Thursday, 9 February 2017

Our Family Ski Trip to Tignes with Mark Warner- Part 2

Today I'm back with my second post all about our family ski trip to Tignes in France (you can read all about the first part here). We travelled to the Alps back in January with Mark Warner and stayed at the Hotel L'Aiguille Percee in the heart of Tignes le Lac. We really loved our week at the hotel and I think it was so wonderful that I wanted to dedicate most of the post to talking about our stay here. When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was how well located the L'Aiguille Percee is in Tignes. It's literally a 30 second walk from the boot room at the bottom of the hotel to the central square where people gather for ski lessons or to go on the chairlifts. With children I think this makes a huge difference, especially at the end of a tiring morning of skiing as it means you can just walk back to the room and not have to worry about public transport. 


We also noticed how friendly and personable the staff were and for us, this was really important. They were so good with the boys and always took an interest in how your day of skiing had gone. We also enjoyed some good chats with the waiting staff at dinner.

In terms of accommodation, we were lucky enough to stay in an apartment suite at the top of the hotel, room 506 on the 5th floor. We were amazed at the space we had and the room consisted of a large open living room with balcony and a spiral staircase leading up to the next floor. We had a master bedroom and then a long corridor off of which was a luxury bathroom with separate WC and the second bedroom. I cannot tell you what a difference it makes to have that separate space with little ones on holiday. It means they could have a fairly normal bedtime routine and we could sit and watch TV downstairs without waking them. 
The view from our balcony was just stunning. It was a real treat waking up to the view of the mountains every morning and at night time, I just loved sitting and watching the piste groomers move up and down the mountains at nighttime combing the snow ready for the next day. 

The restaurant in the hotel had a very cosy alpine feel. We were staying on a half board basis so breakfast and dinner were included, and also afternoon tea at 4:30. Breakfast was buffet style and consisted of cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast, cooked breakfast and the most delicious pastries. We're big on breakfast in our family so always made sure we ate plenty to give us the energy for a day out on the slopes. 
Dinner was normally a la carte with a choice of 3 starters and mains and a couple of desserts. The food was tasty although I sometimes felt the portions could be a little more generous. Twice a week the evening meal was served as a buffet instead of a la carte. Thursday evening in chalet night off so you go out into the town to get dinner elsewhere. The staff can recommend places and book a table for you. We decided to go to a pizzeria called Bagus, which was a 2 minute walk across the square. 

I really loved the homely cosy alpine style of the hotel with it's wood and stone walls. The restaurant was always warm and cosy and the room was open throughout the day and night so you could help yourself to hot drinks (there's no kettles or tea making facilities in rooms). There was also a bar and this pool room to relax in, not to mention the spa with it's swimming pool, sauna and steam room. 

At 5pm, they served children's high tea which consisted of more child friendly options. We tried the 7:30 dinner with both boys but LO got really tired so we continued the week with the boys eating at 5pm while we ate at 7:30 with Little L. One of the services Mark Warner childcare offer is the evening listening service where you can take your children to the childcare room at 7:30 in their PJs to watch a film. We used the service a few times when we stayed at Levante Beach Resort in Rhodes and were so impressed with the service we thought we'd try it again a few times. Each child is signed in and fully supervised by Mark Warner childcare staff. They each get a little fleecy bed and they watch a film together until they fall asleep. I had thought we wouldn't use it as LO was in childcare all day but as he was so tired by 7:30pm it made sense to let him watch a film there for an hour while we ate in the restaurant, and we always picked him up by 8:30. 

We signed both boys up for childcare for the week (Monday to Saturday) with LO being in mini club and Little L being in toddler club, each being allocated their own key worker for the week. The staff were wonderful and I wanted to mention Paige and Abby in particular as they were so great with the boys. Abby was amazing with Little L as he hadn't really been left for this long before but by the third day he was quite happy to be dropped off and his personality developed so much over the week. Abby really went the extra mile with Luca and he took a real shine to her. One of his favourite things to do was to go on walks around the hotel saying hello to the staff doing their jobs in the day and to sit behind reception playing with the postbox. He was the youngest there as he'd literally just turned 1 and childcare is offered from 12 months to 12 years at the L'Aiguille Percee. 

Mark Warner work closely with the ski schools and can escort children aged 4 and up to their lessons. As LO is only 3 he didn't do lessons but the childcare staff plan lots of exciting activities throughout the week for any children not in ski school including sledging, hot chocolate walks and lots of indoor playing too. The facilities were fantastic. Another useful facility was the kitchen which was open 24/7 if you needed boiling water or a bottle steriliser. 

