Dates: Saturday 14th – 21st February, 2015.
‘This was a lot more than a ski holiday!’ - Lise, France
£740* adults /£540* children from 3 to 16
The Trip Includes:
- 7 x nights accommodation in a ski-in ski-out quirky family run ski hotel near Chamonix
- Ski passes for ‘La Poya’, the beginners Ski Slope right behind the hotel – 1 black, 2 red, 5 green and 4 blue runs.
- Free Chamonix-Vallorcine bus shuttle
- 7 x 3 course dinners
- 7 x breakfasts
- Assistance organising travel, guides, ski school and ski hire
Half Term is a notoriously busy ski week. We scoured the Alps looking for somewhere ‘off the beaten track,’ where families can enjoy a great value trip, with no fuss and no queues. We found something quite exceptional! Our accommodation is a quirky family run hotel in Vallorcine, a small village behind Chamonix that links with the La Balme-Chamonix ski area. It is a really amazing venue for beginner skiers because the hotel has its own little ski lift system. You can wander out of the door and bring the kids to ski school with your hot chocolate in hand!
Beginners will have plenty of mileage on the hotel’s uncrowded ski slope and be very well taken care of by the friendly local ski school. More proficient skiers can ski down to the bubble lift which takes you to the extensive and queue free ski area La Balme, one of Chamonix’s best ski areas. For the more adventurous, you are in the heart of classic off-piste and ski touring land, and there are guides on tap to take you to the Vallee Blanche, Grand Montet, or Le Buet.
Our hotel is wonderfully quirky! It has been in the same family for generations and not too much had changed in 50 years! The family are great characters. Two sisters run the bar. The brother is the chef. Mum and Dad, who are in their 90’s, tell everyone what to do! This hotel has a resident rabbit and a cat. There is loads of space. The bar is very lively and popular amongst the friendly locals, ski instructors and guides. There is a very large restaurant, a reading room and pool room. The bedrooms are comfortable double, twin and family rooms and most are en suite. The mountain views are exceptional from most rooms.
La Source trips are very communal affairs. On this trip our group usually choose to eat together, however if you want your own table that is fine. All of our children share ski lessons with other families. Saskia, the founder of the La Source, and Olly, her co-host, will be on hand all week to help out, and to help with organizing lessons or guides. There is a ski hire shop next door to the hotel. Wifi is available but only from the bar.
The food is prepared by the hotel chef. It is typically french fayre… a soup followed by a main course and dessert. Dinner is at 7.30 and usually goes on until at least 9pm. The hotel does make every effort to buy locally and organically. For breakfast, there is locally made mountain jam and delicious french bread, cereal, croissants, fruit, yogurt, and hot drinks. Lunch at the hotel is very good and a la carte. There are quite a few cafe and gourmet restaurants in and around Vallorcine and of course in Chamonix. Those on a budget can make up sandwiches for lunch. There is a free train to Chamonix which is 25 minutes away. The hotel bar is open all day for hot and cold drinks.
We don’t offer child care, however the trip is suitable for younger children, especially from 3 and up. Children can join Piou Piou, the ski school for 6 and under’s at 3 years old. The group ski lessons are around 2 hours and if you book ‘kids club’ the ski instructors can bring your child back to the hotel after the lessons and give them lunch giving you from 9.45am to 2pm to ski.
If you do have younger children, they can eat in the bar at around 5pm so you have time to put them to bed before your evening meal if you prefer. (Bring a walkie talkie).
Getting Here, Location and Local Transport:
The nearest airport is Geneva, 1 hour and 15 minutes away.
There is a regular shuttle bus from Geneva that costs €35 per person one way. The most economic way to travel, if you are a family of 4 in the UK, is to drive (8 hours from Calais – we recommend you do the drive over 2 days and stay in Reims or Troyes on the way down to avoid the busy holiday Saturday traffic). Parking is available right outside the hotel. Please ensure you have snow chains or snow tyres.
Saskia is an ex-Outward Bound Instructor, a Yoga Teacher and Documentary filmmaker. She founded La Source in 2007 and lived in the Alps for 5 years running Adventure Sport & Yoga Retreats before returning to the UK with her family in 2011. Saskia loves taking her guests on inspiring adventures. Her trips are spontaneous, fun and memorable!
Olly will be co-hosting this week. Having spent 2 years in Serre Chevalier in the French alps as a ski technician he speaks fluent French and is an accomplished skier. Olly is a true outdoors man and natural host and is the pied piper where children are concerned! Olly is father of 2 and is the Export manager for Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewery.