Snow where are you?? It’s that time of the year again, the long summer months are here and news of fresh powder on the slopes feels like a distant memory. So here at Iglu Ski we have put together a wintry themed list of Hollywood movies involving skiing and ski resorts that are so frosty you really should watch in the warmth of summer. Without further ado and in no particular order, I give you the Top 10 Best Hollywood Ski Films.
Hot Tub Time Machine is an adventure comedy that follows a group of best friends who've become bored with their adult lives. In an attempt to reconnect and reminisce about the Good ole days the group revisit Fernie Alpine ski resort in British Columbia, Canada. After a crazy night of drinking in a hot tub the men wake up back in 1986. With the chance to amend past mistakes, rekindle lost relationships and improve their own lives in the future firmly in their own hands as well as the consequences.
Not to be confused with the children (and adult) Disney hit film of 2014. This Frozen is the terrifying tale of three eager snowboarders, whose endeavour to get one last run, takes a turn for the worst with them fighting for their lives. Joy soon turns to despair when they get stranded high up on a mountain ski lift when a storm approaches, and the realisation that the resort will be shut for the whole week sinks in. Stuck in the bitter cold the trio take their chance at survival to get off the lift and back down to the resort. Filmed at Snowbasin near Ogden in Utah and without giving away too much, hypothermia isn’t the only thing they have to fear.
Set in St Anton, Chalet Girl is a charming romantic comedy that brings the resort life to the big screen. Think chick-flick with snowboards, Chalet girl tells the tale of former skateboarding champion Kim who has become resigned to working in a fast food restaurant until she gets the surprise job opportunity to work for a wealthy family in the Alps. After being whisked away from England her fun filled adventure begins, full of love, heart-break, partying and a turbulent time in her new job, she enters a snowboarding competition with the dreams of winning the huge cash prize.
Dumb and Dumber is a comedy classic, full of hi-jinx and slapstick comedy, the two good-natured but dimwit friends set out on a cross-country trip to Aspen, Colorado to return a briefcase full of money to its owner, only to be pursued by a group of criminals who are also after the briefcase. Aspen, known for its extravagant hotels and picturesque mountain views is comically described by Jim Carey as "a place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano”. Take a look at this laughter filled adventure.
Okay, okay! We know this film is an animation that doesn’t feature skiing or ski resorts, but hey those penguins are incredible body boarders. And who doesn’t love a musical themed heartfelt story about a courageous penguin that is unable to sing like the rest of his kind, but instead is inspired to tap dance in the hope of winning the affection of the penguin he loves.
This science fiction heist thriller, featuring a star ensemble cast with leading man Dom (Leonardo DiCaprio) who sets out on an impossible task fulfil his redemption. Dom acquires a team of specialists to perform corporate espionage using an experimental military technology to infiltrate the subconscious of their targets and extract information while experiencing shared dreaming. This mind boggling movie features an adrenaline fuelled scene high up in the mountains where the team are trying to destroy a snow covered fortress.
With the world’s oil supplies hanging in the balance, James Bond is assigned to diffuse an international power struggle and protect the daughter of an oil tycoon. Though filming for this movie took place all around the world, the most iconic scene of the whole movie is undoubtedly set on the slopes. Pierce Brosnan & Elktra King expertly navigate their way down the slopes with the breath-taking mountains ofChamonix in the background, before battling villains in the sky on flying snowmobiles. For more action packed clips of James Bond on the slopes check out our must read blog.
Based on the true story of four Jamaican bobsledders, who dream of competing in the 1988 Winter Olympics despite having never seen snow. With the help of a disgraced former champion desperate to redeem himself, this joyful feel good comedy follows the Jamaican hopefuls as they set out to become worthy of Olympic selection, and go all out for glory. Cool Running’s is the charming tale of determined underdogs, with plenty of laughs, moments of real tension, and five engaging performances, this is a definite must watch.
Combining outrageous comedy, awesome snowboarding and the most over the top après-ski antics you’ve ever seen on the big screen. Out Cold, captures that youthful time in our lives where the party and fun never seems like it is going to end. Set in the fictional tiny-town of Bull Mountain, Colorado – a winter wonderland of snow, skiing and snowboarding. A place where there's always fluffy powder to plow through and hilarious friends around every corner.
