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Resort with convenient NURSERY SLOPES!!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, Going around in circles googling.... Skiing first 2 weeks of Jan 2018 - Europe somewhere. Need a resort/hotel that has great access to the nursery slope and then on to easy blues. SKI IN/OUT preferable - its got to be an easy commute to nursery slopes for kids (direct access preferably - no long walks or buses). Also want "pretty' town, smart hotels, SUNNY position for nursery and some blue runs. We went to OBERLECH l(The Burg Hotel) last year and the nursery was behind hotel and was ski in ski out. Was brilliant, however the transition to blue runs not so good - blue runs in lech are tricky and would be worried about my 5 yr old transitioning to them this time (she stayed on nursery slopes last time). Big SUNNY WIDE BLUE runs would be great (for me too!)... Where to go????? Any advice appreciated.
(so far - short list: St Mortiz, Kitsbuhel, Villars, Klosters, Arosa, Murren, cervinia... think they are all sunny... but difficult to find out about location of things) THANKS!!
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Rohrmoos. Not a pretty town though. A satellite if Schladming, which us quite nice.
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@susan72, welcome to snowHeads. Saas Fee maybe? Somewhere with good chance of decent snow early season important if booking ahead. Open south facing nursery slopes not too difficult to find. Ski in/ski out smart hotel in a pretty town a bit more challenging. Early January sun notoriously fickle and weak up here in Europe.

Courchevel has reliable snow, the sort of slopes you're looking for, along with smart (and expensive) hotels directly onto easy pistes. I wouldn't describe the town as pretty though.

Apart from new year weekend, early January very low season, with lots of hotel rooms vacant. I'd be tempted to book very late, once you know what snow and weather conditions are like.
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@susan72, Welcome to snowHeads! snowHead
Out of the resorts you've short listed I'd recommend Mürren. Definitely a "pretty" town (it's also car free). The nursery slope is right in the centre of town and in a sunny position. Blue runs are easily accessible using the Allmendhubel funicular adjacent to the nursery slope. Flying in to a Swiss airport its quite easy getting to Mürren using the Swiss railways transfer ticket.
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Fiss, Tirol, Austria
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la villa?
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Quote:

Apart from new year weekend, early January very low season, with lots of hotel rooms vacant. I'd be tempted to book very late, once you know what snow and weather conditions are like.


This. and don't worry about your 5 year old "transitioning" to blue runs. Leave that to the instructor!

You could stay at the Calgary Hotel in Les Saisies, which ticks your boxes. But I'd still advise last minute booking at that time of year.
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Avoriaz? Super convenient...

Ski in/out restricts things somewhat.

Per @pam w, accommodation unlikely to be an issue but flights might be more expensive the later you wait (my expectation after the last few winter starts is that many will be leaving booking of accom to last minute but flights maybe not so much) - so choose an airport with lots of options (e.g. Geneva)
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I learnt to ski in Arosa & Klosters. I don't remember it but I know my parents chose them for ease with children and nice hotels. Stayed in the Kulm hotel in Arosa, not sure about Klosters
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Alpinresort and Alpenhotel in Saalbach have the Snowacademy nursery area in their back garden. Hotel Saalbacherhof is opposite, so three excellent hotels all within 2 minutes of the children's slopes. The blue runs on Kohlmais or towards Hinterglemm are on the sunny side of the valley - as Saalbach-Hinterglemm is located in a V-shaped valley, the south-facing side is the sunny, flatter side.
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Try Cortina in Italy, great learner slopes at Scopoles. Great town too!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
When I stayed near Cortina it was quite a slog uphill in crowded lifts to reach any snow at all (March, not a good year for snow, but then it often isn't).
Quote:

accommodation unlikely to be an issue but flights might be more expensive the later you wait

absolutely true. If you need flights, you are best booking early. Driving, it makes no difference.
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Quote:

Courchevel has reliable snow, the sort of slopes you're looking for, along with smart (and expensive) hotels directly onto easy pistes. I wouldn't describe the town as pretty though.



If money isn't a major object then one of the hotels on the Bellecote in Courchevel 1850 would suit you very well indeed. The town isn't a beauty but that part of it is quite nice with good views
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You know it makes sense.
Surprised Wengen hasn't had a mention yet. Nursery slopes are in the middle of the village with most hotels within 100 or so metres away. Car free, and easy-peasy blue runs back to the village from Wengernalp. Great ski schools too - Swiss, Altitude (British) and Privat.

