By Mr Smith on 24/05/2017
Venabu Fjellhotel is the perfect cross-country ski destination. Headwater really know what they are doing by organising the logistics of this holiday - we highly recommended!
By Miss Chard on 02/05/2017
Great fun and the best possible place to learn cross country skiing
By Mrs Turton on 05/04/2017
Venabu is a well run and comfortable hotel. The skiing programme was well organised and thought out catering for different levels of experience with a choice of tours offered each day.
By Ms Singleton on 29/03/2017
Venabu Felljhotel was excellent. What it lacked in glamour was more than made up for by the quality of the food and the excellent staff and ski guides who were so friendly and helpful. The whole experience was wonderful. My first snow holiday and I would definitely go again.
By Miss Styles on 24/03/2017
Excellent holiday for first skiiers. The guides were brilliant and the hotel kept us well fed.
By Mr Oakley on 23/03/2017
The holiday at Venue totally lived up to 'the promise'. The skiing was excellent due to the location and the professional ability of the guides. Great holiday to go on ones' own as everyone is there for the same reason and generally with a similar background in terms of fitness and interests. When not skiing the Fjellhotel provided excellent food, a very welcome sauna and even yoga classes. With everything included in the cost the holiday was extremely good value for money. Would definitely return without question.
By Mr Belson on 22/03/2017
Regular vistor to Venabu. Great skiing, good international friends, good guides and good food. What more do you need?
By Mr Sayles on 22/03/2017
Good: - Hotel, food, weather, X-country skiing area, ski team guides and ski prep. organisation. 'Wicked' VIEWS.
By Mrs Payne on 21/03/2017
Another great weeks skiing with Steve. Although the snow conditions were not the best Steve ensured we skied the best routes every day. He is a master juggler ensuring everyone's abilities are met. Nothing ever seems too much trouble
The food at the Xander remains good, however at times the waiting staff seemed stretched.
The hotel is very clean, however rooms & bathrooms could do with updating
By Mr Payne on 21/03/2017
Venabu is an excellent Cross Country skiing holiday for anybody from beginners to experienced skiers. With a good network of tracks right from the door, plus guides with the knowledge and skills to teach beginners or lead off piste tours. This is backed up by a comfortable hotel with excellent food.
By Dr Billingham on 20/03/2017
Great flexibility of winter activities, as I wanted to try cross country skiing, without being committed to it. I joined the winter walking group which I really enjoyed.
By Dr Garwood on 14/03/2017
Steve and Martin are excellent, very helpful and knowledgeable guides. They both know the area very well. Despite less snow than in previous years, Steve was very accommodating in where we skied and adapted his plans for the day depending on the snow conditions when needed so overall I had an excellent skiing week. Steve is a patient teacher and I improved again this year! Martin knows the area very well and provided excellent walks every day for my wife who was on a walking week. The hotel is very well situated, rooms are very spacious, the hotel is always very clean and the food is good particularly the buffet breakfasts and buffet salad bar in the evenings. There is a reasonable choice of meals in the evening and there is always a fish or vegetarian option. For those who get back early, the hotel also provides drinks, cakes or a hot meal between 2 and 4!
By Mr Knight on 14/03/2017
Very comfortable hotel with a very good, plentiful, and varied daily buffet. The guides were very thoughtful and trips they arranged excellent.
By Ms Arnott on 14/03/2017
My first holiday with headwater - well organised and good service from agents. I travelled alone, and found the whole thing a very easy intro into x-country skiing. While Norweigans of all ages are skiing, my group was definitively middle aged and up. Staff at the hotel were ready to engage & just overall very pleasant. Guides were also easy to get on with altho I would add that while all were very knowledgeable & helpful, some were not so good at actually instructing. If you're a competent downhill skier my advice would be don't go in the beginners group, you'll be bored within 30mins because you already know what skis and poles and balancing feels like. Groups were large, if you want to experience space and peace going off by yourself or with some buddies in the afternoon would do the job. There seemed to be a good choice of equipment, I was able to change my boots after a day or so to get ones which were more comfortable. Also seemed to be in good condition (judging by the boots being clean, newish, not smelly in any way!). location of hotel is excellent for skiing out either in the groups or alone. it's as beautiful as you hope for. And handy to be able to walk down to supermarket. Meals are a buffet - the food was plentiful, delicious, and varied particularly if you eat both meat and fish. I was surprised how good it was, and lots of new things to try - the description given by Headwater of the fermented fish is offputting, but really it's not scary as long you don't stick your nose right into it! Like everyone says booze is pricey, and there's no common area to drink your own with other people (not that's allowed anyway...). I was in a double room in the older wing and it was disappointing: heating which wasn't reliable, thin curtains you could shoot peas through, duvet was short so it would cover feet or shoulders but not both (I'm 5'8'), an open electric bar heater in the bathroom, the shower curtain sticking to your legs scenario, no products except showergel - not even the ubiquitous 'bonnet de douche'. Having said that, I wasn't spending much time in my room but if there were two people it would be a bit of a squeeze finding room for clothes towels etc. Decent quality towels though. There's a separate ladies sauna and if you're prepared to walk over the corridor, up some stairs you can cool down on a tiny deck. Nice.
By Mr Henson on 09/03/2017
Good venue, dedicated leader who was v. Flexible & ensured we all got the maximum from the holiday. Meals were not as a group so possibly better for couples than singles, although Steve worked hard to ensure everyone's needs were met. Hotel restaurant staff & bar v. busy and somewhat inflexible possibly as a result.
By Mrs Shipman on 09/03/2017
Another very enjoyable holiday x c skiing in the Leutasch area. Steve's knowledge and experience of the area and his dedication as a guide enabled us to get the most out of our week. As we had a late afternoon flight home we opted to walk on the morning of our return, rather than ski, and this was a perfect end to a very good week.
By Ms Zouganeli on 09/03/2017
Lovely area for beginner and intermediate skiers, excellent food, relaxed atmosphere, delightful sociable environment to make great friends; great for solo travelers.
By Dr MacMillan on 08/03/2017
Excellent centre for xcskiing, both on and off trails. Could ski with guided group or without guide. Very comfortable hotel with friendly atmosphere and staff, and wonderful food.
By Mrs Rowland on 08/03/2017
Venabu is an excellent location for a cross-country skiing holiday. The hotel is very comfortable, the food is excellent, and the welcome from the family is warm and genuine. There are ski trails and tracks to suit all abilities, and plenty of guides are available. The equipment is good quality, with metal edged skis which are suitable for tracks and off-piste. We had a wonderful week in Venabu and I'd happily go back tomorrow and do it all over again! We had learnt to ski while living in Sweden 40 years ago and had not been on skis since. We had no idea if we would remember any techniques. On the last day I did a 25km 'safari' and my husband did 17km before lunch, so we felt very pleased with our progress!
By Mr Carter on 08/02/2017
An excellent holiday for cross country ski beginners. Fabulous location. Great food. Small group. Helpful instructors.
By Ms Ross on 07/02/2017
Another great trip to Venabu, everything up to the usual standard. I particularly like the inclusion of Pilates and Yoga sessions, along with the option of booking a Massage. Good for tired muscles!
By Ms Smith on 24/01/2017
One week's cross-country skiing in Leutasch, Austria. Magical setting which prolonged the traditional White Christmas experience. Great tuition and guided skiing in stunning countryside.
By Mr Henderson on 14/01/2017
A great holiday with an excellent guide and hotel in a very scenic area.
By Mr Leonard on 14/01/2017
Sue and I had never tried Nordic skiing before, but with Steve the ever helpful guide providing tips along the way and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the valley and the loipes around the area, we are sure to try it again. The Xander provides comfortable rooms, but out does itself at meal times. The breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner, in reality constitute full board. All that is 'required' is the occasional hot chocolate to warm up mid ski. A spectacular valley, and an active holiday that can be as hard or easy physically as you wish, and all the while Steve will facilitate mixed groups with ease and plenty of laughter along the way.
By Ms Fox on 14/01/2017
This holiday delivers in all respects.
