My husband and I had been wondering for a while how to introduce our 3 year old daughter to skiing. We knew that if we got it wrong Ella would revolt and there probably wouldn’t be any family skiing holidays for a few years to come. Being a nervous skier myself, I wouldn’t have been too worried but for my husband, ski fan as he is, that would have been disastrous.
We selected Snowfocus in Chatel largely because they seemed to cater well to families and have a good understanding of how to work with young kids (skiing and apres-ski). This, I summised, would give my husband and I some flexibility to actually feel as though we were on holiday too. I’m pleased to say that we were right and the Snowfocus team far surpassed our expectations.
So, what made it such a success? For us, there were a number of magic ingredients. Firstly, the team at Snowfocus listened to our needs and tailored the holiday to them. Prior to booking and departure, we had a number of calls with Sue to discuss the best way to introduce Ella to skiing and how we would get the right balance between family time and Mummy and Daddy time. We always came away from these calls feeling that we were in very experienced and capable hands. And Sue very ably juggled various demands to offer a very appropriate service, which all 3 of us, with our varying needs, enjoyed.
Secondly, Sue, AT and the team make life easy. Monday morning my husband set about getting Ella into her snowsuit. She wasn’t having any of it. She wanted Ellie, the ski nanny to do it. Of course, Ellie did this without a problem and off Ella clumped (in ski boots) to ski school with Ellie and the other children staying at the chalet. After ski school, the team shuttled Ella back to the chalet, gave her lunch and entertained her until Mum and Dad returned (again shuttled back from the ski slopes by the Snowfocus team). How could we possibly have done this independently when we couldn’t even get Ella dressed? What’s more the efforts of the Snowfocus team meant we could enjoy the free time we had to the maximum. We had the opportunity to join Sue and AT as guides on the ski slopes so getting to know the slopes much quicker. They recommended local restaurants for lunch, and often booked them, so we got to know some of the excellent local eateries. If you had a problem with your skis or boots, someone from the team would shuttle you back to the shop to get them sorted. If you wanted ski lessons - private or group - they arranged that too!
Thirdly, Snowfocus provided fine dining in a relaxed and homely setting. The food at Snowfocus was excellent and plentiful, as was the wine! You can forget any ideas of losing weight whilst on your skiing holiday. The atmosphere was relaxed and sociable. No need to worry about your kids being on their best behaviour 24/7.
So, as a result of the efforts of the Snowfocus team, Ella gained her Blanchot ski badge and had a wonderful time, making lots of new friends; Daddy got his ski fix and put on several pounds; Mummy mastered a few ski slopes and remembered what it was like to have a “real” holiday. Will we have another family ski holiday? Yes.
Will we be returning to Snowfocus? Yes, very very likely.