Looking down at the village from the top of the nursery slope:

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I would pass on Wengen in early January if you are looking for ski in ski out it is low. However Kleine Scheidegg is high has excellent slope access and nursery slope access. Not much there though.

My recommendation would be Oberlech. Very ritzy, ski in ski out and nursery slopes are adjacent. Lots of gentle style flattering easy blue runs. The piste maintenance is excellent. Start by looking at the Burg Vital resort. Their kids club gets rave reviews.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@pam w,
Quote:

When I stayed near Cortina it was quite a slog uphill in crowded lifts to reach any snow at all (March, not a good year for snow, but then it often isn't).

All depends on your location surely?

Both these are slope side to easy pistes and learner area.

http://www.hotelpocol.com/en/home

http://www.hotelargentinacortina.it/index.php/en/
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TQA wrote:
I would pass on Wengen in early January if you are looking for ski in ski out it is low. However Kleine Scheidegg is high has excellent slope access and nursery slope access. Not much there though.

My recommendation would be Oberlech. Very ritzy, ski in ski out and nursery slopes are adjacent. Lots of gentle style flattering easy blue runs. The piste maintenance is excellent. Start by looking at the Burg Vital resort. Their kids club gets rave reviews.


@TQA, so basically you're recommending the OP that they stay in the same resort and hotel as they did last year? wink
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Alastair Pink wrote:
TQA wrote:
I would pass on Wengen in early January if you are looking for ski in ski out it is low. However Kleine Scheidegg is high has excellent slope access and nursery slope access. Not much there though.

My recommendation would be Oberlech. Very ritzy, ski in ski out and nursery slopes are adjacent. Lots of gentle style flattering easy blue runs. The piste maintenance is excellent. Start by looking at the Burg Vital resort. Their kids club gets rave reviews.


@TQA, so basically you're recommending the OP that they stay in the same resort and hotel as they did last year? wink


OOPS MY BAD for some reason I read Oberlech as Obergurgl
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TQA wrote:
I would pass on Wengen in early January if you are looking for ski in ski out it is low.


Err....
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-38623669

Have you ever been to Wengen?
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http://www.portetta.com/


A nursery slope and a free green run basically outside the door. Then gondola up to easy blues when more confident.
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@telford_mike, and a few years ago a WC SG on the Lauberhorn was cancelled because of lack of snow. TQA is correct, Wengen is low and not snow sure
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@moseyp, Don't remember any FIS races on the Lauberhorn being cancelled due to lack of snow in recent memory. Too much snow and fog maybe.

First week in Jan can be a little bit dicey at village level but extremely unlikely the nursery area/home run won't be open with snowmaking and/or early season base. If there's no snow at all in Wengen there will likely be many other places suffering as well. Agree with Mike that it is a very good option for the OP's requirements. As is Murren.
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@Bodeswell, it was a World Cup, but FIS races have been cancelled there too from lack of snow
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@moseyp. The WC is managed by FIS, same thing. It's held in the second weekend of January since as far back as I remember watching and it was never cancelled due to lack of snow, only poor weather. Added bonus for visitors there in the second week of Jan to watch some of the training runs and soak up the atmosphere. Could even stay on for the race weekend if lucky enough to have the rooms then. Great fun.
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http://www.gettyimages.com.au/event/mens-alpine-fis-ski-world-cup-wengen-cancelled-72248914?#bare-hills-show-the-lack-of-snow-below-the-wengen-downhill-course-picture-id72985158

FIS races are different to World Cup, although yes they are all sanctioned by FIS
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The SC was called off because of rain/soft snow on the 12th. But the DH was held the day following on the 13th, won by Bode Miller. And the combined on the 14th wink So one dodgy January day since 2007, hardly not snow sure. You can see in the photo you posted that the Lauberhorn piste had snow on it.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
We're talking about ski in-ski out and at 1,200m surely it's not even debatable. Much higher resorts can't guarantee snow at village level early in the season, so I'm not sure suggesting the OP goes low because of one freak dump this year makes sense. My point about WC & FIS races being cancelled is that there's no guarantee which way it'll go when you're not very high
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This obsession with altitude. The OP wanted sunshine! It's January, you could go high, or to a Glacier and never see the light of day. I've skied in/out in Wengen during late March. You can always ski in/out in Jan with the snow making. It was hardly a freak dump, just bad timing. Over 2 weeks it will be fine. We'll just have to disagree, it's no big deal.


