Anyone skiing with a 1yo and a 4yo? Please share your experiences...

(22 Posts)
BNmum Mon 30-Dec-13 09:11:13

I'm currently preggers with DC2 and really missing the slopes so my thoughts are turning to next season.
For the last 2 years we've taken DS1 on a ski holiday using espritski. We've been very happy with the childcare on offer and although some of the accommodation has been a bit dated/shabby the childcare has more than compensated.
Looking to next year we'll have a 4yo and a 1yo to cater for and I'm wondering what other options are available. Please come and tell me about your plans/experiences skiing with children of this age range.

Chocovore Mon 30-Dec-13 10:22:58

We have taken our boys 3 times now. Just came back from the Alps. This year our boys were 4 and 7. We have always taught them to ski ourselves, skiing en famille. I have never liked the look of lessons for various reasons although next year we may possible hire a private instructor to help with parallels etc.

We go for ski in/ski out to make it easier and have a long break for lunch in the middle of the day. This year we were all together the full days but last year we put the then 3 yr old into a kids club for a 3 x half days to give us a bit of a break. When we had a 7m old we used a creche but that didn't seem to work so well for us. We have lots of chill out time, playing on Wii and in the spa too and mix it up with snowman building and sledging. Little ones can get tired very easily although I was amazed at my 4yr old this year. He really got it after about day 2 and was outskiing us, snowplowing straight downhill. Last year when he was 3y 9m it was definitely more tricky.

Choose your resort carefully though. We did La Rosiere this year which is supposedly child friendly but the lifts were dreadful for beginners. Really jerky, too aggressive for children and very long button lifts. The 7yr finally got the hang of it but the 4yr old needed to sit on an adults knee, exhausting!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 30-Dec-13 22:18:44

We've been to Ardent with Family Ski a few times and always had a good time.

BNmum Tue 31-Dec-13 10:32:36

Thanks for your replies ladies. Any recommendations for resorts choco? I'd agree with your comments on la Ros, we did like the resort a lot and it worked with the little one in nursery but I don't think it would be the best choice for us next year.

Family ski does look good iwish but the prices seem quite high and im not sure we can justify them. The accommodation costs for my 4yo would cost more than an adult staying with esprit. Costs look to be £1000+ to go with them.

Chocovore Tue 31-Dec-13 11:38:56

We like Sainte Foy.

BNmum Tue 31-Dec-13 11:48:27

Thanks I'll check it out choco.

Just realised that my last sentence re:family ski doesn't make much sense. I was trying to say that going with family ski looked to cost £1000+ more than going with esprit. Does anyone know if they offer any good discounts/free child places for early bookings?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 31-Dec-13 19:41:27

I think early bird bookings with Family Ski save 10% off the accomodation costs.

Booking flights early too gets you good prices. We're paying £480 return for 4 of us in January.

Lissie00 Thu 02-Jan-14 23:50:03

If you can find somewhere with an in house nanny service, it will make life easier for you all. Try adding this to your search, or have a look at Mumsnet Best recommendations.

BNmum Fri 03-Jan-14 08:21:52

Thanks lissie I've already looked at some in-house nanny services and the mumsnet recommendation list. I'm afraid to say that the price is governing my search at the minute. Although some haven't released their prices for 2014/2015 I've looked at this season's prices as a comparison.

I just just can't find anywhere to beat Esprit ski's prices so we'll probably end up booking with them again which I'm happy to do. I just wanted to double check I was missing anything else.

IthinkIneedmorewine Fri 03-Jan-14 08:26:45

We did Les Gets/ Morzine last year, with a 2 year old, and will do next year with a 1 and a 4 year old too! Stayed in LG, and used this crèche

<http://en.lesgets.com/kids-family/children-care/winter-children-day-care.html>

IthinkIneedmorewine Fri 03-Jan-14 08:27:46
BNmum Sat 04-Jan-14 10:14:04

Thanks Ithink, I'll definately be looking into this as les gets is a resort which we've contemplating going to before. What did you and your little one think of the village? Did you drive and self cater?

BNmum Sat 04-Jan-14 10:14:40

Forgot to ask if there were many other british children in the crèche?

IthinkIneedmorewine Sat 04-Jan-14 13:27:52

Village was fairly family friendly, and there were plenty of other English kids about, but we did go in February half term. We did ski in ski out, but struggled a bit as we were straight onto a red run, so not ideal with little ones. Will stay in village next time. Self catered and flew over, did airport transfers which ran smoothly and provided car seats etc, plus had other children. Will try to find transfer company details if you're interested.

Would advise les gets over Morzine to stay in as Morzine was a bit rowdier, more après ski etc, les gets much quieter.

BNmum Sat 04-Jan-14 20:07:09

Sounds good ithink, details of the transfer company would be great. Do you use chaletsdirect or similar to find accommodation?

UniS Sat 04-Jan-14 22:40:10

family friendly sking in La Tania are pretty keenly priced for certain weeks.
This year in Jan they are bundling transfer, lift pass, childcare and ski hire into their accommodation price... which makes it a very good deal as there are no "extras" to add to the headline price.. Cheaper than esprit for those weeks

IthinkIneedmorewine Sun 05-Jan-14 05:09:23

Can't remember name of transfer company, but their number is 0033 450373685. Yes, we used chalets direct.

BNmum Tue 07-Jan-14 09:57:29

Thanks ithink I've made a note of that.

Cheers for the recommendation UniS, I'll revisit family friendly ski. I have looked at them in the past but for whatever reason didn't go with them. We've stayed in La tania before children and to be honest I wouldn't be in a rush to go back but its suprising how you can change your mind if it suits the kids.

Their all inclusive January special does look to be a cracking deal. We tend to go beg/mid March so we can't take advantage of these offers but I will look further before I completely rule it out.

UniS Tue 07-Jan-14 11:50:36

I quite like la Tania, stayed there once before and skied down to there a few times when staying else where. good tree lined runs for poor visibility days. not much night life but that's not high on my list. a few decent cafes for lunch and now a high speed lift connection to the rest of CV area.
early march is just expensive anywhere I think. we tend to ski early in the year to keep price down. first lift to last lift is about 7 hours in Jan and that's enough for me for one day.

MissMilbanke Tue 07-Jan-14 12:02:04

We've tried all sorts over the years and invariably what has worked best for us is sharing the childcare especially when very young. This made it a bit cheaper too - but obviously not the ideal if you want to ski with your DH.

Now my youngest is 7 so we manage to ski together as a family.

We went to Saas Fee last year and the beginner slopes at the bottom of the slopes were horrendous. They needed to invest in a drag lift between then as little skiers didnt have the momentum to get across from I was knackered with all the pulling !!!

hillyhilly Tue 07-Jan-14 13:19:12

Ski MAgic in La Tania were absolutely fantastic for us, collected them by minibus in the morning before older children needed to leave for their lessons and took them to a central chalet, kids had a great time and were delivered back. Cost was reasonable and care was excellent.

Fibreopticangel Tue 07-Jan-14 13:43:09

Valmorel is very family-friendly. We went there with children the same age as yours, but it was a long time ago - they are both young adults now and black-run daredevils.

At the time, we went with Crystal in a family chalet. The childcare was excellent, but chalet a bit shabby, although very good food.

Ime I would avoid the French ski schools - ESF especially. We found the instructors unsympathetic with young children and group sizes way too big.

Andorra (Soldeu) worked well when the children were 3 and 7 as the younger one could go in the ski nursery, but I don't know if they take children as young as 1. The ski school there was excellent.

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