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So after many years of persuading and bribing dh he has agreed we can go skiing, but I have never been and need loads of advice...please this is my dream holiday(49 Posts)
Dh hates snow and cold, and has finally agreed he will give it a proper try if we go skiing, yipee. We are a family of 4 with ds who will be 7 and ds who will be 3.11/4. We want to go somewhere in Europe also but somewhere with very good accomadation, etc. None of us have skied, and i am feeling a lot of self imposed pressure to make this good.
So which companies are best, which countries are good for beginners, etc , what should I know, assume I know nothing and throw all your info at me please.
Check out Ski Famille (their 'select' chalets are more spacious and luxurious than your bog-standard chalet), and Family Ski Company (which provide childcare for all six days, not just five, although their chalets look a bit more basic).
Family Ski Company
And don't assume that just because you're in a European country that there won't be English-language ski lessons available. Most decent-sized resorts have an 'international' i.e. English language, ski school. In France it's often ESI (Ecole de Ski Internationale). You don't have to go to the US or Canada!
Easter 2 years ago we had 20oc+ by lunchtime. It made for a short skiing day and the snow was disappearing fast but very pleasant to sit out for an ice cream mid afternoon !
Don't assume snow and skiing = cold. I think I've only ever been REALLY cold on a couple of occasions skiing, and those were early on in the season. If you go to a high resort at Easter you're much more likely to find that the weather is warm and you can potentially get very badly sunburned. Tell your dh he'll definitely need sunscreen .
We went to Avoriaz for our first snowboarding holiday, although our boys were quite a bit older (10 and 12 at the time) and we had all had a course of snowdome lessons before we went.
It's quite a special location, though, no cars and lots of horse-drawn sleighs for example, and although we spent nearly all of our time on the nursery slopes and one easy blue the lovely location really helped the whole experience be quite magical.
Staying up in Avoriaz (which I'd recommend) generally means self-catering with Pierre et Vacance, but there are plenty of resaurants and their brand new apartments which look lovely are right near the learner slope and ski-school meeting points: www.pv-holidays.com/gb-en/apartments-premium-residence-l-amara_AVP-H_fp?hc=AVP24&duree=7&dated=2013-04-13 definitely not cheap though....
Misty B I have to say no to the unlimited budget . Thanks for the offer of checking them out I bet that would be a nice job.
Thanks again everyone have printed the page to do further research.
Lora, we usually fly to Salzburg, and hire a car. It's an easy drive, about 90 minutes. This time we flew to Innsbruck. Again it took about 90 minutes, but was a long windy road up through the mountains. The views were amazing but it would be a hard drive in bad weather.
We usually pay around £300 to hire a car for the week. A return taxi to and from the airport costs much the same, but we like to have the convenience of a car in the resort.
Primrose123 your place looks great - where do you fly to?
Thank you for all the great tips I spent the entire evening yesterday looking at the webistes and getting entirely carried away.
Have decided it will probably be Austria or France or maybe Switzerland...
Will be back when I have narrowed it down a bit further, and dh is even begining to look a bit interested.
very high - 2000 metres so only a few resorts - all the mark warner ones are ok. Morzine etc are NOT ok at easter.
St Anton last year was perfect at Easter.
Does Easter work ok? It always seems to be quite late, so I worry about lack of snow. Not if you go high enough, I suppose - but how high's that?
Skiing is awesome. But it is a very steep learning curve, with pain (from ill fitting boots, falls, muscle ache), fear (more for adults!) and the odd tantrum! So be prepared, for many it's not love at first go. Look for a short transfer, a hot tub/pool/sauna if you want luxury and a central location for both village and slopes. Ski in/out is great but doesn't always work for beginners if the hotel is on a tougher slope. I would highly recommend France, not least for the food. Some resorts even have Michelin star restaurants if you really want to push the boat out. Powder Byrne looks awesome but alas way out of our budet. Go at Easter for warmer weather and lunches in the sunshine outside.
Check out Chrystal holidays. The hotel we are going to in Austria takes little ones through the day as part of the service. We have had our tickets for two weeks and everything we need is included in the little booklet they sent us. All very organised, we are really impressed with them.
