What's the best way to Ski? | Designer Travel

If you’ve skied every year since you were 2 years old, or if you’re a complete novice, the question of how best to put together a succesful ski trip is always a dilemma! What’s the best way to ski? There are so many different ways to Ski and I don’t mean, fast or slow! I’ve skied many different resorts, including Chamoix, Whistler, Banff, Meribel, Kitzbhul and the Dolomites and in a variety of different ways. Catered Chalets/Chalet Hotels, Apartments, Hotels and All Inclusive Resorts. So what works best? There is no real definitive answer to this as it changes, based on who is making up the group you are skiing with and the ski Resort in question. For example, some resorts are better for Catered Chalets than others.

Catered Chalets are great for larger groups, as it often allows you to take over an entire accommodation. They work really well for all adult groups or families which include younger children, who may need to go to bed earlier. They create an extremely social set up, and allow realxing evenings as a groups by the fireside. Your Chalet Hosts, will generally provide a Hot breakfast 6 days a week afternoon tea and a full evening meal including wine. Also, most catered chalets offer a high tea for children under 12. The specifics of the amount of wine included does vary between supplier, but as a guide, it is around half a bottle per head. Chalet staff have 1 night off a week which is normally the Wednesday where own arrangements have to be made, for eating out, or using the facilities within the Chalet and Self Catering. French resorts are especially good for Cartered Chalets, and there are many different suppliers, to book through. Many offer Creche/child care facilities too, allowing parents to make the most of the snow. A Catered Chalet holiday is a very easy, low maintenance arrangement, allowing you to concentrate on the skiing. Catered Chalets also tend to be very good value for money, allowing you to budget the holiday cost beforehand.

Apartments work very well for smaller groups and single families, where personal space is important. There are some wonderful serviced apartments available, many of them located close to the pistes. They offer the flexibility of self catering together with the flexibility to eat out and explore the resort fully. Whistler has some great aparthotels, where you can find 2/3 bedroom apartments with ski in/ski out facilities, e.g. Coast Blackcomb Suites, Whistler. This option also includes breakfast, which is extremely rare in Canada. France offers some great options in resorts such as Avoriaz and Arcs 1950, which is a purpose built, traffic free resort. Often the apartment complexes will offer additional services and facilities, such as a swimming pool or spa and also bakery deliveries for breakfast. Most accommoodations, if not located close to the Pistes, will be serviced by frequent and reliable shuttle services, allowing you to get around easily.

Hotels Depending on the resort, hotels can offer traditional cosy accommodation or a 5* luxury option. Many hotels, particularly across European resorts will be on a half board basis, allowing you to sample the local restaurants for lunch. There are however many options to choose from depending on your budget and the board basis you prefer. Hotels can work well for couples or families skiing with young children as many hotels, feature family rooms. Hotel accommodation tends to be very prevalent in Italian resorts, where there are some wonderful piste side options. At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re looking for real luxury, in a prime location, a hotel is the best. Many will offer their own shuttle services to transport you around the resort in style and will generally have a variety of eating options and facilities which you would expect to find in any 5* property. The Fairmont Chateau or the Four Seasons Resort in Whistler, The Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, the W Hotel in Verbier and the Altapura in Val Thorens are a small selection of ski hotels offering the height of luxury for the more discerning skier!

All Inclusive Lastly and certainly by no means least, you have the all inclusive ski option. Generally staying in Hotel style accommodation, everything is included in the price you pay (please note that equipment hire is often the only thing not included) This is a great option for all types of skier. Instruction and lessons are included so if all adults or families, everyone is catered for and all ability levels. No need to prebook separately, as it is part of what you book and will be accommodated at the time of booking the holiday! All your food and drinks are included(some exclusions will apply to branded drinks), so perfect if you are skiing with a group who enjoy their Apres Ski. This is another low maintenance option, with little to think about other than skiing! In general the resorts have prime locations and often offer ski in/ski out. Club Med Have a great Ski program to suit all budgets and even have the most amazing luxury Chalet apartments in Valmorel, which offer exceptional luxury and service.

Skiing is great fun and needs to be hassle free, particularly when skiing with children. After years of skiing, pre children our first family ski holiday to Whistler was an outstanding success, with both children totally converted to a holiday on the slopes. If you’re a skier, you need to get your children on board at the right time, making those first few holidays crucial. It’s important to get it right, to ensure a long lasting skiing career into adulthood.

Contact me today, for advice on how best to put your next Ski trip together.


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