Whether you’re shaking your head in admiration or shaking your head in despair, the hopeless lovable Bridget Jones never fails to raise a smile. The edge of reason takes Bridget on a hilarious and unexpected new journey as she navigates the treacherous territory of modern love without ever losing her inimitable sense of humour. One of the film’s most iconic scenes takes place in Lech, Austria where Bridget loses her composure after convincing herself she’s pregnant and ends up slaloming down the slopes before inadvertently gate-crashing a professional ski race and whizzing off piste and miraculously ending up in the resort pharmacy. This jolly movie is a must watch if you haven’t already!
Now that’s what you call a great list, by the time you’ve watched them all it might just be time to start dusting off your skis and preparing for your winter ski break with IGLU Ski. Let us know your favourite film from our list in the comments section below.
(Here at IGLU Ski we promote safe drinking and encourage everyone to act responsible on the slopes.)
January can be a financially tight month but offers some of the best skiing of the season. With this in mind, and in our ongoing efforts to help more people hit the slopes, we've refreshed our Guide to Cheap Skiing. And if you're looking for a cheap last minute holiday be sure to check out our Top Tips for Last Minute Skiing.
Cheap ski deals are a bit of a misdemeanour as skiing is never cheap. By the time you have added your travel, accommodation, lift pass, ski hire/carriage, lessons (if needed) and food & drinks in resort, you are often lucky to get away with spending less than £1000. That's not to say that with good planning, realistic expectations and a bit of luck you can of course get a great deal, saving a small fortune.
People often flock toward the likes of Bulgaria and Andorra for a cheap ski break, but the realism is they are catching up with the rest of Europe year-on-year for price, yet the ski areas are not always as snow-sure or as challenging as the more renowned resorts. Andorra's lift pass prices are catching those of France, at £180, and the airfares to Bulgaria mean it often costs more than a cheeky week to a more renowned resort with a shorter flight.
Having taken into consideration the resort costs, including lift pass & ski hire, the holiday costs and the ski areas, I have put together an indication of where the best value cheap ski deals currently lie. There are a couple of self catered apartments, some value chalets and an all inclusive package, to give you a good indication of what to expect and where to look. Bargain hunting for cheap ski holidays starts as soon as the winter is over, so you now don't need to hold on in hope of getting a last minute deal.
To keep things fair and comparable I have looked at mid January, traditionally the cheapest time of the season where the resorts are fully open and for arguments sake have kept to London(ish) airports.
Self catered holidays can be a false economy due to the cost of food in resort, though sneaking some dry foods and packet mixes into your suitcase can help with this — student-style skiing! But if you are there for the skiing and/or the nightlife, accommodation is often at the bottom of the list, therefore squeezing into a 20m2 apartment with three friends won't bother you in the slightest.
Having kept to the dates mentioned before, you might be surprised to hear that the resorts of Avoriaz, La Plagne and Alpe d'Huez topped the list for accommodation costs and reasonable lift pass prices. Okay so €5 or so a pint may be the main downfall here, but there are some great value places to eat in both these ski areas. Pizza Roll in Alpe d'Huez is well used buy the underpaid resort staff and at €3 a pizza who can blame them. In Avoriaz ski down the Les Marmottes restaurant in the Lindarets valley for some great value mountain food — which will be much appreciated if a diet of pasta and sauce is on the menu in the evenings!
Alpe d'Huez offers 260km of great skiing, a glacier, Europe's longest black run — the 16km La Sarenne — the infamous Le Tunnel's moguls and the great value Quartier des Bergers Apartments apartments. The lift pass is £165, but includes use of the both the heated outdoor pool (budgie smugglers required), the indoor pool & sports centre and the resort bus, the ski & boot hire is from £75, ski carriage is £17.50. The cheapest ski deal here is again on the 18th January on a flight from Gatwick airport at £276 per person, based on four people sharing — the cheapest deal, but slightly higher resort costs.
