Help! Ski Novices

(18 Posts)
unebagpipe Thu 04-Apr-13 10:08:37

Hi everyone! Help needed. Ourselves and 1 other family are desperate to go skiing next year.

Criteria:
- There are two couples and 2 children between us (1 boy + 1 girl who get on famously), so 3-4 bedroom place needed.
- Needs to be a ski resort suitable for complete novices. The guys have only skiied once each, and the ladies never.
- The two children will both be 4yo at time of going.
- Would like February half term 2014.
- Needs to be accessible from a BA served airport (i.e. Geneva etc.), as we're both pilot's wives, so want to make use of staff travel.

Would like tips on best resorts, as well as where to stay. We'd like to all be together, so would prefer a chalet over a hotel. Are they catered chalets?

I really know little about skiing, all my friends go- and I'd like to give it a whirl, as would DH & DS.

Advice please! I've looked at Morillon, but not knowing much about the area, don't know what is good and what isn't in terms of accommodation etc. Do people usually go through tour operators, or is it best to book individual components?

Thanks! UB x

conorsrockers Thu 04-Apr-13 19:27:23

We are in Les Eucherts (La Rosiere) at the moment - it is very family friendly here and the ESF school is very good. There are lots of easy pistes for beginners too.

Airports are about 2-3 hours away, we drive personally so I don't know anything about the transfers.

You'd probably be better off booking through an agent the first time so you don't 'forget' anything. I'd only get lift passes for DH's until you know if you are going to use them or not. There are three runs you can use just from the drag lift which is free. You can always purchase one if you need one during the week. Some resorts you need a lift pass just to get up to the slopes, others are just to access higher slopes.

I know nothing about catered chalets, but if you end up getting a self catered one make sure you bring everything. It's VERY expensive in resort.

We stayed in Cimes Blanches this time. It is very nice, with (cold) swimming pool etc... but we have found that we have not used most of the facilities as we are busy ..... er ...... skiing!

CoteDAzur Thu 04-Apr-13 19:35:52

Megève is perfect for you:
- Fly into Geneva, easy 1 hr ride to Megève
- Gorgeous little village
- Easy slopes
- Cute Piou-Piou (as ski schools for 3-5 yr olds in France are called) with indoor area for resting & a bit of colouring when sun & ski gets too much
- Low altitude resort (so it won't be too cold - important because you will be very slow or stationary for the most part, while learning the basics)

legalalien Thu 04-Apr-13 19:53:32

We are novices going for the first time next week, staying at the kinderhotel almhof in gerlos on the recommendation of friends who are coming with us and say it's great for small children. Gets great tripadvisor reviews, will report back in ten days smile

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 04-Apr-13 20:09:39

We go to Ardent with Family Ski Company. Only about 1 1/4 hours from Ardent, great ski school which is very easily accessible from the village.

Won't be cheap for February half term - the cheapest way would be self catering, but catered chalets are definitely the way forward in terms of having an actual holiday.

unebagpipe Thu 04-Apr-13 21:01:20

Thanks for these ideas- CoteDAzur, if we were to go for the easter holiday instead (5th April)- would Megeve be too low altitude for decent snow?

Where would you recommend staying there?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 04-Apr-13 21:39:55

My post should say only 1 1/4 hours from Geneva - sorry!

CoteDAzur Sat 06-Apr-13 09:04:21

I wouldn't recommend Megève for skiing in April.

Personally, I will always recommend staying in a rented apartment or chalet rather than a hotel when you are with small children, so you can feed them quickly rather than risk delayed service and tantrums in a restaurant. Especially in French resorts where ime few restaurants open for dinner service before 19:00.

Skilover Thu 11-Apr-13 11:42:33

We have just come back from Avoriaz where we stayed with www.ernalow.co.uk accommodation only in the Amara apartments and they were great. Close to GVA, door step skiing, passes at reception, kids club in the residence (50€ per child for unlimited access), pool in residence and ski hire shop too. Ski school has transport for the tiddlers. Would be a good Easter option too as nice and high. Let me know if you have any questions. smile

Skilover Thu 11-Apr-13 11:43:16

PS shared transfer booked via EL website with Ski Lifts which was great.

unebagpipe Thu 11-Apr-13 21:56:03

Thanks so much SL... I'm going to check that out tomorrow! Sounds fab!

greyvix Sat 13-Apr-13 00:29:15

Flaine is good. We go to Hameau de Flaine, which consists of chalets, with some apartments. We flew to Geneva with Easyjet this year (1-1.5 hours away and hired a car) but usually drive. It's good beginner/ intermediate skiing, very accessible from the channel ports or Geneva.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 13-Apr-13 00:39:29

You really need a tour operator if none of you ski. You'd struggle to manage getting kids booted and suited for 9am lessons as well as yourselves. Go with a company like Esprit and their snow rangers help get boots on and then take the kids to lessons. Leaving you time to get yourself sorted.

Avoid tignes, chamonix and val disere.

La rosiere would be good as would courchevel. Though courchevel is expensive. La plagne would be good.

YoniTrix Sat 13-Apr-13 00:45:48

Agree with Viva, if you've never been before I would book a package where it's all taken care of. It's a nightmare trying to get kids and adults ready and out to ski school first thing. Having childcare where they take them to ski school for you is worth its weight in gold.

IWishICouldThinkOfAFabName Thu 02-May-13 13:52:47

I also agree with Viva that as first time skiers it is good to use a package. If your children are only 4 i would pull them out of school school. Feb half term is always busy and Easter is late this year so you would need to be high ( and usually the ski gardens are on the lower slopes).
We used to go the first week of Jan as our school normally had an inset day so with a bank hol as well they only missed 3 days of school. Family Friendly skiing in La Tania were great and they have good offers in January. Also, look at Ski Beat.
I would also pick your ski scholl carefully. We personally dont use ESF any more as class sizes are often too big ( La Rosiere is an exception as they limit class sizes to 8 but only outside school hols).
We now self cater, drive, use English ski school and have a private nanny for afternoons. It is all much cheaper but for first timers a package with in house childcare would be best.

unebagpipe Thu 02-May-13 20:47:06

Thanks for tip! We've postponed and decided to go the following year as next feb was already getting chocca! Your tips are great though- and will revisit next year and book something!

BendyBusBuggy Thu 02-May-13 20:56:09

A brilliant family friendly ski resort in Switzerland is Buerchen

http://www.skiresorts-test.com/skiing-holiday/buerchen.html

You can rent all the gear in the local ski equipment shop and they have english speaking ski teachers.

BendyBusBuggy Thu 02-May-13 20:56:21

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