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Cheap learn to Ski holiday!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All

Me and the wife want to book a cheap as possible learn to ski holiday! Been looking around a few sites but it gets really confuseing when you get offered the ski packs / learn to ski packages..... They dont say if for example the learn to ski contains a ski pass...aka making it not worth getting the ski pack...

Any advice would be great on where to go / any deals out there. thinking of going in the next two weeks...

cheers
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
oafc0000, I guess you have to ask 'how cheap' ?..... I saw a coach-based si holiday based in Brides-les-Bains for £99-50 a head ... but the mixture of coach, transit to the snow fields and accomodation might just put you both off!

Cheap weeks will be commencing 5th, 12th and 19th of January .....
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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?
oafc0000,
Most learn to ski packages seem to consist of lessons, equipment and a lift pass that is often very limited in extent. To know exactly what you will have to read the small print carefully, or phone and ask if it does not explain. They often look like good value, but I have no direct experience, a few people I know have sometimes been dissapointed by the extent of the skiing avalilable on the lift pass if wanting to do a little exploring outside of lessons. You can pretty much always get big reductions in standard packages at this time of year.
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oafc0000, I would agree with the posts above. The key thing for you is to go to the right resort, and get the right sort of lessons - possibly not the "bog standard" included in the learn to ski packages. Items like distance to walk to lifts (always a bit of a struggle at first) and the quality of the equipment you hire will make a difference too. I don't know much about Austrian resorts but lots of people on here do, and they are probably the best bet for a first "winter in the mountains" experience. At the risk of being cheeky - how active/fit are you and your wife? What else is important to you about a holiday? Between us we can probably find something just right! Of the French resorts I know, La Rosiere or Les Gets would probably fit the bill, but neither has the charm of the nicest Austrian and Swiss places. I'm a Francophile, with an apartment in France, but some things are undeniable!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
oafc0000, most of the TO learn-to-ski packages include lift passes (although, as T Bar says, phone and check if it's not clear). My parents and sister learnt to ski on these type of packages and thoroughly enjoyed it and found it a good deal and setup.

My suggestion for a resort would Soldeu in Andorra - good value (not 'cheap' any more, but still not as much as the more traditional ski areas). The Sport Hotel group of hotels are very nice and right at the base of the lifts - highly recommended by me, my family and our nextdoor neighbours.
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as the others says it usually includes lift passes tuition and skis/boots, its a good way to learn and you have a good time and you are all in the same boat snowHead
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
oafc0000, I would totally agree with the above posts and would second skisimon, 's thought. Soldeu has a lot of English (as a 1st language) instructors. Great nightlife, this is very important for a first time skier. As if you do not take to the sliding you will have a very good holiday anyway.

France would not be my first choice for a novice, the skiing would be great but does not have the ringing nightlife that would be essential for first timers. After all you may not get to do the FIS downhill courses but you want to have fun.
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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!
Quote:

does not have the ringing nightlife that would be essential for first timers.
It would be useful to know a bit more about what oafc0000 and his wife are looking for. "Ringing nightlife" might be their idea of hell. My first ski holiday was in a tiny Austrian resort with no nightlife at all, but an outdoor spa pool, which was magic. We loved it, and for us the Alpine equivalent of Tenerife would have been the pits.
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That's the best part about Soldeu (especially if you stay at one of the Sport hotels). There is (I've been told) great night-life, but when I was there we didn't exactly partake in it, neither was it blindingly obvious (i.e. being out in the evening didn't automatically mean being puked on...) There is also some awesome, non-pretentious, restaurants. And of course, the sublime looking spa which is part of the Sport Hotel Hermitage complex.
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skisimon, Obviously it does in Chichester on a Friday night, I was dissapointed when I was there last year not as nice a place as twenty years ago, I suppose that is progress. Most people that go on a ski holiday are usually gregarious and enjoy the company of others, some may prefer to stay in an apartment and play scrabble with their partner, if you have the right frame of mind you may wish to enjoy the holiday, it does not have to be solitary.

