Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Welcome to Mumsnet's holiday forum. Discuss all international travel here, including both shorthaul and longhaul trips. Related topics: UK holidays & day trips, skiing, camping & campervans.

Holidays

Skiing - keeping them happy

11 replies

Gizmo · 04/11/2003 18:43

Hello wise ones.

I have just been talked into a skiing holiday in Meribel Mottaret with DH and DS (who will be 2 and 3 months then). This is my first skiing holiday with DS and I haven't prebooked childcare (we are the only ones with a child in our group, so it didn't occur to them to go with a family friendly hotel). Some questions occur to me:

  1. Does anyone know if there are any childcare facilities which you can book independently of the tour operators in the Meribel/Mottaret area?

  2. If not, DH and I will split childcare and ski half days. Suggestions for entertaining toddler indoors and out in ski hotel very welcome.

  3. Is he too young to 'play' (not proposing serious lessons) with skis? He's been walking quite a while and is a very fearless sort of little boy - my guess is that he will love all falling over in snow type activities.

  4. Finally, anyone ever stayed at the Hotel le Mottaret? It would be very useful to get feedback about how flexible and child friendly they are there.

    I'm kind of nervous and excited at the same time - can anyone help my nerves?

    Thanks guys
OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

LIZS · 04/11/2003 19:06

Can't comment on 1 or 4 as never visited Meribel but most resorts have a kindergarten attached to the Ski Schools but may only be from 3 years and dry. There is probably a website for the resort which would help.

We also have dd who is 2 and 2 months and will hopefully be more cooperative than last year in the snow. Sledding is quite fun at this age - you should be able to hire one and find a gentle slope - and other such outside activities. There may even be a winter play area for kids. We took dd ice skating last weekend which was fun but she became bored pretty quickly. They are probably a bit too young to put on skis unless you are really confident - you do see it but smaller proper equipment is hard to find. We have plastic strap-on skis which you can easily remove and carry but dd hasn't yet tried them out - ds did a bit at 3.5. Most ski schools won't take them before 3.5/4 because they don't have the physical capabilities and patience and could injure themselves.

Does the hotel have a playroom or pool, if not there may be some indoor discounted facilities at the sports centre.

You don't say when you are going but do bear in mind that December, January and February can be really cold and pack accordingly. We used to take a few toys with us to use in our hotel room in case of emergency as our kids would not stand being outside for very long.

hth

Please
or
to access all these features

CountessDracula · 04/11/2003 20:10

Gizmo I'm sure that there will be a "snow kindergarten" there, a little place where the kids rush about in the snow (for god's sake make sure ds has warm dry boots pref moon boot type things and waterproof clothing and warm underclothes and good gloves or he will be miserable esp if you are going in Jan or Feb.

I should call the hotel if I were you (or the ski company) and ask what is available.

Please
or
to access all these features

CountessDracula · 04/11/2003 20:16

Here you go, just found this.

Méribel has a highly respected child care program. Le Club Saturnins accepts children between 1-1/2 and 3 years. It is associated with the ski school and ski lessons are offered to children ready to ski (479 08 66 90). Le Saturnins costs 18-20 EUR for a half day; 34.60 EUR for a full day. A five-day week costs 155 EUR. Supervised lunch costs 18 EUR a day or 86.60 EUR for a five-day week from noon to 2 p.m.


Or try this www.kidsetc.co.uk/playgroup.htm

Please
or
to access all these features

groovychick · 04/11/2003 20:20

Good Sunglasses/goggles are also worthwhile.
What travel company are you travelling with as they will often give you a "Nanny option"
Good luck

We took DH at 10months ( must be mad ! ) But worthwhile as we got some valuable "couple - time" and when we didn't feel like going out ... DS was a great excuse ....

Please
or
to access all these features

groovychick · 04/11/2003 20:21

Bless ... that should have been DS at 10months .... HOWEVER ... after a few beers DH WAS behaving like a 10month yr old !!!

Please
or
to access all these features

groovychick · 04/11/2003 20:22

Bless ... that should have been DS at 10months .... HOWEVER ... after a few beers DH WAS behaving like a 10month old !!!

Please
or
to access all these features

JanZ · 05/11/2003 09:34

We've used the Club Saturnin, which is in Meribel itself so you'd have to get your son down to the Chaudanne. There are regular free buses between Meribel and Mottaret or alernatively, you could ski down La Truite with your ds in a back pack - but although it's only a very gentle green run, I'd only do that if you were a confident skier. The only thing about the Club Saturnin is that it only "opens" between 9 and 10 (from memory) and and again between 2 and 2.30 (if you're only using it for half a day)with pick ups between 12 and 12.30 and 4.30 and 5, so you couldn't put the child in late, for example (all the times, as I say, are from memory, but aren't made very clear on the esf web site). I think it's a security mesure, as the creche is upstairs from the entrance, so they lock the door outwith these times. You also need to book in advance.

