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Recommend me a family resort/company please!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm looking for a resort/company that will cater for adult and kids skiing, so far we've tried the followig:

First two years we had one non-skiing little un and then 2nd year 2 non skiing little uns. 2 seasons ago my 4 year old skied in La Plagne and this year she managed greens in Courchevel 1850 on her own. So now I have a list of preferences based on experience.

Ski Esprit in Morzine end of Jan, not happy with the nannies and the particular chalet we stayed in involved a walk to the lifts and also a walk to where the kiddie care was.

Val D'Isere end of Jan with Mark Warner, couldn't be faulted but expensive

La Plagne end of March with Mark Warner, I liked this but the better half didn't like the nannies or the hotel (needs refurbing)

La Tania last week with family friendly skiing. Great company, but no easy greens accessible from La Tania and nowt for the non skier to do, and impossible to ski with 5 year old in afternoon without FFS driving us over to 1850 (which they did gladly). Courchevel ski pass once they get over 5 years old is v expensive IMHO.

So my criteria for next year in order of importance, we'd be looking at going in March/April, maybe outside the school hols, maybe in Easter

1. Proper safe green slopes, not cat tracks easily accessible from the accommodation
2. English speaking ski school <=6 kids per group, 2 hours a day lessons
3. In chalet/hotel nanny with toys etc for the younger kid and option to look after older kid a few afternoons
4. Near village for shopping/trips/sledging with kids
5. Free ski pass for 6 years olds
6. Decent enough skiing for competent on and off piste adults. Fine with smaller resorts as they don't get tracked out as quickly as the "mega" resorts
7. Large family en-suite room, or kids room attached to adult room.
8. sensible flights, ie no 3am departures from resort!

Can anyone recommend a resort/company that can meet the above criteria?

cheers,

Greg
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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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?
LeSki in Courchevel 1650 and la Tania are very good and have an excellent reputation - the owner and his wife have small children themselves so they know what works and what doesn't. The only thing missing from your checklist is the free skipass, but hey - that's skiing.
The alternative is to do what we did when our children were little - go independent, and bribe/pay a series of seasonal workers to act as your private nanny, taking children to/from ski school, playing with them, taking them swimming, picking them up and bringing them up the mountain to meet you for lunch etc - MUCH cheaper to take the package apart and reassemble in a way that suits your particular circumstances ...
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Problem is the Courcheval ski pass is just crazy, a 6 day Courchevel pass for a 5 year old in spring is 73 euros and an adult pays 100 Euros, outside of spring the lift pass for a 5 year old is 116 Euros.

How the heck they intend to encourage kids to ski with those kind of prices is beyond me.

regards,

greg
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
gregh, Wnet to La Rosiere at Easter. Ski Esprit had some great chalets that were virtually ski in ski out and virtually in the village centre. The runs are very quiet and the runs back to resort are easy blue or green. i thought it was the best place I had ever seen for kids. Consider that the young un will be another yr older and will be much stronger. Will probably be pelting down the blues by the end of the holiday. Adults all enjoyed the resort which has a lot to offer if you look for it. Kids have done Courchevel and La Plagne and liked La Ros the best. if they come on well there is also a snow park for them top play in on the runs pback to resort. Kids ski pass is about E100 and adults about E150, which compares very well. if you do go dont miss the free show on a monday night by the ESF crew, fab.

The huge plus in its favour is the virtual abscence of nutters, speed freaks and crowds in general. I have NEVER felt so safe skiing with the kids
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gregh,
Skibeat (www.skibeat.co.uk) can be highly recommended and next year they have some new chalets in La Rosiere which I have only heard good things about. I see Frosty the Snowman, recommends this too. Skibeat are very child friendly, great quality and not too expensive. Have been on two chalet hols with them and both fab.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
gregh, although I am biased about La Rosiere, I think it's perfect for families, why not have a look at our ad in snowShops or go to our website www.tracksvacation.com for more information about our packages. About the only thing that's not on offer is free ski passes for young kids, they used to be available before the Val d'Espair lift company took over our lifts but we do have some nice new high speed lifts as compensation.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Tue 26-04-05 21:00; edited 1 time in total
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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!
gregh, Wengen Switzerland fills most of your requirements, I believe the Hotel Sunstar in the center of the village has family rooms, some of the other hotels may also have some, but the Sunstar also has a pool and it has a kids play area, the village is traffic free or virtually so as there is no road up, the nursery slopes are right across the street from the hotel, as is the cable car, the railway station is a 2 minute walk away and the shops are all within the same sort of distance, many of the ski school teachers speak good english, but I think the lessons may be 3 hours long, I'm not sure of nanny facilities at the sunstar but I know the local tourist office has a list of approved childminders, ski passes for under sixes without parents are not quite free but are very very cheap, 6-15 year olds get 50% off and 16-19 year olds get a 20% discount whilst those over 62 get a 10% discount, there are several long sledge runs in the area, Currently sunstar hotels will pay for your rail journey from the airport to the resort and I also understand that mineral water , orange juice and beer are supplied foc in the room mini bar if you book direct
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Mouth, Said

Skibeat can be highly recommended. But not by me and others on this forum!

