Now my eldest daughter is six, I thought it was a great time to introduce her to one of my favourite kinds of holiday. But it was my first time skiing after a break of eight years, so I was slightly concerned I’d lost my ski legs – and even more concerned that she was going to hate it. Winding up the mountain towards La Plagne, our excitement grew when the rep told us they’d just had a huge dump of snow and were having the best season for decades. It was unheard of to arrive in the last week of the season and have so much snow coming down, so we knew we were in for a treat.
My daughter assured me she’d be whizzing down the red runs with me by the end of the week, so, desperate to pass on my love of skiing and help her fulfil her promise, I booked her into morning ski school every day at Oxygène, one of the French Alps’ best ski schools for younger children. They kitted us out with boots and skis and transported our equipment back to the hotel for us. It’s such little touches that make a Mark Warner holiday so special – they’d thought of everything to make skiing with children as trouble-free as possible.
On the first morning Tess was very nervous as I left her at ski school, and I felt a huge pang of guilt as I took my first chairlift without her. However, the adrenaline of whizzing down slopes after eight years soon took my guilt away, and when I got back to check up on Tess I found she’d loved her lesson too – though she’d spent most of the morning flat on her face, she’d made great new friends and was happily eating lunch with them.
The Chalet Hotel Christina was frayed at the edges but centrally located in one of the Alps’ higher-altitude and most child-friendly resorts. And Mark Warner excelled in bringing together all the elements of a first-class ski holiday – the food and wine in the hotel were plentiful and delicious, and the staff were friendly, helpful and very good at entertaining both the adults and children. You couldn’t fault their attitude and enthusiasm.
And as for Tess, in her words: "I had such a brilliant time skiing with Mummy and I made lots of new friends at the hotel. The nannies were really great and we had a lot of fun. I was very nervous at ski school during the first few days and fell over a lot, but the instructors were very good and by the end of the holiday I was on chairlifts with Mummy and racing her down the blue runs. I also got a badge and a certificate. I really, really want to go skiing again."
We're now recommending Easter skiing to everyone. It’s cheaper than the more popular February half-term ski holidays, as well as a great way to shift the Easter chocolate!
Read more about ski holidays at Mark Warner's Chalet Hotel Christina, including a 5% discount for TaketheFamily readers.