What accommodation is best for family Ski holiday?(16 Posts)
Starting to think ahead to next year, when we will hopefully be able to have our first family ski holiday. Just a bit excited!
I'm just wondering what accommodation others use? We'd probably go to Austria, and I assumed self catering would be good for flexibility with young children (they will be 3 and 6). Plus there's always the option to eat some meals out. Hotels I also assume are not so ideal for little ones, but dh suggested a catered chalet. He stayed in one when he went away with friends last year, and said it was great. Does it work well with young children though?
We've done all 3 and I think catered chalet is the easiest. They'll do an early tea for the children and then you can get them settled either in bed or with a dvd before you get dinner. Self catering is hard as I found it difficult to get mine back out as they were shattered after skiing and just wanted to chill in their onesies once we got home.
I LOVE catered chalet and will not go back to self catering. Which is why skiing for us is a once in a blue moon holiday :-(
I don't think catered chalets are as common in Austria as they are in France/Switzerland. I'm sure they do exist but most Austrian accommodation tends to be hotels or self catering. Or maybe that's just my experience?
Personally I wouldn't do a catered chalet with a young child because it's important for our family to eat our meals together, which is not really possible in a chalet. We like eating in restaurants too.
We've self catered since DS was born and that works best for us, with flexibility to try different restaurants for dinner or eat in if we can't be bothered. You also get a washing machine which you won't in a hotel or chalet. That's less important now (was essential when DS was a baby) but it's still really useful.
I wouldn't rule out hotels either. They often have pools, play rooms and other good facilities for kids.
I think a catered chalet is best too. We sit with ours while they have their early supper (5.30) and have a soup or hot drink. They can be in bed for 7 (6&4years) and we go downstairs and eat with the adults around 8pm. We've either had a listening service or been somewhere small enough that a monitor works. We have however skied mainly in France and Italy since we've had children.
We are trying self catering at Xmas which means we'll all eat together. An apartment makes it easy to look after them in the evening but I'm not looking forward to catering. I like a restaurant but find that every night is stressful in its own way too.
3 and 6 great ages to ski too. My 2 both skied at just 3 and both love it. How exciting!
We have had a bad experience in a catered chalet. Our kids were the only children, and the other guests made us feel very uncomfortable if they made any noise. There were no locks on the doors and I didn't like that from a security point of view. We find self catering apartments are by far the best bet - just us, you can relax once you are in from the slopes, eat what you like when you like. We mainly go to France and the resort supermarkets are well stocked. I assume Austria would be similar.
We've only ever done self catering (approx six times) and as nice as that can be, you cook and eat in your PJs and put your feet up and so on, no one else there, sometimes we are all tired and just want to have a bath and crash and then doing a meal after a long day out driving and on the slopes as we often have been, is hard work.
This year we are treating ourselves to a catered chalet with DC (11 and 10) and I simply cannot wait!
You do need to check the chalet in terms of layout and locks. Most companies can provide a floor plan. I think merlot makes a good point about what type of chalet it is. We have always been in those that offer 'high tea' and are therefore targeted at families. I wouldn't want small children at dinner with me regardless of the fact I have 2, as mine will be in bed.
I've done all three and would go for family friendly catered chalet.
Resorts I've been to haven't been well provided with shops for self catering (and as a single parent it was hard work and a bit lonely) Find hotels a bit meh although had a brilliant experience at the Gansleit in Soll.
Thanks for all your thoughts. Catered chalets definitely seem popular!
Relupetto I get the same impression that catered chalets aren't quite as common in Austria, although obviously there are some!
I suppose my concerns are the other guests in a way. I'd worry about our dc making a noise - and they are v loud, and early risers!. Also the eldest is v fussy with food. Do you get any choice at all with the meals?
Equally I can see that having a pool etc in a hotel would be great. But then again, the same worries with noise and dc with other guests. Not that they are particularly badly behaved or anything, but I just find I don't relax if I have to constantly 'police' them to make sure they don't wake others up etc.
dontcallme I'm so pleased you think they will be good ages to take them! I worry a bit that the youngest will still be v little at 3, but he is a real daredevil, and loves to copy anything his older brother does, so I'm hoping it will work.
I can't wait to go skiing again
CRtester, we have done all three, self catering in Flaine, ok daughter only 6 months old, half board hotel 4 years running in Austria.
This year did catered chalet, chalet was lovely ( actual description misleading said was at 1600 in Les Arc actually at 1250 !!) Chalet host was so miserable and really hard to communicate with !! Felt like we had to walk on egg shells, and when you are paying alot of money, you need to feel comfortable.
Could not fault Les Arcs as a resort, so going back March 2016, but slope side self catering apartment with ski school 50 meters away and pool and hot tub in the complex !! ( easy to take own food as we self drive too
I think 3 is old enough. Our 3 yo will be skiing this season, and he's not a daredevil, he's quite a cautious little boy. I think he'll love it
There isn't really much choice in a chalet in terms of food, but I think they would try to accommodate a fussy child. I've only stayed in a chalet once (pre-kids) and it was great but a lot of that was down to the other guests who were great, and that's down to chance. The lack of locks on doors would bother me now that I've got DS.
From what you've said it sounds like self catering would suit you better.
Only just back from first holiday since children and we did self catering. After great advice on here, we picked an apartment very close to the ski lifts and very close to the "main street". So finished skiing about 4/4.30, had an ice cream
irish coffee then walked 2 minutes to the apartment, had a bit of down time (kids watched a dvd or we played cards) between about 5 and 6, then walked 2 mins from the apartment to a restaurant where children could choose what they wanted to eat pizza every night. Home by about 8pm for children to go to bed (or another game of cards!). One night when they were absolutely shattered, I just made pasta for everyone (easy peasy).
It is a different kind of holiday though than a chalet (which we did pre-children) as there's no kind of socialising with others after the children are in bed. It worked for us because it was really about the children this time (especially as we were away over Christmas and wouldn't really have wanted to "share" the family Christmas) so it depends what is important to you.
Bit late to the thread but have you considered a kinder hotel? All the advantages of a hotel, and designed for parents and children, so not anxiety at all about being judged or annoying people. We absolutely love staying in them. The most restful holiday possible with small children, and the Austrian ones are all set up for skiing.
Some chalets are perfect for one family, others are much bigger.
Since skiing with kiss we've always stayed in catered chalets and have been to Ardent several times with Family Ski where we have had some excellent holidays - real holidays for all of us.
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