The residence has a private indoor heated pool, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and a fitness room, as well as a paddling pool for children.
The Family Ski Company has holidays to the French resorts of Reberty, Les Coches and Ardent, offering easy access to major ski areas (the Trois Vallées, Paradiski and Portes du Soleil respectively) in catered chalets conveniently near lifts and ski schools. The operator suits families with children aged from three months and over who are looking for a home-from-home atmosphere and plenty of afternoon activities.
Chalet L’Eau Vive in Ardent, near Avoriaz, is a renovated auberge that sleeps 14 and makes a great choice for up to three families, whether travelling as a group or separately. It offers family suites of interconnecting rooms and is a convenient base for accessing the huge Portes du Soleil ski area, which boasts 650km of pistes across 12 linked resorts either side of the French-Swiss border. From £1, 936 to £5, 316 based on a family with two children aged from two to 12 years, excluding flights.
Free babysitting is provided on the cook’s night off and friendly ski school helpers are on hand to give support and reassurance to younger children attending lessons.
Norway is a top choice for families with young teenagers who want to try a range of winter activities. Crystal Ski arranges holidays to more than 133 resorts in 13 countries, including the Norwegian ski resorts of Beitostolen, Hemsedal and Geilo, offering families an interesting alternative to the Alps.
The three-star Hovi Cabins in the Norwegian resort of Beitostolen are cosy and provide access to gentle terrain ideal for beginners. From £1, 297 to £3, 310 based on a family with children aged up to 15 years in a two-bed, self-catering cabin, including lift passes. There’s the option to upgrade to b&b or half-board.
A holiday to Norway offers a host of alternative activities to try (Photo: Crystal Ski)
Crystal Ski offers off-slope activities, at extra cost, including mini snowmobiles, sledging and ice-fishing
Fun for all
For families wanting private nannies or crèches, fun slopes for learners and relaxed bars and pubs for older teenagers, Meriski provides trips to nine family-friendly chalets in the French resort of Méribel. The chalets are spacious, with toys, cots and DVDs included, and provide the perfect springboard into the Trois Vallées – the largest linked ski area in world.
New for this season is Prestige Chalet Kashmir, sleeping 12, in the quiet hamlet of La Gittaz, five minutes’ drive to the central lift station. The chalet is newly built and has a separate TV room for children, plus a large sun terrace with an outdoor hot tub. Prices from £4, 315 to £7, 180 based on a family with two children aged under 18 years, excluding flights and transfers.
Mountainside fun includes P’tit Moon, a mini boardercross with banked turns, for seven to 12 year olds. The town has an Olympic size swimming pool with water slide, an ice-skating rink, a cinema and a bowling alley. Meriski offers free child care on selected weeks of the season.
Ski Famille offers holidays to three resorts in France (La Plagne, Les Gets and Reberty), with more than a dozen chalets that sleep from eight to 20, all specially selected for their suitability for families. Private nannies provide childcare in the chalets where families are staying.
The newly-built Chalet Delphine in La Plagne 1800 has four family suites and a playroom. Situated just a few metres from the nearest piste, it’s an ideal base for the Paradiski area, which has 425km of runs across La Plagne and neighbouring Peisey-Vallandry and Les Arcs (more than half of these are greens and blues). From £2, 166 to £6, 592, based on a family in a suite with children aged between two and seven years.
Ski Famille offers flexible child care with the option of all-day care for toddlers and babies aged from four months, or ski school, lunch and an afternoon club for older children.
Pick and mix childcare
Esprit Ski offers holidays to 10 resorts in France and more in Austria and Italy, all with comprehensive provision of exclusive Esprit crèches, clubs and classes for children. It suits families with children aged up to 12 years looking for a wide range of child care options.
Chalet Hotel Valverde, sleeping 80 guests, lies in the small, traditional Italian village of Gressoney, and is right by the main lift. This serves the large Monterosa ski area, which covers a large network of pistes and lifts linking three separate valleys with a total of 180km of pistes. This number includes plenty of green and blue runs, plus challenging options for the more advanced, such as excellent off piste and heliskiing. From £1, 689 to £5, 739 based on a family with two children aged between two and four years. Esprit Classic Child Care starts from £215.
The resort offers six days of ski school for the price of five while Esprit Ski rates include an evening baby listening and child patrol service.
Scott Dunn’s all-day Explorers club provides toys, games and activities (Photo: Adam Johnston)
Counting the pennies
Families with children of all ages can save money by choosing to drive from the UK and self-cater. Erna Low specialises in good value self-drive holidays to well-located, family-friendly hotels and apartments in a wide range of resorts across Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland.
The apartment complex in Arc 1950, Le Village, offers ski-in/ski-out convenience for the slopes of Les Arcs, and is a chic base from which to explore the vast lift-linked Paradiski area that includes neighbouring La Plagne. The on-site supermarket and nearby bakery are handy for families cooking for themselves. From £905 to £2, 369 for a one-bedroom self-catering apartment, sleeping up to four, with a return Eurotunnel crossing. This rate also includes an early booking discount, available until November 4.
Pretty and pedestrianized, the purpose-built base of Arc 1950 has a welcoming family atmosphere and two of its own beginner slopes.
Powder Byrne suits families after upmarket accommodation with particularly good provision for teenagers. It offers luxurious hotel or self-catering accommodation in 11 Swiss and three Austrian resorts as well as San Cassiano and La Villa in Italy, with comprehensive child care and clubs for children aged four months to 17 years in peak weeks.
The ski-in/ski-out apartments at Rocksresort in the Swiss resort of Laax give access to one of the country’s largest ski areas, comprised of three linked resorts – Flims, Laax and Falera – and offering 235km of pistes. The state-of-the-art apartments have a modern-chic design, a highlight of which is the all-slate bathrooms. From £4, 239 for a family of two adults and two pre-school children in term time, to £8, 979 for a family of two adults and two teenagers in the peak week of February half term, staying in a two-bedroom, self-catering apartment.
During half term, the PB Slopestyle Academy is available to children aged 14 years and over (£595 for five days tuition).