By Mrs Cornthwaite on 10/01/2017
We spent Christmas in the Fjellhotel at Venabu and learned to cross country ski. The tuition and guidance was excellent. The area is perfect for skiing with well maintained ski pistes, ski runs and signposts which clearly show distances travelled and points of interest, it is a really beautiful and unspoilt area. Maps are supplied so it is impossible to get lost, well thought through. The ski guides are excellent, friendly and versatile. The food is exceptionally good with many healthy options and cuisine for all tastes. Our only disappointment was the room for which I had paid an upgrade after taking advice from a Headwater representative by phone before booking. It was very tired and drab, poor decor and no facilities as advertised, such as Minibar, Hairdryer, TV and Wi-Fi. (Wi-fi is only obtainable in the main lounge of hotel). I checked twice with reception, that this was indeed an 'Upgraded room!' I would advise taking a head torch to
read/see clearly for cards/hand crafts, as the lighting in the hotel lounge is very poor and there are 18 hours of darkness at this time of year.
By Mr Sturdee on 07/01/2017
Thoroughly enjoyable XC skiing in a stunning mountainous location and at the end of every day a very comfortable hotel awaited us.
By Dr Paterson on 07/01/2017
Fantastic holiday in a lovely setting
By Beaumont on 07/01/2017
Martin was an excellent guide very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The walks he planned were varied and suited to the days weather.
By Mr Hordern on 07/01/2017
This was a brilliant holiday away from the crowds, aggro and danger associated with downhill skiing. I seldom go away alone but the company of like minded people was great. Food excellent, location brilliant - what more can I say. Cross country skiing is hard work - you need to be fit to enjoy it.
By Ms Foster on 03/01/2017
A great holiday. The skiing was excellent and the quality of the guiding superb. We were really lucky to have great weather. The extra activities available by the hotel (snow shoeing, night skiing, horse drawn sled ride etc.) really added to the experience. The food was plentiful and, as vegetarians, we were well catered for - although the food was a bit richer than I am used to. I really liked the fact that we did lots of off-track skiing. The final day's trip to the hut was a real highlight. The hotel is traditional and some of its rooms are in dire need of an upgrade - that said, the staff are great, it's a good location and the beds were comfortable.
By Mr Queen on 28/04/2016
Very good hotel with friendly staff and guides, in a fantastic location.
By Ms Robson on 27/04/2016
The package provided by Headwater was excellent for the solo traveller as it included everything I needed to try xc skiing for the first time. The group approach made it a lovely week; small groups for skiing at different levels each day meant I always had people to ski with. The hotel is friendly and comfortable and ideally situated in the middle of miles of routes. Will definitely be going back!
By Mrs Wadsworth on 18/04/2016
A gentle skiing experience.
By Ms Jessop on 18/04/2016
Fantastic service from initial phone conversation with headwater to the holiday itself.
the cross country skiing was fantastic, and there were groups to suit every ability. The ski guides were all friendly and encouraging and the hotel accommodation laid back and welcoming. Overall a great experience.
Thanks for organising a wonderful holiday.
By Dr Garwood on 18/04/2016
Third holiday in Leutasch skiing and walking. All have been excellent. Good quality hotel in good location and excellent rep in Steve Barrington.
By Mr Willis on 13/04/2016
apart from not being picked up at the airport a well organised and enjoyable holiday in a good area with a good instructor and very good accomodation
By Ms Allard on 07/04/2016
5 days of great walks, each very different from the other so lots of interest and great scenery. We were the only ones in the walking group and so it was great that Steve tailored the walks to suit us in terms of distance, speed and breaks. He went out of his way to make our holiday a success and even took us into Seefeld on his day off.
Another Headwater holiday success, thank you!
By Mrs Shipman on 06/04/2016
Another very good cross country skiing holiday here during February with good snow conditions. Steve's expertise and his skill in organising a group with varying abilities is amazing - a very enjoyable week.
By Dr Nesbitt on 05/04/2016
Well organised trip,excellent food, rural location, plenty of opportunities for independent exploration as well as guided activities
By Mr Price on 30/03/2016
We loved our first experience of cross-country skiing. The ski guides were outstanding, and all staff at the hotel were most friendly and helpful. The food was superb, with a vast array of different dishes at every meal. The skiing area around Venabu is beautiful, with a huge variety of tracks to cater for beginners and intermediates - not being experts, we can't comment on suitability for them. We also loved the snow shoe expedition, and a couple of yoga sessions - both included in the holiday cost. In fact, everything that was needed was included in the price, and it would have been possible to have a good holiday wiothout spending any money locally. All in all, a great holiday.
By Mrs Turnbull on 30/03/2016
We had a great time. The skiing was excellent and we particularly enjoyed the guided ski tours which took us to different areas every day. We loved the walk on snowshoes to the waterfall too.
By Mr Clague on 30/03/2016
Thoroughly enjoyable, met a great bunch of people and skied in a magnificent location.
By Mrs Telford on 29/03/2016
Wonderful experience. Excellent location , great tuition great guides
By Ms Cazalet on 22/03/2016
Enjoyable. Very good location (as long as lots of snow). Very good guide, learnt a lot and all in group improved a great deal by end of week. Mini bus a complete bonus. Small groups. Distance from airport to location less than an hour.
By Mis Ross on 21/03/2016
There is no better place to cross country ski than Venabu. Food, accommodation and quality of Guiding is excellent and Line, Robert, Wenche and the rest of the team maintain their standards year in year out. A unique place.
By Ms Stavert on 16/03/2016
Excellent holiday, Martin was a fantastic guide and knew the area really well. He adapted the walks to suit people's ability.
By Mrs Smith on 14/03/2016
A fantastic week learning to cross country ski. Our rep, Steve, made it all completely effortless - getting us to and from the resort, teaching us how to ski, making sure we were always well-fed and watered and ensuring we got to the best snow every day - could not fault it.
By Ms Barnwell on 09/03/2016
This was my fifth visit to Leutasch to enjoy cross country ski ing. Steve, the Headwater representative, is very professional, friendly and excellent at assessing the skill levels of individuals and ensuring that the day's activities are planned to meet all needs. Thoroughly recommend this holiday.
By Ms Elsden on 09/03/2016
The Leutasch Valley is a brilliant base for xc skiing - and Hotel Xander in Kirchplatzl, enabled skiing almost direct from the door. Steve our guide and mentor was brilliant in his teaching and giving help and advice and managed always to pop up just at the right place if we ever had a query. (Haven't a clue how he always achieved that - although he knows the area so well and is a much better map reader than I!) The hotel is lovely and quiet, although the bulk and volume of food was enough to sink a battleship. And the staff could have done with a crash course at a charm school to learn to smile a little more! Shame there was no lounge area to enable you to chill out in, read a book or have a cuppa - I generally went back to my room after supper on account of this and if you're on your own, this did make it a little flat. You don't always want to hang out in the bar. And since there were no local facilities to visit without a 30 min yomp, you did need a good supply of books and your room fridge well stocked! Go for the Stempel stamp collecting system - gives a real target to clock up the km!
By Dr MacMillan on 09/03/2016
Excellent area for xc skiing, and hotel, equipment, staff also excellent
By Mrs Goodfellow on 09/03/2016
This holiday delivered exactly what it said on the box- fantastic, extensive, well maintained ski-ing area, a friendly sports hotel, likeminded guests, great hospitality, superb ski instructors and guides.
Don't go if you want a modern, five start hotel, but do consider it if you love XC skiing or want to try it for the first time.
By Ms Montbazet on 04/03/2016
It was a magical week. The location of the hotel and it's facilities was perfect. I really appreciated the welcoming and informal atmosphere.
Our cross-country skiing adventure was very versatile. We were faced with different challenges every day.
Our instructor and guide was always on hand to help and encourage us. He filled us in on local historical and geographical facts and his sense of humour and vivid anecdotes made for a very entertaining week.
The beautiful winter landscape made my dream come true!
