Advanced search


(16 Posts)
hellenback Mon 11-May-09 13:38:03

We need a ski school for all of us - any hot tips - companies or self catering to rec. Do we fly or drive? Absolute beginners - 5 and 10 yr olds. Any chance of apres ski for grownups?

andiem Mon 11-May-09 13:42:09

we always go with esprit or mark warner and then everything is booked through them
they both do italy I think
the kids are looked after in the evening as well so you get to eat in peace tbh dh and I don't do apres ski since we had dcs we are too tired!

Directskiandsun Mon 11-May-09 17:14:22

Are you set on Italy? If not, La Tania (France) may be good for you. VERY conveniently laid out, pedestrianised centre, ski school meets there and the nursery slope is also there. When the lifts close, the nursery slopes are toboggan runs, and the little bars and cafes around the edge, all have al fresco tables. Apres ski for all of you, in one fell swoop! We loved La Tania and it has some excellent ski schools. Drop me a line via the details on my profile, if you need more help. I've skied for 30 years and organised family holidays for the past 10 years, so been there, and have lots of t-shirts smile

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 27-May-09 17:59:35

DS went to on a school trip to Passo Tonale, which I had never heard of, but first week in April, according the Ski Club of great Britain website had teh best snow covering of all the resoirts they cover worldwide hmm. He is not a beginner, but it was chosen as good fro beginners and intermediates, smallsih place, apparently very child friendly.

Toddmummy Thu 28-May-09 09:46:38

You need to watch transfer times with some of italy - 4 hours is a long coach ride! We went to la thuile once and loved it, the italians are very friendly. and there you can ski across to france, which is a fun trip. I would also recommend Bormio, but crystal don't go there any more, which is a shame
I think flying is quicker and therefore less entertaining kids time (but obviously not very green).
Consider an indoor slope in the uk for lessons - they are cheaper in summer, and it'll mean you get more out of the mountain when you get there. (plus 5 yr old won't be so physically exhausted come day3)

Kiwinyc Fri 11-Sep-09 22:58:10

we're doing Italy this ye with who specialise in Champoluc, in the Monte Rosa region. Its a 90 min transfer (included) from Turin or 2hrs from Milan Malpensa. (Both good for cheap flights) They work with a brit who lives there and runs their own ski school out there with british instructors and cater just for the ski2 customers. Its v. reasonably priced. DH is a experienced skier, DD1 will be nearly 7 with one week under her belt. DD2 (3) will be going into the creche they do for under 5's.

Check them out, they might suit you too. Italy is cheaper than France, Switzerland, but not as cheap as places like Andorra, Bulgaria etc. I'd recommend Austria as another option for family friendly resorts and beginner slopes. We prefer traditional villages etc rather than purpose built resorts that don't have as much character or reason for being aside from the skiing iyswim.

skifalloverrepeat Mon 14-Sep-09 10:52:37

Agree with Mrs Guy, Passo is a great choice, and with Kiwinyc, Monterosa is a good choice too - bearing in mind that also Toddmummy is spot on, transfers can be terrible.

I would not drive to Italy. Snag a cheap flight, offset it if you want. Re yr five year old, shd be fine to start skiing; we started youngest DS at almost-four, but he is a big lad.

Italy is great for a few reasons: first, the only REALLY busy times on the slopes are weekend mornings. Italians see coffee-sipping and testing new sunglasses as equally important activities as skiing so afternoons, and weekdays, can see empty pistes. Second, the well-known family orientation and the likelihood of the DCs enjoying the food. Third, as pointed out, cheaper than most other serious winter destinations (Austria, France and Switzerland).

Here's a list of family-friendly resorts I found:

Great family resorts:
Les Gets - dedicated pistes, friendly
Laax - Ami club for littl'uns
Meribel - abundance of childcare options
Aspen - Buttermilk ideal for new skiers
Cortina - traditional, and great kids deals
Passo Tonale - Italian welcome for kids, value
Levi - two words: Santa Claus
Are - good snow, waterpark and dog sledding
Adelboden - quiet, with lots of piste (185km)
El Tartar - Andorra's best family resort
Ellmau - gentle slopes, classic Austrian village
Ste Foy - quiet, enclosed area with good links

Family-friendly operators
Scott Dunn
Ski Famille (Les Gets)
Esprit Ski
Ski2 (Italy)
Family Ski Company

Kiwinyc Mon 14-Sep-09 13:19:58

Since skifalloverrepeat (love that name btw) mentions Scott Dunn I will add Powder Byrne who probably cost similiar but work out of hotels rather than Chalets.

