Self-catering vs catered chalet

(12 Posts)
Happylander Mon 13-Aug-12 20:52:05

Hi All,

Me and my DS (3 when we go) and my friend and her DD (3) want to go skiing next Feb for a week. I have done one self-catered apartment as a single parent but with friends and all my other ones have been as a single adult with friends/TA/Army/School etc.

I was wondering what places people recommend and whether it is better to go self-catering or catered chalet? What companies to go with or organise by ourselves? What works out cheaper? We want child care with ski lessons for the little ones in the morning.

We don't mind driving as we can then take kids toys if needed.

Please any advice welcome.

SummerLightning Mon 13-Aug-12 21:56:03

We went with esprit catered chalet with 2 kids 18 mo and 3. Was excellent in that they link up all the childcare and it was all in house so you didn't have to take them miles to the start of stuff. Childcare amazing. Accommodation and food ok but quite basic.

In terms of price probably cheaper to do it yourself but 3 is a tricky age if you want them to have lessons and I think at this age esprit or similar are really good as they have English speaking esprit staff with them at all times and they're not lumped in with French children in Esf or similar which I think would be difficult for them at 3 (it is quite difficult as it is IMO for 3 yr olds to cope with ski lessons)

SummerLightning Mon 13-Aug-12 21:57:09

Sorry that was not very well written but I am on my phone and it's about to run out of batteries! Hopefully you get my drift

Louiseski Thu 16-Aug-12 11:12:04

I really prefer self-catered chalets. They work out cheaper - if you have a car with you just do a supermarket run rather than paying for meals (French supermarkets do yummy food!) and you have the option of going out for a meal elsewhere rather than being stuck in every evening.

We went with Peakretreats.co.uk and they organised our Eurotunnel (with free flexiplus upgrade) and ski lessons quite cheap and the ski instructors and were English or from English speaking countries which was good for the kids.

We went to Samoens and our self-catered place was gorgeous and we had free access to the pool!

Good luck anyway smile

Happylander Thu 16-Aug-12 14:10:21

Thank you. I am going to do a bit more looking at the weekend. We were thinking of driving as we can fill car up with stuff for the kids etc. Although I haven't really driven before in europe or in snow!

Louiseski Thu 16-Aug-12 14:20:57

Yeah well definitely check out www.peakretreats.co.uk because we had the best holiday smile Self-driving and self-catering is much better value, and leaves you with more money to spend on ski gear for the family ;)

IWishICouldThinkOfAFabName Thu 06-Sep-12 22:00:50

With your children being so young, I would look at a catered chalet with childcare. As long as you are not tied to school holidays you can normally get a good deal and may find that it is only a little more expensive than self catering - however, you will get a holiday too and more time to ski.
Take a look at Family Friendly Skiing and Ski Magic in La Tania. Both companies run catered chalets with child care - and the child care is really good value. You make you own travel arrangements so can either drive, get the snow train to Moutiers or fly and pay them for an airport transfr. Ski Magic often give a free child place for young children if the sleep in their parents room.

Also look at Snowcrazy, skibug, ski beat and ski adventures.
We are trying self catering for the first time this year ( after 10 years of catered chalets will childcare) as my eldest is now 12 so we are tied to school holidays and a catered chalet for 5 at Feb half term is too expensive !

Hope that helps. With a 3 year old I really can't see the point of a ski holiday unless you have some help with childcare. You will not get much time to ski at all. Once they are a couple of years older then self catering becomes so much easier.

Happylander Thu 06-Sep-12 22:52:47

We have decided to go self catering. We are putting both kids in childcare with intro to ski lessons every morning until 2 so we can ski and then have fun with the kids in the afternoon. I did this this year out it worked out well as I got to ski all morning and then play with DS in the afternoons. I wouldn't want to ski all day and leave him with childcare all day anyway as I work during the week and it's nice to be able to have a laugh with him in the snow and pool etc.

I am so looking forward to it. Just got to sort the final bits out with my mate and then can book it up.

I will look at those companies though so thanks.

Dinah38 Tue 30-Oct-12 18:00:08

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Dinah38 Tue 30-Oct-12 18:01:44

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whizzykidd Tue 30-Oct-12 18:49:44

Have been skiing for many years with the children, now teenagers and would recommend self-catering. Catered chalets are great but generally more expensive. We did 2 fully catered and couldn't afford a summer holiday. Depends on your budget. You can generally self-cater for a fraction of the cost and you tend to have more flexibility. Your 3yr olds will want to go to bed early as they will be exhausted. If you have an apartment you can relax much easier.
We have got used to cooking to quite a reasonable standard.
Love the blog attached to theholidayboxcompany and will certainly take a couple of pre-cooked dinners this year and much more food than we normally take. Love the idea of doing an internet shop before and then forgetting about food as it is all organised. Our boot will be full.
We book our own accommodation and have gone through owners direct. Standard varies and you generally get what you pay for. Have stayed in some lovely little 2 bed apartments which would be great for you and your friend.However you may find this a bit quiet. OH and I were very happy to chill with a bottle of wine when children younger as exhausted after skiing.
Pre -book ski lessons. Not sure about childcare if you go independently.HTH

FannyBazaar Tue 30-Oct-12 19:19:31

BC I always preferred self catering as I like the option of eating out in different places or breakfast in pyjamas but as a single parent I'd now go for catered chalet as taking a hungry child out when trying to chose somewhere to eat is not fun, nor when they full asleep and have to be carried home. Until my DC's ready to share the cooking (or I find someone to share), I'd rather let someone else do it all. In a chalet I can put the DC to bed and have other folk to spend the evening with.

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