The Mumsnet guide to Neilson holidays
If no cooking or cleaning (not to mention a bit of time away from your beloved offspring) sounds like your idea of a good time, then you should consider a Neilson holiday for your next trip en famille. Whether you're seeking warmer climes or hoping to hit the slopes, Neilson offer sun and ski holidays that are guaranteed to please the whole family
Neilson is a name that crops up frequently on our travel Talk boards – whether that is seasoned Mumsnetters comparing notes on their favourite resorts or a newbie asking for advice before embarking on their first Neilson holiday. We have tried our best to collate this advice and answer some FAQs, but if you'd like to ask the real experts you can start a thread here.
Who are Neilson?
Neilson are a holiday company committed to providing relaxing, faff-free holidays with a huge range of activities to choose from – including the option to do nothing more than lie by the pool with a good book and a cocktail or two.
What makes a Neilson holiday different?
Travelling with young children can sometimes feel like a military operation, but Neilson resorts are designed to ensure your family holiday goes without a hitch. Interconnecting rooms – ideal if you've got older kids – are available at most resorts, as well as family suites if you need to keep a closer eye on your little ones.
Once you arrive at your Neilson Beachclub or Mountain Collection ski hotel, there are childcare options aplenty, including a creche for babies as little as four months old, meaning you can get stuck in to the activities (or just read your book in peace). The all-singing, all-dancing childcare team at Neilson will ensure that your kids are having a blast with children their own age and, most importantly, returning to you so knackered they might even sleep in the next day.
Neilson also provide a high tea every day for children aged five and under – it might sound like something from Downton Abbey but it's a godsend if your kids will struggle to last until the evening meal at 7:30.
If your child has additional needs and might find a group setting a little overwhelming, Neilson offer a one-to-one nanny service which allows them to join in with all the other kids whilst giving you peace of mind. Spaces are extremely limited, so if this sounds like a service you'd be interested in, give Neilson a call on 0333 014 3351.
Pre-booking is advised for all childcare services to avoid disappointment.
We've been lots of times before and the kids always have a blast. Our 12 year old son spends most of the time with the other kids – even some dinner times!
Mumsnetters love catered holidays because many of them, quite rightly, don't believe it's really a holiday if you have to cook. Whether you opt for a skiing holiday or a beachclub holiday, the majority of your meals will be provided by the hotel or chalet but a couple of evenings will be left free for you to explore local restaurants without feeling like you're not eating meals you've paid for.
If you're staying at a beachclub, all of your breakfasts and lunches, as well as four evening meals, will be included in the cost of your holiday. Water is included with all meals, and hot drinks and orange juice are provided with breakfast, but alcohol is not included in your stay – so make sure you budget for a couple of poolside cocktails. Mealtimes are organised around activities so you won't miss out on any of the fun, and little ones can eat lunch with their kids club pals.
If you're off skiing, your meal provision will vary depending on whether you stay in a Neilson Mountain Collection hotel, chalet hotel or chalet – but lunch is not included in any of them (as this is when you'll be out and about on the slopes). Wine is included with evening meals if you opt for a chalet or chalet hotel break – so you should check this (very important) detail before you book.
Action-packed (if that’s your thing)
Neilson's motto is “relax as hard as you like” which means there are facilities for people who love to be on the go and those who want to park themselves on a sun lounger for the duration of their break. Better still, if your family can never agree on what to do you can dodge the disagreements and do your own things.
Whether you're a keen windsurfer, snowboarder, or just want to swim some leisurely lengths and hit the spa, your holiday can be tailored to suit you.
Absolutely fantastic for adults and kids alike. So much to do if you want to, or you can just do nothing and relax.
If you're after a laidback holiday somewhere sunny, look no further than a Beachclub break. With resorts in Greece, Italy, Sardinia, Croatia and Spain, you'll struggle to pick a favourite (luckily they all have fantastic weather and clear blue seas in common).
There are more activities on offer than you can shake a stick at – and the vast majority are included in the price of your stay – so, whether you're a lifelong sailor or you're just finding your sea legs, there's plenty to keep you occupied both on the waves and on dry land:
- Dinghy sailing
- Water skiing and wakeboarding
- Mountain and road biking
- Stand up paddle boarding
- Spa and gym (spa treatments do cost a little extra)
- As well as yoga and loads of fitness classes
Wakesurfing, kitesurfing and rock climbing are also available at selected resorts for an additional cost so make sure to check before you book if you'd like to try (or master) either activity.
Plus, your little ones will have the chance to try almost all of these activities in their kids club groups so nobody has to miss out. On Beachclub breaks there are even dedicated clubs for older teens who would never go to a kids club in a million years (but also wouldn't be seen dead hanging out with their folks). You can reclaim your evenings – and enjoy a grown-up meal for a change – thanks to Neilson's evening care and sleep club services.
I would recommend going for two weeks as it's better value and there's loads to do. Do check that your chosen resort does the sports you want to do as they vary a bit.
Neilson have ski resorts in all the best European ski spots – Andorra, Austria, France, Italy, and even Spain – so there are loads to choose from. If you're planning on skiing with kids, Neilson have picked out their most family-friendly resorts to make choosing where to go that bit easier:
- Hotel Cristallo in Katschberg, Austria
- Neilson Hotel Del Clos in El Tarter, Andorra
- Hotel Princessa and Diana Parc in Arinsal, Andorra
- Neilson Hotel Aalborg in Les Deux Alpes, France
- Neilson Hotel Le Menuire & Spa in Les Menuires, France
Each of these resorts has child-friendly ski areas, great ski tuition, a range of activities off the slope if you need a bit of down time, and accommodation tailored for families.
The Neilson Mountain Collection also lets you choose from a range of hotels, chalet hotels, and chalets that include half-board and chalet board meals and free ski guiding and tuition from fully-qualified ski and snowboard instructors. Their hotels also have childcare and evening care for kids aged four months to 12 years, plus a bespoke private nanny service – if this is something you'd be interested in make sure you double check before booking.
You can bring your own skis or snowboard with you for a supplement, but each airline has slightly different restrictions on how much you can bring – so make sure you check before you travel.
Book your Neilson escape
Whatever your holiday plans, Neilson are offering Mumsnetters a choice between two deals to help your family get away for less:
Get free guiding and coaching when you book a Neilson Mountain Collection hotel, chalet hotel or chalet.
If you would like to talk through your options with a holiday expert, you can give Neilson a call on 0333 220 4393.Book your Neilson holiday now