There are a few things to consider when skiing with the family.
If you first drive to the resorts with a short transfer time, then you are guaranteed to have a good start – a three-hour, winding transfer with rumbling little ones does not scream “holiday”.
Then think about your ski tribe – family skiing holidays with the little ones are a different ball game than skiing with the older ones or with teenagers. Next, look for the best ski schools and kindergartens that will give you a well-deserved two-hour rush down the mountain, as a couple, maybe even a leisurely lunch or two.
Then check out the easy access to the slopes – anyone who has attempted to tow a brood onto a rammed bus with all bars and limbs still intact, or just anywhere, will appreciate this point. While we can’t speak to the big guy for more snow, we can do the resort’s homework for you.
Here are three resorts to consider for your last-minute family ski vacation.
The resort of Megève was conceived in the prolific mind of Baroness de Rothschild with the aim of recreating the fairytale good looks of St Moritz in a French setting. The resort of Megève is characterized by more manners and understated glamor than bling, with families (much like the Rothschilds) skiing there for generations. The hour-long transfer is a welcome alternative to the Trois Vallées slog, and the cobbled village character with horse-drawn carriages (which existed long before the resort) delivers the authenticity that other ski resorts try in vain to create.
Families flock to unpretentious classics like l’Apage for rounds of raclette, and push snow-covered tots into horse-drawn carriages for a Savoyard-style spin. Three to five year olds can be docked at the Piou Piou Club in Caboche and Mont d’Arbois, where ESF instructors will duck them down the learning slopes like little ducklings, over a morning, afternoon or (Huzzah) the whole 9-5.
Crèches or reception centers like Meg’ Loisirs keep toddlers entertained — the Lutins group (ages 1-3) is a mini-wonderland of soft play and toboggan runs — while allowing parents time to rediscover their ski legs (and light-hearted rosé pit stops). discover the mountain.
Multi-level runs are well-suited to families: Beginners should head to La Caboche for its creamy greens and wide blues, intermediate skiers can whiz down the corduroy runs of La Jaillet, and confident adventure-seekers can take on a handful of blacks like Emile Allais or turn-piste to the legendary Magic Garden Cote 2000.
Where to sleep:
The Four Seasons Hotel Megève (fourseasons.com) is surprisingly family-friendly (considering its walls are lined with the Rothschild family’s art collection, worthy of the Louvre). The sleek kids’ club would make Holland Park’s pricey daycare centers blush, while husky sled rides, sinfully thick hot chocolate, and a steaming outdoor pool provide plenty of time for family gatherings. Two minutes down the mountain, Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois (fourseasons.com) offers a more traditional tartiflette-and-taxidermy take on Megève, with the same Rothschild heritage and Blue Ribbon kids’ club.
On the quiet edge of the village, Beaumier l’Alpaga Hotel and Chalets (beaumier.com) nods to Megève’s rural soul, only with Scandinavian wood paneling and light, trendy tables. While cribs and highchairs pop up in a jiffy, the mid-century-style reception and pocket-sized spa feel more suited to grown-up kids. The three-star Au Coin du Feu restaurant (coindufeu.com) presents a more affordable (but no less charming) option, with small tartan curtains framing the snowy views and pine-clad innards, a cozy haven for raclette after one Tag on thighs tearing thighs.
Yet despite the Alps’ penchant for rubles or Rolls-Royce capers, Morzine’s rustic, nature-loving spirit endures, with families returning year after year for the kid-friendly facilities and multi-level skiing. As part of the Portes du Soleil ski area, the resort is often bathed in sunlight — its wide, intersecting slopes shimmer until glasses are removed for a late, well-deserved lunch (though the low altitude doesn’t come with the snow guarantees of other ski resorts). ). Easily accessible via the lift system for non-skiers, the restaurant terraces are dotted with multi-generational families enjoying steaming fondue and Crozets de Savoie against a stunning Mont Blanc backdrop.
