The luxury ski resorts of the Alps offer a wealth of activities for all ages, but which alpine villages are best for families?
On a family skiing holiday, it’s important that everyone is kept entertained on and off the slopes. Some resorts have something for everyone: adults can relax in the spa or enjoy the après ski on offer while kids are supervised by professionals, or the whole family can take part in fun activities. Likewise, some luxury ski chalet rentals are perfectly adapted for children with playrooms and games rooms where they can play or unwind.
We’ve handpicked best luxury resorts for families based on their range of activities and accommodation.
Situated beneath the Flexen pass in eastern Austria, Lech is one of the country’s most exclusive ski resorts. The idyllic alpine village exudes charm and good taste and it’s as traditional-looking as modern ski resorts get. A little river meanders through the centre, past a beautiful onion-domed church and the ski slopes rise on either side of the village. Princess Diana used to ski on its immaculate slopes with her sons William and Harry, while the Jordanian royal family and Princess Stephanie of Monaco still do. Aside from being impossibly picturesque, Lech’s main draw lies in its fantastic snow conditions and averages a little over seven metres each winter, which is better than most French resorts. The pistes suit all abilities and it offers doorstep slopes and Kinderland Oberlech, which looks after skiing and non-skiing kids from the age of two and upwards. Off-piste, there are toboggan runs and horse-drawn carriages to keep children amused.
Chalet 1597 is an enchanting 400-year-old luxury chalet that has been given a high-class makeover and has plenty of games, books and toys to keep the little ones amused. They will love exploring the interesting rooms and nooks of this spacious chalet, including a home cinema, their own fun bedroom with four single beds and an adjacent reading corner full of cushions.
The world famous resort of Gstaad is the best place to ski in Swiss style with the whole family. The surrounding Gstaad Mountain Rides snowsports area has a huge variety of runs so every member of the family will find something to suit their level. Older and more experienced children will find plenty of opportunities to perfect their technique and impress their friends, including some places to freeride. The learning parks are well-equipped for beginners of all ages and those who need to build confidence before heading out onto the pistes. Away from the slopes, a range of activities such as husky tours and ice-skating are available and the village is overlooked by a fairy tale castle that will capture the little ones’ imaginations.
The resort is traffic-free and full of alpine charm, but still has enough sophisticated amusements for adults from its designer boutiques to its year-round cultural and sports programme, which includes the Hublot Winter Polo Gold Cup. Famous faces flock to this unspoilt corner of the Swiss Alps, attracted by the incredible natural beauty of the Gstaad valley and sophisticated polish of the resort. The 8-bedroom Chalet Aflabim is a wonderful luxury chalet to rent in Gstaad; its TV and games room will keep children occupied while the adults enjoy drinks and canapés or just catch up after a day on the slopes. A private chef is on hand to prepare children’s meals, cots and highchairs can be set up for your arrival and a nanny can be arranged on request.
Les Gets, France
Les Gets is one of the original family-friendly Alpine ski resorts. It’s a quiet resort, which means that there are little or no queues for the local lifts. This ultimately ensures less time for children to get bored, distracted or start complaining. Located in the vast Portes du Soleil area, Les Gets was originally a 12th-century dairy farm village and it has retained its good looks by continuing to shun modern concrete accommodation for traditional-style chalets. The scenery is incredible and superb tree-lined slopes are shared with nearby Morzine, offering plenty of varied terrain. Les Gets offers both a nursery for very young children and a ski kindergarten for older ones. Children will enjoy the small motorised ‘train’ that transports visitors around the pedestrianised resort, as well as the popular outdoor ice rink. It’s an ideal resort for parents who love skiing and are keen to pass this love to their children.
Luxury chalets in Les Gets perfectly cater to families, and none more so than Chalet Grande Corniche. This stunning 6-bedroom chalet comes well equipped for children, with a full complement of toys, sledges, wifi, Blu-Ray players, and a Wii. The adults will be equally delighted with facilities, such a hot tub, heated swimming pool, sauna, vaulted cellar, snooker table and a Grand Piano. The sumptuous furnishings and 180-degree views from the large terrace are simply breathtaking.
by Zahra Pettican