Top three family friendly hotels

10th February 2011, by Isobel Keppe

Flaine's nursery slopes are popular with families  [TO Flaine]

Flaine's nursery slopes are popular with families [TO Flaine]

Isobel Keppe is a content executive at Crystal Ski. She recommends three family-friendly hotels, in three Alpine resorts.

Picking a resort and hotel for your family ski holiday is complicated enough, let alone when you need to find somewhere to keep everyone happy. From kids’ clubs to family rooms, here are our three best combinations of resort and accommodation to make sure you get the most out of your precious time away and don’t break the bank.

Hotel Le Totem, Flaine, France – 3-star

Everything about this hotel and resort says ‘family friendly’. If you are a French ski aficionado, the Hotel Le Totem has a prime location and good child care facilities. From the short transfer to the ski-to-door location, this suits families of any size.

The convenient location is a notable attraction of this hotel – just two minutes from the lifts and ski school meeting points. The hotel has a choice of accommodation to cater for all needs, whether that is a large family room or interconnecting rooms.

An obvious benefit of Hotel Le Totem is the exhaustive list of in-house child facilities. This is a great hotel if you have infants or young children. And the ‘snuggle club’ will look after them from the age of 6 months, between 7.30-9.30pm while you have an evening out and about in resort.

But what does Flaine itself offer for families? As well as the relatively short transfer time, the resort centre is traffic free – always a bonus when there are little ones running around. And the variety of skiing available is a key attraction, suiting most ability levels – which can be quite broad within any family. Flaine also has a lot of beginner-friendly slopes.

Hotel Harfenwirt, Niederau, Austria – 4-star

The Hotel Harfenwirt is a prime example of where traditional Austrian décor works perfectly alongside modern amenities to give families a brilliant ski holiday experience. A perk of this hotel too is its proximity to the village centre and lifts, nursery slopes and ski school.

The combination of on-site children’s clubs, as well as facilities such as the indoor pool and steam room, make the Harfenwirt a firm family favourite. The main plus here is that if the kids are too tired for the slopes, or even if you are, there are plenty of activities on hand to keep you all entertained.

You can pamper yourself in the sauna and whirlpool while the rest of the family stays on the slopes. It is always nice to have somewhere to relax those aching limbs! This hotel also has a certain character and sense of fun that makes it attractive. If you are lucky, you might hear the owner Herbert playing the harp in the bar area. Fun for all!

Niederau itself is a typically Austrian ski resort. Expect picturesque views and a friendly welcome wherever you go. If you can make it out in December then the Christmas markets are well worth a visit and provide that winter wonderland feeling that keeps everyone in good spirits. There are sleigh rides, tobogganing or snow tubing too. Outings to the Olympic Bobsleigh at Innsbruck are also possible.

For skiing, Niederau suits beginners and intermediates. The Wildschonau Valley is varied, but definitely better suited to those who want to improve their skiing and are not too worried about how many black runs they do each day.

Hotel Grande, Claviere, Italy – 3-star

The Hotel Grande in the small resort of Claviere, Italy, is run by Crystal Ski (part of the TUI group), and has a friendly atmosphere and good location – close to the slopes and village centre. The hotel is good value for money and offers a range of child care facilities.

One of the best things about this hotel is the flexible and considerate way in which it is run. Details such as 24hour access to fridge, kettle, sterilizer and microwave make it practical if you are travelling with very little ones. Also, early evening meals are available for the kids. And there is a fine selection of rooms available; some of the open-plan ones can sleep five.

Claviere is part of the Milky Way ski area and has a lot of terrain available. You can ski over to nearby Montgenèvre in France, or to the other Italian resorts that make up the 400km of pistes. Don’t miss the Torchlight Descent, which is a truly exhilarating activity and fantastic photo opportunity.

Links to further information about these holidays:

Hotel Grande, Claviere

Hotel Harfenwirt, Niederau

Hotel Le Totem, Flaine

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