So after writing up Part 1 of our family ski holiday to Les Deux Alpes with Mark Warner holidays, I’ve been excited to sit down and start on Part 2 of our trip (we did so much, there really is loads to write about and photos to share!). In Part 1 I wrote a bit about our hotel (the Hotel Berangere), the big children starting ski school each morning, shared some snaps of us playing in the snow and briefly touched upon what it’s like bringing a baby on a ski holiday (more on that in another post).
Once the children were settled in ski school after a few days, Adam and I booked Arlo into the amazing childcare at the hotel (he had his very own dedicated Mark Warner nanny to spoil him rotten) and managed to hit the slopes ourselves. The resort of Les Deux Alpes is so beautiful, it was just breathtaking hitting the slopes sans children and remembering that we are people in our own right and not just parents.
I hadn’t been on a snowboard in 8 years, but it actually was a bit like riding a bike- albiet a very slow one! I remembered how much I enjoyed it, and I think if we’re able to go again I’ll book myself a proper lesson each day so I can work on my technique, as at the moment I’m winging it and it’s quite dubious!
Adam chose to ski, and it was great to just spend some time together doing something that doesn’t involve being parked in front of the telly or a film.
You can see here just how close our hotel was to one of the main slopes- we could literally step out of our hotel with our skis and boards and head down to the main lifts and also to the children’s ski school. We were so lucky the week of our stay that there was so much snow- I’ve never been to a resort where so much fell throughout our stay.
Once we’d had a session on the slopes ourselves, we’d then pick up our little snow baby and go and watch Freddie and Sasha finish off their lesson at ski school before lunch.
What a little chunk! I’m convinced the fresh mountain air helped him sleep a treat out and about in his snow buggy sledge, as he’d often have a mammouth nap whilst we were having lunch, or going tobogganing with the older ones in the afternoon.
I think we were so lucky with Arlo- he took everything in his stride, and wrapped up super-warm the cold didn’t affect him at all. Like I said in my previous post, it isn’t actually as difficult as you might think to take a baby to a ski resort, you just need to plan a little and have the appropriate gear.
What I loved about our hotel and resort overall was the fact I thought it catered really well for families- both those who wanted to ski 24/7, and those who wanted to a little more ‘half and half’, which is what we tended to do bearing in mind the ages of our children (5 and 6, and 6 months). Our hotel had a lovely indoor pool and spa, which whilst on the colder side for a baby, was perfect for F and S to let their hair down. Adam and I also managed to get a massage booked in each during our stay whilst all 3 children were in evening childcare- result!
Most days though we seemed to end up tobogganing in the afternoon, which I think the children enjoyed almost as much as skiing! The Mark Warner staff lend out sledges for free from the hotel as long as you sign them in and out which is brilliant- we definitely made the most of this! In Les Deux Alpes there are designated areas where you can go sledging with children, and Adam and I had a go too- SO. MUCH. FUN!
One afternoon as a treat for the bigger two, we decided to take them up the mountain in the ‘bubble lift’ (The Jandri Express) and go for lunch at the top at ‘Le 3200 Restaurant’ whilst Arlo was with his nanny. Guidelines say that children under 3 shouldn’t go so high because of the risk of damage to their ears due to the altitude (and my god, it was crazy high up!), so we decided to make the most of some quality time with Freddie and Sasha.
I’m not amazing with heights, but even I got over my fear and had to admit that the views were stunning until we went into the clouds. Look how high we were! Sadly because of the snow clouds we didn’t get a clear view from the restaurant that you can often get (see their website HERE) but it was a special experience anyway to go that high up in the lifts.
So, would we go skiing with young children again?
You bet we would!
From the moment we stepped off the plane we felt so well looked after by the Mark Warner reps and hotel staff that it really didn’t feel stressful with 3 young children. We had a LOT of luggage (5 big suitcases plus a buggy and hand luggage, I was totally going to make full use of my inclusive BA baggage allowance), but kind staff helped us with it all and really couldn’t do enough for our family. I love how the staff got to know our names and felt lovely and familiar, and everyone made such an effort with the children when they saw them. Amy, the manager at Hotel Berangere, was absolutely fantastic and a credit to Mark Warner, sorting ski school for the children, laundry for Arlo’s milk bibs and simply anything else we needed. Nothing was too much trouble.
It helped massively that where our hotel was located, everything was pretty much on our door step- from fitting skis and ski boots to the children’s ski school, you never had to travel far lugging gear around, and that helped our family experience hugely. Having had lovely self-catering holidays both with and without children, and self-catering ski trips pre-kids, I am now 100% sold on being spoiled on holiday and having delicious food, drink, room cleaning and childcare on tap and it’s worth every penny. We’d never used kids clubs before as we generally like spending time all together on holiday, but actually now I can definitely see the benefits of half a day ‘adult time’ and feeling like ‘me’. I still can’t believe I came away from what could be such an intense type of holiday with kids well-rested, and I’m sure a lot of that was because we got some time to hit the slopes, the spa, or have dinner together as a couple.
It may seem scary going on such a holiday with young kids, but it really needn’t be (I had several people tell me we were brave/mad/insane!). I’ve got another post in the pipeline all about taking small children skiing, especially a baby, and am planning to make a video too. I’ll also show the fantastic childcare facilities at the Hotel Berangere, so you can see for yourself what the childcare options are, and give you a the breakdown of what a typical day consisted of during our trip with little ones.
In the meantime, here’s another chance to see a video of our stay!
*We were working with Mark Warner and received a discount on our holiday in exchange for an honest review or our experience, all words and opinions my own.
Have a look at some of our other travel adventures HERE.