Thinking about taking your family teaching children skiing and you’re not sure which ski resorts are most suitable? Read our fully updated guide to what we consider the 20-something top resorts in the Alps and Rockies for families.
Don’t forget to check our top tips for a successful family skiing trip and how to get your family skiing as well. Reberty is the more attractive satellite of Les Menuires, and it perches 200m above at the less expensive end of the 3 Valleys. A short blue run and a fast gondola take you to the Meribel Valley. Ski-in ski-out Reberty has become something of a family-friendly enclave complete with kindergarten and a restaurant. Several family operators have chalets here, including the Family Ski Company and Ski Famille. Lloyd can also arrange holidays here.
This is a great holiday destination for families who want more from their holiday than non-stop skiing. For a start there’s the Tauern Spa, which is between Zell am See and the neighbouring resort of Kaprun. It has waterfalls, slides, a grotto, and six pools. There are nursery slopes at the base of the lifts at Schuttdorf and Schmittental, and some highly-rated ski schools. Mark Warner has a chalet-hotel in Zell am See, a five-minute walk from the nearest lift.
Inside are spanking new apartments, complete with kitchens. Vaujany is linked into the 230km piste of bigger brasher Alpe d’Huez by a 160-person cable-car, so there’s enough skiing for parents and adventurous children. In the springtime humans are almost outnumbered by the goats and chickens that emerge into the sunlight from the winter quarters shared with their owners. Ski Peak has some good chalets here including Saskia, which is close to the impressive leisure complex containing a swimming-pool, indoor ice-skating rink, and kindergarten. The Monte Rosa ski area is reknowned for its expert and off-piste skiing, but Champoluc is the exception with its ski school run by tour operator Ski2, with mainly native English-speaking instructors. Ski2 also runs a creche with British-qualified nannies for its clients, close to Hotel Relais des Glaciers. It accepts children from three months to skiing age, seven days a week.
Gressoney shares the same ski area, with family tour operator Esprit Ski offering accommodation here. The smart end of the Trois Vallees has all chair-lifts in Courchevel are now fitted with Magnestick devices. Courchevel was the first place in the world to solve the problem of how to keep small children safe on chair-lifts. Children at ski school are issued with a special waistcoat with an electro-magnet on the back.
You can stay here with Le Ski, who runs its own creche. Scott Dunn also has a creche, located in Hotel Portetta. The high-altitude village of Obergurgl is sleek and smart, yet has oodles of Tirolean charm. Bobo’s Kinderclub is the village creche, but there’s stiff competition from at least eight hotels all with in-house childcare. Ancient chalets blackened by the passage of time stand beside cutting-edge hotels in the car-free, high-altitude village of Saas Fee. Hotel Bristol is ski-in ski-out and you can stay here with Inghams.
Flaine has a car-free centre that is well laid-out for anyone with children and good nursery slopes that progress gradually to more easy skiing in the immediate Flaine bowl. Flaine also has a more reliable snow record than any resort of comparable altitude in France, with snow-cover virtually guaranteed from early December until late April. The high quality ski terrain extends to the traditional villages of Samoens, Morillon, Les Carroz and Sixt. The two car-free purpose-built resorts are a short drive from each other but unfortunately don’t share a lift pass. It has been specially designed as the ultimate playground with lots of games, activities and, of course, skiing for little ones from three years old. There’s also a wide choice of evening activities at the Kids’ Center, including craft nights, snowshoeing, tubing, and pizza parties. Sun Peaks is also compact, with plenty of gentle trails cut through the trees.
The resort has quite a choice of childcare: Sundance Playschool is for babies, Sun Tots gives private ski lessons to toddlers, while Sun Kids teaches the older ones skiing and snowboarding. What better than to go to a small resort like Folgaria that you’ve never been to before? As well as this, one of the main strengths for a family-friendly resort is a short airport transfer and Folgaria is only an hour by road from Verona airport. The ski school is good, too, and you can completely avoid those terrible morning drop-offs.
By special arrangement, the ski school will pick your kids up from your hotel and drop them off again in the afternoon. There’s also plenty to keep children amused in the evenings. For a resort of this size, it’s amazing to see facilities for ice-skating, swimming, and snowshoeing readily available. Everything in La Rosiere is within easy reach in this Savoyard-style village, including the lifts which start outside much of the accommodation. The leisure centre contains sports shops, ski school offices and a sports complex complete with ice-skating rink and bowling alley.
The skiing takes place on wide open slopes, there’s a big children’s ski area and good choice of ski schools. Esprit Ski has chalets with childcare here. Laax is one of Switzerland’s largest and most snow-sure areas and is ideal for intermediates with its long, cruising runs. It’s also a popular centre for freestyle skiing.
It may not seem the obvious choice for families because of the distances involved from some of the accommodation to the lifts. However, Powder Byrne removes a lot of the hassle with its very comprehensive childcare for all ages from babies to teenagers. By no means beautiful, the collection of villages at differing altitudes is linked into the giant Paradiski area shared with Les Arcs. All properties in the higher altitude satellites are ski-in ski-out and there’s a nursery slope and ski school in every village. The valley villages include Les Coches, where the Family Ski Company has chalets with childcare, and Peisey-Vallandry, which is home to Esprit Ski and Club Med. Hintertux has to be included here because of the amazing Playarena in Vorderlanersbach. It is like no other children’s facility we’ve seen in the Alps.