Luxury Family Holidays Handpicked for Parents

Family-friendly ski holidays

Ski season has been upon us for a while but, if an active vacation to burn off those left over Christmas calories is on the agenda, we’ve some fabulous and very family-friendly ski holidays on which to do just that. From kiddie spa treatments (and gorgeous ones for you, of course) to top ski concierges, Michelin-starred restaurants to outdoor hot tubs with Alpine views, we’re happy to ensure they’re all at your fingertips.


Home to deep-powder skiing and luxury family hotels, Niseko is the name given to a group of village ski resorts clustered around the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri, on Hokkaido, Japan’s north island.  Most slopes have a bracing view of the neighbouring Mount Yotei, a perfectly cylindrical volcanic cone, almost identical to Mount Fuji.  Niseko may not have the glitz of St Moritz, but it has classier snow – vast swathes of knee-deep powder driven in by Siberian winds.  It is also one of the few truly international parts of Japan (English is widely spoken), while retaining exceptionally high Japanese standards of service, food and even multi-functional, heated lavatories.

Where to stay?

The Green Leaf Niseko Village

Start your après-ski the holistic way, with deep tissue massages and hot buttered rum hand and feet treatments.  Then pour yourself into a pony-skin print armchair by the fireplace in the Tomioka White cocktail bar.  Do not miss the outdoor ‘rotenburi’ onsen, where you can relax the traditional Japanese way, surrounded by snow and pine trees.

An exciting menu of activities for kids includes snow tubing, reindeer sledding and a “magic carpet” ride – a snowy conveyor belt for little beginners.  There are a range of ski-school options, as well as child-friendly spa treatments for those aged seven and older.

To book this hotel, click here.

Green Leaf Niseko Village water

Annupuri Village Niseko

Massages are available in your chalet to ease aching muscles after a hard day on the slopes.  Babysitting is provided should you fancy a night out, and for hassle-free nights in, there is a food delivery service, featuring local Sapporo beer and a good selection of Australian wines, thanks to Niseko’s popularity with Aussie ski-fiends.

The chalets can be baby-proofed with gates, and each one has a garden and BBQ area for summer visitors.  In winter, staff can advise on a range of ski schools and kids’clubs, and Annupuri has several great gondola rides up Mount Niseko Annupuri.

To book this hotel, click here. 

Annupuri Village Niseko exterior

The Niseko Company

It may be self-catering, but that doesn’t mean you have to lift a finger.  A team of concierges can organise every minute of your day should you so desire, from ski schools, pottery classes and snow-mobile rides, to Japanese cookery lessons and tours of local onsen (hot spring baths).  A personal chef can prepare every meal, from children’s fishfingers to fine dining.

Each property is equipped with child-sized futon mattresses and Snoopy dining sets.  Welcome packs for kids are handpicked by local mothers.  Most homes are stocked with board games, family DVDs, toboggans and the latest videogame consoles.

To book this hotel, click here.

The Niseko Company pool


Most ski resorts in the French Alps are geared up for children of all ages – even if yours aren’t yet old enough to ski, many resorts have nurseries and crèches – or you can choose a hotel or chalet with its own private childcare. There’s also more to snow than simply skiing, but don’t forget that the Alps aren’t just for winter – most resorts are open during July and August and have a host of activities for children, when resorts are uncrowded. But for this ski season, here’s what we recommend….

Where to stay?

Altapura Hotel Val Thorens

The Pure Altitude spa has the usual saunas and steam rooms, but what makes this spa really special is the indoor – outdoor pool: swimming in an uber-heated outdoor pool while the snow falls around you is unforgettable and the huge beanbags around the indoor pool are the perfect place to doze off after your swim. The hotel has three restaurants – one buffet style, one fine-dining restaurant and another just for fondues. The variety and quality of the food, particularly in 2 Mille 3 (the buffet restaurant), is breathtaking, and the array of homemade desserts (especially the marshmallows) deserves a special mention.

A kids’ concierge, a free kids’ club and Mac Minis in all the bedrooms are just some of the lovely touches for little guests. The fabulous buffet-style evening meals offer an unbelievable choice, from exquisite amuse bouches to fresh, cooked-to-order seafood, incredibly tender meat and inventive pasta dishes.