The Club Saturnin is the esf's (ecole de ski francais) creche for the younger kids - while there is an outside area, they do NOT do ski instruction - CountessDracula, wherever you found that description, it is misleading. But they do have fun in the snow, weather dependent. From THREE, there is the Jardin de P'tits Loups (there's one in Mottaret), where if you provide the child with skis, they will start with some rudiments of ski instruction. But your wee boy will be too young Gizmo.

We put our ds in last year for a couple of days (he was 2 and 4 months) on the Saturdays that we didn't get a nanny supplied. He seemed very happy and well looked after - but he is used to being in a nursery environment.

Best details are here - but as I say, they don't make the fact that you can only drop the kids off and pick them up at certain times very clear.

Kids etc is a new English speaking creche down in Les Allues, but I understand that she will arrange for kids to be picked up around the resort - I presume that means Mottaret as well as Meribel itself. He wouldn't get to play in the snow, as it is unlikely that Les Allues will have any real snow cover.

Mottaret itself is good for playing with kids - plenty of gentle slopes to take them sledging, so you can have fun. You could also take the Plattieres or Pas du Lac bubbles up to the top and meet the "skiing" half for lunch en famille.

I don't know the hotel - we've always stayed in a chalet in Meribel (reminds me - must book, but unfortunately, dh doesn't want to take ds this year, as he thinks it might be our only skiing holiday), but generally the skiing hotels are really flexible, and I'm sure they'll be geared up for kids.

Please
or
to access all these features

Gizmo · 05/11/2003 13:08

Oh brilliant - I thought I'd get some good answers. Honestly, if Mumsnet could collectively enter 'who wants to be a millionaire' we'd clean up!

We're going in mid-march but I'm certainly going to be making some investment in plenty of warm underwear/gloves/hat/boots.

Tour operator is Crystal, who although they have childcare facilities in Meribel, don't have in Mottaret and are not going out of their way to be helpful re my problem.

I have the advantage of having been to Mottaret before but before children so I never looked for things like playgrounds or nurseries. I'm sure we can entertain him with sledding (great idea)and igloo building outside but it sounds like he should stay off the skis at least until next year

I'm a fair to middling skiier so happy to ski him down to Meribel for care - thanks for the commentary, JanZ.

Sounds like the Club Saturnin or possibly Kids etc might provide the right answer, if they take bookings for half days only. Is Club Saturnin exclusively french speaking? DS is a nursery regular but I am a little apprehensive leaving him in a strange nursery where he wouldn't even understand the language.

Anyway, you're all brilliant and I'm off to buy a snowsuit!

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

miranda2 · 05/11/2003 13:17

Very interested to read this thread - we were going to go skiing for the first time this year (having enjoyed an introductory lesson at the snow dome), but tehn discovered ds (currently 2.3) wouldn't be able to ski until he's three, so there didn't seem much point paying for him to go. So I'm reassured in a perverse kind of way that we were right - you can't ski at 2.5. I think we'd want to all be together since its not like dh and I are experienced skiiers who can't wait to hit the slopes.
Anyone tried dry slope skiing with a toddler??

Please
or
to access all these features

udar · 05/11/2003 14:22

You ask whether he is too young to 'play' with ski's. Children of 3-4 often have trouble 'making a piece of pizza' with their feet. They don't tend to have the co-ordination to slide their heels out and keep their toes in. (ie can't stop). It could be something you could practice before you go, and even for a half hour one afternoon do little runs where one of you walks 2-3metres up a very gentle slope and the other is down the hill 2-3 metres and get ds to try to stop (make a piece of pizza) or slide into your arms. Then he may feel very grown up and proud as he has been 'skiing' like Mum and Dad.

Please
or
to access all these features

JanZ · 07/11/2003 09:39

Gizmo - the girls running the Club Saturnin do speak English (although the quality probably varies!), and there is a mix of English and French kids (remember, Meribel is a very "English" resort - the people there are always surprised that I can speak French), so I don't think you should worry about your ds. Certainly my ds was happy there - but he is also used to a nursery environment.

I don't think kids etc would be feasible for half days - but you can always ask them.

GillW is a ski instructor, so she may come back with some comments. I know she put her ds on skis before he was even walking - but I think she said there was a window then, and after that, you're better wating till a bit later. I ithink she also mentioned pulling them along a gentle slop using your ski pole to hold on to - just so they can get the idea of sliding. try doing a search on GillW to find the thread.

If you DO want to try your ds on skis (and personally, I would leave it till he is over three - and even then, be sensitive to what he is enjoying), there is a wee rope drag in the centre of Mottaret - near the Plattieres lift.

If we do take ds this year (he will be 3 and 4 months), we will put him into the Jardin de P'tits Loups with skis, but keep an eye on him and if he's not enjoying it, will take the skis away and he'll just play in the snow.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?