I cannot emphasise enough I would not reccomend them in any shape or form had 2 disasters with them> Their staff recruitment policy is highly dubious as are the claims for their Nanny service. Others elsewhere have posted similar thoughts.
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gregh, how about La Rosiere, plenty of family companies, both independent and ESF instructors speak good English too. Gentle slopes around the village. Ski Esprit are there I think. Many of the workers in La Ros return every year. Monetiers-les-Bains (Serre Che) also has good nursery slopes at the foot of the pistes, my new apartment is just 200m from the slopes, and there's an English ski school (Eurekaski),but no nannies, and the local daycare will most probably be French speaking. Shopping in village, also good ski bus to Briancon for more shops etc. 250km of pistes. Also good area of greens and gentle blues above Villeneuve (Frejus sector) easily reached by ski bus and gondola without having to use the link across.


La ros lift pass 6 day 102 euros.
Serre Che-free to under 6's
(Not many places do free passes for over 5's -speaking from experience, used to be under 7's in some places.)
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I'd fall in with the La Ros crowd, it is very kid/family friendy and if you stay up at the centre (Esprit, Olympic etc.) it is fery convenient for all facilities and services. It's worth a trip.
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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.
Oh yes, and I forgot to add, even our grumpy teen really enjoyed La Ros.
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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
gregh, not sure about 2 and 5 in your list but Crystal's Hotel Turquoise in Belle Plagne meets all the others. It is not gourmet food but then kids often don't want that.
Ski Peak in Vaujany (links easily into Alpe d'Huez by a huge cable car) have a good reputation for family holidays - bit more up-market than Crystal.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
gregh, Our best family experiences have been Snowline to Champoussin (they no longer go there) but caveat about taking kids to a hotel in half term as illness spreads through the building like wildfire.
I would also recommend Ski Peak as having excellent family care, and out of peak season the ESF ski schools classes are very small (My daughter was in a class of 2 in early March). With smaller kids you have already discovered The Family Ski Company, we went to Ardent near Morzine, which connects to Lindarets and is great for kids. Less good for any adult night life, although there is a Michelin starred restaurant for the chalet girls night off.
Worst family experiences - Simply Ski in Valmorel, (suprisingly), Mark Warner in Val d'Isere, Esprit in Montchavin (no snow)
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
gregh, We went to Alpe D'Huez with Crystal this year to their club hotel Les Cimes, I think that could meet most of what you're looking for. ALternatively have a look at the St. Louis in C1850 with Thomson, they also have an apartment in the roof of the hotel for groups.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boredsurfin, are you sure?

There's been a few of these threads before and I've read a number of positive comments about SkiBeat from various people (including me). I don't recall reading anything too negative.

FWIW, I've been with them twice and they were excellent the first time and pretty good the second.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
boredsurfin, I always recommend skibeat in these situations. we have used them for the past ten years and find them excellent. So what problems did you have?

We went to La tania in March - 9 adults and 6 children aged 4 to 7 and all had an excellent time. The three four year olds were in the creche but spent most of their time bum boarding and stuff. An older four year old was in the ski play thing in La Tania and the older two were up the mountain. The five year old in her first weeks skiing had no problems getting over to courcheval from La Tania up the gondala and chair and then the easy blue/green down.

I always find the chalets well planned and make sure I get the chalet of which the creche is part. I always make sure I go in March as it is warmer for the kids.

I generally find the prices very reasonable as I fill the chalet get group, early booking, ski club etc disocunts.

Only downside was the food this time which while OK was not up tot heir usual very high standards. Apparently they changed to a central menu. I fed this back to them but will still go with them next year to La Tania.

La Rosiere sounds very interesting I'm just considered that as a boarder there are too many drag lifts
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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?
On a similar theme we're going to need somewhere for last next season (mid March on) which basically isn't too dissimilar to what Greg is looking for, although would be more likely to self drive to a European destination.

An couple of extra requirements though:

1. availability of English speaking lessons for 4 year olds which actually let them get out on the mountain and ski, not just restrict them to low level/limited area nursery slopes (our three year old got thrown out of one ski school this year for being able to ski too well for them to cope with at that age!) and preferably provide supervised lunches as part of a package (although not essential if the area isn't too extensive). Junior coped fine this year with 2 x 2 hours a day, so same again wouldn't be a problem, and multiple easy runs aren't essential either as he was confidently tackling reds this season. Too many drags could be a potential problem though, as although he's already able to use them independently he's liable to be either lifted off the ground or not strong enough to pull down a hanger on his own for the retractable type.

2. (this is the tricky bit) - we're also going to need daycare/nanny/whatever provision for a baby of around 3 months, which rules out almost all of the supposedly family specialist companies.

Oh - and we probably won't be able to book with any confidence until about December, though we might take a gamble and plan to go anyway given a location which would be ok if we did end up with only one of us skiing, or taking turns. Any ideas?
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ashton parker,

I have tried to type our extremely negative (and for one set of parents of a young baby extremely harrowing) experiences of Ski Beat, however we are obliged not to repeat them.