Ski holidays and cheap do not normally go together, if you are looking for particular resorts we can name the eastern european countries, however for a first timer, instruction is paramount, getting someone that can communicate with is essential. If you do not take to skiing at least you want to be in a place that has something going on, whether that is curling, scenery, dining, good apres ski or indeed scrabble for the old. Soldeu did not have good restaurants when I was there (18 years ago), in fact our hotel (Sport) was the best place in town, could not spend money there and decided to eat out every night trying to find a good one to no avail. It does however have or certainly had excellent English speaking instructors.
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Roy Hockley, you've got me really confused now. What's this got to do with Chichester on a Friday night? There are different kinds of "nightlife" and I just felt it would be useful to know what sort of "nightlife" the original poster would like. It is not just "the old" Puzzled who derive no particular enjoyment from walking home from a restaurant or bar through streets full of gobby, pissed, obnoxious Brits and Scandinavians or who would prefer to be in bed before midnight after a good meal and a few drinks rather than dancing till dawn. Places like Megeve, for example, albeit French, or Kitzbuhel, have a wealth of different restaurants and bars, as well as attractive streets and buildings, which don't just appeal to the "old" but which are probably not "ringing" enough for the Tenerife crowd. It's hard to make holiday recommendations to people without having some idea of what they like. We can neither assume that they want to be drinking till 4 am every night, nor that they don't.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Roy Hockley, whilst I completely agree with you that in an ideal world a first time ski holiday would be to a resort with lots of stuff going on to give people something to do (especially if, unlikely as it is, someone doesn't take to the skiing). However these resorts tend to come with a fairly hefty price tag - fine for some, but many, even those with more than enough money, simply don't want to spend that sort of money to 'try something out'. I also fully agree with instruction - one of the reasons I generally recommend Soldeu to first-timers.

Despite some large areas of agreement, I too am slightly bemused by your reference to Chichester... Obviously what does what on a Friday night... Confused It's also a little odd to contradict someone's comments on a resort's restaurants from two years ago with those of nearly two decades ago. A lot has changed, pretty much everywhere, in that time... Andorra was the ultimate cheapo destination, cheap booze was all it was about, border guards prevented anyone over 25 from entering the country and Soldeu wasn't in the 'GrandValira', in-fact, GrandValira didn't even exist...
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skisimon, my experience of the restaurants werre poor. Since I was there you have les Piolets, Hermitage, Sport Village which are good quality places. I have recommended friends to go there and they have had a ball with quality food and accommodation. It would be for the instruction that I would guide newbies to.

pam w, Megeve and Kitzbuhel do have indeed good restaurants and are pretty villages, I have skied them both, however you mentioned two resorts at the higher end of the spectrum something that the OP did not want!! What resorts have you been to where you personally have been abused by "gobby, pissed, obnoxious, Brits and Scandinavians". I have have not experienced this. Where do you go that has these yobs? Being drunk does not equate with being loud and "gobby". Speaking for myself when drunk I tend to sit in a corner and sleep not abusing anyone. Chi is a different town from when I knew it. N/S/E and W streets on a Friday and Saturday night are noisy and boisterous I am sure there are more refined areas also!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Roy Hockley, sorry, but I still completely fail to understand the relevance of Chichester to this discussion. So let's forget that. Without having some knowledge of the nightlife preferences of oafc0000, who must be wondering how Chichester has leapt into centre stage of a debate about ski resorts, we really can't get much further with this discussion. My earlier post was to point out that that your apparent assumption that someone who didn't want "ringing" nightlife was likely to play scrabble in the apartment, and was "old" was wrong as well as rude. There are plenty of places which have adequate nightlife for many people, but which could not be described as "ringing". I also disagreed with the assumption that if someone didn't take to skiing, the most important aspect of the holiday would be lots of places to drink. Alpine charm, beautiful scenery, resort level snow, possibility of meeting up with skiers at lunchtime, shopping opportunities etc are often going to be equally, if not more, important, and as we all know, there is no resort which has everything. Hence the need for people to prioritise their requirements.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
pam w, In my origional post I did not use the word "drink" I said "nightlife". And it has great nightlife as indeed does Kitzbuhel. The OP could do worse than look at a place like Soldeu, would you not agree. If not where else would you recommend to learn within a budget?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
May also be useful to define what "budget" means in the mind of oafc0000.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
abc
oafc0000 wrote:
cheap as possible

I think that just about covers it...

