Winter’s here, and with it the irresistible urge to get out on the snow, but it’s not always easy to please every member of the family. We’ve found 5 fabulous destinations for enjoying the mountains together.
1. The Jagdhof in Austria
The Jagdhof hotel in the Stubai Valley offers everything you need to fly down the Austrian ski runs as a family. The Kitz and Teens Club is open to care for children aged 4 to 12 during school vacations. Teenagers have a dedicated games room with TV, PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, darts and pool. Their younger brothers and sisters can be cared for in total peace of mind by the in-house babysitting service. Après ski, there’s the indoor fun pool to dive into, or perhaps you’d prefer to be pampered in the Spa, which offers a range of treatments for kids and parents. If you like to get out and about and visit the surrounding area, you’re very close to the Top of Tyrol viewing platform on the Stubai glacier with its amazing views of no fewer than 109 mountains.
2. Les Barmes de l’Ours in Val d’Isère
Opened in 2003, the Les Barmes de l’Ours hotel combines a very family feel with extremely cozy and authentic surroundings. Everything here is designed around the kids. So when you book one of the 11 dedicated family suites, your kids will find snug bathrobes, cuddly toys (for a great night's sleep) and goodies waiting for them on their beds! Younger children can enjoy hours of fun in the playroom, while their older brothers and sisters have games consoles, pool and foosball on offer. During school vacations, a mini-club is open to welcome all kids from age 3 upwards between 4 pm and 9 pm. The club program includes wooden games, treasure hunts, face painting, creative arts and magic shows. After dinner, what could be better than to get together for a friendly competition in the resort’s only bowling alley, or play one of the hotel’s many board games by the fireside!
3. Bellevue in Italy
At Cogne in the Aoste Valley, the Bellevue is a paradise destination for mountain lovers. The hotel dates from 1925, and combines tradition with works of art and the authentic spirit of the mountains. There’s no kids club here, but there is a magnificent playroom with antique school desks, abacuses and heritage toys. After a great day’s skiing, the entire family can dive into the pool or have fun in the whirlpools. Between December and March, there’s a small skating rink in the village square, but you can also enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride or a trek through the snow. All the hotel restaurants offer a kid’s menu and personalized menus for the youngest children. And if you fancy a night out, babysitters are available!
4. Au Cœur du Village in La Clusaz
With 5 interconnected mountain ranges, La Clusaz is an enormous playground for all ages, and the Au Cœur du Village hotel is a family paradise. Its suites are specially adapted for families, the wellness center welcomes children at prearranged times so that everyone has the opportunity to splash around undisturbed, and the children’s area is packed with toys and ultra-fun activities to entertain the kids after a day’s skiing (right through till 10 pm!). To leave you free to 100% enjoy the divine fine dining experience offered by the hotel, a 100% kids buffet is served in the children's area every evening, together with films! Group ski lessons leave from the Champ Giguet opposite the hotel. For individual lessons, ski instructors collect your children from the entrance to the ski room. Who could ask for more?
5. Le Chalet d’Adrien in Verbier, Switzerland
The magnificent Chalet d’Adrien in Verbier showers families with surprises. On arrival, you’ll find that your rooms offer not only kids’ bathrobes, but also (depending on age) complete baby changing kits, strollers, changing mats, baby baths, baby bouncers and safety gates on request. Your kids will love the buffet breakfast prepared specially for them: pancakes, waffles, Nutella, maple syrup, cereals, drinking yogurt, Petit-suisse cheese, sliced bread, apple juice, orange juice, grape juice, hot or cold chocolate and milk, as well as coloring books and crayons to keep them busy as they wait patiently for mom and dad.
The team of ski instructors is available every day to organize the day’s skiing for your kids, and while they’re busy on the slopes, you can experience the thrills of the luge, a dog sled ride or an ultra-delicious tea served daily at the fireside. For childcare, a babysitter is available (subject to reservation), while older kids can spend hours in the games room with its electronic games, Xbox, table tennis, foosball, coloring and felting activities. The hotel restaurants serve a children’s dinner menu from 6:30 pm onwards so that they don’t have to wait too long after an appetite-building day of fresh air. The extra benefit of this destination is that hotel staff are available to take your children to the ski school, and bring them back.