So how was it? Come and share your half term ski trip reports!

(47 Posts)
oiseau Sun 23-Feb-14 12:10:46

We aren't going until the 23rd of March but lots of you must have just got back from your half term trips. I'm already thinking about where we go, and who we go with next year so would love to hear how everyone's weeks have gone.

Please come and share:
Family stats:
Where you went:
Which company you went with or DIY:
Best bits:
What could have been better:
Top tip:

Have I been too bossy? I just can't get enough information and keep re-reading old threads here and thought it would be nice to get some fresh up to date info!

bachsingingmum Tue 04-Mar-14 14:11:06

Family: 2 adults and quite grown up DDs 16 and 22
Plagne 1800
DIY. Drove from "the North" to Folkestone and stayed over on Friday. Got the tunnel over first thing. Stopped for lunch and a shop at a big supermarket in Reims, then the rest of the way, arriving about 19.30. Stayed in Ibis Budget Reims on the way back and got home Sunday about 4pm. This is a well rehearsed pattern for us, though we stay in different resorts. Booked privately. We're doing P&V at Meribel at Easter - we've stayed there several times before. It's quite pricey and a little tired, but convenient and we just like it!
Good - very nice apartment and great skiing - alternating days of sunshine and snow.
Less good - losing the TV picture sporadically during exciting bits of the Olympics because of the satellite dish icing up! Taking nearly two hours to dig the car out on Saturday despite having really good snow chains.
Tips - shop around for ski hire online in advance. The prices vary considerably.

truelymadlysleepy Sat 01-Mar-14 18:31:18

I'm loving reading about Puy with Snowbizz.
We went 4 years in a row when the DC were little, it's perfect for families isn't it.
For the regulars, did you know you can pay the staff a few Euros and they'll make up the beds for you in advance?
Is the ski shop still a hideous bun fight on the 1st morning?
<fond memories of little DC doing the race>

Shartibartfast Sat 01-Mar-14 18:25:23

thanks to apernamentheadache - I remember a hideous skiing week when I had bronchitis and felt like poo.

Our holiday - 2 families comprising in total 4 adults / 4 teenagers
All good skiers (kids FAR better than adults now!)
Stayed in self catering accom in Font Romeu, in the eastern Pyrenees. Flew to Barcelona then car hire for the week.

Good bits - skied many resorts in the area (there's lots of small resorts and you really need a car to get around) - deserted pistes as it isn't French half term until this week, and there's very few Brits there.

Bad bits - white out on one day... but apart from that, nothing! we had a great week!

clam Sat 01-Mar-14 18:22:17

Sounds like you're entitled to moan. Last year I had broken my leg (unrelated to skiing) and hobbled along on the trip as it was better than staying home alone. All I could do was sit on the balcony with a book, wrapped in a blanket, and watch other people whizz by on skis. sad

Made up for it this year!

apermanentheadache Sat 01-Mar-14 18:18:32

Thanks clam and sorry for the self-indulgent moan grin. It's just so bloody expensive at half-term. Gah.

clam Sat 01-Mar-14 18:15:11

Oh, headache, what a nightmare! Sorry to hear that.

apermanentheadache Sat 01-Mar-14 14:11:30

Ok, I am going to be the eyeore on heresmile

Family stats: me and dh, DC1 -nearly 6, Dc2 3.

Where? Montafon, Austria
How: DIY by eurostar, TGV and hire car from Zurich.
Best Bits: the last day when I could actually leave the hotel room...
What could be improved: me not getting complications of flu which rendered me bedbound all week and DH unable to ski at all as I couldn't get out of bed/eat/look after the kids shock. DC1 enjoyed it though smile as she managed nearly a full week of ski school with a v nice instructor.

ElaClaw Fri 28-Feb-14 20:18:27

Family stats: Dh, me and kids age 3,7,12,14

Where you went: Cairngorm, one day just me and 3 oldest kids, next evening all of us did the night skiing .

Which company you went with or DIY: DIY

Best bits: Knowing which pistes are quieter when the hill is busy. Night skiing was fantastic.
What could have been better: A little bit less windy for the night skiing.

bettys Fri 28-Feb-14 16:44:42

We had the brown snow in Chinaillon too. We were told it was and from the Sahara too. Very disconcerting, and obviously quite wide-spread.

On the hunt now for next year - any top tips for little known resorts that are easy to drive to? I hate mountain switchback roads - too much Italian Job viewing on whiteout days perhaps!

StuckOnARollercoaster Fri 28-Feb-14 14:54:56

Ooh have loved reading this thread. I'm supposed to be getting stuff ready and packing for our first trip with DD. She's only 8 months - but am so excited to be taking her on her first snow holiday. (Am snow mad - met DP on a snow holiday, and last year was the only year since 1998 that I have missed a holiday because I was pregnant!)

ThoraNogson Fri 28-Feb-14 14:31:33

I have just been away with DH and 2 kids (7&5) and 3 other families to Couchevel 1850, with Esprit.
Best bits: hotel location on slopes, Esprit organisation, childcare, ski school for kids(only 5 or 6 in each class).
Could have been better: 2 days of very limited visibility, very expensive food and drink around the resort (although all meals & drinks in hotel included in price).
Top tip: Esprit are great for skiing with kids, you get what you pay for.