The Cassiopee apartments in Belle Plagne often offer great value, whether getting an early summer deal or a last minute cheap trip you can find prices here for sub £270 per person (based on 4 sharing). The lift pass is around £235 for the Paradiski Unlimited pass and ski hire is around £85 for skis & boots and ski carriage is £35. The best price at the moment from Gatwick airport on the 7th January for as little as £285 per person, based on four sharing a four person studio apartment — offering cosy but low cost accommodation.
Chalet holidays can actually offer better value than staying in an apartment, due to the fact most of your catering is covered (the staff have one night off during your stay). You are usually given a hearty breakfast, afternoon tea and a three course evening meal with wine. If you have good chalet hosts you can usually have a large breakfast with cereals, a cooked option and some fruit, then make yourself a cheese, ham or jam sandwich for lunch (though do this quietly as you are not supposed to) and ski back for tea, coffee and cake at 4pm and still have time for an aprés ski beer.
Based on out-and-out price, the Chalet Alice in Les Deux Alpes offers fantastic value. Again using a Gatwick flight the price for two people in a twin room is only £354 per person on the 25th January. So the difference in cost to have two full meals and afternoon tea, with only one evening not catered, is just £103 pp. Les Deux Alpes is a student favourite, offering good nightlife, glacier skiing and reasonable resort prices — the lift pass is only £190 and ski & hire is again around £85 and ski carriage is £35.
For a great overall deal, great value on the mountain and the chance to ski two countries in one holiday, then the Chalet Quatre Saisons in La Rosiere offers fantastic value. The ski area sits toward the end of the Tarantaise Valley, opposite Les Arcs and bordering Italy. Skiing down to La Thuile you can enjoy fantastic mountain food at great, Italian prices, giving great savings throughout the week. This time based on a flight into Gatwick and with two people sharing a twin room the price stands at £295 per person — at £180 for your lift pass with ski hire from as little as £55 (or ski carriage for £39) you are looking at £530 for a week with everything bar lunch and one evening meal paid for!
Over in Les Deux Alpes, there are some ridiculously good value all inclusive deals with the Club Med Les Deux Alpes, though if you fancy a different resort the Club Med Arcs Extreme often has comparable prices. Club Med offer something different to the typical British ski holiday, first of all they are French run, owned and styled hotels, though they have English speaking staff. If you are here for the skiing and not the resort nightlife the hotels have everything you need. The price include accommodation, transport, all inclusive meals and drinks (apart from champagne etc), lift pass, ski school and on charter flights ski carriage. You can ski back to the hotel for lunch, a beer or a snack, the bar is open until early until the early hours and there is entertainment for all ages. If you head out on the 26nd January you are only paying £1084 per person, based on two sharing — this means if you have your own skis you don't have to spend another penny (apart from travel insurance) and if you don't ski hire starts at £104 pp.
Whilst this deals is great last minute value, Club Med also offer terrific Early bird savings of up to £200 pp so booking early is highly recommended.
In a quick round-up, here are the overall price comparisons for the best value self catered, chalet and all inclusive for seven nights:
So depending on how much you expect to spend on meals both in your accommodation and on the mountain, whether you are heading out into resort to party, fancy a glass of wine over dinner, or want the freedom to enjoy a drink whenever you fancy, depends on what works out best for you. Self catered are cosy, but low cost, chalets are comfortable, yet good value and Club Med include everything you need for a great price.
* The prices in this article were correct at time of publish, though are subject to change at anytime.
Today's blog is bought to you by AJ, Iglu's Head of Sales and keenest après ski participant.
We’re pretty keen on après ski action here at Iglu. So much so that it is one of the main factors that decides where we ski each season. We’ve even rated the best chalets for access to après ski. Some have great locations just a few stumbling steps from the best bars and some offer their own in-house bars that everyone else has to come to.
So, let’s start with the best located chalet in everyone’s favourite French resort, Val d’Isére.
The 5* Chalet Cherrier is slap bang in the middle of the action. I’ve stayed here and counted that it was only 16 paces from the front door to the Petit Danois bar. This is one of our early evening favourite bars with two pool tables and consistently hot Danish and Swedish bar staff. The rooms in the Cherrier are big and don’t suffer from noise after 9 pm.
