The 2016/17 ski season saw the first opportunity for Fran and I to experience first hand a luxury family ski holiday with our girls now old enough to start enjoying all that a ski resort can offer. Who else to go for the best family ski holiday experience than family favourite ski operator Scott Dunn? We had the opportunity to live the experience of a luxury Scott Dunn ski holiday; to take our girls out to Val d’Isere to stay in one of their “sister chalets” named after the four daughters of the owner, Chalet Alice.
After 12 years of running our luxury ski agency Ski In Luxury, Fran and I are more used to familiarisation visits; short scouting missions to the Alps to check out either new or existing properties in our portfolio, normally being a part of a get together of other luxury ski agents who are hosted and given a display of the services and cuisine on offer in the properties of our operators.
However, since having our two girls, Beatrice and Sienna, aged 3 and 2 respectively, our “FAM trip” opportunities become more limited and we have also ensured our sales team increase their knowledge of both our chalets and resorts by sending them instead…..the perks of the job huh?!
Beatrice and Sienna would spend the week in the care of the renowned Scott Dunn Explorers Kids Club, and Fran and I would be free to enjoy our time on the slopes and viewing luxury chalets in Val d’Isere, with full flexibility of when we spent our time with the kids. This all sounded pretty idyllic!
For many parents, childcare in their chosen ski resort plays a fundamental part of the decision process. Many parents will look to recruit the services of a dedicated private nanny agency but with the Scott Dunn Kids Club we felt that it provided the opportunity to get the girls involved in a new environment, meeting new friends and allowing them new and exciting experiences, with both indoor and outdoor activities.
The Scott Dunn Explorers Kids Club is open to all children staying in the Scott Dunn luxury chalets in Val d’Isere. The club is suitable for children aged four months to 13 years, 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm. In the centre of the resort, it was perfectly placed for accessibility from Chalet Alice, just a short stroll with Sienna in the buggy and Beatrice happy stomping through the snow to facilitate the excitement of the day ahead. Oh, and did I mention that we didn’t even have to take the girls to the Explorer’s Club in the morning?! A dedicated nanny, the lovely Rose, was on hand and bang on time each morning, turning up to the chalet and whisking the kids off to the kids club, leaving Fran and I free to head up the hill to enjoy the amazing skiing in the l’Espace Killy.
Children are split into four age groups and looked after by fully qualified nannies;
Globetrotters for the littlest people aged 4 months – 2 years
Adventurers for those aged 3 – 4 years
Voyagers for children aged 5 – 7 years
Pioneers for children aged from 8 – 13 years
After the first day, we were greeted by Beatrice in the evening with an attempt to make us feel guilty about leaving her while we went off and enjoyed ourselves on the mountain. Thereafter, she was always buzzing on her return from the Explorer’s Club, asking “Daddy, what am I doing next week” (meaning tomorrow but not quite grasping that difference just yet!). The weekly activity plan that has been put together for each of the age groups offer a vast amount of variety and more than enough to ensure that the kids came back adequately exhausted each evening, ensuring an early night, a great sleep and most importantly, plenty of quality time for mummy and daddy to enjoy the gastronomic feast and abundance of champagne and wine on offer in a luxury catered chalet holiday.
The Scott Dunn kids club is spacious and brimming with toys, games and books, and each day is filled with fun and stimulating activities, each day being differently themed. From glitter painting to the pizza factory, “carriage to the sky” rides and local farm visits, and the obligatory animal face painting, there’s no end of adventures to fuel their imagination. Below is the weekly schedule of fun that the girls enjoyed throughout the week.
The Scott Dunn ski kids club allows for complete flexibility in pick up and drop off times. During our week in Val d’Isere we had Sienna’s 2nd birthday on the Thursday and so chose to spend the morning with the girls, playing in the swimming pool in Chalet Alice and then heading out to the nursery slopes in the centre of resort and enjoying some sledging. Nanny Rose was more than happy to come to meet us at the base of the sledging area and take the girls off to the kids club while Fran and I then disappeared up the mountain, although already slightly exhausted from the effort taken of numerous drags up and runs down the slope with the kids happy in the comfort of their sledge…..I can imagine feeling like a master ushering their slave.
Progression Ski are working in association with Scott Dunn this year to also introduce their Ski Taster Experience for children aged 3 and 4. We signed Beatrice up and she spent 3 x 2 hour sessions across the week on the slopes with her new found friends from Explorers. It was an amazing feeling to see our little girl master the Savonette button lift and start “pizza and chip-ing” down the piste. Inevitably it won’t be long before we are trying to catch her up and she zooms down the piste and onto the terrace of the Folie Douce!
On the same afternoon of Sienna’s 2nd birthday we had arranged for our friend who runs Progression Ski, the charismatic Ken Smith, to come with Fran and I to give Sienna her first taster of life on skis. Sienna once again dropped directly to the ski lift of choice, left in our hands for an hour, before Nanny Rose then returned to pick Sienna up and whisk her back for the final hour of kids club while Fran and I headed back to the Chalet Alice for a freshen up before the kids returned for their tea.
For parents who can’t break themselves away from the snow and apres-ski scene in Val d’Isere, Scott Dunn nannies are also on hand to extend their childcare services into the evenings at a very reasonable hourly rate.
We were hugely impressed by the set up at the Scott Dunn kids club in Val d’Isere, the professionalism of the nannies, the ease at which everything was delivered, and the flexibility that it offered us as parents who were keen to enjoy time with our girls in the snow but also enjoy time for the two of us to head up the mountain for a ski…..to even enjoy a little apres-ski session too! I would have no doubt in recommending a Scott Dunn luxury chalet holiday to any of our clients seeking the ultimate luxury family ski holiday.
You can book a Scott Dunn ski chalet through Ski In Luxury. Use our unbiased opinion and advice to select the perfect luxury chalet for your holiday in the mountains. Feel free to call me on +44 1202 203650 or email us to enquire about your next family ski holiday with childcare.