By Mrs Morgan on 04/03/2016
Brilliant holiday thanks to Steve who made sure we were all really well looked after, no matter what our abilities or fitness. I definitely recommend this beginners week for anyone venturing into cross-country skiing for the first time. The itinerary was flexible, enabling Steve to select the location according to the weather conditions & our abilities. Had it not been for Steve, I suspect we would have been going round & round the local loipe and would have missed out on much of this beautiful area. We had absolute confidence in his judgement of what we could safely tackle. He was able to push us just beyond our comfort zone, enabling us to progress further than we would have done with a few 2 hour sessions in ski school. Guests from another company were clearly envious of our experience & may well be future clients of Headwater. The hotel was very comfortable & had a great wellness centre - as long as you don't mind doing saunas the European way. The food was plentiful & mostly very good. The service was variable but amiable.
By Mr Ferdenzi on 04/03/2016
We would recommend a cross-country ski holiday at this friendly. laid-back resort. The area was lovely and it felt so peaceful because we had it all to ourselves!.The food was bountiful, imaginative and always of high quality. The staff were helpful and leaving the resort felt like leaving friends. The tuition was excellent, the ski tours good and varied. The wireless was reliable. The rooms, though small, were adequate for a week. It was useful to have a drying room for damp clothing and the saunas were good and well-used. The transfers to and from the (Oslo) airport were good and reliable.
By Mis Kerridge on 04/03/2016
Amazing trip to get away from everyday life, relax and enjoy the mountains. Richard was a brilliant guide and teacher. Loved the snow shoeing and husky dogs too. Food was superb and never ending...fantastic. Can't wait to go again
By Mrs Davies on 25/02/2016
We love the Leutasch for skiing holidays for many reasons, notably:
- The fact that the hotel provides a friendly welcome and is situated right in the heart of the extensive ski area (catering for all levels of ability),
- The transfer from the Airport is quick,
- The accommodation and food are good
- Above all - Steve's guiding and extensive knowledge of the area adds tremendous value.
- This why we have returned for the last 5 years and why we are planning to return.
By Mr Elworthy on 25/02/2016
great holiday in a very beautiful place. Hotel meet all expectations with wonderful views, food and staff. Steve took great care of us all adapting to our ever changing needs and helping to accommodate a party with very different needs and abilities. it all added up to a fantastic holiday. thank you to all who made it happen.
By Mrs Gillott on 25/02/2016
The guides were fantastic, food amazing. Unfortunately xc skiing is not for us.
By Mr Ezra on 24/02/2016
Steve,the resort host, couldn't do enough for the group during the week, always making sure that clients had skiing applicable to their abilities (from beginners to seasoned skiers). Even on his day off, he showed up at the hotel in the morning and ferried 4 of us to another village, rather than have us catch the bus. The skiing was good and we were blessed with good conditions. Trail preparation was also good, with only 2 tracks remaining closed all week. However, the area overstates how many kilometres of trails there actually are, counting shared classic and skating runs twice. The Xander is a pleasant, not overly large hotel with good, if sometimes busy, facilities. It is somewhat remote, being in a small hamlet, but because of this, it is very quiet, with no nighttime noise. The normal rooms were huge, bordering on suite size. The food was good and plentiful (afternoon 'tea' was a real bonus) with most courses being buffet style. It is as well to have some supplies in your room if like a night cap, as the bar closes if there are no customers around (we returned from a post dinner walk to find the bar closed by 9:30). With the blessedly short transfer from Innsbruck (less than an hour) and the early flight, our room was not ready on arrival, as were others. Given that this is the time that Headwater clients always arrive, I would have thought that the hotel would make sure that clients were ready to be shown their rooms upon arrival.
By Mr Hudson on 24/02/2016
A very good holiday with an excellent rep. We expect to return next year.
By Ms Smith on 24/02/2016
This was our first time cross-country skiing and we are totally hooked. This is due to the beautiful location; perfect snow, and the excellent instruction that we received.
By Ms Dutton on 22/02/2016
We appreciated the flexibility Steve offered in our itinerary. Great area for xcroutry sking with good variety of terrain and routes. Would have been happy with more rustic accommodation with log fire in a communal area and less food would have been fine!
By Mr Tomkinson on 22/02/2016
I decided to take a cross-country skiing holiday at the Venabu Fjellhotel after reading the recommendations left by previous visitors on the Headwater website which I fully endorse. The hotel was comfortable with welcoming, friendly staff. The food was wonderful & plentiful - 5 course lunches & dinners with many different dishes to choose from.
The ski tour leaders were excellent.They gave advice on skiing techniques and also explained features of the landscape, plus details of the local flora & fauna which added to the enjoyment of the tours.
I stayed in a single room in the East Wing which was adequate if a tad on the small side. Larger rooms are available in the West Wing for a supplement. Tea & coffee was not provided in the room, but is available in the public rooms at no extra charge.
I met several guests in the hotel who had stayed there before & one person was on his fifteenth visit! I, also, hope to make a return trip to this hotel at some point as it is an excellent centre for cross-country skiing with many kilometres of waymarked loipen from the hotel.
The only improvement I can think of is that it would nice if the hotel had a swimming pool!
By Mrs McKown on 17/02/2016
This beginners week in Venabu was in my opinion the perfect introduction to the delights of cross country skiing .
The all inclusive package insulates you from the normal expense of a holiday in Norway in this snow assured area .
The hotel was charming all the staff friendly and we wanted for nothing during our stay .
The room was warm and comfortable , the food plentiful with all tastes catered for and truly excellent .
Our ski instructors,Richard and Siobhan were great .
There wasn't a direct flight from Manchester to Oslo but that is the only downside to this holiday !
I rarely return to the same location for holidays but I can see why people do for this holiday and I think it will be very difficult to
match this experience and overall value , so I might well be back again !
By Dr Barton on 17/02/2016
A really good experience - excellent organisation, beautifully located hotel with comfortable accommodation and lots of really good food, great skiing tuition tailored to our needs, huge choice of ski routes and other options such as snow shoe trekking - and other guests in the hotel were really friendly and good company. Hard to beat!
By Mis Ross on 11/02/2016
Venabu is the best place for cross country ski-ing. No matter what your level of experience is, you will be well looked after and have a great week.
By Mr Mitchell on 11/02/2016
Overall very good , although due to exchange rates Prices are high compared to hotel prices
By Mrs Kerr on 09/02/2016
Extensive area for cross country skiing with good walking options when snow condition poor. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and helpful local representative.
By Mr Kidd on 05/02/2016
Steve, Steve, Steve...was brillant...his coaching was very relaxed and got the group finding their 'ski feet' quickly. I had done some downhill skiing in my youth but never expected to xc ski so far and in so many different areas during the week! We must have done most of the blue routes in the valley and beyond with the added benefit of the use of Steve's minibus. I'm definitly hooked...wish I'd tried xc skiing years ago!
By Mr Curwen on 04/02/2016
Although there was insufficient snow for any real skiing we still had a fantastic holiday. Steve organised great walks with options for everyone. He is an excellent guide. The spa at the hotel was an additional treat.
By Mr Kennedy on 04/02/2016
Although the accommodation is dated at this hotel, it is more than adequate, clean and comfortable. The family welcome, ambiance and excellent wholesome food, makes this a holiday worth repeating.
The teaching instruction we had was excellent and we were extremely well looked after. The guides went out of their way to ensure we had a rewarding and enjoyable introduction to XC skiing even though we were reluctant to go up or down hills!!
By Mrs Ruberry on 27/01/2016
This was coming up to our 20th visit to Venabu. For us it is more like 'going home' to see friends and family than a basic holiday. Venabu is a unique destination.
By Mr Summers on 25/01/2016
We had a fabulous holiday. There were only two of us on the holiday and Steve was amazing! My wife hadn't done x-country skiing before but Steve made sure she was very competent within a few days and we couldn't have asked for or received more attention.
The hotel was your 'alternative' hotel. I have stayed at the Zander twice before and was a little apprehensive. However the Hubertishof was excellent. All the staff were very attentive and friendly. The food was superb, particularly the dinners in the evening. The swimming pool, sauna and steam room were spotless and easily accessible. The hotel was a little way out of town but there was a bus stop nearby and the town was 8 minutes away. The hotel had a sister hotel in town where we could take tea in the afternoon at no extra cost and if we missed the bus they would offer us a free transfer. We gave the hotel a top rating on Trip Adviser.