Despite that, I wouldn't point someone in Eastern Europe's direction unless they wanted as "cheap as humanly possible" with cheap, dangerous booze to boot... Whilst I enjoyed my Bulgaria trip, a hundred pounds more, for a trip that's still cheap(ish) to Andorra is well 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?
Quote:

If not where else would you recommend to learn within a budget?
It depends what they want! And we don't know what they want.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Fri 28-12-07 17:04; edited 1 time in total
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Never skied in Eastern Europe so can't comment how "bad" it is. But "cheap as possible" was the requirement. And you just added a qualifier to that. Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
What is the instruction like in Eastern Europe? I dont know, but that should be a priority!

oafc0000, Good thread you started! Help us out, any additional information that can help us narrow it down would help but that would spoil the fun!! wink
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He's probably decided against the skiing and is now going to Chichester rolling eyes .
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
maggi, wink
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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!
Make sure that wherever you go, the ski-school you book runs for 4 hours a day, not 2, unless you want to have two 'learn to ski holidays' Saving money in this department is a false economy.

Skiday

more advice at www.skiday.co.uk
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Hi All

Im so sorry for not getting back to you! I have had an evil time at work and have been soooo busy!!

Anyway to answer some of your questions!

Cost:

I dont know! I have never been so I dont know what is value for money and what isnt ? Ideally I would want it sub £1000 for the both of us including flights, accomadation, transfer, ski school, ski pass and equipment hire...but I might be day dreaming there....

Nightlife:

Im not into clubbing. Im 27 and married NehNeh In my eyes you only go clubbing if your pulling and I dont think the wife will like that Smile I think nice resturants and bars will be the order of the day over banging night clubs.

Ski School:

Defo want 3/4 hours a day and not just 2...

Duration:

a week....or maybe a weekend to introduce us to it ?

Accomadation:

Not really bothered...hotel will do....whatever is cheapest...

Region:

Really not bothered as long as it is suitable for a beginner and offers enough slopes to keep us intrested....

Does this help ?
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Another factor is its £150 each to learn to ski in a day at Chillfactore Manchester and as cheap as £75 at Staffordshire ski dome....

Would it be better doing this before considering going on a holiday ?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

Would it be better doing this before considering going on a holiday ?
Not unless you are really not sure whether you are going to enjoy skiing. If you like other activities which can get you a bit wet and cold, and are moderately active, and like mountains, and have any sort of luck with your instructors, you will love it. A snowdome is a poor substitute but if you are going on a holiday a couple of hours in a snowdome can help get you going quicker. But they are pricey - you get more bang for your buck on a real slope!

If you can be flexible about timing, and go in mid to late January, you should be able to pick up a really good deal, and your budget should not be too far out, especially if you are not determined to spend as much on drinking as you do on skiing! I would recommend a lowish cost catered chalet, which includes afternoon tea after skiing (which means you don't have to spend much on lunches, which can be a big item) and wine ad lib with your evening meal. Go for a Tour Operator package which includes transfers and take the "learn to ski" deal if it looks usefully cheaper than buying the elements separately. If you read the small print, they should all say whether lift pass is included. This next week is looking a bit dodgy, weather-wise, at the moment, which rain forecast for many lower resorts - indeed up to well over 2000m. Skiing in the pouring rain, even for the truly dedicated, is dire.

But the gurus say it will probably improve from mid-January. Having a bit of sunshine, good visibility and some nice snow makes a vast difference.

If you spot some good looking deals, people here will be able to give you some feedback (probably contradictory!) on how well they would suit you.
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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.
Just had a look at the Ski World web site. OK tour operator, budget end. We had a good chalet holiday with them in La Plagne some years ago, some good feedback recently on here. They have a lot of offers around £269 for catered chalets, and learn to ski packages over the next few weeks. In Val Thorens (high, snowsure, convenient, if not exactly picturesque architecture, and will be snowed upon, not rained upon, next week!) you could get the lot for £464 each. I don't think you could do much cheaper without going self catering, and even then there wouldn't be much in it. A chalet would be more fun and feel more like a holiday. Loads of other choices too, and no doubt other operators.
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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
oafc0000, Agree with pam w, re chalet holiday. If you get some info re resorts with price post back to the forum and you will get feedback from all here.

Nice restaurants do not come cheap on the slopes, well it might if you are used to Irish prices wink A late availability catred chalet is probably the way to go. You look up the mentioned web site and get prices we will advise on location etc.

Glad to see you back.
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