Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Oh god, it's another 'What resort?' thread

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
OK, so my friends are finally reaching the point where their children are old-enough to go skiing and looks like there could be either 5, 8, or 12 of us going for Easter 2020, with be.

    At least 4 will be in week 1 ski school, which leave me and 2 or 3 others who will need a good-sized ski area to play with.

    Budget probably means self catering, ideally in the same property

    My preference is a real village, and preferably Austria

    I don't like rabbit hutches and as we're a group of mixed families having someone on a sofa bed in the living room's not really an option


Of the resorts I know Morzine would be the easy pick - real village with plenty of well-priced chalets. Problem is I ski it at least 1 week a year anyway and either we're split between beginners on the Morzine/Les Gets area and others on the main PdS side, so a hastle to meet up or making life harder for the beginners by forcing them to bus to Avoriaz every day.

We could go Avoriaz but significantly more money for much less floor space and not the same village vibe. I'd also like to try somewhere I've never been before.

I've skied Les Arcs and La Plagneand while the skiing was good they fail the village test.

From other "What resort?" threads I was looking at Saalbach but wasn't finding much in the self catering chalet type of accomodation - is that just the "Austria just doesn't really do that" thing?

Italy's an option and while it generally wins on value for money it does come in third (France second, Austria first) in terms of chair lift infrastructure and looking to spoil the beginners.

Off to Oz en Oisans in Jan. Not likely to hit the village feel but will give me a chance to check out Alpe d'Huez.



So... any suggestions?
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
How about a set of apartments in the same building? Loads in Austria
snow conditions     
 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?
Alas, you are correct about Saalbach. It totally ticks the real village box, but it's mainly hotels, with a few apartments, and very few chalets.

However, this new apartment complex looks great — I used to stay in the hotel it has replaced. But it's pricy:

https://hotel-apartment-sonnleiten.alpenparks.at/en/

There is also this apartment complex:

https://www.sunweb.co.uk/ski/austria/skicircus-saalbach-hinterglemm-leogang-fieberbrunn/saalbach/residence-saalbach-apartments?Duration=8&Month=2019-01-01&Mealplan=LG&TransportType=1&Participants[0][0]=1988-03-20&Participants[0][1]=1988-03-20&Allocation=2

There are some other independent apartments, that can be quite good value, especially if you book well in advance. Just have a good Google search etc.

Saalbach is wonderful, I go there every year.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
As @holidayloverxx has suggested, loads of apartmenthauses in most Austrian resorts. Even Saalbach.

We’ve stayed in a lovely one called Schöne Aussicht in the summer. Peter the owner rents in winter too. The resort websites are usually a good place to start. https://www.saalbach.com/saalbach-booking/Query
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I'd not offer any advice on Austria as the far more informed and experienced on here will give much better representation of, so will leave that to them.

In regard of France though I'd look at Flaine. Of course I know it doesn't look like Morzine or any other traditional village and receives comment almost universally for it's architecture. But there's much more to offer a mixed group for skiing than a superficial skim views can give. It does function as a village though.
It was constructed right in the middle of a snow bowl, which gives one of the most easily usable ski areas possible, particularly for that mix of raw beginner to any level of advanced skill.
There really is no travelling, you just walk out onto the snow and get the lift or lesson particularly if you stay in either Forum (most embedded into the immediate piste) or Foret, a slightly more spread out grouping but still leading right onto the snow.
For hotel in Forum, look at "Le Totem" it's boot room access is literally on the main piste area in the centre.
It's also one of the easiest ski areas to get different groups together for lunch as nothing is really far away in the main bowl, making it easy to ski essentially the same location.
Apartments "Flaine Mont Soliel Terraces de Eos" sits just above the main village but piste connected in and out. It offers generous sized apartments plus really good indoor pool, sauna etc. It also has a fabulous outdoor pool on a high balcony with views over the whole ski valley, we as a family group thought it quite special.
There are private rentals plus commercial run apartment offered here. Usual french occupancy counts sofabed, so you have to get something 2bed over your needs.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@holidayloverxx, makes a good suggestion, as then you have flexibility. Larger families bigger apartment, smaller family smaller apt etc and no need for sofa beds. If you are set on Austria, then I am sure there are plenty of options. If you want village but France, then you could look at the Grand Massif. If you know Morzine etc then you know the rough area. We have a place in Les Carroz and have found it great for the kids as well as mixed groups. Adults can blast off to Flaine and get back in time for ski school pick-up, and if you have one fast and confident skier in the group, then can always be sent on ahead to gather up all of the littlies. It has village activities as well. It is a proper family resort though, so no hopping apres ski. We'll be there at that time with a big group of families as well. Reminder to me to knock on neighbours doors at Christmas to see if they will rent out.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hmm. I've done several holidays like that and unless there's a "common room" of some kind, separate apartments doesn't really work for a group like this. You need somewhere where everyone has their own bedroom (no sofa beds in living room) but everyone can sit round one big table - so that in the evening kids can play in the background and be put to bed when the time comes, without isolating anybody, and the drinking and chat can go on as long as anybody wants. That also means that there's a kitchen where those preparing supper can interact with everyone else - and there are enough big utensils etc so that cooking for 12 becomes a pleasure rather than a juggling act.