We've been with Family Ski who were excellent in terms if chalets, food and childcare.
I would recommend a few sessions in a snow dome before you go.
I don't speak German but I'm guessing Zwerg means dwarf then?
"see if you can spot the obvious google translate mistake?" - oh yes, good grief - the German word 'Zwerg' is quite a friendly/affectionate term for children which really doesn't work in English. The Germans/Austrians also call their kids 'Wurm' and 'Maus' as a term of endearment! It's not necessarily a Google Translate mistake either - the Germans often use non-native speaker translators who can make the most appalling literal mistakes (I know because I sometimes get called in to sort out the mess).
I can't help you on resorts and chalets, but I can give you the perspective of starting to ski as an adult total beginner. I went for my first lesson last year at the grand old age of 41, with DH 49 and the kids 13 and 9. None of us had been on skis before, but the DDs and me are reasonable skaters, and that turned out to be really important in terms of getting our balance and learning to adjust our weight for carving. DH, who can't skate, found it much more tough getting his balance. After a single 3-hour lesson the DDs and me could carve our way cautiously down a nursery slope with no sticks, although we repeatedly stepped on our skis when turning round at the bottom of the slope and fell arse over tit. It takes time to get used to the skis being SO DAMN LONG. We're going for a longer trip this year and the instructor has said if we have one more lesson we should be good enough to manage our first blue run, so I would say if you have a whole week of lessons you should be skiing OK by the end of it. We ended up booking a private lesson for the four of us, which worked quite well, but given that your two are so much younger I think they would do better with separate kids classes.
I'm so envious at you going for a whole week with the catered chalet experience. We're going more for el cheapo DIY holiday. If there's one thing I would really like, it's a hotel/chalet near the slopes (so ski in ski out) with a swimming pool and sauna for the evening. I found as a beginner that your muscles really hurt after a few hours because you're using them for the first time in that way - a sauna and swim would have been perfect.
Oh no Viva! I see what you mean. I know children are little people, but...
Seriously OP - I forgot to add that we've been to a Kinderhotel elsewhere before and the food is both fab and endless.
If your dh hates cold think about Easter - go to high resort eg any of mw and you will get snow but sunshine. Low slopes get slushy late in day but many beginners will be tired by then anyway
If you really don't have a budget then Purple Ski in Meribel are pretty impossible to beat. We went once in one of the cheaper weeks when we weren't tied to school hols and have dreamed about going again ever since, though sadly think that will have to wait until DD has grown up and we can once again go in term time.
Take a look at their website and drool! Their chalets are stunning, the food and wine are out of this world amazing, the beds are so comfy we bought one the same immediately on returning, incredibly efficient minibus service to the slopes. Uber luxurious all round. You'll have a wonderful holiday even if you decide you hate skiing.
Meribel is the most child-friendly resort I know. For ski school try Magic in Motion, for childcare (if Purple Ski's own nannies are fully booked) try Shirley at Kids Etc.
Omg, that link Mutant Ninja. I'm laughing so much.
Click on the blue "in winter" tab and see if you can spot the obvious google translate mistake? I just did a double take and thought wtf?
I know someone who stayed in the chilly powder place meant to be fab for children.
DH has reunited with a pal of his who handily lives and works at a ski resort has a young son and lives next to an old lady who babysits and rents out an apartment. Guess where we are going next year
Am in a similar position to you and chose this:
It seems next to the piste and they also do tobogganing and snow tubing, plus have an ice rink in the village so my
moaning grump lovely DH should hopefully be able to find something he likes there, while the children go to ski school or try out on the horses (youngest is only 3 so the childcare bit is backup in case she gets fed up with the cold and snow).
I haven't been yet so this isn't a direct recommendation - but hopefully may give you something else to think about. Have fun!
Wow - thanks for all the great advice, I will have a very busy evening looking at all these recommendations. Have never had a package holiday but thought it might be best considering we're novices. Less chance of anything going wrong, have just had a quick look at vipski and powder byrne, all looking fab and exciting.
There's also www.fishandpips.co.uk/ who are meant to be good. They got a very good write up in The Times last year. I'd recommend Meribel over val disere as a resort.
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