First-time family fun in La Rosière with Esprit Ski

20th February 2015, by Emma Lewis

Scarlett and Imogen in the French ski resort of La Rosière with Esprit Ski

Scarlett and Imogen in the French ski resort of La Rosière with Esprit Ski

‘I doubt we’ll actually get much time to ski. The kids might hate it. Isn’t it easier just to stay at home and wait till they’re a bit older? Sigh.’ This was how my husband Lyndon and I nearly talked ourselves out of our first family ski trip.

But I was itching to get back on skis (I’d last been when I was five months pregnant, having booked the trip months earlier and not wanting to cancel. No, I didn’t fall. Yes, there was powder. Yes, it was tiring) and felt tempted to give it a try, subject to a good deal and the right kind of childcare – we have Imogen who is 3½ years old and Scarlett, 1½ years old.

After a bit of research, I discovered Esprit Ski’s new BAT (baby and toddler) weeks, which promised a saving of £479 to £719 per family, plus some extra bat-themed activities.

BAT weeks are run on selected quieter weeks throughout the season and are perfect for those with pre-school-age kids. Free infant places, half-price nursery places, half-price Spritelets ski lessons for kids aged 3-4 (two hours a day for five days) and Snow Club (nursery environment with indoor and outdoor play). They also charge less for under-occupancy of rooms.

Scarlett and Imogen enjoying the snow

And so it was that we headed to La Rosière mid-January, with friends and family waiting eagerly to hear how we got on (and thinking we were brave and slightly crazy for trying this).

In brief, we had a wonderful holiday that was way above our expectations in so many ways and are so glad we went. Our friends and family sounded jealous on our triumphant return. I’ll quickly mention a few highlights that have stuck in our minds.

The best bits
The childcare was fantastic for both of our kids. Imogen was old enough to have ski lessons and loved them – we could spy on her from the balcony of our chalet! She was taken off our hands at the chalet at 8.30am and we tended to pick her up after her ski lesson at 4pm because we wanted to spend some time together as a family, but Esprit staff would have brought her back to the chalet at 5.30pm in time for her dinner if we’d wanted — and then kept an eye on her during dinner, so she would have been occupied until 6.30pm.

Scarlett was too young for ski lessons (Esprit starts them aged three), so she was a bit reluctant to be dropped off in childcare every morning, but soon settled after we’d left, got more used to it after a few days and was looked after really well by lovely staff. She also got fed really well, which is very important to her! She had to be picked up by 5pm but we usually picked her up just after 4pm.

Lyndon and I got a full days’ skiing every day and couldn’t believe our luck! We hadn’t had a holiday where we actually had a rest since the kids were born – we usually pick self-catering holidays in Yorkshire which involve driving there, shopping, cooking and clearing up.

We were also amazed by the size of our room. It was actually a spacious suite complete with a table and chairs in the main space, plus a balcony with lovely views, a family-sized bathroom and a separate room for the kids. Having that kids’ room was a godsend – there was no tip-toeing about and whispering in the dark as we came in after dinner, and plenty of room to sort out all our kit every day and for the kids to have a play.

Emma and Lyndon enjoying some free time in the snow

We also thought the baby listening service while we had dinner was incredible. Two staff would sit in the stairwell of the chalet and listen for crying kids and come and get you or go in and try to appease the child depending on what you wanted if they heard anything (I presume the concrete structure of the chalet rendered baby monitors useless).

The worst bits
We flew Gatwick to Chambéry on a flight that left at 6.50am. The kids were exhausted from being awake from 4am and were too excited to sleep much on the way there (it was a two-hour transfer), so they were a bit manic at times. It was a much more civilised mid-afternoon flight time on the way home though and the kids both slept for some of the transfer to the airport, tired after a week of fun! Oh — and Esprit have a room at Chambéry airport with toys to amuse the kids with while you wait for your flight home – another fantastic touch.

So stop procrastinating, start saving and have a great holiday with your little ’uns!

Emma stayed in Esprit Ski’s Chalet Schatzi in La Rosière, France. For information on BAT week dates and prices, see or call 01483 345 799.

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