Little ones stroll to L’Outa Nursery, Felix Ski or Action Sports at Pleney’s base for a fun introduction to skiing and dog sledding, while those who are no longer toddlers (3-14) can indulge in the ESF Join affiliated The Piou Piou Club where children can improve their carving and balance skills. These can be put into practice on the (smooth) Little Indian Run or at Burton Riglet Park in Avoriaz, which is specifically designed for 3-6 year olds to master flat climbs, half pipes and minirails.
A tangle of challenging reds and blacks keeps the confident broods busy, as does the après scene, guided night sleigh rides, and snowmobile rides for older kids and teens. Morzine town center reads like a Hans Anderson fairy tale – a maze of snow-covered chalets that glow an inviting amber at night. Families head up to the ice rink here, followed by a ride on the carousel and creamy hot chocolate. Morzine has also just opened a huge indoor pool complex at the Super Morzine Gondola – good to know if your hotel or chalet is missing one.
Where to sleep:
If kids’ clubs are on the agenda, opt for a hotel near the Pleney lift for a hassle-free morning. With its yesteryear chalet charm and huge pool, Hotel Les Airelles (igluski.com) is a standout option and ideally located for the ski schools or kindergarten scoots after a breakfast of cheese and cold cuts. Overlooking Morzine’s pretty town square (lepetitdru.com), the Savoyard-style Hotel Le Petit Dru is known for its family-friendly features, including an indoor/outdoor pool and spa, a games room, and a ski bus stop right outside. More grown-up foodie families can reminisce about their daily escapades in the mountains at Magret de Canard at The Farmhouse (thefarmhouse.fr) – a cosy, traditional hotel in Morzine’s oldest building.
Val Gardena, Italy
The transfer from Innsbruck Airport to the South Tyrolean Val Gardena can be done in 1 hour 35, with 740 kilometers of slopes in the Dolomites waiting for all skiers. As well as the spas where you can soak those ski muscles and the sun-drenched terraces awash with local beers and the carefree Italian spirit, parents flock here yearly for Selva’s excellent ski school and kid-friendly funslope just below the Dantercepies Elevator.
Most hotels and chalets are adept at booking babysitters so parents can take a break on the wide, groomed slopes or the legendary Sella Ronda (a run that winds through the scenic (and breathtakingly steep) Sella Massif. Sprogs aged Ab At the age of two, Val Gardena’s Mini Club lets you check in to an enviable range of indoor and outdoor activities before they’re old enough to find their ski legs.
After the ski school, younger families and beginners can put their new skills to the test on the gentle slopes of the Alpe di Siusi or bring the whole family into town for horse-drawn sleigh rides, tobogganing and ice skating. Perhaps Val Gardena’s greatest appeal for family ski weeks is its multitude of tardis-like mountain huts (like Baita Ciadinat Hutte, Fienile Monte, and Panoramahütte), where classic Tyrolean fare like bacon and cheese boards, dumplings, and apple strudel spread out on terraces and in two fire-lit rooms. These tend to hide iceberg-style wine cellars and subsequently impressive wine lists for parents to fully examine.
Where to sleep:
The Post Family Hotel in S. Christina (familyhotelposta.com), as the name suggests, focuses primarily on the children, making sure that parents aren’t looking for activities to keep them busy or childcare that Incidentally, it is offered from Monday to Saturday (9:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.) in the 3+ Dumbo Club. Family packages have ironed out all the pain points of skiing with Brut in tow — the transfers to ski lessons, endless workshops and classes, kids-only breakfast buffets, wholesome dinners — all while keeping things stylish (and spa-focused) for parents away from the slopes.
The Brothers Grimm turrets at Adler Spa Resort (adler-resorts.com) hide an unexpectedly understated, Zen-like interior, where white-robed families sway back and forth to the pool and cavernous spa complex, returning to huge suites to return plan the next day’s skiing or hiking adventures. When the kids aren’t being driven to the practice slopes for ski school, they can dive into the lightly wooded AKI Kids Club with its chichi juice bar, cinema room and outdoor area and breathe in the fresh alpine air.
Biancaneve Family Hotel (biancaneve.it) parks all snooty notions of kids’ clubs at its door, and embraces color, face paint, animals, and loud, high-energy activities. The ski school is conveniently located in the morning and the pool fills the often-forgotten gap between the slopes and dinner.