As every parent probably knows, if the kids aren’t entertained on holiday and get bored it spells trouble. Phones and iPads fill in some of the time and are a handy standby but sometimes you just want them to put the infernal things away and do something else. It pays to do a little research about potential chalets before you book. A sure fire winner is a chalet with an indoor pool, and outdoor one is fine too, if it’s heated. A games room and home cinema are also winning features and will help to engage and entertain all ages. Most resorts, pretty much without exception, will cater for the very youngest and the first timers on the slopes and creche facilities will be available for the children that can’t manage to ski just yet. The majority of resorts will also cater for older children in the form of kids clubs, leaving you free to enjoy some time on the mountain without the children. Here are five chalet suggestions that are ideal for families.
Chalet Chouqui, Verbier
Chalet Chouqui is a real gem, from the moment you see it’s sprawling mass on the hillside you’ll start to feel your heart race, the second you walk through the door you will be smitten. The phrase ‘the wow factor’ was coined for properties like this.
Space usually comes at a premium in Verbier, that doesn’t seem to have been much of a consideration here. Chouqui is a vast chalet on all fronts, perfect for a game of hide & seek, the kids will love exploring the cavernous interiors. The kids will be out of your hair here, but be careful not to lose them.
The generously sized windows flood the mountain light into the interiors in the daytime. At night, with the curtains drawn, the candles and the log fire flickering along with the dimmed lighting, the living spaces become a different entity, cosseting and welcoming and thoroughly enjoyable spaces to inhabit. This is luxury and it’s your home for the duration.
The facilities you will enjoy are second to none. The superb 15m indoor swimming pool will be a hit with all ages as will the dedicated cinema room, with its reclining leather chairs. The games room will provide hours of fun with Ping Pong and table football competitions. Non skiers will have plenty to do here and we think even keen skiers will find it hard to drag themselves away from the confines of this delightful property.
Neuf du Tenne, Châtel
The couple that own and run Neuf du Tenne, Paddy & Jo, know all about what makes the ideal bolt hole for families, they have kids themselves, so have first hand knowledge of just what’s required to keep all family members happy.
As you arrive at the chalet, high upon the mountainside, striking in its dark, burnt wood, effortlessly blending into the Alpine forest behind, Neuf du Tenne makes a great first impression. This is a charming traditional building, sensitive to its surroundings and yet benefiting from up-to-date interiors, a modern layout with all the luxury touches you could wish for.
The children will love the quirky kids’ dens, an ideal space for many a game of make believe, snap and top trumps. You’ll depart with memories of the hours spent in the private pool with the kids – the sound of them shrieking with laughter as they play mischievously with their friends, and delight in time spent having fun with you, as a family.
Just a two minute chauffeured journey from the nearest chairlift – with your driver there to help organise all the children’s’ ski kit – and the prospect of skiing right back to the door, the chalet is ideally situated. Jo & Paddy will always be on standby with the chalet’s minivan to fetch and carry for you. The couple are your local experts, always ready with tips and ideas on where you can take the children for entertainment, the best pistes, the best restaurants, etc.
Welcome to Chalet Alpaca. Privacy, tranquillity, spectacular views and a short walk to the pistes and last but certainly not least, a beautiful heated outdoor pool to die for, what more could you ask?
You’ll barely have had time enter the lobby and takeoff your shoes when the yells and shrieks of utter delight tell you that the kids have found their way to Chalet Alpaca’s upper ground floor. Home to not only a cinema and a games room complete with pinball machine and pool table but the pièce de résistance; the indoor climbing wall.
All the family will enjoy the toboggan run and after a day on the slopes it’s time to settle into your private cinema room complete with hot chocolate…topped with obligatory marshmallows and chocolate flake. As for that pool, there’s something magical about splashing around in the pool with the stars for a canopy. I’m pretty sure that the kids will be spending a lot a time here. Chalet Alpaca has a home gym too.
Calistoga, Val D’Isere
Chalet Calistoga was completely renovated in 2016, it’s just the place for 10 snow lovers to relax with their nearest and dearest. Val d’Isere is a skiers paradise having no fewer than eight mountain access points, boasting 300km of slopes and 20kms of ski routes in the Espace Killy – one of the largest ski areas in France. Val d’Isere has every conceivable kind of piste, from the easy peasy, for the novice, to the most challenging run that would tax the most experienced pro.
Chalet Calistoga has all the elements in place to ensure the kids are catered for. On arrival, they’ll most likely be headed for the snug complete with Sky and Apple TV or down to the lower floor games room.
For you, thermals off, cashmere on. You know where you and your previously neglected book are heading – the corner of that sofa, in amongst the plumped up cushions, in front of the crackling fire, safe in the knowledge that the kids are happy and engaged. The large indoor swimming pool will be well used, I’ve no doubt, as will the sauna/massage room.
For now, you’re blissfully content in your double height living space, looking out across the valley from floor to ceiling windows. You’ve found peace.
Rock n Love, Tignes
The kids are going to absolutely adore this quirky and totally original luxury ski chalet. Part ski accommodation, part art gallery, there are fascinating artefacts, conversation pieces and displays at every turn.
This chalet has all the luxury facilities and touches but not in the standard format – how about having your very own original Wurlitzer jukebox with 100 classic rock albums loaded instead of a usual music system. There are guitars, amps, a glorious bright red Coca Cola fridge and American rock memorabilia like it’s going out of fashion.
You prop up the stylish white bar that is just built for sipping cocktails while watching a pool game played on a table made from a full size Mini Cooper. If you’re feeling energetic go to the gym or swim in the pool under the watchful eyes of Jim Morrison or lounge in the hot tub admiring the dramatic scenery.
This is a fun chalet that will charm even the most cynical and the ‘garage room’ on the top floor with it VW van and Jeep beds is kid’s paradise whatever your actual age. Chalet Rock & Love is a homage to Americana – even down to the place mats.
I’ll be totally honest, the day I viewed this chalet I had preconceptions that it wouldn’t be for me, but I was wrong. It really is difficult not to be charmed by this total one off. “Hey its only rock n’ roll but I like it!”. Comfort, luxury, escapism and fun – what perfect holidays are made of. You’ll all talk about this amazing and unforgettable property for years to come.
All these beautiful ski chalets can be booked with Ski Boutique.
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