Family skiing, the most fun you can have in the cold!

Family skiing with i-escape

By Helen…
We haven’t managed a ski trip this year. Lots of factors have contributed to our terrible negligence of the slopes; all of us have had various reasons for not packing our handwarmers and heading out to the Alps. But one thing is true for the whole family: every single one of us has missed our annual fix of powder and sparkle; that fresh-faced, rosy-cheeked exhilaration which comes from bright blue skies and pristine whiteness; the energy rush which allows – no, insists – that you drink hot chocolate and crack the ice layer off a glass of beer.

Two very different family skiing holidays with i-escape.

It only takes one absent season to make you keenly feel the draw of the piste when you’re a skier, and having converted both my children to the sport last year, we have all been scanning the snow updates and browsing ski resorts with an eye on next year’s holiday plans.
Recently, the team at Space In Your Case were introduced to i-escape. With a strapline of Boutique Hotels and Hip Hideaways, it sounded exciting, and a browse of the website confirms that i-escape have really done their homework. Aimed at the “discerning independent traveller,” you will find a collection of unique venues, from large hotels to tiny self-catering stays, each with an intriguing point of difference. So I was excited to see what they had in the way of ski properties.

Catered luxury at Ferme de Montagne, Les Gets

The first place to leap out at me was Ferme de Montagne. Les Gets was where I spent part of my GAP year, chambermaiding in a very basic hotel, during a terrible season for snow. But I had a hoot, and I’ve watched the resort’s rise to popularity in recent years with interest. I’d love to go back, and Ferme de Montagne couldn’t be more different from the squeaky-bedded hostel I worked in all those years ago. Traditional luxury is how I’d describe the look of this catered chalet; the food sounds gorgeous, ski-in/ski-out is a massive plus when you have children, and who wouldn’t want to sink into this bed at the end of a long hard day on the slopes?

The sumptuous beds at Ferme de Montagne in Les Gets - an iEscape ski holiday

I need my space on holiday (husband is a restless sleeper and I sleep light!) so to know that all the rooms have either king-size or twin (even better!) beds is one thing I can tick off my list for a holiday – a good night’s sleep! And there’s a Nespresso machine in every room. Need I say more?

For families, Ferme de Montagne has special family weeks; as well as the ski lessons, there is chocolate-making, a hot-tub, ice-skating, and even husky-sledding nearby. I know two young skiers who would be in their elements! And with rollaway beds and cots, a kids menu, and family DVD’s, it would be wonderful to let the children peel off to their respective rooms and screens, knowing they were safe in the same building while we lingered over dinner.

Affordable cool at Saanewald Lodge, Gstaad.

Family skiing with i-escape, Saaewald Lodge is more affordable than your average ski resort hotel, yet still very cool and funky.
I LOVE the look of Saanewald Lodge. A refurbished 1960’s hotel, with funky colours and a “hint of Bauhaus,” it’s more affordable than some of Switzerland’s usual swish properties, whilst still being cool enough to feel fun and comfortable. By ‘local food’ I’m reading Fondue (!!) which I really can’t get enough of on a ski trip, and whilst the bedrooms may be a little smaller, the communal areas look amazing. There’s even a sauna, steam-room and jaccuzzi, as well as an outdoor hot-tub, so perfect for aching calf muscles.
You can get the train straight to the village from Bern or Geneva airport, and it’s a ski-in/ski-out property, so there’s no need for any other transport. With connecting rooms it’s flexible for any age of children, and the hotel has a good range of video games and DVD’s to keep older kids occupied of an evening. Plus they will sort out your skis and passes directly in the hotel, so really it’s about as faff-free as you can get – children under 9 ski free too, which is quite a chunk off the cost of your lift passes.
And who could resist that view?!
I’m really loving the i-escape method. Have a look at either of the hotels in this article, and you’ll see that they’ve been completely honest about what you can expect. The ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ of each property are given, so that you can see exactly what you’re going to get, and whether it’s right for you and your family. I also like that if a hotel is family-friendly, there’s a separate tab for Kids, which tells you exactly how they cater for children. It’s a really nice way to search for interesting places to stay, knowing that someone has been there before you and checked it out!
For more information check out the i-escape website, or follow i-escape on Twitter