resort for nervous/timid skier
Posted: 01 December 2010 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi all, newbie here so please be gentle.
I’m a reasonably good skier but my wife is not, she doesn’t hate skiing but anything more than a snooker- table with a beer mat under one end is steep for her…...
She loves the ambience and atmosphere and enjoy easy slopes but doesn’t like to be pushed or stress on the slopes. She had private lessons before and said she would really like to get better.
Also have two kids (1y and 5y) which we need to cater for. We will be taking the grandparents along to look after the one year old – they don’t ski but are happy pottering about, meet us for lunch, do shopping and so on.
If possible I want the other-half to have private lessons in the morning, and then for us to ski a few hours in the afternoon on a snooker- table with a beer mat under one end but hopefully not on the nursery slopes to get a sense of travelling.
Looking thus for:
1) Good lessons in English for wife and also good group lessons for the 5y.
2) Quite a few very easy slopes for us to ski together
3) Something for me to do in the morning but this is not the main priority
4) Something to keep grandparents amuse for a week
5) Nice hotel, the grandparents rather not go on holiday then self-catering
N
I only know the “mega” resorts but I’m sure there must be other hidden-gems out there.
We went to Cervinia last time and a lot of the lifts were shut due to high winds and I didn’t feel the slopes were that easy and it wasn’t easy with the kids.
Maybe Courchevel but is there enough to do for the non-skiers at 1650 as 1850 may be out of our budget?
Many thanks in advance

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Posted: 01 December 2010 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My first suggestion would be Courchevel, but you are already considering that. Do remember that there is an excellent bus service around all the Courchevel villages so you can stay in 1650 and sample the daytime delights of 1850 or even 1300. The other one to look at in the 3 valleys is Meribel. The altiport area is senic and similar to a billiard table with a cicarette paper under one end.

For a whole resort of gentle extremely smooth pistes have a look at Soldeau in Andora. OK the village may be ugly and the resort expensive, but it caters well for the English tourists. It has one or two luxury hotels with spas etc. and buses run to the capital, Andora la Vella, for anyone who wants to go tax free shopping. Be warned though when I went there 2 years ago smoking was still permitted in bars, night clubs etc making them very unpleasant. I think the instruction and pistes would really suit your wife.

John

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Posted: 06 December 2010 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi
I too would suggest Soldeu in Andorra although I would disagree with the statement about the village being ugly, compared to the purpose built French resorts thrown up in the 60’s Soldeu is a paradise. However I think that this resort would be perfect for all your family especially for your wife and the grandparents for the following reasons:
The ski school is second to none it is consistantly voted the best in Europe with English speaking instructors and in many cases the instructors are indeed British. This is also the case for the children’s ski school so no fears of your child being abandoned by a french instructor just because they are struggling.
As mentioned in the previous entry Andorra Le Vella is an option for a day out it is only 30 minuets away on the bus which comes once a hour ( as memory serves ). Another option whilst it makes for a long day is a day trip to Barcelona most tour operators run this once a week ( I went to see Barcelona V Athletico Madrid a few years ago ). A day trip to Pas de la Casa the other big resort in Andorra is also an option this area is much more french in it’s ways and language. Like most resorts Soldeu has the usual sled rides, snow shoe walks, snowmobile rides…....etc however I have never done any of these far too busy skiing, so i don’t know the price sorry.
Anyway that’s the family sorted but for yourself the skiing will be more than adequate for a week Andorra gets abit of stick for not having too many challenging runs but I think this has been put out there by France purists. It has enough for most intermediate skiers. It also has a very large ski area 193 km because it is linked into the Pas de la Casa ski zone on the same lift pass (a confident intermediate skier can get there and back in 4 hours)
Whilst the price in resort has increased over the last few years Soldeu is still far cheaper than the big french resorts I have as you can gather been several times none of which have been self catering but I have eaten out in several restaurant’s with the prices very reasonable.

If Soldeu isn’t suitable I have heard good reports for Arinsal also Andorra it has quite alot of gentle introductory slopes however it is said to get quite loud at night as the bars and clubs close so maybe not that great for the kids.

Good luck hope I have been of help.

