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So after many years of persuading and bribing dh he has agreed we can go skiing, but I have never been and need loads of advice...please this is my dream holiday

(49 Posts)
shinybaubles Tue 08-Jan-13 14:18:09

Dh hates snow and cold, and has finally agreed he will give it a proper try if we go skiing, yipee. We are a family of 4 with ds who will be 7 and ds who will be 3.11/4. We want to go somewhere in Europe also but somewhere with very good accomadation, etc. None of us have skied, and i am feeling a lot of self imposed pressure to make this good.
So which companies are best, which countries are good for beginners, etc , what should I know, assume I know nothing and throw all your info at me please.

blue2 Tue 08-Jan-13 14:28:31

I'd suggest either Mark Warner or Ski Esprit. Its been a few years since we did a Ski Esprit holiday but am sure someone here has! Both companies have oodles of stuff for kids and babies to do, and are VERY child friendly.

We've stayed at several MW hotels in The Alps - Hotel le Val D'Isere in Val D'Isere, Tarantaise in Meribel Mottaret and Hotel Christina in La Plagne. The last 2 are right on the slopes. Their staff are marvellous - nothing is too much trouble.

My only comment is that some hotels are shabbier than others... but then you don't have to worry about the kids damaging stuff.

I wouldn't bother going to the States yet - its a long way, v expensive - jet lag etc. See if you like skiing - we love it!

shinybaubles Tue 08-Jan-13 14:34:13

Thankyou blue2, will have a look at those companies you mention. We would like a very good hotel or chalet, the kids won't damage anything crossed fingers, although accident prone dh might wink.

SoldeInvierno Tue 08-Jan-13 14:38:53

when my son was a beginner at 4yo, we went to Austria with Neilsons. Their ski school for little ones was excellent

shinybaubles Tue 08-Jan-13 14:40:12

That's three companies now Mark Warner, Nielsons and skiesprit, thanks for the recommendation.
A good point about ski school do they take adults too?

witchwithallthetrimmings Tue 08-Jan-13 14:43:11

i would go for a catered chalet, much more relaxed in the evenings, if you go to a resort that is ski in ski out you will also be able to go back for lunch and to chill out.

SilasGreenback Tue 08-Jan-13 14:46:02

I think to make sure the children have fun they need lessons in English in a group who also speak English. Might make it more fun for your dh too!

Check the ski school take the little one - some don't at 3 - ours started in Canada at that age with 1 to 1 lessons for an hour plus daycare before moving on to group lessons once the basics were mastered (so been on a chair lift etc) after about 3 days

I've heard good things about Powder Byrne fom friends but they are very pricy, but knowing these friends the chalet standard must be high.

MrsHoarder Tue 08-Jan-13 14:47:07

I'd focus on getting a ski to door hotel, our makes a real difference at the end of a long day. The French mega resorts are pretty good, no need to go to America.

And there are adult ski lessons, separate to children's ones. I also have friends who booked private lessons for the whole family. A word of warning, if you want to have a lesson before you go, go to a snow done not a dry ski slope. The dry slopes are nothing like real skiing and put dh off.

PureQuintessence Tue 08-Jan-13 14:48:18

Merino base layers for all. This is all you need to know. wink

Fenton Tue 08-Jan-13 14:48:48

I have nothing to say except envy envy envy


I love skiing holidays - you will have a fabulous time.

Yes to ski school for all.

Invest in really good quality ski socks - the cheap ones tend to move around in your boots too much.

Don't be afraid to go back to the boot/ski hire place if you're not getting on with the equipment - they will keep altering it for you happily until you're happy - don't suffer it.


fedupwithdeployment Tue 08-Jan-13 14:51:34

My friend went to a Kinderhotel in Austria and said it was fab.

We always go to our place in France, which is not exactly ritzy, so I won't recommend it!!

Northface socks are great.

Doshusallie Tue 08-Jan-13 14:52:10

We have been with Crystal Ski a few times and I can't fault their childcare.

Buy snoods to keep the DC's necks warm. And "skins" or thermals.

HelpOneAnother Tue 08-Jan-13 15:12:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shinybaubles Tue 08-Jan-13 15:20:08

Thank you for all the replies , will respond properly when I get home on phone at the moment, accomadation has to be really good it's the only thing dh is bothered about and I get to choose everything else.

shinybaubles Tue 08-Jan-13 17:29:34

MrsHoarder good tip about the dry slopes.
So we need good socks and base layers. Instructors who speak english. Austria, Andorra and France are good places. Def need good hotel or chalet in case dh gives up and needs somewhere to mope. smile

VivaLeBeaver Tue 08-Jan-13 18:36:38

What's your budget?

Mark Warner is meant to be slightly better than esprit. I've been with esprit loads of times and while they're fine they're not a luxury outfit. Some of their chalets are fairly cramped, etc. I've been to their fairly new chalet hotel in la plagne and while it was very swanky I hated it. It might have had wall mounted flat screen tv and a mini bar and a pool but it was too big. Dinner had two servings as too many people for the facilities.

I prefer their older, slightly decrepit hotel in val disere. But you don't want to go to val as a beginner probably.

A friend went to the esprit hotel in courchevel last year and said it was amazing, better accommodation than most esprit places. Courchevel is lovely.

People on mn say good things about ski famille. Again never been with them.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 08-Jan-13 18:39:49

Also when planning your budget add up all the extras.

Lift passes, lessons and ski hire for a family of 4 could reach the 1k mark. Lift passes alone for 3 valleys this year is 260 euros. Though you can get cheaper passes for a smaller area which as a beginner would probably be ok. But check with the tour operator as they'll know where the instructors tend to take people.

blue2 Tue 08-Jan-13 19:18:22

If you REALLY want to go for it on the chalet front, I'd also recommend VIP Ski. They do catered chalets. We've been twice with them and they'll organise ski school and nannies.

Just beware as the second chalet we booked was a bit out of the resort which meant waiting around for their VIP taxi to turn up to either take us down or bring us back - a real pain!

shinybaubles Tue 08-Jan-13 19:18:59

Haven't got a budget vivalebeaver, and would prefer something a bit more luxurious, def not cramped or run down, I know that sounds v.snobby, but just in case none of us turn out to like it, and I do like nice hotels/chalets blushblush grin

shinybaubles Tue 08-Jan-13 19:19:56

Thanks for the tip blue2 that sounds good, will have a look this evening.

LIZS Tue 08-Jan-13 19:26:50

look at Power Byrne or Ski Scott Dunn for ideas . Very much top of the budget but you may find deals on similar accommodation and some of the main operators like Crystal and Inghams do a "luxury" range

Primrose123 Tue 08-Jan-13 19:30:41

Do you definitely want a package deal? We always used to go on package holidays to go skiing, then a few years ago, we booked flights, hotel, and taxi or hire car separately. It doesn't cost any more, perhaps a bit less, but you tend to get a better choice when choosing the hotel and resort etc.

We have just been here for the fourth time! The people who run the hotel are very friendly and welcoming, the food is excellent and they have a small pool and sauna area. They also have family rooms which are very nice.

We hired a car, and drove to the ski lift every day, it was about 5 minutes. The skiing there is excellent, there is a ski school, and if you are all beginners, it is probably worth booking a private instructor for the 4 of you.

We love it there, it is starting to feel like home! If you want any more information about hiring cars, flights or anything, I will PM it to you. smile

Primrose123 Tue 08-Jan-13 19:33:53

Oh and if you go where I mentioned above, you can hire your skis, boots, poles, helmets etc at the lift station, and also hire a heated locker to leave them in at the end of every day. This was a godsend for us. There is nothing worse than trying to catch a ski bus with two kids, four pairs of skis, extra bags, helmets etc. while wearing ski boots (fine for skiing, agony for walking!).

VivaLeBeaver Tue 08-Jan-13 19:37:18

If you want luxury these guys are meant to be very good. Morzine is lovely, good beginner slopes, bigger town than many ski resorts so more shops, etc.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 08-Jan-13 19:41:05

There's also who are meant to be good. They got a very good write up in The Times last year. I'd recommend Meribel over val disere as a resort.

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