5* Family Skiing in France
If you are looking for the perfect place to take the family, I can heartily recommend Sainte Foy in France, located near to that bastion of the ski world Val D’Isere, it is however, far friendlier, less busy and certainly there is not the need to have the latest ski fashions.
Eleven (five adults and six children) of us departed Dubai in the early hours and arrived in Geneva via Zurich in the early hours of Sunday morning, where we were met by the very affable Dave who drove us to the Alps. The journey was approx two and a half hours long but didn’t seem too bad, even with small children, as they were all a little tired by now and also as Desert Babies, completely enthralled by the magic of snow.
The resort once we arrived was perfect, there had been a huge snow fall the week before so everything looked like the picture postcard image of a perfect winter hideaway. Our chalet which had six bedrooms and an equal number of bathrooms was luxurious, it came complete with steam room, (ideal for those post ski aches and pains), two living areas, one with fire place and the other with large plasma TV and a heated boot room, another must in my opinion!
The chalets can be booked as self catering or catered and I would strongly recommend the latter option. Our two chalet girls, Michelle and Skye hailed from the Southern Hemisphere and were not only great company but also very efficient and most importantly fabulous cooks. Breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner were provided for six out of our seven days. The children eating at six each evening and the adults at a more sensible time of eight which allowed some time for the obligatory stories of the day over a glass or two….
The food and wine offered was five star and as a vegetarian I was also well catered for. My children have already insisted they are returning to “Michelle’s” chalet next year! And, at the price we were charged we certainly will be, it was excellent value for money. Having spent the Sunday afternoon being kitted out with boots, skis and lift passes, all ably organised by the staff at Premiere-Neige we retired to the chalet to set ourselves up for the next morning.
With children ranging in age from 4-7 we had booked them all in for ski school, which started at 0930 each morning and lasted until 1200. This was easily reached via a 30 metre walk to the slopes and then a quick ski or walk down to the school and ski lift. My children had never really seen snow before never mind skied but by the end of day four they were coming down a red run from the top of the mountain. The phrase Ducks to water springs to mind!
The resort consists of some fabulous blue runs, with acres of space to ski across and down, red runs and of course some blacks from the very top. At no time did we have to queue, there was no jostling and everybody from the waiters in the bars and restaurants to the ski school staff were very friendly.
After ski school there was the option of crèche for the children, this was also run by Premiere-Neige and was great as the staff would pick up the children straight from ski school, take them off and give them lunch. Ideal, if you as the parent were stuck in a lesson or away in the mountains.
By Day three we found that we actually wanted to have the children skiing with us, so to be honest didn’t use the crèche that much but I am sure if the weather hadn’t been as good we would have needed to use it more.
Lunch times were spent eating French Onion Soup, fabulous mountain cheeses and of course imbibing the odd glass of Vin Chaud or in the children’s case, hot chocolate.
All in all a very perfect family holiday, which is best summed up in the words of my five year old whose reply to “what was the best part of your holiday?” answered “Everything.”