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Posted: 08 January 2011 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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How about Scheffau?  It’s family friendly and has quite a lot of nice cruising blue runs.

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Posted: 05 February 2011 12:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Livigno and Passo Tonale both have a fair amount of flat blues with the ability to traverse along the valley and ski schools offering private and group\lessons where english is spoken. italian group lessons are chaos but good fun and in the main your kids will be well looked after.

Both fail the grand parent test - nothing to do but ski in tonale and not much better in livigno, they are one trick ski villages (bit harsh on livigno maybe…)

If (and its a big if) the grand parents are up for some winter walking then i’d defo recommend Corvara. Chocolate box village in a fantastic setting, lots of winter walks and local ladin culture (first world war history too) the skiing is a blue paradise with lots of gentle slopes. (out and out flat two or three) one horror show round the back towards colfosco i seem to remember, long and frankly up hill huge amount of pole pushing and skating… For you a real treat, the hidden valley do-able there and back in a morning. rest of the sella ronda as well.

Hotels in corvara look very good, but no direct experience


cl

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Posted: 10 August 2011 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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MIke,

I seem to mention it every time I post a reply on here but Saalbach-Hinterglemm would be a great choice for you. I’m a pretty confident skier, but I don’t like the steep, narrow ledges and paths either. Saalbach-Hinterglemm has virtually none of these, unless you count the black run down to the Nordbahn - which is easily avoided (and it sounds like you would). On the contrary, most of the slopes are nice, wide blues and reds and (thankfully) the steepest bits also tend to be the widest - great for building confidence. Now, it is quite low so you need to be sure of good snow, but also, it’s only an hour from Salzburg and the village has the usual geat Austrian atmosphere. I rate it highly - the only reason it’s not further up my list each year is because I live in Dublin and can’t get a direct daily scheduled flight to Salzburg.

Alternatively, you could try Les Gets / Morzine in the Portes du Soleil (just over a hour from Geneva) - very similar in nature to Saalbach - from which you can get up to Avoriaz and the main PDS (and I would recommed you do) if you’re feeling adventurous. Again, these resorts are quite low, but covenient and have lots of nice wide intermediate slopes.

I’m sure there are loads more, but these are the ones I have recent experiece of.

Hugh

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Posted: 22 August 2011 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi Mike,

La Plagne might be a good options for your group, as it has a huge variety of terrain.

There are lots of wide, gentle blue runs which sound like they would be a great place to build your confidence, whilst there is still enough challenging reds and blacks for your friends.

I can’t stress strongly enough how much of a difference private lessons make. I would really recommend splashing out on some one-to-one time with an instructor. Lessons really boost your confidence, especially if it’s had a knock so try and get something on the first day so that you can build on what you’ve learnt.

Good luck with your trip and I hope that you have a great time.

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Posted: 07 November 2011 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi,

Have you looked at going to Serre Chevaliere , has excellent slopes and facilities for all ( just avoid French School holiday weeks, mind you that goes for most resorts in France ).

jon.

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Posted: 20 November 2011 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Since new replies are still appearing a year late, I might as well replace my earlier one that was accidentally wiped.

The best snooker-table I know to ski on is at Flims in Switzerland (and I do mean Flims not Laax; though they share an area, it is the Foppa sector at the Flims end which I recommended). If the budget allows, there are some good hotels at Flims Waldhaus: I stayed at the Sunstar (4*). The children would have been welcome there.

(Having stayed at three of them, I can commend the Sunstar hotels as a chain)

regards, Richard

PS ntvl, where did you go last winter? How did it work out?

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Posted: 22 March 2012 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi All
Just thought I would post an update.
We went to Corvara, Italy.
Skiing was very good and quite enough easy slopes for the mrs to get around. Prob not the best ever private lessons ever but she improved.
Town not quite big enough for grandparents to amuse themselves but lovely hotel and a good time by all.
Looking now for next year, somebody at work suggested Les Gets for timid skiers, agree or disagree ??

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Posted: 05 October 2013 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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We decided to gamble on the first ski week of the season with the small Chalet Hotel Alexandra and what a great experience. The first day skiing was difficult with pistes not fully prepared and heavy snowfall adding to the grading of some blue runs which were difficult.

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