Paddlinglikehell Fri 28-Feb-14 13:38:59

We had bad weather on Wednesday too and went over to La Rosiere, visibility was poor, the snow was horrid, slushy and brown, I commented on it and thought it was because it may have come from the snow cannons.

Are you saying this was probably sand!???!!

WelshWereRabbit Wed 26-Feb-14 15:56:17

Also just come back from PSV with Snowbizz.
Me, DP, and 2 DSs (2 & 5).
This is our second time with Snowbizz, but last time DS1 was 5 months old.

The creche is brilliant, both boys loved it and we had no traumas or clingyness dropping them off every morning. DS1 loved staying up for the evening club.

We drove, which meant we could go and do a big shop in town at the bottom of the mountain, rather than paying rip off Sherpa prices. Stopped around Dijon on the way down, and Lyon on the way back to break the journey.

We had the horrible brown snow on Wednesday as well - it was slushy and sticky and made me fall over and damage my calf muscle, putting an early end to my skiing, forcing me to just sit still and eat pain au chocolat all week.

Already looking into booking with them for school hols next year - I missed the luxury of a catered chalet a bit, but I think the fab childcare and children's ski school more than made up for it (not to mention the price difference!). I also really like the wide open tree lined runs and the fact that it's a small resort, so you are never that far away from the kids. Michel (the owner) is brilliant. The electrics went wrong in our kitchenette one lunchtime, and he was there within 5 minutes to sort it out - don't think you would get that sort of service anywhere else!

MrsMot Wed 26-Feb-14 12:38:17

That would make sense, we were in the Ours Blanc. We're looking at Les Bergers for next year so good to hear the pv there was nicer.

PuddleglumtheMarshWiggle Wed 26-Feb-14 09:03:16

OK, family: Me, DH and DDs 17 and 14
Where: Alpe d'Huez.
With: No company, booked independantly
Best bits: Accomodation had outside heated pool and sauna. Very relaxing after day skiing.
Worst bit: Flight delayed 1 hour at Grenoble for school party on broken bus, then delay 1/2 hour getting off plane at Gatwick as tunnel broken.

MrsMot We also stayed at Pierre et Vacances and had great treatment. We were in Les Bergers so may not have been the same appartments as you.

Top tip: Booked everything online before going. Saved money.

ladydepp Tue 25-Feb-14 22:44:42

Me, DH, DS 11 and DD 6
Where: Puy st Vincent France
With: Snowbizz
Best bits: fab ESI instructors, great kids club, ski in and out, lots of nice blue runs, kids LOVED it, new heated swimming pool
Worst bits: early flights, accommodation very basic and very tired, Turin airport terrible, busy slopes at lesson changeover time

Not sure we will go next year, might try somewhere else. DS will be trickier aged 12 year old.

skigran Tue 25-Feb-14 07:14:28

Family stats: Ages ranged from fifty-something down to four. Abilities from beginner to advanced.
Where you went: Wengen
Which company you went with or DIY: DIY, Easyjet, accommodation rented from Interhome. Took turns cooking every evening with food bought fresh from the Coop.
Best bits: Lovely spacious holiday home. Speedy friendly service from Alpia ski hire (with 10% discount for booking online in advance) and free overnight storage in heated room very close to nursery slopes and gondola.
What could have been better: the weather, one day with zero visibility.
Top tip: Booked ski passes more than 3 weeks in advance so got a 20% discount.
Other possibly useful info: We had a mixture of private and group lessons from the Swiss Ski and Snowboard school. All the instructors were friendly and spoke good English.

I wish I was still there! grin

trixymalixy Mon 24-Feb-14 21:56:07

<<drool>> we were reminiscing about the king prawns at the Diva on our last night in Val D'Isere this year over the adequate but not quite in the same league dinner.

We're hoping to go for another weekend to Chamonix this season and researching next year's skiing holiday!

Doshusallie Mon 24-Feb-14 21:50:14

Agree with flash re games....I put ludo and uno on my iPad.

Doshusallie Mon 24-Feb-14 21:49:33

They did trixy, and moules marinere....it was our second year running at the Diva, we love it. Kids club in the hotel, ski hire shop 5 yards from boot room door, great location. We have done Tignes/val d'isere 4 holidays in a row now, so looking at la plagne possibly for Christmas if we can justify the cost (unlikely but so tempting) and are booked to go to morzine next February. Hurray!!

flashheartscanoe Mon 24-Feb-14 21:35:36

Family stats: me, DH, DD14, DS11, DD10 - this was the second week skiing for the kids.

Where you went: Vaujany- I loved vaujany and thought it had a great ski area. Being south facing it was lovely and sunny and we had the most amazing view. I liked the fact there was some sense of the old 'real' village BUT I was quite taken with Oz-en-oisans which shares the area. It looked lovely and more accessible for the slopes.