Accommodation like that is not easy to find - we rented one with 6 double en-suite rooms in Les Gets and more recently we used this one in in Saisies https://www.gites-de-france.com/location-vacances-Villard-sur-doron-Gite-Le-Gite-De-Bisanne-73G317117.html I also recommended that to a Snowhead who was looking for a place with an accessible bathroom etc for a family member in a wheel chair. They loved it.

If I were planning a holiday like this I'd be looking for the ideal chalet first, and worrying about the resort second. The fact is that the OP is almost certainly going to have to compromise on some of his requirements, given the scarcity of this kind of accommodation. And given that it'll be mid-April.

It's a super way of having a low cost holiday and if all concerned pull their weight, a lot less work than self catering as an isolated family.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks guys. I do regular non-ski holidays with the same people and, as Pam spotted, the thing we've found with separate apartments is it's much less social. It might work if just the 2 families and neighbouring apartments as one pair of children will be 11/13 so up later and OK to be asleep on their own in one apartment while the adults socialize in the other. If it's 3 families we're looking at 3 younger children across 2 families who really need someone else in the apartment once they go to bed, which means 2 adults on their own in their apartments. Not so social.

I'm not against France (I've only done PdS/Paradiski, so plenty of other big ski areas that would be new to me too) and think that's probably going to be the best option as more group chalet type accomodation.
snow conditions     
 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.
When I've looked for similar-sized accommodation with a decent common area, I found Interhome to be a decent option. They're maybe not the cheapest, but most are reasonable value, and they have a decent range for up to 12 people. If you want to be very close to the slopes, then you'll need to be careful checking the location, as the Interhome site overall is not that skiing-focussed
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Take a look at Westendorf.

We used to do trips there with 5-6 other families, often with grandparents too. Mine and 1 otger family stayed in the hotel Glockenstuhl (which is lovely btw), but the others were all self catering together - can’t remember exactly where, but we did 5 trips there together and everything worked really well.
latest report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:


I've skied Les Arcs and La Plagne and while the skiing was good they fail the village test.


Have you tried Arcs 1950? I know some call it 'Disney on snow', but it really is a village when you stay there. Good quality accommodation and variety of bedroom numbers, with ample space ( e.g. our apartment, 1x double, 1x twin: 67sq m); no better ski-in/out anywhere in Europe; no vehicles, so safe for kids to go out in evening; plenty of free entertainment and self catering abounds. Good choice of ski schools too.

And of course you know that the skiing is fabulous...
ski holidays     
 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.
Arcs 1950 sounds a good idea. Proximity to the ski school meeting place for kids will be very important and by mid-April being high (rather than in a traditional village) will be helpful.
latest report     
 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
With Easter 2020 being April 12th and the bank holiday the 13th (much better than this year but still pretty late) I think you should be thinking high rather than "pretty village" For obvious reasons you don't have pretty villages at high altitude. If you want to give the beginners a good skiing experience than go where there is good snow that late.

So bite the bullet and aim for one of the big tarrentaise resorts such as Tignes or Val Thorens.