Powder Byrne are outstanding however, we did our first ski trip with them to Klosters last Xmas with our beginner 5yo, and they got her onto blue runs by day 2. We'd go with them again if we had the dosh but now we've more confidence and know what to expect we're trying ski2 instead.

skifalloverrepeat Mon 14-Sep-09 16:08:32

Yes, agree with Kiwinyc dosh for the likes of Powder Byrne and Scott Dunn is required in bucketloads. One cool thing I came across which isn't relevant to OP, because they only operate in French Alps, but which is good to know is Alpine Nanny Services.

Offers by the hour qualified nannys (mostly British) with no minimum and a flat fee of ?15/h which is toppy by UK standards BUT not as toppy as full-on childcare if all you want is some help getting DCs in and out of ski school and perhaps an hour or two at tea/bedtime?

alypaly Tue 15-Sep-09 00:28:35

i wouldnt recommend Italy for your first skiing holiday as they dont know how to queue. We nearly received broken legs as a result of some italian oiks skiing over the tops of our skis in the lift "queues"
They are good at pushing you out of the way.
Try france (la plagne of Flaine) For a good all round family experience. I took my chidren there and they learnt to ski at 3 and 5 years old.

alypaly Tue 15-Sep-09 00:36:25

If its your first time ...if you ski hard you wont have any energy for night life...DO you like dancing with bent legs!!!!!!France....La plagne
Belle plagne is the best...really pretty for france..half austrian /half french in style. Good supermarket,lovely bars and a couple of night clubs...(not busy though)Beautiful mountain restaurants. High standard of equipment which is easily accessible. Beautiful residence is La Carlina..bit pricey too!!!

Flaine ...bit purpose built but really good english and french ski schools...

Austria..Zell am see for beginners and also Zell am ziller and SEEfeld. All really pretty . Hochsolden is half way up the mountain and solden in the village has much more lively nightlife. (CLubs,ten pin bowling apres ski bars

skifalloverrepeat Wed 16-Sep-09 17:51:48

alypaly there must be some strange local anomaly that means the French queue in an orderly way in La Plagne.. they don't anywhere I've been!
Also some high-altitude French resorts make Slough look like a vision of architectural bliss... I personally find the concrete apartment blocks depressing, but it might not bother others. Other resorts, like Les Gets, have the fantastic BASS ski school (British Alpine) and are based in a real village...

OP - skiers are very passionate about the places they love best, which is why it's very hard to get impartial advice. I'd say you were best looking at an advice site on the web (a proper one, not just full of opinion), or buy a Where to Ski & Snowboard book - about 12 quid, I think, and worth it.

alypaly Wed 16-Sep-09 19:06:15

la plagne ...not all of it (Belle Plagne which is the highest residential area ) is almost like Austria.It has wooden chalets and quaint liitle wooden bars and the mountain restaurants are so good. Never had a problem in la plagne with pushing and i have been there in school hols too for many years.
PLAGNE 1800 AND PLAGNE CENTRE are definitely a bit concrete and i wouldnt stay there. I know what you mean about characterless concrete, i hate it too. Flaine, les Deux Alpes and several others we have been to are soulless

skifalloverrepeat Thu 17-Sep-09 09:18:40

Didn't know that about Belle Plagne, sounds lovely and will have to take a look some day because all the other stuff - altitude, range of terrain etc - is obv brill. We're in Ste Foy this year and will be checking out Arc 1950 on a day trip.. did Val d'Isere last year and the QUEUES!! 70% Brits mind, so orderly, but still a bit frantic for a 'holiday'!

alypaly Thu 17-Sep-09 11:16:26

skifalloverrepeat.. my DS2 did val last feb and he said he wishes he had come with me to la plagne...he said the queues were terrible. He ended up eating his linch on the lifts just to get enuf skiing done. Thats not my idea of a skiing hols...i like to sit and have lunch and a creamy hot choc without feeling that i have to rush from one lift to another. Yes the skiing is good and you can nip over to Les arc on the Vannoise lift which carries 200 people( included in larger lift pass). Lots of 4 /5 seater lifts and some fab slopes. You can ski straight to your door in belle plagne even in the hotels.

depending on budget Hotel Carlina is the best for everything..but mainly germanic.

All the other accomodation i.e self catering is really central and adequate. There are shops where you can order a cooked chicken in the morning and pick it up at tea time. cosy little bars, bowling alley.some lovely restaurants at the next level which is a lift down(included in lift pass..but it is typically french...fairly quiet at night..but hell a holiday is what you make of it with your friends and we love having great suppers and a few drinks

Kiwinyc Fri 25-Sep-09 17:30:41

hmmm the thing i've heard about italian skiing (obviously not relevant to everywhere there but was applied in general and particularly to Champoluc) is that its only the weekends that are busy, and even then the lines are short. During the week the slopes are completely empty and there is no queuing at all... And agree with skifalloverrepeat that we also prefer going to traditional villages in the mountains that have character and reason for being other than being purpose-built ski resorts.

Has the OP made any plans yet?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now