http://youtube.com/v/S4BwMjjrgj8
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moseyp wrote:
@telford_mike, and a few years ago a WC SG on the Lauberhorn was cancelled because of lack of snow. TQA is correct, Wengen is low and not snow sure


TQA is incorrect, and so are you. Wengen now has one of the most modern and comprehensive snowmaking systems in Switzerland. The fact that a single race was cancelled many years ago is irrelevant. It's 2017. Things change. This season (which was poor right across the Alps) we had plenty of great skiing while neighbouring resorts were very limited.

When did you last visit?
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I don't think anyone is suggesting a glacier, but trying to find places that best meet what the OP has asked for (like Oberlech or Avoriaz)

I think it's not uncommon here to find someone asking for recommendations based on certain criteria, and then people replying with their favourite resorts regardless of actual suitability! Wengen is lovely though, I'll agree with that
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@telford_mike, I think it was 2012, when another set of races was cancelled in early Jan

Snowmaking is only possible when the temperature is low, and not always possible at resort level.

If the OP had said later in Jan, or early Feb I don't think wengen would be a bad idea. It's lovely. But they didn't. So I would suggest looking at some of the other places reccomended above by some pretty knowledgable posters
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As it happens it is one of my favourite resorts. But no I wouldn't recommend it if it didn't tick any boxes and there are many for whom it would be less than ideal. I seriously don't think that lack of snow is a major issue though. And yes all those other places are fine too.
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moseyp wrote:
@telford_mike, I think it was 2012,



A lot has changed since then. The Jungfraubahn have spent a fortune on the snowmaking infrastructure. It is extremely unlikely that temps in January would be too high to use it. Certainly this season (which was mediocre all over the Alps, particularly in December) there was no problem.
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northantsred wrote:
@pam w,
Quote:

When I stayed near Cortina it was quite a slog uphill in crowded lifts to reach any snow at all (March, not a good year for snow, but then it often isn't).

All depends on your location surely?



http://www.hotelargentinacortina.it/index.php/en/


Pocol is bad apparently. But I've stayed in the Argentina last year. Hotel is great and ski in out. But is Miles away from the town.
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Saalbach has nursery slopes in the village, smart hotels and is pretty. Hinterglemm has more nursery slopes but is less pretty.
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@susan72, @TQA, has suggested Oberlech back to you and I think there is a lot to be said for it. I know that is where you have been to and are a bit concerned about the blue runs. However for a combination of being snow sure in early January, occupying a sunny position, being ski in ski out and having a pretty position it is fairly unique, I have skied most of the other resorts mentioned and I would not say any of them are as good as Oberlech on many of these criteria, so it comes down to the ease of the blue runs. My own opinion is that Oberlech has some very easy blue runs and I would be surprised if many resorts have much that is easier. I would certainly agree that some of Lech's blues can be tricky particularly the ones down to the main resort, however this is also true of a lot of other resorts that have easy blues, they also have some trickier ones and if you have been before you will know the ones to avoid. This is not to say that many of the other places mentioned won't give you a perfectly good holiday and are not great places to ski in, just that I am not sure they are much better than Oberlech for what you have stated you want.
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Courchevel, hotel crystal 2000 with Esprit ticks most of the boxes.
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Alpe d'Huez with a slopeside hotel. Not that pretty but neither are many of thé others mentioned.
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Lech or Oberlech would have been my first choice too, or Zurs. I spent several Easter holidays in the Zurserhof which is still the nicest hotel I've ever been to and was great for ski in- ski out. Don't think the ski school was over that side though, it's a good bit further down but there's plenty of hotels

@susan72, don't forget that as you progress those blue runs are going to be looking easier and easier
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Obertauern is snow sure for that time of year and is ski in/out almost everywhere. I can thoroughly recommend the hotel Schneider, where we had a lovely family holiday some years ago.
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