A Family Ski and Snowboarding Holiday in Arc 1950, French Alps
Skiing is far from a restful holiday, especially with kids in tow, but it turns out there are ways to make it much easier for yourself. The first is to chose a true ski-in ski-out resort such as Arc 1950, which as the name indicates is also snow-sure right through the season into the Easter holidays.
A second is to book a resort with a fantastic wellness/relaxation facilities. Again, Arc 1950 fits this bill, with each of its seven self-catering residences boasting its own heated outdoor pool, as well as sharing access to a sleek spa with an indoor pool and stunning Mont Blanc views. One residence, the Prince des Cîmes, also has an indoor pool.
“In the mornings we used the pools, Jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms and also tried out the spa – the advantage being that this was when they were all at their least busy by far.”
I was also lucky in that my three sons, aged 16, 14 and 11, wanted to swap from skiing to snowboarding for this holiday, which meant that while they were off taking private four-hour lessons with the resort's fantastic Spirit (Evolution 2) ski school each afternoon, I was free to potter around on the wonderful surrounding blues and reds (there are no greens here, but many of the blues are very wide and easy).
Our two-bedroom apartment was in the Sources de Marie residence, and was surprisingly plush, with upmarket toiletries, soft bathrobes and neat modern decor. With a sofa-bed in the large living room, it could sleep up to six without feeling cramped. It also had a balcony with oblique views over the best of the resort’s outdoor pools and beyond that to Mont Blanc.
Spa at Arc 1950
With skiing and boarding taking up our afternoons, we could get a leisurely start to the day – a must with hard-to-rouse teens like mine, for whom a hotel with set breakfast times is anathema. Mornings are also the time when we used the pools, Jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms and also tried out the spa – the advantage being that this was when they were all at their least busy by far. Such facilities are certainly great for après-ski, but they’re also good for getting your muscles ready for the slopes.
The small supermarket in Arc 1950 is decently priced for a ski resort, and on some evenings we ate in. At lunch we brought baguettes, paninis or pizza slices from the well-priced bakery on the main square, or waffles with nutella or maple syprup from a snack bar with outdoor seating. The restaurants in the resort are all decent, if unsurprisingly on the expensive side; the best we tried was the fairly upmarket La Vache Rouge with its meat-centric menu. Meanwhile, the mountain restaurants are unpretentious and less overpriced than in many of the more chi-chic resorts, although some can get very busy at peak times.
We didn’t need more than a local Les Arcs/Peisey-Vallandry Pass, which at the time of writing cost €34 a day for ages 5–12 and €43 for adults. More experienced skiers will need a full-area Paradiski Pass letting them roam further afield, to La Plagne (€49/61 at the time of writing).
Based on Whistler, Arc 1950 is the prettiest of Les Arcs (also comprising Arc 1600, Arc 1800 and Arc 2000) and a resort that's perfectly set up for families, with childcare and ski tuition for tots and up and plenty of organised activities in the school holidays, creating a lively atmosphere. I couldn’t recommend it more highly, especially for an Easter ski holiday with kids, when the snow sparkles in the sunshine but the slopes are still in good condition above resort level.