Ski holiday wish list - your expertise sought!(25 Posts)
Ok, myself and another family want to go skiing and I'm struggling to find what I want. In total we're 3 adults, 3 kids aged 4-5.
• Catered chalet or chalet hotel
Spoke to Nielson and they only let kids go to catered chalets if they are whole chalet booking. So I asked about chalet hotels and they said there is no listening service.
As we have small kids we'd like to be able to give them an early kids tea, put them bed, and then relax for a grown up dinner/drinks, which we can't do in a big hotel - what does everyone else do??
• Short transfer time, but we'll try and get a relatively high snowsure resort.
We've previously skied Grand Massif which fits those boxes, but self-catering, which I think we're a bit fed with now.
•Kids ski-school and childcare.
Some arrangements I've seen include morning lessons, a childcare pick-up which takes the kids off for lunch and then looks after them until 2 something. That looks like it would work for us.
Kids have both done 1 or 2 years already so should be ok in ESF but would like other options.
We're not tied to half term.
Anyone done this and got some good suggestions?
Will look into that one. Still quite big though - what do you do with 4 year olds falling asleep in their room at 7.30?
Also wondering about snow train as Les Arcs and La Plagne keep coming up and the transfers look grim by road. Anyone used it with kids?
Splintery, try looking at Ski Famille, or familyski.co.uk, never used them but have heard good things about them. We have used Crystal before but only childcare in the day time.
Les Arcs is a great ski area, lovely wide runs and plenty of slope side bars etc !
Not sure about snow train as we self drive and self cater in ski in/out at 2000. Childcare in resort (used snow nannies) used for me and hubby for one night out, really good, we don't use childcare in day as daughter is 7, and skies with us in the morning and then ski school in afternoon, any more info needed let me know, join in my Happy Ski Thread part 3 !!
The snow train is awful even without kids. Don't do it!! Unless you are one of those people (that I'm incredibly jealous of) that can sleep upright on a train. The bus transfer from Chambery airport to Les Arcs/la plagne really isn't that bad. V v early start on the way home though. Although obviously depends on your flight times.
Splintery they have both an evening crèche that the children can be dropped off to after they have had their dinner or they have reps sat on each floor (you can choose whether you leave door open/closed or keys with reps) and they do a free listening service while you eat your dinner and give you a call (via another floating rep) if they hear any noise. It's a great set up and the whole place is geared towards families with children so a very easy place to stay. Have stayed with a 2 and 4 year old and used the baby listening service every night!
They also have a wrap around snow club you can choose to use for the children between their ski lessons and mealtimes
I second looking at Esprit. They have smaller chalets with family rooms/suites and you don't have to book out the whole chalet. Childcare and lessons are great as well. We have been to small chalets in Tignes and La Rosiere with them, sharing with other random families and had a great time.
Esprit have plenty of smaller chalets. Older kids can go to cocoa club. There are also staff stationed on every corridor all evening. They will check inside the rooms at intervals if you want or just alert you if they hear any crying.
I like their chalet hotel at Val disere, they also have a few chalets in tignes. Plan Peisey have excellent chalets and maybe a shorter transfer than tignes/Val. Friends have been to the big hotel they have at courchevel and said that was very good.
I've flown into Chambry a couple of times and never again. Would prefer the longer transfer from Geneva for sure. It's nothing to do with kids but to do with the lack of Chambery airport to keep running!
So first time we landed ok but on the return we arrived at something crazy like 8am and our plane was delayed by 8 hours or more. As was everyone else's. The place is tiny, and I am not exaggerating when I say there wasn't a spare foot of floor space in that airport. To get to the toilets you had to step over people's legs as everyone was just sat on the floor, was terrible.
Next time we went to Chambery we sat on the runway at Manchester for over two hours waiting for Chambery to clear snow off the runway.
Ive since flown to Geneva about ten times and never problems like that. You can guarantee on an esprit chalet holiday the coach which turns up at midnight from the airport due to a delayed flight is the Chambery people. When we were there once the Chambery flight people turned up 24 hours late after been diverted to Turin and then having tk take a bus from Turin!
Snow magic in La Tania, they have around 5 chalets and offer great childcare. Or Morzine - lots of chalets and chalet hotels, I'd second what a pp said about flying in and out of Geenva rather than Chambery, much more reliable, Morzine is an hour away, La Tania a little, but it much, further
Try ski Hillwood in zauchensee...fits everything you need! It is hotel but they do kids supper and baby listening...
We've used VIP Ski twice now because they do really excellent childcare for littlies. They provide an in-chalet British nanny and in our experience they hire really good people. Evening babysitting is an optional extra so if you want to go out on the chalet host's night off, they can babysit. They have small chalets (apartments really) in Morzine and Avoriaz that might suit you and those resorts are high enough for good snow with fairly short transfers. Honestly I recommend them highly enough, it's a really great company.
I'd second La Tania - it is a great, small resort for kids and there is a Nanny company there called Snowbugs who are great.
There are a couple of hotels and chalets in La Tania :
It also has access to all of the three valleys easily for skiing so good for the adults and a short drive/bus ride away there is a brilliant swimming pool called aquamotion which has slides and stuff for the kids (perfect for a white out afternoon/midway through the holiday tired day).
I know it quite well so PM if you want more info.
Ski Esprit are the people to go with IMHO. We first went with them when kids were 3.5 years old, and have been with them seven or eight times since.
They have small ESF (mostly) classes, only with other Esprit kids - this means that instructors will only teach in English. For very young kids, Esprit staff accompany the ski class to help out.
We've been to Esprit chalets and hotels, both had advantages & disadvantages. Depends on which resort you want to go to. We absolutely loved the ski in / ski out hotel in Courchevel 1850, although we've also really enjoyed Les Arcs and la Plagne resorts too.
Googling like mad. Thank you all! I'll be back.
DH most disappointed to hear that snow train is shite. Think he has Palin-esque delusions.
Joining in late on this one so I apologise. Have you tried Ski Famille and the Family Ski company? I know Ski Famille are big in Les Gets and get good reviews....
We got the Eurostar to Lyon and then the local train service from Lyon to Bourg St Maurice and got a taxi up the hill to Arc 2000 last year with a 4 and 7 year old. We survived and it was a very long day but it is cost effective option too!
I've had some nice quotes from Family Ski - can't tell if the chalets are a bit rough and ready though? Or just not photographed beautifully?
I've found quite a few companies do 'high tea'. We've stayed in shared chalets with Esprit, mark Warner, ski total, inghams and although wrap around care is available with the first two, nanny companies have been available with the others and to be honest, just as good. T4 nannies are very good.
We choose a smaller chalet and have used our baby monitors to listen. It's never been an issue.
We've taken our DD to La Plagne X 2, Tignes X 2, cervinia.
We've also had self catering apartments, but that's easier for childcare, harder on the 'services'.
Which chalets are you looking at with Family Ski? They have been great for childcare.
We've stayed in a couple in Ardent.
Why don't you look in Austria and use one of their kinder hotels?
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