To book this hotel click here.

Altapura hotel Val Thorens relaxation

Au Coeur du Village Hotel

The Cristal Spa has five treatment rooms (including one devoted to body wraps) and a large pool with massage jets and bubble beds in which to unwind after a day on the slopes. Upstairs (no kids allowed here) is a relaxation room and a particularly fabulous steam room with a light-studded ceiling that mimics a twinkling sky. Downstairs, Le Cinq restaurant serves imaginative fine-dining French food and you can also enjoy cocktails served in the comfy and stylish lounge, complete with pianist.

The fifty suites (there are just seven “ordinary” rooms) are all divisible so that children have their own separate sleeping area and bathroom. The duplex suites are particularly spacious and have a small lounge area as well as two totally separate bedrooms. During school holidays there is a kids’ club, as well as a nanny who will look after your children during mealtimes should you wish.

To book this hotel click here. 

Au Coeur du Village Hotel interior

VIP Club Bellevarde Val d’Isere

The heart of this hotel is the cosy lounge with squashy sofas in front an open fire; the twin hot tubs on the outdoor deck and the delectable treatments and massages available will totally repair you after a day on the slopes. Rooms are equipped with iPod docks, robes and slippers, and staff will even bring a wake-up drink to your room in the morning. (This stylish and comfy timber and stone ski-in, ski-out chalet is ideal, especially for those with children too young to ski who want English-speaking childcarers).

The hotel offers private, specialized nannies who will look after children as young as 12 weeks, baby equipment, toys, freshly prepared purees and children’s crockery and booster seats. Within the chalet, there are also toys, a children’s DVD library, a Playstation and Wii and even Freesat for those who can’t live without children’s television.

To book this hotel click here. 

VIP Club Bellevarde chalet

Hotel de Charme Les Airelles, Courchevel

Wood paneled bedrooms, enormous beds, a stunning spa with pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and a real snow grotto can be found at this Couchevel gem. Service and attention to detail is second to none – the large numbers of staff (including two ski valets on hand to warm your gloves and boots) all dress in traditional Austrian costumes (no joke). You can even hitch a lift back from your day on the slopes in the hotel’s own horse-drawn carriage designed by Hermès. The hotel’s restaurant, Pierre Gagnaire for Les Airelles, has two Michelin stars.  If you’re after a bit more space, there’s also a private four-bedroom apartment, which includes a cinema room, dining room, bar, private spa and its own butler.

Children will adore the playroom that is staffed by two nannies where they will find a custom-built, child-sized castle along with a Playstation, Wii and stacks of toys. There is also a cinema room with cartoon-style oversized sofas, while in the restaurant there are child-sized buffet tables with matching mini-crockery. Outside, there is a private ice-rink (with skating valets in period dress), a heated tree house and, at Christmas and New Year, a vintage carousel. There are even post-ski children’s treatments available in the spa.

To book this hotel click here.

The Hotel de Charme Les Airelles pool

Ok, so this we love. If you’re skiing during the upcoming half term or easter holidays and your destination falls anywhere in the French, Austrian, Swiss or Italian Alps, your life is about to get easier than ever. The days of lugging heavy suitcases, bulky skis and endless cold weather gear (not to mention controlling your children through airport security) are over. A clever company called Piste of Mind, the UK’s only bespoke ski and snowboard carriage specialist, will transport all your baggage, as well as your ski equipment, from your home directly to your Alpine destination, so all you need to do is take your carry on and your kids.

W Verbier mountain view

W Verbier

Aimed at taking all the stress and strain out of ski travel, they will collect everything from your home and take it directly to your resort. Genius, I know.

Prices are comparative to booking luggage ‘in the hold’ of most budget airlines so this won’t cost you the earth and, in some cases, luggage goes free (depending on weight) so you only pay for your equipment.

Club Bellevarde exterior

VIP Club Bellevarde, Val d’Isere

Booking is easy and orders only need to be confirmed eight days before departure; transportation is provided by a trusted specialist carrier ensuring full care and security with all luggage and equipment. What’s not to love?

For more information click here.

For family-friendly ski holidays click here.

Snowboarding image