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Good value skiing with childcare

(8 Posts)
MyAngels Mon 08-Oct-12 11:09:17


Am planning next season's holiday and priced up Esprit (my first choice) and needed a lie down when I saw the final price. So am looking for good value alternatives. We have

DD (will be nearly 6) skied one week before - good snowploughing in a straight line
DS (will be 3.4) - no skiing before obviously, but would like him to have a go

DD is very sensitive and not a good joiner-in, so was thinking some low key ski school and skiing with us in the afternoon. Something similar for DS (maybe with a creche for the afternoon)...

We are happy (would prefer) to drive to France/Austria, any accommodation option would be OK, but suspect self catering is cheapest?

Was thinking of Snowbizz - anybody been?

Thinking around late March, if that makes any difference, resort wise.

Any pointers welcome - didn't ski last season due to moving house and so am desperate for my snow fix!


SummerLightning Mon 08-Oct-12 11:20:37

I was going to suggest snowbizz have heard good things about them. We ruled them out as didn't want self catering.
I think crystal do childcare and can work out cheap. But I don't know any other small companies that I found when looking that were at the "value" end of the price ranges

Louiseski Mon 08-Oct-12 13:07:50

Ski Collection offer good value self-catering ski accommodation in the French Alps, and will arrange your ski lessons and childcare. Because they are high altitude resorts, they are snowsure in March. To give you an idea of prices - in Plagne is Le Pelvoux for an apartment sleeping up to 5 at £695 for the Easter week starting 30th March. Or there is Les Pléiades in Flaine at £636 for an apartment sleeping up to 5.

muzzybee Mon 08-Oct-12 13:15:37

We have been with Snow Bizz. I wrote the first review on here (anon). I would recommend going the third week of March as by then the french school hols will be over but you won't be too late in the season in terms of snow cover in the resort.
The Snow Bizz apartments are basic but well located. They offer a half board option but we didn't use it. Their childcare is excellent and more flexible than that of other operators. Your 3 yr old would be able to do their Toton class.
In in all we had a very good holiday with them.

Alternatively you could book a self drive package and book your children into ESF Ski school. Often they offer a ski school plus lunch option and you would also be able to book the creche in the afternoon for the younger child. We also tried this option when our children were similar ages to yours. If you pick a family resort popular with Brits the chances are there will be a few English children in the creche. We have booked through Peak Retreats in recent years and would recommend them for self drive.

greygirl Fri 12-Oct-12 16:15:45

we are going with snowbizz for the 4th time this year. I would recommend it to families with young children for skiing.

The flats are clean and functional (with a DVD) and you could jump out the balcony onto the piste if you were so inclined. We don't mind selfcatering at all, and we love being able to have lunch in the flat without a trek home.
The childcare is excellent, the ski instructors excellent and the slopes have always been in lovely condition when we have gone. We also ski with our kids in the afternoon so it fits in nicely with the ski lessons.

It is a small resort however, which is what makes it so fab for little children, there is a fair bit of off piste but it is not a mega resort so bear that in mind if one of the grown-ups hates repeating a run.
Thoroughly recommended.

toomanyprojects Sat 13-Oct-12 21:21:49

which week are you wanting to go? If it's not a peak week wait until Esprit start cutting prices once the season has started.

maxmillie Sat 13-Oct-12 21:27:52

marking place!

narmada Mon 22-Oct-12 23:45:46

Have been with esprit 3 times now and would not necessarily recommend anymore.

First, they are IME expensive for what you get - which is fairly basic accommodation and rather hit-and-miss food. Childcare was fab first time, fine second time and mediocre last time with some worrying aspects (e.g., did not notice/ notify us that DS had had a bump/ egg on his head while in their care). I am sure their childcare varies from resort to resort and year to year, having said this.

A word of caution on waiting for Esprit discounds - last year these were not ever so generous. For a family of 4 plus a grandparent we ended up paying over £3000 last march shock, and that was booking last minute e.g., less than two weeks before departure.

For us this year it's either going to be snowbizz or ski famille - I think their operations are a bit smaller. Esprit has been bought by a mega holiday company (I think inghams?).

Failing that, we will poss go somewhere in sweden or finland and use local creche and skiclubs.

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