What better way to ensure a white Christmas than in a ski resort? Christmas ski holidays give you a charming and traditional setting for enjoying the festivities with friends and family. Chalets and hotels are delightfully decorated, Christmas dinner is taken care of by the staff and you may even get Father Christmas stopping by for a visit! Skiing at Christmas also means that you enjoy guilt free overindulgence after a morning on the slopes.
Here's our top 5 Christmas' with a difference:
If you want to celebrate the festive season to the max then St Anton is your place. If you are looking for a party rather than Father Christmas, this is the resort to go to.
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St Anton village © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Thomas Klimmer
For a family friendly Christmas, La Rosiere in France is the place to be. The attractive, tree lined resort shapes the perfect setting for the festivities. Christmas eve kicks off with an torch-lit descent and instructors ski show, before waking up to beautiful snowy slopes on Christmas morning.
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La Rosiere © Julien Gadet
This cluster of small authentic style chalets is perfect if you are looking for an intimate Christmas with your family or group. The rustic alpine setting makes an enchanting retreat for festive period.
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Club Med Pragelato Chalets
Discover the true spirit of Christmas in Mayrhofen this winter. If you’re arriving Christmas week you can catch the last weekend of Advent at the Forest Festival to experience Tyrolean customs, the Christmas markets and enjoy the special anticipation of Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day head up the Ahorn and visit one of our favourite mountain bars, the White Lounge. The bar sits inside an Igloo and is the perfect stop for the first drink of this special day and creates an unforgettable festive experience.
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Mayrhofen Advent at the Forest Festival
For the perfect Christmas Ski Holiday this season head to the winter fairytale village of La Tania for a truly festive atmosphere. With fantastic ski slopes, chocolate box style chalets and the beautiful picturesque alpine setting, you are guaranteed a magical Christmas. On December 24th there is a Christmas party which Santa skis down the mountain to join in and then lifts are open as usual on December 25th for a fun packed day on the slopes.
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Christmas in La Tania
Head to Santa’s home for Christmas for a once in a lifetime experience. This winter wonderland tucked deep in the Arctic Circle will make all your childhood wishes come true. Meet Santa, take a ride in a Reindeer sleigh, go husky sledding and unearth this magical land. For more information on holidays in Lapland, call us a speak to one of our Lapland Experts
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Half term has only just passed, Easter is yet to arrive and there is still around eight weeks of the season left to play with, yet next winter's school holidays are already a hot topic in the office. And with the amazing snow we've had this season, I can see why.
Christmas, New Year and February half term remain the three most popular weeks of the season to ski. Kids and teachers are off from school, New Year's week typically involves less holiday time off work, typically only using three days of holiday, and the snow is usually pretty good. The result — the best chalets and hotels in the most popular resorts are gone before the summer begins.
This season there was a small amount of nervousness as the early snow started to dry up, then from mid-December onwards the snow arrived in dump-after-dump, week-after-week. Christmas and New Year in the Alps was a romantic winter wonderland, with roof tops, trees and even street lights covered in a layer of snow. The slopes were deep in thick white snow, with so much falling, corduroy was impossible and powder skiing was plentiful.
Roll on a few weeks and to February. As snow continued to fall throughout January, with light snowfall in early Feb, skiers were happy to see the sunshine come out for half term. Over the last few years the slopes haven't been at their best in the school holidays, but with most resorts boasting upwards of two metres of snow on the upper slopes and with Siberian levels of cold arriving, the pistes were in perfect condition. Half term involved wrapping up warm, slapping on the sun block and cruising along perfect corduroy runs, followed by leisurely lunches on sun terraces (though preferably one's with heaters).
So, having enjoyed the peak weeks this season due to amazing conditions, from power turns to piste cruising, the skiing bug appears to be well and truly spreading again. It's like a healthy (apart from the cheese and wine), but expensive, pandemic.
Mid season usually marks the early releases of the following winter's prices, and this year is no different. The pre-brochure deals are already arriving on the site and, from someone who likes to book early, the deals on offer now are almost guaranteed to be the best price you will get a peak season holiday for. Once the brochures arrive after Easter the prices will rise, and though the summer offers are good, if you know exactly where you want to go and when to go, now really is the time to book for school holidays.
Every year, and this year has been no different, the peak and popular week enquiries start to gather pace once half term has passed. Every year the same story of people holding out for 'a better deal', either end up paying more, losing out on the property they want or having to compromise. Now, I'm not saying last minute deals aren't great, or that you won't find a fantastic holiday come September. But if you want the best chalets, or hotels, in the most popular resorts, get in early.
Also, in a financially aware climate, booking early has other benefits. You only have to pay a deposit — typically between £130pp and 25% of the total price — and then you have until 12 weeks before departure to pay the rest. So, if like me you work in a job for love as opposed to money, booking for New Year before the winter is out, means you have another 5/6 months to save up the rest of the holiday. For half term you have another 9 months to save. When booking a peak season, peak price holiday, the early savings and additional time to pay the bill offers you that extra piece of mind — which has to be a bonus!
With this in mind and properties opening up for next years bookings, here are a few snippets of what we have on offer for 2012/13 already.
Family Chalets: Family specialist chalets, offering in-house child care, dedicated kid's ski school and family-friendly meal times, sell out for peak dates so, so quickly. The large chalet hotels, such as the Ducs de Savoie and the Des Deux Domains, sell the best rooms before you know it, but the main problem is, the child care places are filled long before the summer holidays arrive. The smaller 8-10 person chalets also go quickly, as family groups looking for chalets that fit their needs and offer childcare don't waste their time booking. Just try and find a small chalet for Feb half term in, say, Meribel, with child care by mid-summer.
Luxury Chalets: Here's the serious stuff. Our selection of luxury chalets vary from 5* affordable luxury to a chalet that Roman Abrimovic once tried to buy and über luxury properties, with Michelin starred-style cuisine and champagne on tap. These chalets vary in price, but the one thing you can guarantee, the most luxurious, best located and most unique chalets go early.
Club Med: Club Med have become one of our most popular products over the past couple of years because of their fantastic value. Whether going away on a romantic skiing trip for two, with a group of friends or taking the extended family, they have properties to suit all. Also, when the price includes all of your meals, not just breakfast, cake and dinner, your weekly bar bill, your lift pass and ski school, you have to be on to a winner. To whet your appetite Club Med's 2013 ski deals already include a selection of their most popular hotels, offering fantastic pre-brochure prices (due to increase mid-March) as well as up to £180pp discount, including peak dates!
Oh, and one last thing, after a couple of years of juggling departure dates around the December holiday season, Christmas and New Year dates are back to normal. Which means weekend departures and getting home from a New Year ski holiday before the kids go back to school.
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