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Who's travelled with Esprit ski

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've booked to go VDI in Jan and St anton in March with esprit ski. My wife, 4 y/o and 1 y/o daughters plus me. What am I too expect with childcare ski school etc
Cheers
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have t La Ros and they were brilliant. Dropped my daughter off at 9 and it was up to me when I picked her up after ski school / lunch etc (she was 10). The kids are fully supervised by an esprit member in each ski school group as well as the instructor. From what I saw, Creche was good for the younger kids and I liked the high tea for the kids supervised by a member of the kids team leaving you to get ready for dinner; very civilised. I always wholeheartedly recommend Esprit as the whole set up was professional and effective plus being on my own with my daughter, I had the reassurance that she'd be looked after if anything happened to me.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Been to both of those with our two. Are you putting 4y/o into Spritelets? In VDI the spritelets went out in the afternoon, the older kids in the morning, you'd drop the wee'uns off with staff in the morning up in their playroom and then the staff would take care of them all day, take them out on trips around town, get them ready for ski lessons etc until you collect them after tea. You'll have to be back for tea for the 1y/o which is 5pm (of course you can go and collect the children at any time) so if you ski day involves knocking off at 4ish your and your wife can have an hour of apres (recommend stop off at cafe Face, on the way back from the bottom of the hill to the hotel).

Its some time since we were in St Anton and I know that there has been a lot of work done on that hotel they use there, so probably not fair for me to comment on that ones specifics, other than to say it was a similar arrangement, drop off after breakfast, collect after tea (at the time we were there, you collected from a different place, as they had childcare in a different building, over the road from the main hotel - don't know if thats still the same arrangement.

At night there is a babysitting service so you can go have your dinner in peace assuming the jnrs are asleep by then, and they'll check on them too and try to settle them if they wake up, but they'll come and get you too if you prefer or if they won't settle so don't worry about baby monitors etc.

Basically our kids had a really good time with Espirit and their experiences have set them both up (now 5 and 7) with a real love of going to the mountains. Hopefully you'll get the same. Enjoy.
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I've been with Esprit several times when my daughter was younger. Comfortable but not luxurious accommodation. Where they come into their own is the childcare. I highly recommend them.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Richard_Sideways, oh yes she'll be in spritelets, she's a little charger already.
I kind of got a good vibe from the staff in the office I spoke to and from their website reviews. Lucky for us our girls aren't clingy and love playing with other kids and getting involved in activities.
The prices are really good as well.
What's the food like?
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@Mother hucker, I travelled with Esprit for the first time this year, with my 6 yr old son. I can't comment on St Anton but we did go to VDI, staying at the Ducs. I'd describe the Ducs as an OK 3*. The afternoon tea room and stairs are a little tired, but our room (no. 12) was a decent size, clean and comfortable. Every meal was was OK, all bar the first night goulash and the wine was OK... both of which were plentiful.

The staff and childcare are what really sets esprit apart and if you go with that in mind and manage your expectations in line with a good 3* rather than 5*, I'm sure you'll be happy. There were families at the hotel that were disappointed by their rooms or some of the meals such as crab sticks in a seafood chowder, but frankly who thought they were getting decent seafood in the alps??

Our trip was a massive success, mainly due to the staff and the environment created that allowed my son to be feel safe, feel independent and confident. We've booked again and will be returning to the Ducs next Easter.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 8-05-17 20:52; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I went to Pepi Gabl last year. If you search my posts you'll probably find some info.

Overall it was good. We had an 11 nth old so our main issues was getting the child listening service, which was great. Also paid for sitters a couple of nights. Food above average and good at changing things you didn't want. Wine better than expected and plentiful. Other parents of older kids seemed happy and most were returning guests.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Mother hucker, Great choice. Childcare excellent. All the other guests will have kids - this is really helpful as with some other operators some of the childless (joyless?) guests can be quite antagonistic to kids.

Pros/ Excellents
Very well organised childcare- they obviously pick and train the childcare people very well indeed. Basically the kids have a great time all week, make friends, get looked after, feel loved and wanted, play, ski, get fed, stay up late, play silly games, sing songs loudly and vote to get a member of staff slimed. It is kid heaven.
Happy kids = happy parents. Simples.

Ski school is good- escorted by Esprit staff there and back, instructors who speak good English plus Esprit staff on hand for the little ones.

Last minute offer prices out of school holidays = absolute bargain (ie January and ermm March)

Variable
We have been to many Esprit chalets and chalet hotels (Peisey, les Arcs, Obergurgul, Saas Fee, Chamonix, la Rossiere- not all are still going). Of note the Chalet Hotels have much better food than the chalets (even the Chalets that are nearly as big as the Chalet Hotels -ie Obergurgul). A subtle but important distinction. The standard of accommodation is a bit variable- at a guess it will be better in Austria.

Not so good
As with all tour operators who don't charge thousands and thousands accommodation might be a bit weary. Some of the food might be a bit funny- (not in the Chalet Hotels mind where they have professional staff in the kitchens).

In Val D'Isere there there is vomiting. (This is not a specific Esprit problem). DO NOT DRINK THE WATER. Wash hands etc (see multiple other threads). Drink vodka instead.