The ski trails were outside the hotel door and it was easy to skip back to the hotel in the late afternoon from town. Overall I thought the hotel better than the Zander.
By Mrs Freedman on 25/01/2016
The hotel is really welcoming, and the ski guides and the food both excellent. This was my fifth visit.
By Mrs Greggs on 25/01/2016
By Ms McEwan on 25/01/2016
Good walking, good company, good food, good location.
By Mrs Bullock on 25/01/2016
Apart from the hotel bedroom being a little too warm for our liking there is nothing else we could find to complain about in any way. And we could probably name every mountain tha surrounds the Leutasch Valley - well we could have done last week anyway......
We could perhaps have done without the rain on the first day, but I don't expect you can do much about that.
By Mrs Hughes on 19/01/2016
Great introduction to XC skiing. Wonderul scenery, lots of snow. Amazing food!
By Mrs Hannah on 19/01/2016
Venabu is the perfect winter 'get-away-from-it-all' destination, and great for immersing yourself in learning how to cross-country ski. It was lovely staying in a hotel that is still owned & managed by the original family. The instructors were superb, and really made the holiday for me. We had an American, Richard , and his lovely wife Siobhan with our beginners group. They were so experienced, yet incredibly patient, enthusiastic and encouraging and displayed such a passion in passing on their expertise. It made for a brilliant holiday!
By Mr Bruce on 18/01/2016
Family friendly hotel with relaxed atmosphere with excellent food and facilities for Crosscountry skiing
By Ms Turner on 18/01/2016
Wonderful holiday in the most amazing,quiet location. Stunning views from the hotel which was run by lovely staff. Will probably go again next year!
Cross country skiing guides were great and patient with us novice skiers! Went out on some great trips.
By Mr Hutchison on 11/01/2016
A very enjoyable Xmas break. Great location, guides, hotel, and weather!
There was no natural snow in the resort, but enough man-made snow was put down to ensure some x-country skiing in the mornings.
In the afternoons, we went for extremely pleasant walks along the many sign-posted trails.
By Ms Sholer on 07/01/2016
A great experience trying something new in a fairly remote location in Norway. Ideal for getting away from city life, we really enjoyed the cross-country skiing and found it reasonably easy to pick up (some downhill ski experience does help). The food at the hotel was excellent, including for vegetarians which I wasn't expecting.
By Ms Sinclair on 02/07/2015
It was the first time I had travelled alone but I had no problem making friends. There were 11 others in the group and they were really fun to be with. The hotel staff were friendly and helpful especially the tour guides. The skiing was brilliant helped by amazing scenery and blue skies most days. The food on offer for breakfast, lunch and dinner had to be seen to be believed! I especially enjoyed the Norwegian buffet. There were lots of little touches which made the holiday more enjoyable, such as having your flask filled with hot chocolate each morning and relaxing in the sauna after a long day's skiing! Altogether one of the best holidays I have had
By Mrs Harbach on 09/04/2015
The entire Headwater team was extremely professional and accommodating. They were most helpful (especially Donna Webber) in sorting out a more 'tailor made' holiday to suit our particular requirements and we couldn't have been more delighted with the end result. The Venabu Fjellhotell was quite simply one of the best hotels we have stayed in in terms of friendliness, warmth of welcome, quality of food and skiing tuition. We will definitely be going again - thank you to everyone for helping to give us such a wonderful holiday.
By Mrs Shotton on 09/04/2015
Excellent location for cross country skiing, very good twin room, friendly staff, amazing food,
By Mr Simpson on 31/03/2015
Steve is an excellent guide and very accommodating. Leutasch is a beautiful area to ski, walk and relax in.
By Mr Meredith on 30/03/2015
Steve made the holiday special. With welcome good humour he made everything but everything work: travel to and from airport, managing the varied abilities of skiers, being available for any problems and proving excellent company. Steve is worth every penny for Headwater.
By Mrs Paterson on 27/03/2015
Very enjoyable holiday in a lovely location
By Mrs Mortley on 26/03/2015
The Venabu hotel has things just right. The rooms and public areas are comfortable and homely, the food is good and staff are welcoming and helpful. This was our first cross country skiing trip. The equipment and tuition were good and the instructors knowledgeable and friendly doing all they could to ensure everyone has the best experience. A great holiday.
By Mr Caldwell on 26/03/2015
Everything it promised and more. The guides, instructors and staff were outstanding. The food and extra activities like yoga mean that this could be a great wellness break in its self, add in the great skiing and beautiful landscape and it has everything you could want.
By Dr Garwood on 23/03/2015
Overall an excellent skiing holiday. Leutasch has a huge amount of skiing trails so there is good variety for all levels of experience. Good quality ski equipment from a local shop very close to the hotel who give good advice and make it easy to change equipment if required. Good quality hotel with the benefit of a large room. All very clean, with very friendly staff and all meals are a good standard. Lastly, the holiday benefits immensely from having an excellent rep, Steve. Very efficient and punctual with transfers. Always helpful and a knowledgeable guide who ensures that for every day there is good quality skiing taking in a variety of places to ensure both the skiing and views are the best they can be!
By Mr Tomkinson on 16/03/2015
I have been on many cross-country skiing holidays & consider that this one has been the best to date. Leutasch is an excellent location & I enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Xander. The food & facilities there were very good. The snow conditions were ideal & we had a great leader - Steve is the font of all knowledge regarding the trails in the area & provided a high degree of support for the group. I particularly liked the way in which he managed to accommodate the different levels within the party, plus the use of a minibus was an added bonus as it beats waiting around for public transport at the end of the day if you were not skiing back to the hotel. This is the first holiday I've been on where the leader had a minibus.
By Mrs Shipman on 11/03/2015
Third consecutive year in Leutasch and pleased to find Steve continues to guide this holiday. He is so encouraging and helpful whatever the ability group, and this plays such a huge part in the success of the holiday. We were very fortunate with the weather for our week, the sun shone every day and the snow conditions good. We chose to walk on our 'free day' and thoroughly enjoyed the route - easily following the walking signs. The hotel offers good accommodation with excellent food. The staff are welcoming and efficient and the Gala Dinner was good fun.
By Ms Barnwell on 10/03/2015
Well planned and executed holidays. Headwater take the hassle out of arranging holidays, so that you can have more fun.
By Mrs Williams on 06/03/2015
Venabu offers excellent skiing, knowledgeable guiding and fabulous food.
By Ms Edwards on 06/03/2015
An excellent week with everything just as described on the website. Great service from the whole team at Venabu and a superb choice of food at every meal. Snow-shoeing in fresh snow down to a frozen waterfall was the highlight of my week.
By Mrs Davies on 02/03/2015
We had another great week in the Leutasch. The Headwater rep,Steve, is a tremendous ambassador for Headwater.. He really goes out of his way to ensure that everyone, no matter what their level of ability, gets the most out of their holiday. His knowledge of the ski terrain and how to adapt the day's schedule to the weather conditions really makes the most of the time available. My wife managed to get her Gold Badge this year due in no small degree to Steve's recommended routes for each day (as well as her own efforts of course!).
The Hotel food was back up to its previous good standard this year and their Gala evening in 1920s style was great fun and a big success. We are already looking forward to our next ( and 6th ) holiday in the Leutasch.
By Mrs Simpson on 02/03/2015
Very relaxing. Everything organised for my daughter and I. Hassle free. Excellent holiday.
By Dr Bond on 26/02/2015
This was our second time on this holiday and it completely lived up to our expectations.
Hotel and area great. Steve an excellent host, catered well for a mixed ability group. He went out of his way to help all of us.
By Mr Duggleby on 26/02/2015
We had a fabulous cross-country skiing holiday in Leutasch. Everything was perfect - which is what we expect from Headwater. The location of the hotel and the quality of service and food were superb. Steve Barrington our instructor was faultless and nothing was too much trouble. He spent so much time with me trying to perfect my basic skiing technique. His humour and patience deserve a medal.
