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16th Dec trip - La Plagne vs Reberty

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi guys

Could do with some help weighing up the snow sureness vs cost for Dec 16th. Family of 4, kids 4 and 8, so need a family ski company with childcare included.

Currently tossing up between a great deal in La Plagne 1800 with Ski Famille - the resort opens on the day we arrive, will the snow be up to scratch?

Or the other option we are looking at is Reberty (below Val Thorens) with Family Ski - obvs top marks for snow sureness but it's a load more expensive and we're on a bit of a budget.

What would you go for? Open to other suggestions too Smile

Also what is the thinking on leaving the booking until the last minute in the hope of snapping up a deal? Does the early snowfall mean less likelihood of late availability? With our requirements for inclusive childcare would that likely leave us with few options?

Many thanks Snowheads!

Harry
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@hazza, From my experience, I'd leave it until the end of November, then take stock again. Early snow signs are good so far but things can change quickly in the Alps. By early December you're likely to have a bigger choice of options at a reasonable price I think. Also a much better idea of what snow might be like in different areas.

That said, if you're anxious to book sooner, La Plagne, with a well respected TO, within your budget, looks a good shout.

You don't say what your budget is, so can't comment on how good a deal it seems based on my experience and what the likelihood of significant savings is if you wait for a late booking. I'm sure you can judge that yourself anyway.
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That sounds like good advice to wait until the end of Nov to decide.. however my better half is concerned about flight prices going up (if we go with that option).

Costs are coming in around £3000 vs £4000 all in.. would much prefer to stick nearer the lower end.

Cheers
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@hazza,
Quote:

however my better half is concerned about flight prices going up (if we go with that option).

Yes, better halves need to be listened to. So are you booking flights separately to the accommodation? If so, then that makes waiting slightly riskier. Depends then on your UK airport flexibility, destination airport flexibility. Sometimes you can tell from airline websites how many seats they have left, if you go part way through their booking process.

As for the cost, if your La Plagne option includes flights, transfers, chalet board food, childcare, instruction, equipment rental and is within your budget, I'd say it is good value. If it includes lift passes too I'd definitely snap it up now.

I'd still wait until end of November, as I'm a last minute merchant. 2+2 is a nice unit for late package deals. But my better half would probably be nagging me to book something Laughing
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I'm definitely hoping La Plagne is going to have snow by then.... I'm already booked for the 16th December! snowHead Onyx snowboard camp
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@Robin Agogo fingers crossed.. I think my La Plagne deal has gone now sadly.

Good to know 2+2 is an easy unit to accommodate on a late deal, thanks @intermediate. But my missus is itching to get booking rolling eyes .
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@hazza, here's hoping you find a great deal and some good snow Very Happy
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@hazza, Have you considered driving? Pre-Christmas there will be plenty of self catering accommodation around and you'd likely get a decent sized quality apartment in La Plagne for less than £8-900 a week direct from the tourist information. Its typically a cheaper, not busy week that. Not sure where you live but tunnel would be my advice and a stop over on route maybe around Beaune/ Lyon. Id think you'd get out and back much less than £3k.

Also consider Avoriaz, its a quiet week and there'd be plenty on offer there, its high, also easier transfer if you decide to fly into GVA.
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La Plagne MUST be due some snow at Christmas this year, after the last five Christmases Skullie
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@Markymark29 yes I did suggest driving but apparently we don't have the extra days for the drive.

Avoriaz is a good shout - although we've done Portes du Soliel quite a lot before.

I hope you're right @boredsurfin!
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@hazza, I've been to both first week of the season and I'd take Reberty every time. Plagne Soleil or Belle Plagne are pretty snow sure but Plagne 1800 is a bit more isolated and was a ski bus out and a closed piste ski home last time I was there. It's a few years ago so may be better now but I'd still take Reberty anyway. The newish Sunny Express lift at Reberty opens up all sorts of options first thing so you can avoid the queues at Bruyeres. Unless it's changed, Plagne 1800 lift out takes you to the Aime 2000 area which feels a fair way from the rest of La Plagne.