Oh and don't worry too much about it; in nearly 18 months time some people will have pulled out and others may wish to go. It's like that when organising ski trips
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
johnE wrote:
With Easter 2020 being April 12th and the bank holiday the 13th (much better than this year but still pretty late) I think you should be thinking high rather than "pretty village" For obvious reasons you don't have pretty villages at high altitude. If you want to give the beginners a good skiing experience than go where there is good snow that late.

So bite the bullet and aim for one of the big tarrentaise resorts such as Tignes or Val Thorens.

Oh and don't worry too much about it; in nearly 18 months time some people will have pulled out and others may wish to go. It's like that when organising ski trips


Obergurgl is reasonably not-unattractive and is, of course, high.
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I like the idea of basing your trip on accommodations. With 4 first weekers, you are not going to be doing a lot of crazy off piste stuff anyway. They will need picking up at lessons, hand holding etc. Ideally, you would go in February rather than Easter, to guarantee snow. Any chance that could happen, since you're 18 months away? If you are set Easter, definitely go for one of the high altitude resorts -- you really want the best snow possible. We have friends who swear by Les Arcs in Easter, they have never been skunked for snow or sunshine...
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
johnE wrote:
With Easter 2020 being April 12th and the bank holiday the 13th (much better than this year but still pretty late) I think you should be thinking high rather than "pretty village" For obvious reasons you don't have pretty villages at high altitude. If you want to give the beginners a good skiing experience than go where there is good snow that late.

So bite the bullet and aim for one of the big tarrentaise resorts such as Tignes or Val Thorens.

Oh and don't worry too much about it; in nearly 18 months time some people will have pulled out and others may wish to go. It's like that when organising ski trips


was thinking this also, I'd have thought Tignes would tick everything apart from pretty village. Have a look at this
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Pasigal wrote:
Ideally, you would go in February rather than Easter, to guarantee snow. Any chance that could happen, since you're 18 months away?


Actually I'm beginning to wonder where my own self-imposed Easter came from and I think it was down to cost - but the whole point of organising now is to get in early and be able to book flights when the first come out, not when they are £200pp, so happy to consider swapping to Feb. half term (bloody children!).

What other large French ski areas have actual village bases like Morzine, given that looks most likely to give the sort of accomodation I'm looking for?
ski holidays     
 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?
Bourg st Maurice is actually a town so doesn't count. Anyway I think your party will get a bit fed up walking to funicular and going up it every day and think why didn't we stay here in the first place. As for villages that were there before the skiing came you have St. Martin en Bellville, Champagny, la Praz, Villaroger and Pralognan-la-Vanoise, but these are really pretty small places and very quiet. Val d'Isere was, of course a village before becoming a large ski resort.

What do you want from the village? If you are looking at Febuary have you thought about the Dolomites. The villages may not be all that attractive, but the scenery around them is simply stunning.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Mjit wrote:
Pasigal wrote:
Ideally, you would go in February rather than Easter, to guarantee snow. Any chance that could happen, since you're 18 months away?


Actually I'm beginning to wonder where my own self-imposed Easter came from and I think it was down to cost - but the whole point of organising now is to get in early and be able to book flights when the first come out, not when they are £200pp, so happy to consider swapping to Feb. half term (bloody children!).

I'm a big fan of Kronplatz, but it does have drawbacks. I would say April is too late unless the snow is really really exceptional, but at half term......
What do you want from the village? Sankt Vigilio is a real village and you can get self contained apartments within the same building at several places. We like www.mareo.it which is very close to the slopes and central as well. But you pay for that. At half term this year we are paying about €250 each for self catering. About a mile away is another place we have stayed in at Mantena and that's about €170 per person at half term (three or four apartments in the same building). But it is a mile away from the slopes and the village. Fly to Innsbruck / Munich / Verona and hire a car for the week and it works ok but not as good as the more expensive, more central place.
A good place for beginners with a fantastic slope ("Miara") for learners and good access via gondolas so you can download on them if need be. A decent local area with three nice blacks (Piculin, Hernegg and Sylwester) and access to the full Dolomite area - with a car it is easy, without a car, less so.
At half term the flights might be highly priced. This year we are flying from Glasgow (Scottish half term is at different dates) on the Friday and returning on the Sunday avoiding Saturday to Saturday.
So it can be done. It all depends on what you are prepared to compromise on.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Mjit, all the apartmenthauses I’ve stayed in in Austria have had a common room/dining room that’s free for any guests to use. The one in Saalbach I mentioned above has this and a games room (with table tennis table) available.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Lech.
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Whitegold wrote:
Lech.

