and ask for this spiced rum, pineapple juice and grenadine concoction. It’s so strong that you’re limited to two per person, and it’s fabulously served up in a tiki glass and lit on fire. It brings après to a whole new level and it looks excellent on an Instagram video.
If you’re feeling peckish after the zombie, the restaurant helpfully serves up a mix of Italian and European-inspired cuisine, including home-made pasta dishes and a swiss fondue.
There are even complimentary marshmallows for little ones to roast over the fire, which is perfectly positioned by the restaurant, and a picture window with a selection of board games to emphasise the après vibes.
The ski locker
State of the art like basically everything else. This room could easily be mistaken for an art exhibition at MONA – it was nicer and more fashionable than my whole house. The room and your individually assigned ski locker are both accessible with your waterproof wristband room key, and you also have immediate access to the slopes. Nice.
Did I mention the day spa, which offers everything from body wraps to massages, facials, hairdressing and waxing? Or the kids room which is helpfully positioned adjacent to the restaurant and offers up a Playstation 4, DVDs, games, puzzles and colouring books? Your kids will not want to leave – I didn’t.
As if that’s not enough, Astra also have their very own wine cellar, offering up a bunch of rare European & Australian vintages, and are more than happy to arrange tastings for the perfect wine to go with your dinner.
Look, she doesn’t come cheap. Expect to pay about $1667 for a night in peak season for the two-bedroom apartment, and about $732 for the deluxe room option.
This does drop down depending on number of nights you’re staying and also becomes significantly cheaper before June 28 and after September 14, so visit then if you’re watching your pennies, because you do not want to miss experiencing this lodge style boutique hotel with style.
Nat stayed as a guest of the Astra Alpine Lodge and Falls Creek.