This week I had the pleasure of meeting with over 20 of the UK’s major ski operators to get up to date on all the latest family ski holiday news from newly launched family ski passes, new resort facilities and most excitingly… new family ski chalets opening this winter season. If you’re planning a family ski holiday take a peek below to be thoroughly inspired…
Family ski holiday news: French Alps
Erna Low, the self drive ski specialist to the French Alps, launches the winter season with 10 new properties. For the first time, they will be offering accommodation in the picturesque resort of Arêches-Beaufort which is a great resort choice for families as it has a much shorter drive time from Calais as well as being a good value, alternative to more well-known resorts. Prices are very competitive throughout the season i.e. a seven night stay in the new 4* La Cle des Cimes Residence with its indoor pool and ô Pure spa costs just £747 for the week beginning 05 January 2019 for a 1 bedroom apartment for 4 people including a return Flexiplus crossing with Eurotunnel which equates to just £187 per person including travel.
Arc 1950 remains one of the most popular resorts offered by Erna Low. 7 nights ski in-out at Arc 1950, over the February half term school holidays for a spacious 2 bedroom apartment for 4/6 persons is £3460. All residences have their own pool and the resort offers a programme of activities for children during the week, as well as having a crèche for little ones. This price also includes a return Flexiplus crossing with Eurotunnel for 1 car arriving 16 February 2019.
Inghams are offering a family lift pass in Samoëns, France (two adults and two children aged five – 15) to pre-book from £735, adding value to any family ski holiday. They thoroughly recommend Samoëns, France as a family friendly ski resort due to being located in France’s fourth largest interlinked ski area: the Grand Massif (265km). The resort offers slopes for all levels and plenty of non-ski activities too, such as ice-skating, dog sledding, fat biking, hot air balloon rides and yoga classes. Stay seven nights self-catering at the four-star La Reine des Prés Apartments from £509 per person based on ten sharing. Price includes return flights and airport transfers.
Peak Retreats, the French Alps specialist, is the first mainstream UK operator to add apartments in Arêches-Beaufort to its programme. The UK based tour operator has also added 12 new properties for 2018/19 and now features 57 mountain villages in the French Alps. Arêches-Beaufort is a typical Beaufortain year-round working village resort just 20km from the town of Albertville, with Mont Blanc as its backdrop. The resort has 50km of pistes, a top resort height of 2320m and if you drive half an hour to Hauteluce you can also access Les Contamines ski area (120km of pistes) and the Espace Diamant-Les Saisies ski area (192km of pistes). Peak Retreats offers brand new 4-star La Clé des Cîmes opening in December 2018 near the resort centre. Facilities include kids clubs, pool, hot tub, hammam, sauna, and a restaurant is planned. 7 nights self-catered from £175pp.
LAGRANGE, the online reservations site for self catering holidays, are featuring a new ski destination for this season – L’Alpenrose residence in Alpe d’Huez. It’s one of the most popular French ski resorts, appealing to skiers of all levels. Considered as one of the sunniest resorts in the Alps, its attraction resides in its location at the foot of a glacier. The chalet-style residence is divided into 27 contemporary apartments (from studios to 3 bedroom split-level apartments) and offers stunning views over the mountains. It is situated 1.3km from the resort centre, and approximately 250m from the ski lifts and the nearest shops.
The latest eco friendly chalet on offer by LeSki, the chalet specialists, is the La Belle Etoile in Val d’Isère. The chalet’s owners, a local family, kept and seasoned the trees they cut down to make way for the foundations to use as cladding in the enormous lounge on the top floor of the chalet with some of the best views in Val d’Isère. Price from £749 pp for a week including flights, transfers and half board.
Meriski, the Méribel luxury ski specialists, are launching a brand new luxury catered chalet to its collection for this coming season and have also added further touches of luxury to its wider portfolio of properties in the area. Chalet L’Arpege , a brand new, ski-in ski-out chalet, is situated right next to the Morel Chairlift. The chalet sleeps 12 adults and 2 children and features a state-of-the-art home cinema, indoor jacuzzi hot tub and is walking distance to bars/restaurants. The chalet is ideally suited to large families, large groups of friends as well as corporate groups. Prices from €15,700 (16 Dec), €18,165 (Jan) – €39,850 (17 Feb). Prices are quoted per chalet in € (Euros) for seven nights’ accommodation on a chalet board basis excluding flights and transfers.