At the Bogner Milfs?
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Going here in January with my wife, 2 of my kids and two other couples. https://en.adler-resort.at
Renting 2 separate apartments and you can opt in and opt out of their all inclusive. Very close to slopes. Hinterglemm and saalbach are brilliant
latest report     
 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.
Quote:

there could be either 5, 8, or 12 of us going for Easter 2020

@Mjit, I live in Saalbach during the winter, and there is a pretty good network of British people there, who own and rent apartments. I am good friends with quite a few of them, and we keep in contact via FB. There would be no problem in finding good, self-catering accommodation for five or six people, but, as others have commented, once you get up to 8 or more people, all requiring bedrooms (and no sleeping on sofabeds in living rooms), you're realistically talking about two or more apartments - or a hotel or chalet. It may be worth mentioning that some of the hotels have recently downgraded to B&B, rather than half board (something to do with a change in the Austrian tax laws).

I would be happy to give any advice that you may need - also to send you my comprehensive guide to the resort, covering most aspects. PM me your email address if you would like this.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
To explain my whole village fettish it's just been my experience that you get more competition so better value for money.

In all the purpose built resorts I've been to I've always come away with the feeling you're a captive audience and getting exploited. One company owns everything, so prices are basically the same in each of the 7 average restaurants, one for each night of the week, a week spent leaving a restaurant with someone saying "That wasn't very good, let's try X tomorrow night. Maybe that's better." every night.

With a real village there's room to expand and for someone to build a new chalet or restaurant. If they are better than an existing one the existing one has to step their game up or drop their prices.

My purpose-built resort experienced as Les Arc 1950, Belle Plagne and Avorias - maybe they aren't representitive...
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Mjit wrote:
In all the purpose built resorts I've been to I've always come away with the feeling you're a captive audience and getting exploited. One company owns everything, so prices are basically the same in each of the 7 average restaurants, one for each night of the week, a week spent leaving a restaurant with someone saying "That wasn't very good, let's try X tomorrow night. Maybe that's better." every night.

Bit confused by this. You said "Budget probably means self catering" but the above comment suggests you will be eating out every night?

Did I get the wrong end of the stick?
ski holidays     
 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.
Well, @Mjit, as said before, you will have to compromise somewhere along the line. Real genuine historical pretty characterful villages are not guaranteed snow in mid-April. If you've never before skied in a group with small kids you might not appreciate how important it is to be close to the ski school meeting place. Nor how little far away skiing you can get done before you have to come back to meet them....
snow conditions     
 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
@Mjit, I'll grant you the restaurants in 1950 aren't good enough for eating out every night! (but you said s/c, so I figured...)
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
With comparatively little effort a group of friends can cook meals for each other which will be far better value than most samey resort restaurants.
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Mjit, OK it is Arc1600 I am most familiar with but my experience is that the various retail units are bought, sold and rented out to different people different years. One small ski shop that largely specialised in rental and repairs closed one year and someone else took it over and made a champagne bar that lasted a year. Someone else took it over and converted to, I'm not sure what. There is room for and there is a lot ofcompetition
OK, the pharmacist and the mini market have no direct competition and the prices are relatively high, just like a village in the UK in fact. However, they do have to keep an eye on the nearby competitors. In the UK village people can often drive to a nearby supermarket whereas in Arc1600 they can get the funicular and shop in the hypermarkets of Bourg st Maurice.
I suppose the real problem is that the specialist holiday resorts are only open for 6 months of the year (4 months winter + 2 months summer season) whereas an existing village will have at least some people in it all year, perhaps sufficient to maintain a small shop and a bar.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Thu 29-11-18 11:22; edited 1 time in total
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
some thoughts
1/2 the group are 1st time skiers
Thats a lot of resort wasted on them & bigger resorts tend to be more expensive.