I wanted to also talk a bit more about my ski lessons. I learnt with Flo from Evolution 2 ski school. He was a really great teacher and although firm, he was always encouraging and took the lessons at a steady pace to accommodate everyone's needs. I had never skied before and just did a one hour taster lesson at the Xscape indoor ski slope in Yorkshire but I'd say if you have lessons booked, there's no need to go for any lessons prior to your ski trip. My lessons were from 9-12 Monday to Friday and we spent all our lessons on the nursery slope, Lavachet green run and Rosset blue run. I started off the week not knowing a thing about skiing and made so much progress over those 5 days, and by the end of the week I was just learning to parallel turn. For someone who isn't sporty in the slightest and quite afraid of heights, I was really proud of what I achieved, and I'm most definitely converted to skiing and winter holidays.

I absolutely adored the skiing lifestyle- a morning of ski lessons in the cold, crisp air, a lazy lunch in the snow with hot mulled wine, and then a slower paced afternoon, either practising new skills on the slopes or taking the boys sledging. Even as I write this, I am longing to be back there.  

On our final afternoon in Tignes, We took the boys out sledging again which was so much fun. LO really wanted to go for a ride in the bubble (the cablecar) up the mountain so we found that you could get a passenger pass for €15 per adult from the tourist information office. (On a side note, we decided not to buy expensive lift passes for the whole week as we knew we wouldn't use them so we got them on a day by day basis to save money and there are enough free lifts to use if you're a beginner). 



The boys absolutely loved their ride in the bubble and it was amazing to be so high up. To be fair we didn't stay long at the top as there was a blizzard and it was so cold, then it was back down the mountain to the hotel for cake and hot chocolates. 
  
I'll never tired of seeing that gorgeous afternoon light, the clear blue skies and the feeling of that mountain air. It's just so clear and fresh. The views in Tignes were just stunning- different to what I expected as it's so high above the treeline. As it is so high, it's pretty much guaranteed snow for this time of year too, and we experienced some pretty extreme weather towards the end of the week, but it made it all the more fun. I'd really recommend it as a resort to go to with a young family. Even though LO didn't ski, I saw so many young children out on the slopes enjoying their lessons, and the hotel itself was just a real home from home for us and so cosy to go back to at the end of each day. 

I'll admit, before we went away on our family ski trip to Tignes I was feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed as it was something I had no experience of at all. While Mr F had previously been skiing, I hadn't and our only experience of family holidays was within the UK or on sunny beach holidays. It took quite a lot of planning and researching, especially with knowing what kit to buy and what to take for the children, so if you have any questions about going on a ski holiday with children do just ask me! I'll be more than happy to answer any questions. 

If you're considering a family ski holiday with small children but feel a little worried or apprehensive about it, I'd say go for it. It really was such a magical holiday and the whole week was made so easy by Mark Warner staff. The childcare services are just amazing, and so flexible, giving you the option to use the childcare as and when you want. Hotel L'Aiguille Percee is a really family friendly hotel. So often the accommodation on a skiing holiday can be seen as just somewhere to rest your head after a day on the slopes, but when you travel with children it needs to be more than that, and this hotel certainly offered that- from the friendly staff to the relaxed restaurant environment and comfy rooms, it was the hotel which made the holiday for us. We loved this holiday and I am so looking forward to planning our next ski adventure and taking the boys out on the slopes too. 

NB: We were very kindly sent to Chalet Hotel L'Aiguille Percee by Mark Warner as we are family ambassadors for 2017. All photos, video content and opinions are entirely my own. For more information about ski holidays with Mark Warner, please visit their website.

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8 comments

  1. Brings back so many memories, we stayed in that very room in that hotel when we were ambassadors too! eek!

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    1. How funny that you stayed in the same room as we did! It's a really lovely hotel, I'd love to go again

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  2. Weeeeeeeee!!!!!!! I LOVED reading this post Amelia!!!!!!! You've made me SO excited for our holiday — I literally can't wait now!!!!! I'm scared/excited in equal measures!!!!!! :) xxxx

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    1. Ah thank you so much Caro! I'm so excited for you to arrive and see what you think- I hope my posts have given you a little insight! You'll absolutely LOVE it xx

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  3. Oh my goodness, it sounds like you had an amazing time in Tignes. It makes such a difference being this close to the pistes and not having to carry around all your equipment for a long distance. The hotel looks great and I love the childcare options that were available to you. Not jealous. No, no, not one bit, he he!

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    1. We had the best time- although I wish we had been able to make more of the last few days but it was just so cold and snowy to be out with the boys. It really made a huge difference not having to carry heavy equipment for a long distance- it was so convenient!

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  4. That room view does look amazing and it sounds like you really made the most of it. We would absolutely love to go skiing but I know like you I would be terrified too!! X

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    1. The view was stunning! We had the best week and we cannot wait to go skiing again one day- hopefully when LO is a bit older and can ski! x

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