If you’re looking for a good resort to kick back with the kids this winter, catch our drift: A snow-covered getaway could be more family-friendly (even with toddlers!) than a beach vacation. But where can you stay comfortably without sacrificing a big chunk of your savings?
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, Beaver Creek
The staff seems to have thought of everything. Childproofing supplies? You can pick them up at check-in along with a Westin Family Travel Journal and Local Activity Guide for the kids, giving them hints for exploring the destination. Place to store all your family’s wet gear? A valet will whisk away your skis and warm up your boots for free when you come off the gondola or shuttle from nearby Beaver Creek ski area. Extra hand in the morning? The Westin’s car-pool service will drive your child to and from lessons at The Ranch, Beaver Creek’s incredible ski school that features tepees, wagons, and other Wild West-themed obstacles for beginners. If you can’t resist checking out your 3-year-old’s first lesson (but don’t want her to see that you’re around), you can peek out of the school’s huge panoramic windows.
Beaver Creek ski area has plenty for your clan to do together, too, like tubing, ice-skating, sleigh rides, afternoon cookie breaks, and a Thursday night fireworks display. When you add that to the Westin’s new Family Programming (movie and crafts night, Kids Eat Well menu, heated outdoor pool, and supervised kids’ club activities like building snow forts and learning about the area’s Native American culture), you’ll find that there’s barely enough time to sleep in the super comfy Heavenly Beds or cribs. All guest rooms were recently renovated too.
Jackson Gore Inn
It’s in a great location. The Jackson Gore Inn is just a snowball’s throw away from all of the fun family happenings at Okemo, a mountain that ski buffs flock to for its 121 lush trails. A top-notch ski school rents pint-size gear and puts kids on the bunny slopes starting at age 2. Families can get a free, personalized tour of the mountain by visiting Okemo’s Ambassador desk. Even if your family doesn’t ski, Jackson Gore is still an awesome resort. Right outside the front door, kids can climb on and crawl through the “ant hill,” a giant mound of snow. There are three snow-tubing runs, and some tubes link together so you can slide down as a family. And kids ages 5 to 12 can enjoy a 20-minute, guided snowmobile tour on a Polaris kids’ snowmobile. An outdoor rink rents skates and hosts family events like disco skating parties. The excitement continues after dark with moonlit snowshoe treks or Vermont Institute of Natural Science raptor encounters. Winter rates start at $150 per night plus kids age 6 and under get free lift tickets
VAL THORENS – FRANCE
Val Thorens is the highest resort in Europe (at an altitude of 2,300 metres) and the highest point of the largest ski area in the world, the 3 Vallées (600 kilometres of interconnected runs).It’s a New World resort that combines the best of skiing with the best of atmospheres so that each holidaymaker feels UNIQUE and enjoys their very own Val Tho experience! Reinventing enjoyment to give its guests the best possible holiday is Val Thorens’ credo. Val Thorens is a sporty, innovative, « ski in, ski out » car-free resort, built in pure mountain style
Alpe d’Huez is a true paradise for those who love snow and the great outdoors.The Winter/Summer sports resort is well known for its very sunny climate. The village has been developing since 1936 and sits perched on a full south facing plateau at 1860m altitude in the Grandes Rousses mountain range.The ski area called ‘Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski’ links up to the resort villages of Auris-en-Oisans, Huez, Ozen-Oisans, Vaujany, Villard-Reculas, La Garde and Le Freney. Its summit, the Pic Blanc is 3330 metres at its highest point and offers an exceptional panorama stretching over one fifth of French territory.
The resort is endowed with facilities that harmonize with the natural features of the resort to offer holiday makers a whole host of indoor/ outdoor, sports and cultural activities.
Life style resort ‘par excellence’, Alpe d’Huez offers a wide range of opportunities for snow sports as well as plenty of other activities to try out.
La Plagne is a family winter sports and summer resort located in the French Alps between 1250 and 3250 metres.
For over 50 years, the destination has become internationally renowned for its huge ski area with 225 kilometres of runs for all levels of skier. The atmosphere and architecture are diverse and recount over 50 years of the history of winter sports! Europe has 7 bobsleigh slopes, among them La Plagne has the unique French bobsleigh slopes.