In a nut shell- for a family ski holiday it is a great choice- we have been return customers about 9 times (10 if you include a week with Total their sister company). Not perfect- what is? I can say that our kids have been very well cared for and happy on each and every occasion and that we have always been very happy/ delighted with the standard of childcare. We have sometimes been unhappy with the accommodation and or food- but equally there have been times when these have been brilliant.

Our kids are now 15, 12 and 8 and we don't need the things Esprit does.

Have fun.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Oh - there are some other issues- but these apply to all UK based kids operators as far as I can tell. Kids high tea / no children at all at adults meal times including breast feeding infants too young to go into baby listening.
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ed123 wrote:
@Mother hucker,
Happy kids = happy parents. Simples.


Couldn't have summed it up better.
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Thanks all. I'm not expecting lavish and luxury.We're not moaners and nit pickers either, as long as it clean and the food is enjoyable that will do our gang (tbh I'm a bit of a pirate and I'd sleep in the back of my dirty van in the same clothes for a weekend of powder skiing). It was the quality of the child care that you've all confirmed to be great was my main itch. The fact that many of you have travelled many times with them tells me alot. They also get booked up very quickly, which also says something.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Mother hucker, Kids food is good basics - stuff they'll recognise - simple pasta, things and chips i.e. fish/chicken gougons etc good puddings, fruit always available too. Ours never encountered anything they turned their noses up at, but they aren't fussy eaters fortunately, however if yours are a bit picky there is normally *something* that they can put together to fill up the smalls tummy.

Grown ups get pretty reasonable fayre in my opinion. Won't win a Michelain but good 3 courses every night plus a cheeseboard. Couple of house reds, two whites and a pink to choose from, bottles disappear after the last course but they're normally pretty generous with the vino.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Have a look at my trip reports - Esprit Belle Plagne. and Espril Val d'Isere.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Richard_Sideways, I was reading on their website that they are now making the cheeseboard and option instead of dessert (I hope they increase the amount of cheese they actually give you as a result).

@Mother hucker, been to both places (and been with Esprit 5 times starting when ours were the same age as yours). I think every one has said it all.

Specifically when you are in Ducs de Savoie for the chalet staffs say off there is a restaurant that is on the same side of the road a few doors up, which has "family friendly" in big letters over the entrance. They were great for our meal out, there was a large play area downstairs with loads of toys. Really recommend there.

Also we found ski hire much cheaper to organise independently through AlpinResorts, especially as we were only hiring for our girls.

Have a great time.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Mother hucker, we had many Esprit hols, including the 2 hotels you've booked. Both solid choices, given you don't expect luxury. Well located.
Childcare very good every time in our experience. Food for adults OK, though personally I'd prefer simpler heartier fayre when skiing, rather than artistic presentation. Kids food fine for younger ones such as your 4 year old. Portions may be a bit small as they get older, but plenty of bread available.

I always smile when I see a group of Sprites or Spritelets on the slopes and their singalong songs come back into my head. Happy days, enjoy!

Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

I was reading on their website that they are now making the cheeseboard and option instead of dessert (I hope they increase the amount of cheese they actually give you as a result).


THIS... SHALL... NOT... STAAAAND!!!! GAAAH!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Details here:

http://www.espritski.com/more/cuisine/

Scroll done to the 2017/8 section.

I was looking as I was hoping it would commit to having a choice of red wine (which we didn't get due to them running out Sad) however the statements are vague enough I can't hold them to it.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Please, pretty please....Use The Search Function!

There have been so many Esprit threads, they are like Helmet threads...recurring and repetitive.
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@intermediate, loving the songs too! My kids still sing them Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
NickyJ wrote:
Details here:

http://www.espritski.com/more/cuisine/

Scroll done to the 2017/8 section.

I was looking as I was hoping it would commit to having a choice of red wine (which we didn't get due to them running out Sad) however the statements are vague enough I can't hold them to it.


Sorry about the red wine... we were there the week before and it was certainly flowing.
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Stayed with Esprit on our first ever ski trip in 2015. We were in a chalet in La Ros and it was great, food was actually really nice and well prepared by the two young people managing the chalet. My kids were 12 and 8 at the time and it was ok for them but the 12 yo really didn't like sitting with the younger kids, we went with another family so that made it ok for him but he'd have hated it on his own.

I wouldn't do it again because the kids would be split now at meal time and we couldn't have our youngest with us which we like. So for me I think it probably loses its appeal as the kids get older but for your age kids its probably fantastic as the child care was excellent.

Happy hols
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
rungsp wrote:
Please, pretty please....Use The Search Function!

There have been so many Esprit threads, they are like Helmet threads...recurring and repetitive.

Have you considered not opening up a thread if you're bored of the headline.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
djf wrote:
Stayed with Esprit on our first ever ski trip in 2015. We were in a chalet in La Ros and it was great, food was actually really nice and well prepared by the two young people managing the chalet. My kids were 12 and 8 at the time and it was ok for them but the 12 yo really didn't like sitting with the younger kids, we went with another family so that made it ok for him but he'd have hated it on his own.

I wouldn't do it again because the kids would be split now at meal time and we couldn't have our youngest with us which we like. So for me I think it probably loses its appeal as the kids get older but for your age kids its probably fantastic as the child care was excellent.

Happy hols


Not so. There are 3 scenarios whereby children can dine with adults:

1 If you have sole use of a chalet.
2 If you choose a family dining chalet
3 If you are in a chalet hotel
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