A perfect holiday in a perfect location.
By Mrs Payne on 26/02/2015
Another fabulous holiday - with nothing being a problem. From the helpfulness of the office team when we changed our booking through to lack of snow in Dobbiaco, through to the great week of skiing with Steve in Leutasch. Steve is a master juggler ensuring everyone's skiing levels were accounted for & also a great guide. The quality of the food at The Xander has improved & is of a high standard with plenty of choice & variety. The snow conditions were fab & there was plenty of blue skies & sunshine. Another great week of skiing - a very big thank you to Steve for an enjoyable & memorable week - already planning our return for next winter.
By Ms Green on 26/02/2015
A sociable holiday. Great guides. Lovely way to experience the country. Well worth getting fit over several months prior to holiday as this will ease you in and avoid physical strains.
I would recommend this holiday to anyone who likes exercising outdoors, followed by comfort and LOTS of food. Spent a long time looking at reviews for similar holidays, and I feel I made the right choice- I was not disappointed.
By Mrs Eidahl on 26/02/2015
Wonderful! Great variety of skiing routes. Great guides - great people. A very unique family run hotel that is very international. Everyone feels at home.
By Mrs Parsons on 23/02/2015
Great fun even though a beginner,great group of people,hotel was perfect,and the food was top notch.
By Mr Balme on 17/02/2015
Steve's guiding and tuition in cross country skiing made the holiday. Cross country skiing is very energetic and requires balance. We had thought we were quite fit! We went to two mornings langlauf school to start, it was very useful.
Thank you Steve for a fantastic week . Leutasch is beautiful. One of the best holidays we have been on. Food was delicious, and Xander very comfortable. Would definitely go back. The winter walks were also beautiful.
Short transfer time was good too.
By Mrs Titley on 16/02/2015
This was a good holiday as an alternative to skiing. The area was quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of the big ski resorts and the scenery was beautiful. We had plenty of snow making it a real winter wonderland with our small group often being the only people on the paths.
By Mr Curwen on 13/02/2015
We had a fantastic skiing holiday at Leutasch, returning to the same destination for the seventh time. The trails are excellent and we like the fact that you can get straight onto the snow from the door of the hotel. It is great to have access to the spa facilities at Hotel Xander to relax after a full day's skiing and Steve is an excellent tour leader. In fact he is one of the main reasons we return to the same place each year. Just keep giving us more of the same.
By Mrs Colley on 13/02/2015
The holiday was an enjoyable cross country skiing experience. The holiday area provides varied challenges and much enjoyment for people of all levels of track cross country skiing ability. Steve Barrington provides excellent leadership and support to each and every person in the group, whatever their capabilities, without favour.
By Dr Ng on 12/02/2015
Our Leader Steve was excellent - friendly and knowledgeable and made sure everyone had a great holiday even though we were at different levels and had different needs. The hotel was brilliantly located and you could ski from the door.The bus stop is a few steps from the hotel reception too, so you couldn't be better located. The hotel has huge buffets and a complimentary 'afternoon tea' which is more like a late lunch - a vast tureen of soup, bread, salad, pasta and several types of cakes. Dinners involve several courses - some of which are a little variable in quality, but there is choice. The traditional Austrian food is done very well (eg roast meats, trout and almonds, wiener schntizel) but some of the others eg sushi or blackberry juice with a yellow pepper skewer - were not quite as succesful. Amazing cheeseboards - as good as France.
Only gripes - the hotel charges for tap water which we questioned since it, well comes out of a tap and should therefore be free? The hotel, unusual for a 4 Star establishment, also charges for its Wifi - which in most hotels nowadays is free. The Wifi is exceptionally slow - found it could tkae 1/2 hr to send an email. Especially annoying as you are having to pay for it. Otherwise, an absolutely lovely hotel and recommended.
By Mrs Best on 12/02/2015
Very good holiday. Very lucky with the amount of snow having changed resorts. The service from some of the waiters, waitresses and receptionist could have been more polite. They were very rude at times. We were the customers, although it wasn't always obvious.
By Ms Kirk on 12/02/2015
Wonderful hotel with very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and beautiful location on edge of Rondane national park. Ski trails for all abilities. Food and catering outstanding as were hospitality and helpfulness of hotel reception and dining room staff. Excellent sauna and free yoga classes available. Massage also available at additional charge.
The provided holiday is inclusive of a full week's guided tours and also 3 very substantial meals a day. If this is more than what some travellers are looking for, the hotel itself provides a range of other flexible options. Journey time from Oslo airport is ca 3 hours by arranged coach but the hotel will also organise collection from the nearest train station for those travelling independently.
By Mr McGinn on 06/02/2015
We had never skied before so this was a real adventure and we were not disappointed. We had a fabulous time and loved that we could ski in the morning and after lunch we were able to go for a walk along one of the many well marked routes. We are already thinking g about doing it again next hear. Steve was an excellent guide and teacher - so patient.
By Mrs Morgan on 04/02/2015
We had an excellent holiday. Steve our guide was brilliant. He very quickly gauged the different abilities of the group, and ensured that we all got what we wanted / needed from the holiday. Didn't really want to leave, can't wait to go back!
By Mr Shore on 04/02/2015
The snow was fantastic, hotel comfy, food excellent. Headwater staff were very helpful and accommodating when I made last minute change from Dobbiaco to Leutasch (3/4 weeks before departure) due to lack of snow in Italy.
By Mrs Hall on 03/02/2015
This was our second cross country skiing holiday at the Xander Hotel and we had a great time again. Thankfully it snowed just before we arrived and the conditions were very good. Steve looked after us fantastically again and our skiing is improving under his guidance.
The Xander Hotel maintains its high standards and the food was excellent. Slight criticisms would be the lack of a bar area to relax in after dining in the evening, the cold swimming pool and the off putting no swimming costume policy in the spa and sauna!
However these are minor quibbles, overall we had a great holiday and hope to be back again one day.
By Mr Currie on 03/02/2015
Steve and Christine are excellent hosts and good guides
By Mrs Cant on 03/02/2015
Cross-country skiing can be tailored to suit all levels of fitness and skill and if you do find it not to your taste there is the great alternative of winter walking in the beautiful Leutasch valley.
By Mr Hudson on 15/01/2015
We have been skiing in Leutasch on several occasions, so it must be good! We were lucky with the snow, and enjoyed every day out on the runs. Steve Barrington is excellent and could not be more helpful and worked hard to ensure that all members of the party had good, suitable days out. This often involved difficult logistical problems of driving people to different locations and classes. We do not understand why Headwater do not have such reps in other locations. The food at the Hotel Xander has returned to the high standard that we had come to expect but which did fall last year. We understand that a former chef had returned. It was well worth arranging the day around the afternoon cakes! The staff too were good. Thank you all, especially Steve.
By Ms Brodd on 15/01/2015
This was a brilliant holiday! Steve did a great job of assessing our abilities and catering to all our skiing needs. The food at the hotel was fantastic and should be described as 'full-board' due to the afternoon tea being way more than just tea and cake! This was a prefect place for XC skiing and with so many different runs available it is suitable for all levels of skier. We has never skied before but by the end of the week we were on the black runs!
Dear Mr Brodd, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire feedback. We were pleased to see that Steve took good care of you and that you managed to ski black runs by the end of the week, that was great progress! I have passed on your feedback to Steve and the Hotelier at the Xander, they were both delighted to receive your positive comments. We would like to thank you for travelling with Headwater this winter and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater customer service team
By Mr Manvell on 15/01/2015
Good skiing opportunities in a very scenic location; good equipment with knowledgeable and helpful guides.
Family hotel, excellent food, good facilities - sauna, massage, yoga, fitness room, games rooms, horse drawn sleighs, dog sledding, board games, music / dancing. Excellent selection of wines to match some very good food - lots of choice at the buffets. Special Norwegian buffet was very impressive at New Year.
All staff we encountered were very friendly and helpful. We met lots of returning clients. Free WifI was a bonus.
