Mark Warner? Esprit? Family Ski Co? Experiences/opinions
We want to go skiing with our daughter who will then be 2 1/4 ish. We ski a lot but have always been to chalets/self catered etc before but this time we are going to go on our own (off peak) and are thinking of trying a chalet hotel because of the childcare options. We are good skiers and would like somewhere with a good range of pistes/off piste and a bit of nightlife too! (So somewhere like Val D'Isere, Deux Alpes etc - no tiny resorts)
What are your experiences/thoughts on the above (or any others!)? I have read some reviews on here which don't make Esprit sound great...
It will need to be a chalet hotel as we don't have anyone else to go with this year -well, we might have another couple or two with kids but have no idea yet - (and don't fancy just booking into a chalet with randoms).
I believe MW does a creche in the evenings whilst adults eat - but how does that work re bedtime? Do they do baby listening at all? Will monitors reach the dining room? I think Esprit do do baby listening but have a no kids at dinner rule (not that I would particularly want my daughter to come to dinner - but in case she wasn't settling for some reason).
Anyway - any thoughts / recommendations? Thank you!
We do summer adventures with Esprit, have been to Saas Fee, Alpd'Huez, Belle Plagne and Chamonix and the childcare can't be faulted. The baby listening has always consisted of a staff member sitting in the corridor outside our room and they contact the dining room if the child cries.
I've not skied since having children though so can't comment on the skiing, but a lot of the summer visitors also ski and they all spoke positively about their experiences.
I did mw this winter with my 6 month old.
Evening creche was for toddlers and up sleep/dvd, babies were straight in to cots. Everyone had a bed made up and the emphasis was on quiet, no 12 year olds running around. Or you can pay for a nanny to stay in the room with the children. I don't think 'listening' is done any more for obvious reasons...
We went to st. Anton which is of course an 'advanced' resort and world-renowned party town. Mooserwirt et al! The mw chat is however at the quiet end of the village past the nasserein lift.
I should add, evening creche was designed for parents eating/drinking on site... Not so m&d could cavort around town.
I've been away with Esprit ten times so they must be doing something right. Monitors will reach the dining room in every chalet I've stayed in. The chalet hotel in Val d'isere is quite big, I think four floors. But I'm sure if you asked for a room on the first floor they'd be able to. However the hotel isn't very wide so I'd have thought even from the 4th floor the monitor would work.
Baby listening consists of 2 staff in each corridor. They will either stay outside the room and only enter if child is upset (and fetch you) or they will poke head round the door at regular intervals if you want. If your dd wasn't settling you couldn't bring her into the dining room though.
Don't be put off the smaller chalets by being a couple though. I've gone with DH to both the hotels and the smaller chalets and everyone is so friendly. I think in a smaller chalet you sometimes get to know the other guests better than in a chalet hotel and there is a better atmosphere over dinner. I haven't met any idiots yet and hopefully noone has thought we're the idiots!
Family Ski are excellent in terms of daytime childcare and babysitting on the chalet staff's night off but they do use small, quiet resorts with nothing (or not a lot) in the way of night life. That suits us just fine and I would recommend them wholeheartedly.
I have been away with Family Ski Company and find them very personal, helpful and the childcare is fabulous - The Chalet's are lovely, food fantastic and the wine plentiful. I really can't recommend them highly enough and will be using them again.
Sorry everyone - have only just seen these (totally forgot I posted this thread)! Thanks very much for all your replies - very helpful, and Alpine - interesting to hear that evening creche is very much quiet time with beds/cots/dvds - def sounds good.
We went to Selva Val GArdena in the Italian Dolomites a couple of years ago with Espirit, DS was 18 months old. Chalet hotel was called Marta I think, maybe Maria. It was OK, nothing was fab, but everything was OK. Room used as nursery seemed small, but sleeping area was separate and they spent lots of time outside. Skiing was good, but we went in March and snow was beginning to go. Nursery nurses were nice, not too young and where took the babies out to play in the snow and watch their older siblings in their lessons.
Evening Kids Club for older kids (we took a baby monitor for DS) looked good though - DVDs, board games and hot choc whilst mum and dad had dinner.
We went to les deux alpes with mw when ds was 10 months. The childcare was ok, the babies stay inside lots but the toddler room looked fun. Evening was good, carry your baby downstairs and pop into a cot. If woke up they rocked back off and if ds was unable to settle they got us from supper. In fact the rest of the holiday was really disappointing; the hotel was run down; the food was crap, for children and adults. Children got 'fresh' food each meal but all overcooked revolting looking vegetables. The adults food was awful. we be-friended staff and were told stories of packet sauces, packet cakes and to avoid soup. The pool was so dirty that we only went once with ds and then walked to public pool as it was clean.
I recommend researching public creches and going independent so not to be ripped off!!
Littletime that is very interesting to hear - how long ago? Was it last season? Thanks a lot!
We have been to Ardent with Family Ski Company 3 times now and are trying Saas Fee this year. We first went when our youngest was just 1. The chalets are all of a size where you can hear your kids if they wake when you are eating (or the monitor will stretch)!
The childminders are all amazing, really enthusiastic and they take them out to play in the snow as well as doing lots of great indoor stuff - my 3 love the kids clubs (would rather go there than spend an afternoon with us!). Kids dinner is earlier in the evening so there is time to get the kids into bed before adults tea at 8ish. They also offer a free babysitting service on chefs night off if you fancy a trip out for dinner.
The whole set up is geared to families, but the food and wine in the evening is first class so M&D get to have a great time too! We just love it!
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