Which company you went with or DIY:DIY- easyjet to grenoble- apartment booked online- la perle d'oisans- outstanding and great value for what it was. We hired a car for the transfer which was easy and cheap.
Best bits:
-gorgeous blue sky days- skiing together as a family.
-Sunny lunch on the terrace of Chalet du lac besson on the last day.
-Our 'home' area was almost deserted in the mornings when ski school was on. I couldnt believe how quiet the whole place was compared to Austria last year. We only queued once for a lift over in alpe d'huez.

What could have been better:
-one day where it was too snowy to see, one very foggy day.
-It was a bit of a walk up to the apartment from the lifts.
-Bit of a lack of choice of restaurants in the village- we only ate out one evening in the end.
-ESF was great for my eldest who was in an adult class- it was too chaotic for the younger two. They set off on the first day with 22 in the class! I was assured they would be split up but it only happened sometimes and the kids said there was alot of waiting around.
-Not as charming as Austria.

Top tips:
I second the thing with the clothes- you need hardly any.
Take some cards and games as you are done with skiing by 5 pm and the kids are too tired to do much after that.
If the kids are not expert skiiers dont take them down a slope on the first day that you havent skiied yourself!- we got in a horrible situation where the blue slope had a very steep bit that was much too hard and there were tears.

Overall we had a great time I would recommend all of it.

helencw77 Mon 24-Feb-14 21:24:40

Hi, we went to Are in Sweden over half term for our first ever skiing trip with our four children:

Family stats: Myself and dh (intermediate skiiers but hadn't been for 10+ years), four children, ds1 (9), dd1 (7), dd2 (5) and ds2 (2) and my mother as our childcare provider !

Where you went: Are in Sweden

Which company you went with or DIY: We went DIY, we had booked the Holiday Club in Are and flew with KLM to Trondheim (changed in Amsterdam) and hired a car (under 2 hour drive to resort). All our lessons, ski passes etc were all booked through skistar.com who can also arrange accommodation.

Best bits: Fab pistes, very quiet, ski school was excellent although only 1.5 hours long and the children did not have lessons at the same time. The instructors were lovely and spoke great English, my children did not mind being the only English speakers in their group (although note, even the Swedish 7 year olds had pretty good English !). My children loved being taken off to ski through the forest and do various runs which I would never have been able to find (or do !). The pistes also have little BBQ areas all around which you can take burgers etc to cook on and there are little huts and bigger cafe type areas with microwaves etc to self-cater on the slopes too. It was all very friendly.

The accommodation was amazing, we had a lodge with two bedrooms and full kitchen and sauna etc - I think Swedish accommodation is generally more spacious than Southern Europe, the hotel had a big pool complex, bowling, mini golf, children's area, ski rental shop and hairdressers etc and evening DVDs.

What could have been better: Our flight was cancelled leaving Heathrow on the way out due to the storms which made for a very stressful outward journey with less than 15 minutes to make our flight connection. We did not find it too cold but apparently it has been very mild this year, it was a bit windy and snowy on a couple of afternoons but on the whole we were very happy with the resort. It was also not too overpriced although we self catered.

Top tip: Our children had a couple of private lessons at Hemel Hempstead before we went and this meant that they literally hit the ground running (note, group lessons above level 1 are not so good there in my opinion). I also bought most of the children's ski suits etc from ebay, my dds Poivre Blanc snow suit only cost me £4.50 :-) I would also recommend hiring a car in Are as it is not ski in ski out and the skibus only runs every 45 mins at best.

Note, we don't really have much to compare it too as my previous French Alps and Swiss holidays were pre-children in very pokey, but ski in ski out accommodation. We had a fab time though and would love to go back next year. I also think that if you book accommodation through skistar and even do a package deal, (you can also fly direct from Gatwick to Trondheim with Norwegian although flight times are not ideal) then you could do a reasonably good value deal to Are - particularly if your children are 7 or under as then lift passes are free.

trixymalixy Mon 24-Feb-14 21:21:49

We stayed at the Diva last year and loved it. Unfortunately due to Crystal's massive cock up with our childcare booking we will never travel with them again. Wasn't the cock up that was the problem, more the way they dealt with it and our subsequent complaint.

Did they do the endless king prawns at the buffet on the last night? We gorged ourselves!!

Doshusallie Mon 24-Feb-14 20:36:10

Oh and deffo recommend valet parking.....once you do it you can't go back though, so be warned....

Doshusallie Mon 24-Feb-14 20:30:11

Please come and share:
Family stats: me, dh and 2 dses, 7 and 9
Where you went: Tignes, Val Claret, stayed at the Hotel Diva
Which company you went with or DIY: Crystal Ski
Best bits: We got 3 days of brilliant sunshine, the Hotel was very comfortable, food amazing. Lots and lots of fresh snow, best I have ever skied in. Crystal ski child care is absolutely fantastic.
What could have been better: got delayed for two hours at Chambery on the way home. Can't think of anything else that could have improved the holiday.
Top tip: don't take clothes you won't wear. But take lots of socks and thermals as they get smelly.

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