Méribel fans will be delighted to know that the ski area will have more than 15 million Euros spent on it in the next two years. This winter, two new high-speed 6-place chairlifts will give a totally new look to the Roc de Fer slopes. The new toboggan run was a huge success last season and will be open 7 days per week for this season.
Pierre & Vacances, the leading provider of self-catering holidays in Europe have some great deals for the kids school holidays including theis for the February half term – Save 12% at 3* Residence Les Gémeaux in Belle Plagne. Located in an idyllic, family-friendly and pedestrianised village, the Residence Les Gémeaux is the place to stay for great access to the huge Paradiski ski area. Priced from £293.50 pp (£1174 per studio down from £1333 saving 12%) for a seven-night self-catered say in a studio that sleep up to four people arriving 16 February 2019.
Stanford Skiing, a family run company that specializes in Megève, with its extensive ski area, charming medieval pedestrianised centre, horse drawn caleches, bars, boutiques, a jazz club and casino. Stanford Ski is one of the few operators this winter season offering weekend breaks. With Geneva only 75mins away these are very popular, from £360 for 3 nights in a catered chalet. Catered chalet prices from £560 per week plus flights.
Family ski holiday news: Andorra
Andorra ski specialist Andorra Resorts has launched two brand new and exclusive products in Arinsal, aimed at families looking for a ski holiday on a budget. Firstly, the Arinsal family ski pass, available for durations of 4, 5 or 6 days, which gets two adults and two children (aged up to 15 years) a ski pass for less than the price of a family of three. This incredible deal means for six days the lift pass comes in at less than €24 per person per day.
Second new product is the Family Beginners Pack, which is a brand new special family rate especially for beginners which includes lift passes, group lessons and equipment rental, again for two adults and two children. Arinsal is the ideal place for a family to learn to ski, with a BASI approved ski school, and most slopes coming back to a central point so easy for families to meet up after skiing.
Family skiing holiday news: Austria
Fans of Zell am See-Kaprun will be delighted to hear that from this December (2018) the new MK Maiskogel Lift will be offering a 10-passenger gondola. Next ski season (from December 2019) the much-anticipated, ultra-modern tri-cable gondola K-onnection will link the Maiskogel with the Kitzsteinhorn bringing together the Maiskogel family ski area with the Kitzsteinhorn glacier ski area to create a single compelling ski destination.
Following on from the successful launch of EasyJet’s London Gatwick – Klagenfurt route last winter, the airline has announced that there will be a second weekly service from 15th December 2018, enabling guests to fly directly to Carinthia on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Family skiing holiday news: Switzerland
The new Saanenmöser-Saanersloch gondola lift will commence operation this December. It is the first gondola lift by Swiss manufacturer Garaventa-Doppelmayer in the form of a “D-line” and, with its glass roof construction, is a world first. The gondola brings snow sport enthusiasts to the winter sport arena Saanerslochgrat which lie at the heart of the region’s largest ski arena. The arena with 105 kilometres of ski runs is particularly popular with families and ski enthusiasts, thanks to its extensive network of blue and red runs, restaurants, cosy mountain lodges and ski bars.
Family ski holiday news: Canada
For the Ski 18/19 season, Inghams has expanded its programme with the introduction of new twin-centre holidays in Canada. These give guests the opportunity to ski some of the country’s finest resorts in one holiday. Options include the Best of Alberta, combining Jasper with Banff, and the Best of Canada, which includes Banff followed by Whistler. The hotel combinations have been especially selected to offer good-quality accommodation in both resorts, whilst creating an excellent-value two week ski break. Stay seven nights at the four-star Caribou Lodge in Banff followed by seven nights at the four-star Crystal Lodge & Suites in Whistler from £1,819 per person based on two sharing. Price includes return flights and all transfers including a domestic flight from Calgary to Vancouver.
Further reading – Family ski holiday
Looking for family skiing holiday recommendations? Our Family ski holiday: Expert tips for saving money features the best value ski resorts for families, the best time to go skiing (weighing up the snow conditions with price), the cheapest way to travel to the ski resorts and even tips on saving money buying ski clothes and ski passes.
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Disclosure – I attended a press lunch this week to learn about the latest family ski holiday news. I am under no obligation to share this news with my readers however I felt it would be of interest if you are planning a family skiing holiday for this winter season. I hope you have found it useful!