Good location to offer snow shoeing weeks as well as skiing. Ski instruction was first class, good boots, good skiis, great guides and well equipped ski room.
Local supermarket well stocked for any emergencies or forgotten items.
By Mr James on 07/01/2015
It was a brilliant experience. We arrived to find no snow in Leutasch and little prospect of cross-country skiing at Christmas for the first time in ten years. Our Headwater guide Steve did a brilliant job in taking us walking for two days, understanding our abilities and that we liked a bit of a challenge and then finding us man-made Loipen in Leutasch and Seefeld. It snowed on our penultimate day (Christmas Day) and Steve introduced us to the joys of getting into, across and down virgin snow covered fields and slopes. The Hotel Xander is an excellent 'off the beaten track' location and a wonderful place to spend Christmas. We would like to come back!
Dear Mr James, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post holiday questionnaire and for the feedback you have provided. It was great to see that the snow eventually fell and you were able to enjoy the cross country skiing and winter walking.I have passed your comments on to Steve and Christine, they were delighted to hear your lovely feedback.They do work really hard to ensure our customers have the best holiday possible, with or without the snow!
We would like to thank you for choosing Headwater for your winter holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Yours sincerely, Headwater customer service team
By Mrs Shipman on 16/04/2014
Very good holiday. Second year cross-country skiing in same resort - complete beginners last year. With thanks to Steve's excellent tuition and patience last year have been able to further improve this year, once again with Steve at the helm!
By Ms Kitchen on 28/03/2014
Remember to bring a pair of walking boots in order to best enjoy the excellent snowshoeing trip, usually run on Wednesdays! Everything else is catered for on this excellent week for either complete beginners or improvers in cross-country skiing. The Tvete family at the Fjellhotel are not only friendly and welcoming, but also extremely well organised and hard working. The scenery is so stunning that the odd grey day doesn't matter.
By Mrs Heywood on 26/03/2014
First holiday on my own, and despite my worries, I was made to feel welcome by the members of my group...experienced warm and friendly company from fellow holiday members, hotel staff and guides.....a busy and active holiday, wonderful scenery, great for me as an important part of the holiday for me is to paint the landscape.
By Dr Garwood on 22/03/2014
Excellent holiday. Steve and Christine went out of their way to take good care of us.
By Mrs Cartwright on 18/03/2014
Venabu is an ideal resort for cross country skiing. The guides at the hotel are brilliant and make the holiday a memorable experience.
By Mr Payne on 17/03/2014
We have been to 6 different XC Sking venues with Headwater and Venabu is consistantly the best. Excellent variety and length of ski tracks from easy starts near the hotel to Challenging hills within 5km. Food is always of good choice, well prepared and generous in quantity for hungry skiers. The guides are knowledgable, helpful and good instructors for beginners and more experienced skiers - particularly Robert Molnar, who is a good allround athlete as well as good skier and an excellent instructor. For the above reasons we have now been to Venabu 11 times and we meet friends who also return each year from UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Canada.
By Mr Drane on 12/03/2014
Definitely an activity holiday and if you are with a keen fit group it is hard work a nd a good level of fitness is required.
It is hard for the guide to cater for mixed ability clients.
By Mjr Watts-russell on 05/03/2014
Steve Barington is an exceptionally nice chap. He went out of his way to see that we got the most from our holiday and even gave up some of his day off.
He couldn't have been more helpful in ferrying us around and guiding us.
From what we saw of Chrisie she was equally nice.
The girls at reception at Hotel Xander were helpful The waitresses, who were mainly Hungarian, were both good and fun.
Breakfasts were fine but the evening meals were disappointing. The menus were OK but the quality of the cooking was not great.
The afternoon cakes and tarts were a great disappointment.--- Not up to Austrian standard!
It was difficult to obtain a drink if one returned to the hotel between 1 and 2pm.
The cleaning of our room was substandard. The bath was only cleaned once during the week and bars of soap were not replaced.
We had sunny weather and an excellent holiday due in mainly to Steve's input.
By Mrs Davies on 27/02/2014
Another fantastic well run xc skiing holiday by Steve. Steve is an outstanding guide whose knowledge of the snow conditions and selection of trails made the very best of tricky weather conditions. He has an uncanny knack of balancing the needs of the group, and each individual - we chose to take up the challenge of the 'xc badge ' and with the help of Steve's knowledge of the area, he helped us achieve a Silver Badge. We intend to book next year and go for Gold!
By Mrs Duke on 26/02/2014
Headwater are a very good company to deal with, they are professional and efficient.
By Mrs Williams on 26/02/2014
Venabu is the perfect place for all generations to enjoy cross country skiing.
By Mrs Daws on 26/02/2014
We had outstanding support from Chris and Steve Barrington. They could not do enough for us to ensure that we had a great holiday.
By Mis Smith on 19/02/2014
An invigorating break in a beautiful location with great food and wonderful guides
By Mr Curwen on 14/02/2014
This is our fifth consecutive holiday at this destination and we think it was the best. Steve Barrington is an excellent Rep/Tour Leader and - as I've said before, has the unique ability to ensure each and every person has the best holiday possible. We felt the quality of cuisine at Hotel Xander was not as good as other years but the overall comfort and condition of the facilities was as good as ever. We would definitely consider booking the same holiday again.
By Mr Murison on 10/02/2014
Wonderful location, duvets size snowflakes
Steve was an excellent guide,patient and diligent. And with a great sense of humour
By Mis Ross on 10/02/2014
There is no where better to cross country ski than Venabu.
By Ms Charlton on 09/02/2014
Fantastic scenery, excellent ski tuition, warm & welcoming hotel.
Just what I needed to start the new year.
Message for hotel- Hotel was comfy but needs to update accommodation. Message for ski instructors - good instruction but need to keep us moving in such cold temperatures so our muscles dont freeze up. Wenche paced things well and kept us moving.
By Mrs Loftus on 06/02/2014
Excellent. The guide/rep Steve Barrington was fantastic. His communication and teaching skills are magnificent. I would recommend anyone to go with Headwater if they could be assured that their rep was anywhere near the level of professionalism demonstrated by Steve.
By Dr Winslow on 05/02/2014
Very good. Vegetarian food a bit variable
By Mr Williams on 29/01/2014
An excellant t
By Mr Fitzgerald on 23/01/2014
no faults , except very disappointing snow conditions , so I would probably not book so far ahead should I choose to repeat this type of holiday .
By Mrs O'Hanlon on 23/01/2014
Delayed/ diverted flight to Munich caused some confuse, however on arriving at Innsbruck Apt. we were met immediately by Steve and Chris and were in our hotel by 1830 hrs. Some confusion at Munich , service at Innsbruck excellent.
Given the small numbers, 2 skiing and one walking the experience was well managed and allowed us enjoy a very good experience. Thanks.
Dear Mrs O'Hanlon,
Thank you for taking the time to complete our holiday questionnaire, all feedback received is valued by us and helps us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future.
I was sorry to read of the confusion caused by your flight being diverted to Munich.
On this occasion it was decided that due to Heavy fog at Innsbruck airport it would be necessary to land at Munich and then bus our customers back to Innsbruck, normally this type of diversion is managed smoothly and efficiently. I am sorry that this was not the experience that you received.
Unfortunately, due to the high volume of flights being diverted around a similar time along with diversions from other airports also, it made for a very busy arrival into Munich.
We have however passed on your feedback to Thomson airways and our teams on the ground in Munich and will ensure that our customers are offered further assistance as required should this type of situation arise in the future.
Although, I was pleased to read that you were well looked after once you arrived into Innsbruck airport by our reps Steve and Chris and that you had a good holidays in spite of this diversion.
Once again I would like to thank you for your feedback, we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
By Mrs Hall on 15/01/2014
We thoroughly ejoyed our second holiday with Headwater at the Hotel Xander in the Leutasch Valley. It was lovely to be recognised and remembered by the hotel staff. The New Year's Eve Gala Dinner was excellent and the standard of food and service was once again superb.
It was our first time cross country skiing and with the help, guidance and patience of Steve we were soon up and running and hope to return next year to improve further.
