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Chalet company recommendations - family with kids aged 12+

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, we've been doing family ski holidays to France with esprit for years, and have have always been very impressed. However after this year, the youngest will be 12, so we need to find a new company.

I saw a lot of recommendations for Ski Olympic, but they only fly out of Stansted. Ideally we'd like to fly from Bristol, Heathrow as a second option. Places like Stansted are quite a trek. It sounds a bit snobby, but we also don't really want to end up in a chalet with a bunch of 18-30 party animals. I don't know if that's unrealistic, or if the young crowd gravitate to certain companies more than others? We're happy to get on with anyone, but just don't want to end up on a completely different time schedule to everyone else in the chalet - we've probably been spoilt with esprit, because everyone is in a similar family situation!

Thanks for any recommendations...


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 1-02-22 17:56; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@richstanton, can't help directly. But when I saw the thread title I imagined a family with more than 12 children. Quite possibly it's just me - but maybe changing the title to "Chalet company recommendations - family with kids aged 12+" might make your need clearer.

Whatever, welcome to snowHeads and I hope you get some good replies.
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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?
That's a lot of kids!
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Hah - see what you mean. Now to find the edit button in the mobile website...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
There aren't many of the traditional sort of chalets left.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Skivo2 in courchevel le prazis very good. They have numerous chalets. Though I think flights you have to book yourself. Ive not personally booked with them, as I went on holiday with my dad but he’s gone with them a few times.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Why not book your own flight and chalet separately? Post on Chalets Direct and owners will come back to you.
You can tell them that you don’t want to be in a chalet with a certain demographic. I’ve frequently stipulated that I didn’t want to stay if there were any children. For example, Jack and Jill Holidays in Morzine is a company that operates a number of chalets and recommended one accordingly.
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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!
How do you deal with transfers if you book separately?
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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.
@richstanton, Many chalet operators offer transfer, or did before Covid. If you find a chalet you like the look of (Chalets direct is a good source) contact them and ask about transfers.

If you do book various parts of your holiday separately, just make sure you have the right insurances in place in case one component cancels on you.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Thanks, I'll look into it, hadn't really thought of doing it that way!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Booking independently generally works out cheaper and gives you more flexibility.
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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.
CaravanSkier wrote:
Booking independently generally works out cheaper and gives you more flexibility.


We've been indy skiers for 20yrs. I'm not sure if going independently is actually cheaper anymore.

What it does give you is control. Control to not have to wait around for transfers or flights for hours. Choose nice accomm to suit your budget. Stretch to a 9 dayer is my absolute big plus. Madeye-Smiley
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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
richstanton,

We've stayed in a few chalets over the years and have never experienced young, party animal guests. I think chalets are generally at the pricey end of ski trips so may not fit the budget of YPAs wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We have four children, since they were tiny have had a least 2 family ski trips per year. We have never used a TO since having the kids. We have always found that independently organised self-catering accommodation works best, it give the kids space to chill and you can run meals etc. to your own timetable. In lots of resorts there are good creches/nurseries where small ones can be looked after during the day - although thankfully that time has passed for us both! I would strongly recommend that you go the independent route, it can often be cheaper (though not always) but for sure is more flexible. Advantages:
1. You can choose from a much wider selection of flights to find the one that works best for you
2. You can choose from a much wider selection of accommodation - booking. com, airbnb, tourist office website, sunweb, VRBO are just some of the places to search
3. Transfers are not hard to organise. A private transfer is super convenient, and hiring a car is also an easy option. You will find that both are less time-consuming and more pleasant than a TO transfer.
4. Some don't like the idea of having to cook on holiday. We tend to have a proper sit-down lunch so for dinner mostly just want bread/cheese/salad type thing. But it is really not a bother to make simple dishes and resort supermarkets are normally well set-up for that sort of thing.
5. No danger of sharing with a party crowd!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I have travelled with tour operators and independently. Both can work well but when things go wrong (eg heavy snow delays everything) it's your responsibility to decide what to do and it can become quite stressful.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Jehu, I think it very much depends on the TO and the local rep how much you can rely on them when things go wrong. And I would bet on myself to be able to do a better job than most reps when it comes to managing a crises, so in that sense I think I am better off going independent. It does depend on your level of experience and confidence, and how willing you are to shoulder the burden and stress though.

That said it is a matter of how well resourced (and insured) you are - in most situations being able to buy your way out of the problem is the most effective. For example being able to book and pay for different flights/book and pay for a hotel/get a taxi whenever you decide you need to. In my experience being able to do so leads to a quicker and more pleasant outcome than for those waiting for a rep to sort out and communicate solutions for 10s or 100s of people.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
zikomo wrote:


That said it is a matter of how well resourced (and insured) you are - in most situations being able to buy your way out of the problem is the most effective. For example being able to book and pay for different flights/book and pay for a hotel/get a taxi whenever you decide you need to. In my experience being able to do so leads to a quicker and more pleasant outcome than for those waiting for a rep to sort out and communicate solutions for 10s or 100s of people.


I pretty much agree.
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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?
Thanks for all the advice everyone, lots to think about, much appreciated!
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Quote:

it's your responsibility to decide what to do and it can become quite stressful.

it depends what kind of person you are. On one package holiday in Les Gets I arrived back at the end of the day at the chalet to find an ambulance at the door - not a good look. Discovered it was my daughter in law - damaged knee ligament. She had been given a leg splint, with the instructions that she would have to replace it/pay for another one. So I set off in search of a pharmacy and did that, as she had plenty of people ministering to her. When I got back to the chalet, the very pleasant rep had heard of the accident and come to help. She was astonished (but pleased, as it reduced her workload) to find that I'd already sorted out the pharmacy paperwork. It hadn't occurred to me to just sit around and wait for somebody. I didn't speak a lot of French (I speak more now) but the pharmacist knew the drill, and was helpful. It wasn't difficult. We sorted out, using our own separate insurance, that the patient would stick around till the end of the week, then with my son, have a scheduled flight to Bristol and an ambulance to and from the airport, both ends. Again, the insurance company knew the drill.

If you drive yourself you have to sort out the route and possibly (if you are really lucky with the weather wink wink ) snowchains. Or pay for a taxi with a driver who knows all that already.

Most people can cope perfectly well with arranging their own transfers - though the cost can come as a bit of a shock to those accustomed to packages. The thing is, many of the (few) chalets still in operation don't organise transport, so you might have no choice.
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