If your budget is more Carlsberg and KP nuts than Krug Champagne and Beluga caviar then you might want to be above one of the most iconic bars in Val d’Isére, by staying at the Chalet Hotel Morris. This chalet hotel couldn't be more convenient, but if you choose one of the rooms at the front with the sunny balconies, you will hear some noise. At least no one will complain if you're a little noisy yourself.
The most famous après ski resort of them all is St Anton and this next chalet is right amongst the fun.
You can ski directly to this chalet from your après session in the Mooserwirt or the Krazy Kangaruh and you are only a few minutes from the main pedestrian area of central St Anton. The Chalet Alpenheim has a few convenient single rooms and if you have a group of four, than make sure you book the junior suite with two rooms and a kitchenette on the top floor! Here it is really worth paying the extra for a sunny balcony with lovely views.
Italian resorts are usually fairly laid back about après ski but there are exceptions. Cervinia, which links over to Zermatt, has a few lively bars and the liveliest of them all is in the Chalet Dragon right on the slopes as you come down at the end of the day. This place gives Cervinia its aprèsphere.
The rooms in the Chalet Dragon are sectioned off in a separate wing so you don’t get the noise of the bar. The chalet is also very well placed to appreciate all the other bars of Cervinia, being about 100m from the centre. The rooms in this chalet are large and this property was one of our biggest sellers last season, so get in early if you have a group.
The best party in Switzerland is undoubtedly in Verbier, and the Place Central is where it all happens.
Chalet Hotel De Verbier is so popular it’s usually sold out for peak dates long before the season starts. It is directly opposite the best that Verbier has to offer and one the all-time classic après ski bars, the Farinet. Live music, potent shakers, a buzzing dance floor and a sliding roof that opens to let the steam out every couple of hours, come together to provide the ultimate Swiss après ski experience.
Courchevel is the famous name in the world’s biggest ski area, but most people are put off by the prices of the extortionately flashy resort at 1850. To avoid the Ruskies and the €40 fondues, the UK market prefers to head to it's little brother just down the road in Courchevel 1650. The prices are better and the après is more convivial. This part of Les Trois Vallées is the most sun-facing and has the prettiest tree runs. Several of our most popular properties are in this resort like the Chalet Cascades and the Chalet Hotel Les Avals.
The Chalet Hotel Les Avals sleeps 70, so it’s already got a ready-made party on most weeks. The chalet hotel also hosts the best après ski bar in resort, Rocky’s. There is a live band on during après a couple of nights a week and it is well setup with TVs for any UK sport you may want to catch. Handy in February and March for the Six Nations rugby. It also does well priced snacks and lots of daily deals on shooters, shots, bombs and beers — as well as serving the legendary après ski beer, Mützig.
If you are looking for a bargain — with all the ingredients for a riotous week of partying — then look no further than the Club Hotel Les Airelles in Les Deux Alpes.
This property is cheap and cheerful so don’t expect The Ritz. This club hotel has hosted the Iglu April ski trip for the last three years and has never failed to deliver a good time. Our crew are mostly mid-twenties ex-seasonaires that like a party almost as much as deep powder.
Les Deux Alpes attracts a young crowd and is heavily favoured by boarders who appreciate the excellent terrain park. We love the super short transfer from Grenoble, the access to La Grave over the top of the glacier, the cheap bars, the €60 helicopter day trip to Alpe d’Huez, and the reliable snow above 2500m.
And finally, here’s a property that is the best placed in the Ibiza of the Pyrenees, Pas de la Casa.
Llac Negre is right in the centre of the main drag of Pas de la Casa. The town rocks all night and has plenty of great bars including the one in this hotel. The prices are great due to Andorra being a tax free principality. The resort is also at 2000m making it one of the highest in Europe. There has been lots of investment in the lift system of the Granvalira ski area and it now compares favourably with the big French resorts of the Tarantaise Vallée.
This is only a short list of some of our favourites but we have loads more to recommend for après ski action.
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"Just home from Christmas in Val d'Isere... this was the best ski holiday I have ever been on. Val is stunning, the hotel fabulous, staff sensational and skiing out of this world. We booked through Iglu. They were fantastic. Peter had great ski knowledge, offered advice and went the extra mile. " - Pamela (Dec 2015)