In addition, the chalets at Reberty are all much newer than Plagne 1800 and generally nicer, plus my favourite restaurant in all of 3V is there - La Ferme de Reberty. It's a big enough place for families whereas La Mine (the main bar in Plagne 1800) is too small.

You could also look at La Tania. Chalets are reasonably priced and although it's lower, its snowmaking and access record early season is outstanding because of the tree lined North aspect. Gives you access to all of Courchevel which IMO is far better for family skiing than either Reberty/VT or La Plagne.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:
Reberty (below Val Thorens) with Family Ski - obvs top marks for snow sureness


Reberty (2000m) is the highest bit of sprawling Les Menuires. It's not the same thing as being in VD itself. If snow is awful and the weather too warm the ski links to/from VD might not be open so it's not that much more 'snowsure' than plagne 1800.
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Re Reberty, I'd put money on the link from the top of the Bruyeres bubble being open to VT at the time you are looking at (worked a season there and return regularly to the valley since).
Have you seen what there is available at Tignes? My sister has had a couple of good trips there over Christmas. Not sure whether a chalet co with built in child care would be in your price range-I see the Esprit are based there though.

Also second La Tania- despite elevation- as (unless it is truly as mild as the last couple of years) the snowmaking will have got going on the main run down to the village-two lifts and you are in the gentle slopes of Courchevel 1850. Take a look at http://familyfriendlyskiing.com/pricing/child-care/. There may be other chalet cos which tick the box...www.latania.co.uk is a good resource. Unless you are really up for exploring the whole 3V I'd also say a Courchevel lift pass would be more than enough for a week.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for the advice about Reberty guys, yes was very much assuming the links to VT will be open. As long as we can get up there I think VT will be one of the safest bets.

Our last ski holiday was in Tignes @Perty, loved it but maybe not again just yet!

I hadn't considered La Tania, will look into that now. Although my asumption of Courchevel is that it's very £££. Also looking at Austrian options for better value.

Many thanks!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
If snow levels are low then first few days of the season will always better until further snow comes - with no fresh snow conditions can deteriorate fast.
Over the last 4 year this has been the case. 1800 is a lot nicer than Reberty.
VT can be an absolute misery in December - very cold and no trees for poor viz days. IMHO it’s not a great place until March.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@hazza, La Tania is a good shout I think. I've absolutely no experience of them but a small company Ski Magic offers chalet hols in La Tania with childcare. They seem to have some availability for 16 Dec. On the face of it, their prices look OK but I haven't looked in any detail.
Usually I'd recommend Esprit but their pre-Christmas schedule this year departs 19 December. snowHead
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Exactly 1 month before departure date and all the flights have gone up overnight.. aargh! I think Ski Magic are charter, onto them now. Thanks!
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@hazza, the general principle if booking them independently is to get the flights booked asap and then you book accommodation late for weeks like you are going. In your position I would just start looking at packages the week before.
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@hazza, isn't the Ski Famille deal at La Plagne 1800 any good for you? Chalet looks a good price and fairly snowsure area.
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@Layne yes that would seem to be a very sensible strategy! We've ended up panicking about flight availability and have now booked easyjet flights at 50% more than the BA airmiles flights we had on offer yesterday. Hey ho! Sad

@intermediate that deal got snapped up by someone else sadly.

So we have holidays in Reberty and La Tania on hold, will have a think tonight. Thanks for everyone's help!
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I think I'm going to have a hard time selling La Tania at 1400m over Reberty at 2000m though...
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@hazza,
Quote:

@intermediate that deal got snapped up by someone else sadly.

Oh right. It was still showing available on website today...but TOs sometimes use deals no longer available as 'bait' to get you to call them.
Quote:

I think I'm going to have a hard time selling La Tania at 1400m over Reberty at 2000m though...

I doubt it will be an issue snow wise. IMO, La Tania is a slightly more attractive base than Reberty. Fast access to 'snowsure' north facing slopes of Courchevel 1850. Lower altitude helps many (such as me) sleep better and avoid sickness often associated with staying at 1800m+.
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hazza wrote:
I think I'm going to have a hard time selling La Tania at 1400m over Reberty at 2000m though...

