My (non-skiing) parents and DSis are keen to join us on our next skiing holiday and between them they are kindly providing the childcare for our DDs (who will be roughly 3.10 and 12mo). We were initially thinking a Kinderhotel (when the plan was just us & DM) but now there are quite a few of us I wonder whether a chalet would be a better option.
Ideally it would be just for ourselves, so 3 or 4 bedrooms & space for a cot. One of us is vegetarian and another is coeliac (ie has to follow a strict gluten-free diet) so the chalet host would need to be up for a bit of a catering challenge! It would be great if there were a few toys as well as the usual stuff like highchairs, so it is easy to keep the DDs entertained.
Resort-wise, we are flexible provided it is somewhere snow-sure. A shortish drive from an airport would be good. Given that my parents will probably be out and about in the resort quite a bit during the day, we'd like somewhere that has stuff going on for non-skiers - both in terms of keeping the girls occupied and also so the grown ups can maybe try stuff like snow-shoeing. DH and I are pretty confident skiers but DSis is a beginner and DD1 might have a few lessons too so we need a ski area that suits all abilities, although it doesn't have to be huge.
Can anyone suggest a chalet that meets all the above criteria please? We can be fairly flexible with budget.
My thought is that if you have childcare on hand, you probably don't want to be paying the premium for an operator with in-house childcare or a kinderhotel. I haven't yet stayed in a kinderhotel but the feeling with specialist family skitrip providers is definitely that you compromise to a degree on quality of accommodation (and sometimes food) in order to cross-fund the childcare and general family-friendliness of it!
Certainly I don't think Esprit or Crystal family hols would be necessarily right for you....
In terms of entertainment/toys for the children in the chalet (playrooms etc.) I really, really wouldn't worry too much. I would concentrate on a resort that has lots of kid-friendly activities - some indoor for inclement weather - and things to do other than skiing. KIds can so manage for a week with a bare minimum of toys - they will be busy with the new place: sights, sounds and experiences will keep them more than occupied IME.
How's about somewhere like serfaus in austria? - family resort and seemingly loads for kids to do both inside and out, good for all abilities. Not sure whether it's the most snowsure place though, although I don't think it's bad.
Thanks - I agree, a package prob isn't right for us unless someone happens to know of a chalet offered by one of the normal tour operators (like inghams) that would fit the bill.
Funnily enough we spent a week in one of the kinderhotels in Serfaus this summer. It was really good - food and accommodation were of a high quality and the reasoning for going back there (or to another kinderhotel that welcomes extended families) with DM this time was that you can use all the great crèche facilities even if you don't use their childcare. The resort was nice but fairly small and I can't remember many bad-weather activities that weren't attached to a hotel. But it may just be that they put the emphasis on different things in the summer.
oooh, I have thought of somewhere else that meets quite a few of your criteria - davos / klosters. Don't be put off by the image of these places. Klosters is not necessarily posho and there is loads and loads to do off the slopes - especially in davos. It is snowsure, and there is a childcare facility at madrisa mountain (klosters). There is also a new . novice children's area there. There is a family hotel (think it might be called the alpina) in Klosters. It is really easy to get around the whole area by car, bus, or train.
The main problem is likely to be the poor exchange rate with CHF - makes lift passes etc v, expensive. Love that area tho.
Chilly Powder in morzine recieves rave ratings but area not ever so snow sure. I gather there is lots to do there for the whole family.