By Mrs Roebuck on 15/01/2014
Our holiday reps the Barringtons were superb. By the end of the holiday they were like friends who cannot do enough for you.
By Mr O'Loughlin on 15/01/2014
This was our second time to Leutasch and the Xander Hotel and we weren't disappointed. Excellent food and service. The snow conditions weren't ideal but Steve Barrington with his usual enthusiasm found us descent locations every day so we able to ski. Thoroughly enjoyed the holiday which was an great way to unwind after a hectic Christmas and New Year.
By Mr Parr on 15/01/2014
Sporthotel Xander is an excellent base for cross country skiing for people of all abilities. The local rep Steve Barrington is an interesting character and very proficient at guiding beginners taking there first steps, encouraging intermediates to progress and advising on routes for the more advanced. Definitely a place to visit at least once in your skiing career!
By Mr Wheatley on 06/01/2014
Leutasch is an excellent Cross Country Ski area with also scope for beautiful and easy walking. The Hotel Xander has a very good location for the ski trails and walks and is served by a good bus system. It is located in a quiet village which suited us but might be too quiet for some. The guides were extremely helpful and were a major contribution to our enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mr Kennedy on 01/01/2014
Overall the holiday delivered a good level of comfort with regards the hotel especially as it was a Christmas break. The locality was excellent for x-skiing. The arrangements for guests to take lessons at the local ski school was of great benefit to myself and contributed to the enjoyment of the rest of the holiday.
By Mis Roberts on 01/01/2014
Overall a great holiday. Shame about the poor snow which is a risk in a low lying area of Austria. The hotel was great, the rooms really big and comfortable and the sauna, spa, swimming pool a real asset and lovely at the end of the day. Be prepared for some regimentation at meal times; just ever so slightly disconcerting as a single traveller to be allocated a table on day 1 and told that's where you are sitting, and that's who you are sitting with, for the entire holiday.
By Mr Manning on 01/01/2014
Excellent hotel for friendliness and Norwegian culture, especially at Christmas. The food was outstanding. We were complete novices so the cross country skiing was challenging, but the ski guides were helpful, patient and encouraging. A sauna on site was most welcome.
By Ms Davies on 13/04/2013
The hotel at venabu was excellent. Top notch in all aspects.
I was however extremely disappointed that we had to leave at 9am, and duly spend 3 to 4 hours sitting in the airport waiting for the flight home.
Considering we travelled through ringebu, then past Lillehammer, within the context of a high cost holiday, not permitting us an hour or so to spend in these places seems very mean spirited.
For this reason I would hesitate to recommend headwater. I cannot fault the hotel, so would recommend people to make there own way there .
By Mr O'Loughlin on 30/03/2013
Our fifth Headwater holiday, his was a terrific trip. We were blessed with excellent weather but even without this the Xander Hotel was brilliant, excellent food, very good service and facilities including a really nice pool, use it in the morning or late afternoon and you could well have it to yourself. The other major success of this holiday is the resident rep Steve Barrington, he did everything he could to make sure we got the most out of our skiing. As first timers to the sport he gave confidence and led us through all the basic techniques extremely well ensuring we had maximum time out on the snow. His enthusiasm was great and he went out of his way to fix any issues, e.g. getting a leaking ski boot replaced. We'll be back next year so long as Steve's there to lead the group.
By Mr Payne on 30/03/2013
Venabu is an excellent XC ski centre with reliable snow. It has a much better quantity and range of tracks than any of the mid/southern european resorts. With gentle undulating tracks close to the hotel and hills 5 - 7 km away for the more adveturous amongst us. The guides, Robert and Wenche are vey good teachers and guides. The hotel accomodation is comfortable and the food is very good.
This is an excellent XC skiing holiday for beginners and experinced skiiers.
By Dr Bond on 09/03/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our 1st (and not to be last) Nordic skiing holiday.
Hotel was ideally situated, in a stunning location. It was quiet and comfortable.
Steve and his wife Christine, were excellent hosts. Nothing was too much trouble, and their local knowledge was exemplary.
Everything went very smoothly.
Steve was a patient tutor and had a great sense of humour.
Skiing excellent (not very busy even though it was 1/2 term) and scenery beautiful.
We only wish we could have stayed a bit longer!
By Ms Midgley on 02/03/2013
Our 4th cross-country skiing trip with Headwater and second destination allowing us to compare between Austria and Norway. Clearly we like cross-country skiing or this would not be our 4th trip, and are happy using Headwater and we would still do so. The guides (Robert - Norway, Stephen - Austria) are excellent and make the whole experience fun with their teaching and humour. As they know each other we encouraged a bit of friendly rivalry.
Order, impeccable extensive tracks, graded blue, red & black, both classic and skating, at time 3 lanes in both directions and with busy periods of the day before people disappear into the numerous atmospheric cafes for apple-strudel and hot drinks – this is Austria. Norway on the other hand offers a less formal experience and on some remote tracks – seeing few people and more opportunity to go off-piste to catch a glimpse of the reindeer. Packed lunch without returning to the hotel allows for more adventure. In the UK a similar comparison might be between the Lake District and Wester Ross in the Highlands of Scotland. Both holidays have been a real great experience and we have every expectation of repeating them again in the future.
By Mrs Shipman on 26/02/2013
This was our first experience of cross country skiing and for myself skiing of any sort! Our guide Steve came highly recommended and without doubt proved to be an excellent guide and instructor - first class tuition with an abundance of patience!
By Mrs Woods on 19/02/2013
Location for cross country skiing was very good. Steve was a very good teacher and very patient and encouraging and eventually managed to get me to snow plough! I have gone from someone who had a bad experience alpine skiing and never wanting to go near snow again, to someone who can't wait to go cross country skiing again - I would recommend it to everyone! Afternoon Tea at the hotel was a well deserved treat.
By Mr Curwen on 19/02/2013
We have done this holiday several years in succession and it is always a fantastic experience. Steve and Christine are outstanding representatives. They have the unique ability to make everyone's holiday the best it can be regardless of differences in skiing/walking ability.Nothing is ever too much trouble and Steve always comes up with great suggestions for the day, even when the weather changes unexpectedly. We would definitely consider doing this holiday again.
By Mr Currie on 19/02/2013
Good leaders and a very good site. The cross country skiing and walking (I only wanted fairly gentle walking) were superb. Good hotel too.
By Mr Mitchell on 19/02/2013
I have been to Venabu numerous times and , first time visitors are given an equally warm welcome as returning guests. This relates to all the hotel staff.
Nothing is too much trouble.
Best place in the world to switch off from the hustle & bustle of London
By Mr Payne on 02/02/2013
The Skiing at Leutasch is good, with some easy skiing on the meadows of the valley floor and more ups and downs and some challenges on the hillsides. The tracks are all well prepared, both for classic and skating.
Steve B. is a very good guide and teacher with a very good knowledge of the area and soon picked up what the group were capable of, giving challenges to some of the more experienced skiieers and keeping it easier for the beginners.
The Hotel Sport Xander is excellent with very good food and an excellent Sauna/Steam room/pool area. The accomodation is listed as 'half board', but with Ausrian 'afternoon tea' available from 2 - 4pm this is really full board.
Having just returned from a second trip to Leutasch, next year we might do some trips independant of the main group on advice from Steve. Skiing on the valley meadows can be a bit flat and boring sometimes.
By Mrs Turner on 02/02/2013
Very good hotel. Great location. Steve excellent guide.
By Mr Wadey on 24/01/2013
Our third time on this particular holiday. As ever, Steve Barrington was an excellent guide and companion on our daily skiing outings, and the location of the hotel and the quality of the skiing remain first class. However, after two very pleasant stays at Hotel Xander, it was disappointing to find that their previously high standards seemed to have slipped. Staff numbers at the hotel seemed insufficient during our stay to ensure that the level of service (friendliness, supply and quality of food, crockery, glassware, cutlery etc) remained consistent and the overall standard generally fell short of that expected of a four star hotel - in particular, some of the crockery and glassware were chipped, cracked and dirty and on one evening at dinner we waited nearly half an hour between finishing one course and being served the next. This maybe a temporary issue - we certainly hope so as we are returning again in two weeks time!
