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Holidays

Skiing trip 2004/5

7 replies

glassofwineplease · 12/05/2004 12:46

Advise please. I usually book a family ski holiday through Esprit we tend to travel as a group of 3 families, we may be 5 for the next season. Any ideas on good USA resorts that teach 3yr olds. We would like a catered Chalet with the facility of a nanny. Any help would be gratefully recieved

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sponge · 12/05/2004 13:08

Don't know about USA but know a great company who do really nice catered chalets with nannies in the french alps - val d'isere and meribel. They bring you tea in bed and everything
Most ski schools won't put kids into classes until they're 4 but will take them privately which works out well if you have a few kids to share the cost.
Look here \linkwww.vip-chalets.com{}

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sponge · 12/05/2004 13:09

sorry, link didn't work but address is right.

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GillW · 12/05/2004 14:02

Not asking a lot are you ....

Firstly - catered chalets aren't that common in the states. There are a few companies which will do them, but your choice is pretty limited. Add in your other criteria and you may not have a choice of many (or any?) - I can't think of any off the top of my head and I'm fairly au-fait with the UK based ski travel business.

Are you thinking only of the US, or North America in general? Canada generally offers more value due to a better exchange rate, and a bit less immigration hassle (need to have thumbprints taken now for the US, etc).

Would you consider resort daycare, or a local nanny/babysitter arranged through the resort rather than by a tour-op?

How critical is the chalet aspect of it - do you want a chelt because it's self contained, or because you want the catering.

Give us a few more clues and I might be able to give you some ideas.

As a rule of thumb you might find if you go for a DIY option that the smaller resorts are better for young children - Smugglers Notch in Vermont, and Tremblant in Quebec both have good reputations for little ones (but they can both be cold, so pick your time carefully).

By the way - I do have some recent experience of this. My ds was skiing unaided in Canada this year at 2.7 , and both the family-friendly resorts we were staying at Big White/Silver Star were happy to do a combination of daycare and ski lessons with him at that age. No catered chalets there though, but some fabulous houses for rent which would be the size you'd need.

We stayed here which is a very child-friendly hotel (especially if you have train mad boys!)

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Issymum · 12/05/2004 14:17

Pre-children we used Ski Independence (www.ski-independence.co.uk). They do catered chalets in the US, but not sure about the nanny! Their catered chalet in Vail was just fine (good food, large rooms, a bit noisy as all US houses seem to be constructed from cardboard). We've been skiing in Vail, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek and can recommend them all. I think Vail is best for all round facilities. Colorado is a heck of a long way away and very high (watch out for altitude sickness), but it's beautiful, the service is great, the snow is normally great and there are no queues. Fantastic programmes for kids as well. It's worth paying a little extra and getting a BA direct flight from Heathrow to Denver.

P.S. For any stalkers out there, I know that this post sounds mad because I've said DH is a wheelchair user. He is, but Colorado is fantastic for disabled skiing and we've had some fabulous weeks there!

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GillW · 12/05/2004 15:12

Issymum - have you thought of Winter Park. They have really good adaptive skiing facilities there. And a little lower/nearer to Denver too. Plus less Brits (I object to going half way round the world and meeting people I see regularly at home!)

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KateandtheGirls · 12/05/2004 15:38

Just want to echo that the catered chalet idea is unusual here in the states. I had never heard of it before until my sister went skiing earlier this year in Switzerland and told me all about the catered chalet they stayed in. She told me that it's very common in Europe. I have to say I quite like the idea!

When we used to go skiing here (haven't been since the kids were born), a bunch of us would rent a house. Then you have the choice of going out for dinner, or cooking something at home. We always skied in the North East - Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

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sponge · 13/05/2004 15:46

Catered is so lovely though as you don't have to worry about shopping and can just sit and have a glass of wine while someone else does all the work.
There's also cooked breccie every day and tea and cake when you get in with most operators.
And the people we went with cooked earlier for the kids so we could get them bathed and into bed before our dinner - and they actually went to sleep because they were so knackered from their ski lessons. Bliss

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