As its not going to be your only ski week of the year, then maybe think of a smaller resort. Parents prob. dont want to be to far from their kids anyway. So that 400km of slope is going to wasted for the majority of the group.
The fun of a group is to be sociable. Its not all about the skiing.
You could look at a smaller area in the Maurienne Valley, that still has resorts with 100km+ of slopes, as well as affordable chalets.
Valloire/Valmeiner lift pass for example can have a day upgrade to 3 valleys (via Orelle & a direct link to Val Thorens) which is 30mins away.
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Mjit wrote:

    My preference is a real village, and preferably Austria



I love these threads - I might start one called 'Which resort in France?' and wait for a list of Austrian and Italian resorts to roll in.

Obergurgl was a good suggestion btw.
snow report     
 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?
Layne wrote:
Mjit wrote:
In all the purpose built resorts I've been to I've always come away with the feeling you're a captive audience and getting exploited. One company owns everything, so prices are basically the same in each of the 7 average restaurants, one for each night of the week, a week spent leaving a restaurant with someone saying "That wasn't very good, let's try X tomorrow night. Maybe that's better." every night.

Bit confused by this. You said "Budget probably means self catering" but the above comment suggests you will be eating out every night?

Did I get the wrong end of the stick?


No - the Les Arcs trip was just pre-children when we all had disposable income Smile
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Drammeister wrote:
Mjit wrote:

    My preference is a real village, and preferably Austria



I love these threads - I might start one called 'Which resort in France?' and wait for a list of Austrian and Italian resorts to roll in.

Obergurgl was a good suggestion btw.

But you missed the rest of the post where they talk a lot about French resorts and their second post which said "I'm not against France".
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yep, @Layne, we've been rumbled by the geographical police Very Happy

I read the same from initial posts, "preferably " Austria, but France and Italy referenced as possible.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Mjit, I think that there’s some truth in what you say about a closed shop/ restrictive practices inflating prices in some resorts. My theory about the generally low (relatively speaking) prices in Saalbach has always been that (a) it’s a normal village, rather than all about the skiing - people live and work there all year round and the supermarkets are national chains, so no more pricey than anywhere else in Austria; (b) there is genuine competition amongst the plethora of bars and restaurants, which keeps prices reasonable.
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

I think that there’s some truth in what you say about a closed shop/ restrictive practices inflating prices in some resorts

I'm sure there is. In some resorts in France, certainly, a few local families own most businesses. And the cartel which keeps ski hire prices so high in St Anton has long been a factor.
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
A few random thoughts then:

When you go seems now open to question and potentially quite critical: going in Feb half term will undoubtedly be more costly (for the apartment for sure and maybe for flights) and busier. On the plus side chances are a will be a lot more snowy and wintery. So for example even in French resorts with mid-rise apartments it look/feel much nicer, the kids will be able to sledge and play in the snow. And so on. Whereas in April you will have to go higher and "uglier" places to get the latter.

Priorities seen to be...

#1 A large chalet/apartment that can cater for 12
#2 Good ski school
#3 #1 close to meeting place for #2

It seems you don't really need restaurants and apres on account you will be making your own.

I'm not really buying these getting exploited by a cartel thing.... in the sense that yes, there isn't full competition in some areas but I think there is enough in terms of competition between different towns, resorts, countries to keep things reasonable. You just have to be on the ball a little bit. And any 'on the slopes' station/village will always carry a bit of a premium. And with kids/ski school you ideally want that IMO.
snow conditions     
 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.
ski3 wrote:
Yep, @Layne, we've been rumbled by the geographical police Very Happy

I read the same from initial posts, "preferably " Austria, but France and Italy referenced as possible.


Yep, what I was trying, and it seems failing, to do was say I'm open to almost any country in Europe that best matches my many, often conflicting requirements. If that resorts in Austria, perfect, but if there's one in France or Italy that ticks more boxes I'll happily go to France or Italy instead.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Such a lot will depend on timing - half term so different from Easter! I still think the most difficult criterion to satisfy - especially at half term when some of the other constraints (of altitude) fall away - will be a suitable self-catering chalet. Ironically those that exist will be harder to find at half term, as they'll be booked up ages in advance, if they're any good.
snow report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy