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Another suggest me a resort question.......

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All,

MrsS has decided that next winter we are taking two grandchildren skiing with us for the first time. We are experienced at picking resorts for our own purposes, but this time the criteria are somewhat different, so maybe a different range of resorts may be appropriate.

We will be: Myself and MrsS, competent skiers (to level 1 instructor standard), two girls who will be 9 and 7 - they will have lessons at the dry slope so will not be complete beginners.

Travel: Will drive in our car (fully equipped and winterised), and are happy yo go anywhere within about 800 miles of Calais.

Where: Thinking of a medium size resort, where lift passes are not too expensive (good childrens discounts would be useful), as we will not need as big an area as if we were without the kids. Don't really want a satelite resort in a big area. Open to any country, but tend to like Austia and Italy most.

When: 1st February for a week (outside of the holiday period for most countries)

Lessons: Will want half day lessons for the girls, for some of the week to give us time to ski for ourselves a bit. We can teach them ourselves, but they would have more fun in group lessons wit other kids. Will need to be english speaking.

Accomodation: Chalet, Hotel or apartment all acceptable, but may be determined by budget! We will a seperate room (or a least a curtained off alcove) for the girls to sleep.

Budget: Not fixed, but nearer "cheap and cheerfull" than luxury

Convenience: Would like somethng reasonably close to ski in/ski out, but realise that this goes against liking Austria!

Open to any suggestions that Snowheads could come up with.

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Cheap and cheerful, ski in - ski
out, sounds like Italy to me. Anywhere in the dolomites is always a safe bet. Alternatively, a 'smaller' resort in Austria.
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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?
Hi RobinS,

I've recently returned from a lads weekend to Sauze d'Oulx. Wait, before you think lads weekend vs family week....

We stayed at the La Torre which is available for B&B / HB directly. I have the GM's contact details if you would like them as he gave us a very good deal (PM me if you want). The hotel is a good solid 3* with big rooms (flexible rooms for 2 - 4 dependent upon requirements), plenty of hot water, ski store, great food including free afternoon tapas. It's only 1h 15 mins from Turin so no long transfer to contend with either.

Ski in / out an issue ? Nope, they have a private minibus that takes you from the front door to the bottom of a 4 man chair that then deposits you at the Sportina plateau where all the ski schools go from. It's a huge gentle bowl with loads of really early kid friendly ski options for you to explore. The best thing is that this chairlift is specifically designated for beginners so you would have the option to download your grand kids at the end of the day rather than get them down the reds to the base. The best thing about this setup is you can phone the driver as you get on the lift and he'll be sat at the bottom waiting for you.

We loved Sauze, great bowl & tree lined skiing, decent snow record (we went the last weekend of January), really cheap on mountain food & drink and the resort cheaper still.

All in all a great resort and one I now need to get the wife to.

As I said above, if you want specific details please PM me.
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Depending on the ages of your grandchildren driving to Italy might be a bit much (are we nearly there yet?). However, at half-term we drove to Flaine and that was a really easy trip. Motorway to within about 10 miles. Le Carroz would have been even easier as we wouldn't have needed the chains at all (Flaine is reached over a high col from Le Carroz).

Last year we drove to Morzine and that was also a very easy trip. Again, motorway almost all the way (and Les Gets would have been closer still)

Both Morzine (for the Portes du soleil) or Flaine (Grand Massif) are very close to the motorway. OTOH, we're just back from Tignes, and the motorway to the resort is quite a long way, and I imagine could be a real nightmare at times.

My only other suggestion is that, again depending on their ages, you may need to be strong regarding ski school. My kids have done various (mostly ESF) over the last 5 years and my daughter has hated it with a passion from the beginning. It was *very* hard to leave her the first time. That said, they both *love* skiing and are now finished with ski-school.

Hope that helps.

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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
With a bit of thought, and suitable recommendations, it ought to be possible to find a ski school set up that isn't like a punishment! I had two grandchildren (6 and 9) with two friends much the same age, complete beginners, in a resort with very few Brits. I booked an instructor for 5 x 2 hour private lessons, which cost €95 each. They had a great time, the instructor was excellent, they learnt plenty. There was no reluctance at all to go to "ski school". There are excellent ski schools such as BASS in Morzine or Les Gets with maximum 6 in a group. It can, and should, be fun.

However, I think 2 hours is plenty for a beginner 7 year old, even in this week of warm spring weather. I personally would not go for half day lessons at that age. Short lessons, then plenty of nice cakes, hot chocolates and toboganning! They absolutely adored toboganning.

Either go for a TO set up like Esprit where the kids will be looked after by others part of the time, wheeled off to ski lessons, met afterwards, etc or you might have to accept that your own skiing will be pretty limited.
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We've been for the last five years to Belle Plagne staying at Chalet Balcons. Nice and high so tend to go at Easter and never had a problem with lack of snow. We go as three families each with two kids, ages have ranged from 4 to 14 over that period and always had a cracking time. Ski in ski out, hire shop in the same complex and ski school meet just outside the Chalet. We always self cater and they have a range of chalet sizes. Theres a swimming pool and gym etc within block. Probably just over the 800 miles from Calais.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Born Slippy, welcome to snowheads. snowHead A very useful first post!
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