Part of the Three Valley ski area, Courchevel has some of the finest skiing in the French Alps, from gentle greens to hair-raising blacks. Luckily there are some great nursery slopes for the kids to practice their snowplough on, and with the superb ESF ski school on hand, you can be rest assured your children will be in good hands. If the kids aren’t quite ready for ski school, many chalet companies and hotels have nurseries and babysitters who can entertain the little ones off the slopes. Stay: Courchevel boasts a vast array of chalets and hotels, from quaint alpine chalets to all-singing-all-dancing hotels. Portetta Loft hits the mark perfectly. Part of the Hotel Portetta, the two-bedroom loft has its own entrance yet guests have full access to the hotel’s facilities, such as a spa, babysitting services and direct access to the children’s nursery slopes.
Verbier needs little introduction as one of Switzerland’s most famed ski resorts, not least for its high altitude meaning snow is (almost) always guaranteed during the winter season. With some of the best off-piste in the Alps, pro-skiiers will want to ditch the pistes, hire a guide and go off for the day. Luckily there are numerous ski schools offering both private and group classes so not everyone has to follow. Alternatively, hire a guide for the whole family – they’ll take you down runs that everyone can manage, and introduce you to family-run restaurants hidden away from the tourist trail where you can feast on warming goodies such as tartiflette and vin chaud. Stay: Sir Richard Branson’s luxury chalet, The Lodge. Nine bedrooms accommodate up to 18 people, making it perfect for large groups. The chalet’s party room – twinkling disco balls included – is a great hangout for families: shoot some pool, watch a film or dance the night away. The outdoor Jacuzzi and indoor pool are a welcoming sight on return from the slopes. What makes The Lodge truly outstanding is the staff: attention to detail is their motto and, needless to say, they make you feel at home.
Another one of Switzerland’s (many) spectacular ski resorts, St Moritz caters for families and those looking for a bit of glamour on their ski holiday – or both! Centred around a beautiful lake, which is used for activities such as horse and greyhound racing, polo, golf and even cricket in the winter, St Moritz boasts world-class slopes, luxurious hotels and restaurants, and numerous high-end boutiques. We also recommend a trip to the St. Moritz Celerina Olympic bob run, the oldest and the last remaining natural ice run which is sure to thrill the kids. Stay: Children are very well catered for at Nira Alpina. When they’re not on the slopes, the ‘kids room’ is a sanctuary packed full of books and games, and supervised by the hotel’s friendly staff.