Horses for courses. It's possible there will be little snow at resort level (1400m) which may be an issue in terms of aesthetics and kids sledging/playing in the snow. On the plus side they may sleep better and if the weather closes in it will be more pleasant. You will be able to ski on artificial snow to the resort but if conditions are poor you will do more travelling to get to the better snow. Again on the flip side if the weather is wintry you will be better of at the lower altitude. I think as "a place" La Tania is nicer.
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Have a look at latania.co.uk - this will give you lots more info and chalet providers (I can highly recommend skiamis)
Also - I think I am correct in saying LaTania now have snow making on the green that runs back to resort (?)
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hazza wrote:
I think I'm going to have a hard time selling La Tania at 1400m over Reberty at 2000m though...

Allow me to help Very Happy
1/ La Tania is tree sheltered and North facing. Its snow is better than Reberty's for about 80% of the season.
2/ If the snow is artificial only early season, then Reberty will be boilerplate whilst LT will be softer.
3/ If it's warm, Reberty will be slush (yes, even in December) whilst LT will be relatively normal.
4/ Reberty's home slopes are thoroughfares to other areas with high traffic. LT's slopes are generally only used by locals so stay in better condition.
5/ LT links into C1850. Reberty links into VT. VT is bloody cold, wind blown and generally unpleasant for little kids early season. C1850 has excellent nursery slopes and is sheltered. C1650 is also very child friendly.
6/ LT is a base. It's not where you ski everyday unless you want to. It's considerably cheaper than C1850.
7/ Reberty is very French. LT is very English. Take your pick (they both have positives/negatives!)
8/ I've only known LT not to have snow first week once in 20+ years (due to high temperatures; too high to run the snow cannons). It's already cold enough to run the cannons for this season but they also already have natural snow.
9/ I considered buying an apartment in Reberty (and La Plagne) but I bought in LT. I don't regret it.

Seriously, I like Reberty but as someone said above, VT is better in spring. Early season, Courchevel almost always has the best snow in the 3V's and it also has excellent nursery slopes for the kids. It can be stupidly expensive but not everywhere is. Just plan where you're going for lunch. LT for apres/evening is as cheap as anywhere.

I would much rather be at the Courchevel end of the 3V's early season in the same way as I would much rather be at the VT end of the 3V'S late season. First week of the season, LT is a safe bet.
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That is incredibly helpful, thanking you all!
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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.
I agree with pretty much all of Raceplate's commemnts about LT. I did a cheeky 5 'day pre-xmas' trip with the B in L and the nieces to VT and it was hideous, white out every day and the VT moonscape was really unpleasant. By the of day 3 B In L who had been 'we've got to go high for the snow' agreed that LT would probably have been a better option

Back to LP 1800 -
Raceplate wrote:
@hazza, I've been to both first week of the season and I'd take Reberty every time. Plagne Soleil or Belle Plagne are pretty snow sure but Plagne 1800 is a bit more isolated and was a ski bus out and a closed piste ski home last time I was there.


I find the access into 1800 (over the bridge) can be a bit of a stretch for a lower end intermediate - especially if the chalet is at the top of the village. Access can get very hardboiled/icy and generally unpleasant. indeed when staying there with a mate, both strong skiers, after day one our routine became a pint above bellecote and bus home
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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
Booked La Tania with Ski Magic, whoop whoop! £1450 for 4 inc full childcare, and managed to get a deal on the transfers. Having had a look around at alternative family-friendly options, I think any late deals would have ended up in the same ball park. Now we just have to keep fingers and toes crossed for the snow.

Very grateful for everyone's help, would never have considered LT without you Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
hazza, well done. I don't think you'll regret it.
I'm a La Plagne fan but have always enjoyed La Tania whenever skied there.
Take a look at webcams: http://www.latania.co.uk/webcam/index.html
Don't look at all bad for late November, and cold snowy stuff is forecast
(See Weather Outlook thread.)
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@hazza, glad the Ski Magic and La Tania idea worked out for you. SnowHeads works better than any travel agent! You're unlikely to get a better price than that again...everrrr.
Look forward to the trip report. snowHead
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@hazza, how did your trip go then? snowHead
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