By Mr Churchett on 24/01/2013
Very nice hotel in an wonderful location. The two ski guides (Robert and Wenche) were excellent and helped to make this a wonderful holiday. I will be going back to Venabu!
By Ms Griffith on 24/01/2013
Venabu was an excellent location, and the facilities and staff there were amazing.
By Mr Homer on 24/01/2013
Steve and Chris in Leutasch were excellent.
Flights to and from Innsbruck were delayed. The arrangements to transfer from Innsbruck to Munich were chaotic and poorly orgnised. this was very disappointing given the number of reps available.
By Ms Wingate on 24/01/2013
We were very disappointed as we were seated with a family for all of our meals. We had travelled as a couple and should have been seated as a couple.
We have been on a number of Headwater holidays and there is always an issue of some sort - this time it really will be the last time we travel with headwater - this was not a cheap holiday - the charter flight was awful and the hotel not of the luxurious standard intimated in the brochure. We should not have had to share - it was awkward and the family would have also welcomed the opportunity to be together as a family and without two strangers sat with them for breakfast and dinner.
Dear Ms Wingate Thank you so much for taking the time to complete our online questionnaire.
Following on from your feedback I can assure you that as of now, Headwater customers will be seated as they wish. We thoroughly appreciate how precious holidays are, and want our customers to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, the last thing we want is for anyone to feel uncomfortable or awkward and would like to offer you our sincere apology if this was the case.
Our standard of accommodation is very important to us and having worked with this hotel for many years, the feedback is generally very good. However, we will follow up your concerns with the Hotelier and ensure that any improvements needed are rectified immediately.
Having traveled with us previously, it really is such a shame that you feel you no longer wish to travel with Headwater. I can only re-iterate how sorry we are for the problems you have experienced, we genuinely value your custom and we hope you might reconsider your decision to take another holiday with us in the future.
By Dr Wonnacott on 07/01/2013
An excellent winter walking holiday - the hotel is very good with ample and excellent food and comfortable rooms. My room lacked the promised view (possibly a penalty for single occupancy despite the supplement), and the hotel lacks a lounge area but there is a friendly bar (where meals are also served). There is a pool and other facilities in the basement - I didn't have time to do justice to these opportunities!
The walking was very good and ably guided by Christine who was a lovely lady. There was good snow cover and lovely fresh snowfall for our last day of walking. Beautiful & varied scenery, and characterful coffee stops en route.
The 7 course Xmas eve dinner was wonderful.
By Ms Cromien on 07/01/2013
The Headwater bit was fantastic. Thomson Airways were deplorable.
By Mrs Watmore-eve on 17/04/2012
fantastic! Steve & Christine were superb; friendly & helpful, knowledgable & the ski tuition was great
By Mrs Davies on 05/04/2012
A great holiday. Very comfortable hotel and skiing experience enhanced greatly by the contributiion of the ski guide. Due to poor (end of season) snow conditions it set a challenge for the rep (Steve). Steve met this challenge brilliantly by careful selection of places to ski. We both benefitted greatly from Steve's patience and expert tuition. He also took us on some great walks when skiing was not possible. Steve showed great flexibility and was very good at listening to the needs of his customers and responding accordingly.
By Mrs Freedman on 05/04/2012
By Mrs McCormick on 31/03/2012
Fabulous, wonderful Norwegian hospitality.Hotel was just perfect - amazing friendly staff and owners. Noregian food was incredible.
By Dr Ng on 26/03/2012
Very enjoyable. Great skiing, very helpful leader, and fabulous hotel
By Mrs Powell on 17/03/2012
Excellent overall - have done this trip to the Xander several times before. Steve was the best instructor we have ever had - Having done cross-country skiing for many years, we still learned/consolidated a range of techniques. He clearly did everything possible to enhance everyone's enjoyment of the trip.
By Mrs Anderson on 17/03/2012
My ideal holiday.
By Mrs Cant on 17/03/2012
Very good until I hurt my bum!- no blame except to my lack of balance!
David enjoyed it thoroughly
By Mr Payne on 17/03/2012
A very good skiing holiday with good food and accomodation. Robert is a brilliant guide, ably assisted by Wenke.
By Mrs Colley on 08/03/2012
The holiday provided us with an enjoyable way to improve our XC-skiing based in a very good hotel.
By Mrs Thompson on 25/02/2012
This was possibly the best skiing holiday we have had so far. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we even got the Silver Medal for skiing over 80 kms, which we achieved in 4 days, thanks in part to our guide, Steve. The conditions were perfect.
By Mr Donnison on 18/02/2012
Excellent Holiday - Steve could not do enough for all the people on the holiday. The way he juggled people with different abilities was incredible - the best holiday rep and guide we have ever experienced.
By Dr Alcock on 18/02/2012
Another most enjoyable X-C skiing holiday. thank you
By Mr Nicholson on 18/02/2012
Very nice, really nice ambiance in the hotel, and an excellent cross-country skiing venue
By Mis Ross on 18/02/2012
Excellent - the usual standard of Venabu service.
By Mr Curwen on 10/02/2012
Fantastic. Great hotel but Steve's attention really made it for us. He has an amazing talent for making sure each person has the best possible holiday experience.
By Dr Winslow on 10/02/2012
apart from broken planes from Wideroe it was fab
By Mr Payne on 27/01/2012
a very good holiday, spoilt by the tour company (Crystal) on the return journey
By Mr Wadey on 27/01/2012
As most of my answers to the above questions suggest: excellent - Steve Barrington's enthusiastic approach to his job and cross country skiing is truly inspiring and a credit to Headwater, making the week especially enjoyable and spoilt only by a lack of customer awareness by Thomson and Crystal on the return journey.
By Dr Roberts on 27/01/2012
By Ms Garburg on 21/01/2012
very relaxing time
By Mrs Greggs on 21/01/2012
Excellent holiday. No complaints whatsoever.
By Ms Edwards on 00/00/0000
Beautiful location with lots of varied loipes at different levels of difficulty.
The Xander Sporthotel was very comfortable with good facilities (especially pool area and spa treatments) and location. It's a pity there wasn't a lounge area to relax in after dinner. Vegetarian main courses were rather bizzare, but at buffet meals there was plenty of choice. The afternoon tea was generous, varied and very welcome.
Steve Barrington coped well with a very mixed ability group, making sound suggestions for routes and rendez-vous with lovely coffee stops. The minibus service he included provided flexibility for different abilities and energy levels. The option of XC Ski School was very helpful.
By Mr Hudson on 00/00/0000
We have booked this holiday (Skiing in Leutasch) several times in recent years, and would thoroughly recommend it. Steve Barrington is an excellent rep and ski coach and went out of his way to ensure that we enjoyed ourselves. This year, there was no snow when we arrived (30 December) but the authorities had laid about 5 miles of track using artificial snow and this kept us busy most of the day. Steve then took us for a walk after afternoon tea, which meant that we saw parts of the beautiful valley that we had not visited before, including a gorge that is not normally open in winter. It snowed in the middle of the week and more tracks opened, and Steve worked very hard to find us suitable routes. The only disappointment is that one of the tracks near the hotel has been re-routed over a hill which was too difficult for us and clearly would be beyond a beginner. That meant a long walk before we could ski down the valley rather than a short walk from the hotel.
By Mr Mitchell on 00/00/0000
Very relaxing and your able to do things at your own pace
By Mr Hall on 00/00/0000
Fantastic location to learn cross-country skiing. The hotel, staff, food, skiing instruction and guided tours were excellent.
By Mr Green on 00/00/0000
Other than booking I wasn't aware it was a Headwater holiday. Hence I wouldn't recommend you as I don't know what you're like if you were actually delivering the holiday.
On the phone the staff weren't that good. I'd decided to go so they had nothing to do, but they weren't that helpful
I thought the documents sent out were not so good
My comments are based on comparison to Skedaddle who I go with frequently
I will go to Venabu again. The hotel staff and guides were excellent