I find your comments on their catering of interest.

Suffice to say that after holidaying with them for 5/6 seasons we do not trust them any more.
A good insight into their company and staffs behaviour can all to often be found on other seasonaire and 3 valley villages 'unofficial' websites.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 27-04-05 19:13; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Okanagan, some of the Club Med have child care from that age-I think Flaine maybe?
boredsurfin, maybe you could Pm your comments to those who wish to know, and that would keep them from public view.If posted here they could be viewed as litigous.
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Helen Beaumont,
I would like to but, as the Management have proven themselves to be vindictive already (rather like a cornered animal behaves) Suffice to say, that we were, (still are) a group of 3 familys who regularly booked with them for 5/6 years and now would never ever go near their company again.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
boredsurfin, you have me worried now, especially as we will probably have a 6 month old in our party next year.

Couldn't find anything on the latania site

a pm would be very useful for me - discretion assured
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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!
ashton parker, we took a 3-month-old with them to La Tania in the 03/04 season and they were wonderful. I'm very curious to know what boredsurfin experienced so I think I'll go and browse. I'll let you know by PM if I find anything.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
please PM me if you come across anything..........

boredsurfing you say you used them 5/6 times, was it one bad experience and 5 good?
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alan empty, much appreciated. We've travelled with Skibeat probably 15 times if not more and had no problems and the age range of our group has been from under 6 months to over 70 years!!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
alan empty, ashton parker, and others.
I am pleased that my experience of that company was isolated,


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Thu 28-04-05 14:51; edited 1 time in total
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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.
gregh, appreciate that you tried Esprit, but may be worth another look? Try Le Braconnier in La Rosiere. It's ski in/out, right next to a green. Just below the kids ski area. The chalet hosts the childrens care. On the ground floor there is a double room with ensuite and interconnecting twin room. The chalet itself is immaculate, hosts up to 12, I think. It is a bit of a walk to the centre, but the advantage is that it's quiet in terms of passing "traffic", and safe for the kids to play and run around. Well worth a look, but this chalet does get booked up earlier than most.

BTW we had no problems with the nannies etc - all very good indeed.
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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
Helen Beaumont, unfortunately Club Med is from 4 months, which would probably mean late April onwards, so that's probably a non starter as far as advance planning goes.
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You know it makes sense.
We've had some fantastic holidays skiing with our kids, now 9,7 and 6. Having tried a few different avenues, I'd say that I've had the best experiences in the USA. It's a long way to travel - our kids have always behaved on aircraft; yours might be different, of course - but the American attitude to childhood is so uplifting that I'd say you're almost certain to have the holiday of a lifetime. And the cost isn't nearly as bad as you'd think if you organise it yourself.

Take a look at the Huntley lodge in Big Sky (www.bigskyresort.com). We went there this year. This is how I'd measure it against your requirements:

1. Proper safe green slopes, not cat tracks easily accessible from the accommodation. Big Sky has some amazing green slopes. No cat tracks and nothing scary, just long simple cruisers. And they're deserted, so your kids are safe.

2. English speaking ski school <=6 kids per group, 2 hours a day lessons. Just so. Our kids preferred the Big Sky ski school to any they'd previously attended. And the classes are reassessed twice a day: if your child is advancing well, they'll go up a group; if they're struggling, they'll have a simpler lesson.

3. In chalet/hotel nanny with toys etc for the younger kid and option to look after older kid a few afternoons. The childcare centre is part of the same complex as the hotel; there's also a free early evening kids club 5 nights a week. Alternatively, you can take a beer to the hot tub and watch your kids playing in the outdoor swimming pool.

4. Near village for shopping/trips/sledging with kids. This is the only problem. Big Sky Mountain Village has about 10 shops. Instead, go to Yellowstone for the day; we saw bison, coyote, elk, bighorn sheep and bald eagles, as well as the inevitable geysers.

5. Free ski pass for 6 years olds. Yup. And free accommodation. And free breakfast. And generous, cheap children's meals. And, if you use Grizzly Outfitters, free ski hire.

6. Decent enough skiing for competent on and off piste adults. Fine with smaller resorts as they don't get tracked out as quickly as the "mega" resorts. If you're up for it, Big Sky has some incredibly challenging skiing.

7. Large family en-suite room, or kids room attached to adult room. A standard room sleeps 4; family rooms sleep 6. Alternatively, you can get interconnecting rooms.

8. sensible flights, ie no 3am departures from resort! Our flights departed and arrived at sensible times.

A perfect holiday. Take a look at our photos (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jonny.jones/).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Try Zermatt as a resort. It is small & car free. Under (i think) 9s get a free liftpass (check the website to confirm www.zermatt.ch). Stocked ski school have good English speakers.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
gregh, friends of ours went to Arc 2000 this season with Esprit and were reasonably impressed. They had half day lessons for their 5 & 7 year olds. It was ski-in-ski-out, with easy blues nearby. Plenty of harder skiing for adults and plenty of snow too. I think the kids had free lift passes.

I am not sure about the accom or flight times, you can try their website esprit-holidays.co.uk
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