Chamonix, because of its world class, and at times extreme skiing and snowboard reputation can wrongly be seen as a resort that is not for family ski holidays, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, as you will see if you read on. In fact, what sets Chamonix apart from other resorts is that it has something for everyone, whatever your ability, and whether all are skiing / snowboarding or otherwise.
In terms of the skiing and snowboarding, we don’t say the above lightly and without experience ourselves. Our own children having grown up close to Chalet No.5 and as a consequence we think had a wonderful introduction to skiing and snowboarding in one of the best family skiing areas, benefitting greatly as a consequence of the excellent family slopes and fabulous teaching that is on hand (more of this later).
Les Houches and La Tour ski areas are particularly well suited for family skiing, and Brevent and Flegere sunny slopes for more competent family members. The Grands Montets is the ‘big daddy’ of them all. However, whilst the Grands Montets offers world class skiing and snowboarding on and off-piste, we don’t advise racing there on day 1 with younger children or anything other than competent teenagers as the skiing is wonderful, but challenging accordingly.
Personally, if staying at ski in ski out luxury Chalet No.5 then we would strongly recommend the first day in and around the confidence building, and therefore flattering slopes in and around Les Houches. Ski straight from the door and down to either the Prarion or Bellevue ski lifts that will take you straight up to the high slopes above. At the top of either you will find green and blue nursery slopes, but the Prarion is the one we recommend most for finding one’s feet, especially little ones. Here there is a safe little bowl area with its own travelator (moving carpet) and slow moving chair lift, complete with safety bar.
More competent skiers and snowboarders will love the wide blues and reds around the Col de Voza and the blues down to La Chat and the Crozier ski lift with its stunning views. The whole area being a ‘prarion’ it is beautiful, and relartively gentle, and therefore confidence building runs with few (we can’t think of any but always take care and jusge for yourselves) steep slopes or drop offs.
Thereafter there is the La Tour and then Brevent and Flegere for more competent little feet.
The virtues of selecting a ski in ski out chalet here in the Chamonix Valley have already been discussed in a previous post. So we will skip this and concentrate on what a family ski holiday means at Chalet No.5 and what you can therefore expect.
So what else makes Chalet No.5 and Chamonix Exclusive a must visit Chamonix Family Ski Holidays destination. Lets start on arrival where you are greeted by family friendly staff who will put you at ease, a cup of tea, a glass of wine, and drinks for the children, cake and biscuits too. Then there is the large garden for building snowmen next to the piste, the hot tub to relax in, a Games room (including Pool Table) and the Cinema Projection Room with over one hundred favourite DVDs. And mums and Dad’s don’t forget the relaxing Massage and Treatments room, or the Wellness Sauna and Steam Room.
As a family ourselves. We understand that one size does not fit all and hence our ‘Choices’ where you can choose from the Self-Catering, Family Service, or Luxury Plus (full details on our Services Page), or pick and mix (call for more info).
For Luxury Plus guests we also offer two sittings, an earlier one for children and then at a time that suits you, one for adults (and older children if you prefer).
Personally, we strongly recommend the ESF Les Houches Ski School for lessons. And in our case they are not recommended lightly as before progressing on to the local Chamonix Ski Alpin Club (Josh) and Chamonix Snowboard Club (Victoria), our own children were taught by them. We know that not all ESF Ski Schools are the same, but the Les Houches instructors we can not speak highly enough. I guess it starts at the top, passionate instructors, mother’s and father’s who really care and are genuinely lovely people. They therefore teach with passion and understanding, allowing your children to progress rapidly onto the next level, year on year.
Others to consider include European Snowsports Chamonix and Bass Chamonix.
And finally, don’t leave the non-skiers at home as Chamonix has something for all. Not only has Chalet No.5 so much on offer, Chamonix has too. An old historic town it is a architectural delight, has numerous shops, restaurants and things to do (ice skating, swimming, sleigh rides, etc. to name just three). Then there is the Mer de Glace, as well as the viewing platform and void at the top of l’Aiguille du Midi (3,842m) that puts you within what feels touching distance of Mont Blanc.