Have any Esprit veterans successfully used another family company?

(10 Posts)
Umbrelladilemma Wed 27-Apr-16 15:45:26

Sorry, confusing thread title!
We've been with Esprit for the past 3 years and it's been pretty much perfect - the seamless childcare has worked brilliantly and our children have loved the snow club and making friends.

However, I've clearly left it a bit late to book for year (!) as our preferred chalets are all fully booked.
So, my question is - cam anyone recommend other companies who offer an "Esprit-like" experience.

I guess my wish list would be (fussy I know!):
- High resort (going at Easter)
- Large Catered chalet (At least 4-5 families so our two (4yrs and 8yrs) can make friends.
- Ski in/ski out (i.e, transport to slopes required)
- good childcare staff to take children to lessons and supervise lunch.
- Ideally afternoon kids club too (as 4 yr old won't really be able to ski with us)
- separate children's tea
- some evening childcare (e.g. Esprit Cocoa Club).

I appreciate this is all very specific, but it's not a cheap holiday so I want to get it right!! Does this exist?? Don't think we can afford Mark Warner type prices...

dontcallmethatyoucunt Thu 28-Apr-16 20:18:35

- High resort (going at Easter)
>> Tignes
- Large Catered chalet (At least 4-5 families so our two (4yrs and 8yrs) can make friends.
>> try ski total
- Ski in/ski out (i.e, transport to slopes required)
>> hmm might be harder, ours was a bit of a walk
- good childcare staff to take children to lessons and supervise lunch.
>> T4 Nannies, private booking was amazing
- Ideally afternoon kids club too (as 4 yr old won't really be able to ski with us)
- separate children's tea
>>T4 Nannies again
- some evening childcare (e.g. Esprit Cocoa Club).
>> T4 nannies if you go out, a monitor if you stay in a small to mid chalet.

I've stayed with Mark Warner twice and Esprit in Tignes and used T4 last Easter. Much more flexible and we much preferred having our own nanny rather than a set routine. The chalet let her use the facilities and do craft etc in the PM, but she also skied with us as an extra pair of hands. The chalet offered high tea and then in the PM our kids slept and we had a monitor to hear them. They were locked in but only 1 floor up so just like home. The chalet had other families with kids (high tea on offer and school hols, young families only) and they all did the same.

About half the cost too compared to esprit.

I don't think esprit costs less than mark Warner.

Umbrelladilemma Thu 28-Apr-16 21:08:15

Hmm, some interesting ideas there, thanks! I hadn't considered nannies but that could work. Only problem might be that our 8yr old and 4 yr old will be at very different levels. I might look at Ski Total and even Mark Warner.

We were in Tignes this Easter! I'd be happy to go back but our preferred Esprit chalet is already full and the others don't sound as good (anecdotally from some of the other guests we were with). Also they are smaller and further from the slopes.

Forgot to say that another of my "ideals" would be good ski school - I think MW use ESF in Tignes which I'm not keen on.

I've just had quotes from Le Ski for La Tania. Good points are that childcare sounds good and they use New Gen and Magic, but I'm not sure how snow-sure La Tania is and also there isn't evening childcare (cocoa club was one of the highlights for DD this year!). But I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's been with them.

I also spoke to Ski Famille but they only really have availability for what we want in Reberty and it's more expensive than Esprit and Le Ski (not sure why).

Gaah it's so confusing!!

dontcallmethatyoucunt Thu 28-Apr-16 21:28:02

I put both ours in ski school AM, then our DD6 (at the time) skied with us PM and the nanny had DD4. We used Evo2 but there is an English ski school too.

We just skied 2 afternoons with the nanny for about 90mins and then the nanny took her off for a play.

zc Sat 30-Apr-16 18:24:14

We've not done Esprit, but saw Esprit kids in Gressoney when we were there this Easter. The resort itself isn't that high so slushy into the village by mid afternoon but lots of higher slopes & really empty pistes. We had a quick chat with an esprit mum in one of the lifts & she was impressed with the childcare for her toddler. We loved the skiing & fab mountain restaurants, so much friendlier than France & the kids eat out on the mountain too.

snowgirl1 Mon 02-May-16 17:51:22

Last year we went to Tignes with Crystal ski - who had childcare, including the option of evening childcare a few evenings a week. Annoyingly, Crystal aren't offering childcare in Tignes this year and the other high altitude resort that they have childcare in is fully booked (for the childcare) already. We've decided to book Tignes anyway and look into a nanny for the afternoons when DD won't be at ski school.

If there's any chance you fancy a pal for your children (our DD will be 5) and want to share a nanny, let me know! We're staying at the Hotel Diva in Tignes Val Claret and will be there from 1 - 8 April. We're travelling with another family who have a 10 and 12 year old.

Umbrelladilemma Mon 02-May-16 18:42:14

Thanks snowgirl! We've actually just booked to go with Esprit to Obergurgl. Got the last room there I think! We've fancied trying Austria for a while so thought we'd give it a go. I'll report back next year!

Actually what we hadn't realised until we booked was that Esprit do full day lessons in Austria for DD (8). But I think she'll be happy with that, and the childcare for DS (4) will be good. Also they do love the extra activities (cocoa club etc).

snowgirl1 Tue 03-May-16 23:32:23

Ah, we did Obergurgl with Esprit a couple of years ago. Our DD was too young for lessons but the parents were all commenting how convenient the hotel was for the children's ski lessons...and for the grown-ups the Nederhutte is quite fun to stop and have a drink in on the last run home.

Motleyii Tue 10-May-16 22:17:38

Nederhutte is for kids too! Plenty of grandparents + parents + kids up on the tables when we were last there. Our kids loved it so much that we've finally given in to their nagging and booked Esprit Obergurgl for this Xmas. But right there with you on alternatives, although for us it's the other end - our oldest will be 12 next year and that's when their wraparound childcare stops hmm

snowgirl1 Tue 10-May-16 22:52:01

Motleyii when we went to Obergurgl our DD was only just 2, but once she's skiing I think she would love the Nederhutte!

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