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First Time Skiing - 2 Families

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Pippo9, did you finally book anywhere?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
For absolute simplicity in a nice spot try Ski Famille in Les Gets - quick transfer, nice village and A+ childcare. Our 3.5yo had a ball the first year we went. Not cheap but worth 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?
My hubby used the same strategy as you and that was over 10 years ago! He bought me private lessons when we went skiing to make sure I enjoyed the skiing and then bought me ski boots for Xmas pressie so that I had no excuse not to go again!! The first time we went on a family ski holiday was with Esprit to Obergurgl. It worked out ok. Pretty mindless as everything was pre-booked with them. The food was ok but not great. Chalet was ok but not great. My son actually prefered skiing than the afternoon club and we ended up having to take him out of the club a few times and went skiing/snowball fights with him in the afternoons instead.
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As well as generally recommending Esprit, have a look at family friendly skiing in La Tania, esp if you are in the SE and can use the direct Eurostar as they are just 25 mins from Moutiers and have some lovely chalets as well as childcare staff. Used them when smalls were 4/5/6/7.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Some good options mentioned but I will throw in something a wee bit different.

If you can stretch it out a few days ie Friday to a Monday rather than Saturday to Saturday and are not constrained by budget, I would look at whistler!

Get a decent hotel in village, my favourite is pan Pacific mountain side (decent price and excellent location). Out door pool looking up the slopes, and decent few pubs on your doorstep. Ski school is the best I have seen, plenty of activities for family out with skiing (ice skating, cinema, zip linning, tube park etc) and good food.
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@Pippo9, lots of great tips here for you to ponder over, for what its worth this is what we did:

We went 17 years ago as a group of three family's, took our 2 eldest children when they were aged 6.5 & 4.5 together with 2 other children aged 6.5 & 5.5.

We went with Crystal [Tui] to Tignes, stayed in their catered chalet adjacent to the Alpaka [no more Crying or Very sad ] our main criteria was child care & lessons.

Mornings were can I say a challenge...getting two little ones dressed & down the hill with their skis ready for their lesson, but from experience it does get [much] better - than back to the chalet to get the wife ready & out - her first time on proper snow! Toofy Grin

The chalet staff collected the kids at lunchtime, fed them & entertained them for the afternoon = brilliant fun all round. Towards the end of the week we took them out for an hour or so to play on the nursery slopes - life changing memories!

That was it - hooked...the following year we all went back again to the same chalet in Tignes [think it was called Lavachet] & took our youngest who was around 18 months old, we booked her into the nursery which was just up the hill and the rest is history.

IMO if the kids are happy you've got it sorted, the girls can always do their own thing, play a little on the hill, coffee & shopping etc. Good luck snowHead
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
The best resort with something to do besides skiing that I experienced was Are in Sweden. My eldest arranged a flight to somewhere near Are from Heathrow I think, and a mini bus ride to our self catering flat in the middle of Are itself. A bit of a trek to the slopes and back every day but reasonably ok. The real plus was for Mrs TCSC, who doesn't ski, with there being a brilliant leisure centre and lots of trips available to see things like ice hotels, caribou herds and such. Much better than anything we found in France or Italy.
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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!
Snowcoach. I am always recommending Snowcoach to the extent that some may think I have shares in them, but I don't. If you like what Snowcoach provides, -- you really like it. Pretty much every thing is done for you. No hassle transport on a modern coach. Park and leave car at hotel pickup point in outskirts of Watford Friday afternoon. Throw kit onto coach, no extra charge, no security palaver. Get comfy on coach. Wake up next morning in the resort just after breakfast time if traffic ok. Video on way over, and I have seen all the kids find the trip ok. Much easier than airports and flying I think.

Snowcoach has its own store of equipment and ski technicians who will kit you out and get your ski passes for you. If you go to Valmeinier it is a very short walk to the ski lesson meeting point. There is a very wide area to learn on which makes things much easier.

Hotel Aigle is 3/4 board and provides hot drinks at end of skiing day. They have big dinning tables so the families can all sit together. They provide ski guiding if you want it but not weekends or Wednesday. They also provide evening activities and I have seen them do things for the young children but I can not comment on that having mainly gone outside half term when there are few kids.

A collection of the usual shops, restaurants, and bars in the village, and a bowling ally but not much more. I am always too tired to go out clubbing at the end of a skiing day anyway. I was grateful that the medical centre was only 25 metre walk from the hotel a couple of years ago, even though the X-ray equipment was out of the Arc! But it did the job and the doctor knew what forms I needed to collect my insurance. A deal of phoning back to the UK to sort out problems concerning my insurance, but the dual language staff aided big time and gave me all the facilities I needed.

Cheap but to my mind very cheerful. £200, or more, cheaper than anybody else who at the same time don't offer all the things that Snowcoach do anyway. The hotel is not the poshest one I know, but if you have a bunch of kids in tow I don't think you would want a posh hotel anyway!

I have been with Snowcoach maybe 10 or 15 times over the past 25 years and I love them. One thing I like is they have a knack of hiring young kids. What they lack in experience, they by far usually make up for in enthusiasm. And you get 8 days skiing as opposed to the 6 you would get flying! Saturday through to following Saturday and travel back over night. Home on Sunday afternoon.

I can not say things haven't gone wrong, but no more so than with any other operator I have been with. Snowcoach gets my vote.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Not been on for a while, but just a big thank you for some of the recommendations - some great options I'd not considered here. We are meeting up for a weekend with our friends in a couple of weeks so will discuss it with them then and hopefully get something booked Very Happy
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
bear in mind that the Galtenberg Kinderhotel is in Inneralpbach, not Alpbach (c3kms away). It has good facilities, but if you want to do something else eg go to Alpbach in the evening, you will need a car or a taxi. Or you can stay in one of the more characterful hotels in Alpbach (Borglerhof, Alpbacherhof, Post, not cheap but a fraction of France/Switzerland) but you will need to get the (free) bus in the mornings. There is a beginner slope in Alpbach, but it is just 1 short run.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Make sure the lessons are in English. Beware of the phrase ' English speaking instructors ' lessons can be in another language with the instructor throwing in ' bend zee knees ' at random intervals.

Look at the location of the accommodation in relation to the kids ski school assembly point. If the accommodation has an on demand minibus this is good cramming on to a crowded ski bus with kids is not so good.

I can not believe people are recommending Zermat for beginners with kids, accommodation is expensive, lunch stops on the mountain are extraordinarily expensive. the nursery slopes are half way up and the areas don't link up. Oh yes we have crowded ski buses. Some of the blue / red pistes have nasty steep icy pitches.
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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.
@TQA, "I can not believe people are recommending Zermat for beginners …"

Whitegold made the recommendation, which should tell you everything !
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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
@Pippo9, you say in your OP that you want catered, and I get that. However, don't dismiss the advantages of self catering, and accessible accommodation. When we started out with Miniroll and friends the opportunity to return to base at lunchtime for soup, snacks, or general downtime before selecting an afternoon pursuit [perhaps other than skiing] was invaluable. Having your own apartment gives you flexibility on the clothing you wear at any given time, toys being left out or scattered around the floor, meal times, and if someone wants a day or 1/2 day off, you are not restricted to a bedroom in a hotel.

For sure, you need to make everyone in the party responsible for some of the cooking duties (some of whom will almost inevitably will say ' it's my holiday too: I don't want to cook') - and you won't want to restaurant every night, unless you have unlimited funds. But
in our village (Arc1950) the supermarket does roast chicken in a bag, so all that needs preparing is the tatties and veg. 2 people can do that while the others sip on a well-earned G&T and lay the table. Swap roles the next night. Tartes from the bakery (or our favourite, fruit pieces dipped in a chocolate 'fondue'), make for easy puddings. Breakfasts can be adapated to individual tastes. With two families chores can be shared, meal times can be a fun part of the experience.

And the pistes run through the village (it advertises itself as 'shopping on skis') meaning that lunchtime pickup and room access (missing glove, extra layer/layer discard, forgotten lipsalve, etc, etc, etc. ) incredibly easy

Absolutely understand, sc is not for everyone, but don't dismiss it out of hand - there are reasons why it can be a good choice.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
food at hotels or chalets is often a bit fancy for real youngsters. And you have limited accommodation space. If you get a sc flat you have options. You can go out, or you can make a kitchen supper. Encourage the children to help lay the table, do a bit of cooking, a bit of washing up. Many nice flats have well stocked cupboards and say if something runs out, please replace it. Honesty basis. Give the Mums the week off completely.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
So, we are from 2 families down to 1. Which would be us Very Happy .

We are in the fortunate position that our children or off 22nd to 29th February, which is a week later than most of the rest of the UK. It means prices are much more reasonable and so I think we'd be crazy not to go this year. We've already now made some other holiday commitments, so dont want to go crazy on budget. I've also got a long weekend for me and some mates planned in Chamonix mid March.

For the family I've narrowed it down to:

1. Snowbizz - great reviews, kids activities look excellent, nice looking resort. Downside is that accommodation looks a little basic and also that the kids will be split into different groups based on age. Having some living space and kitchen is a plus.

2. Crystal to Passo Tonale - hotel looks nice (pool, spa - for when the better half doesnt want to ski), good pistes for beginners, kids would be in the same kids club based on Crystal age ranges (4-Cool. Downside is long transfer, late arrival time and setup for kids activities maybe not quite as great as Snowbizz.

My biggest question is probably around the age ranges. At 4 and 8, Snowbizz would have them in different kids groups. However in Crystal theyd both be in Beanie Bear. What do people think on this? I probably favour Snowbizz overall, but I think the Crystal option allows the kids to stay together better (also Snowbizz only do 1 hr a day lessons from the creche for the 4 yr old).

Any advice on the above is greatly appreciated.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Possibly look at Wengen and Saas Fee (more snow sure).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm hoping that both Puy St Vincent and Passo Tonale both have enough snow in late Feb. Otherwise we're all in for a pretty tough season.
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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?
Have you checked out Ski2 at Champoluc? Really great for families.
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I wouldn't worry about the kids being in different age groups - depending how physical your 4 year old is, one hour of skiing and then lots of creche time playing in the snow will be enough and there's nothing stopping you, later in the week, taking them out for an extra bit to family ski time. The key at young ages is getting them to realky enjoy it so (a) they get the bug and (b) making sure everyone has lots of fun to make sure this becomes a regular family thing for you all!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Courchevel 1850.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
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Our family all learned in Alpbach. The skiing is out the village, short bus journey away. What worked well was having all the family up the mountain taking different lessons and then able to meet at lunch easily. inner Alpbach where Galtenburg is found is very quiet, dead. But it's a great position for lifts up and down both sides the valley which gives the better skiers a few end of day / lesson options. We used Alpbach Activ for all lessons. they were great, fair few native English speakers, also flexible when minimum group sizes were not met...ie ran the lesson.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Pippo9,

Just consider yourself lucky you don't have to plan where to stash your mistress on your ski trip snowHead

https://www.inquisitr.com/4521203/trump-tells-howard-stern-about-day-he-stashed-mistress-marla-maples-on-vacation-with-wife-ivana-kids-video/
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