If you read our previous Snow Alert, you will have seen that the Alps received their first flakes of snow earlier this season. This past weekend saw the arrival of the first major storm of the winter season. France, Austria, and Switzerland saw the most snow, with some resorts receiving over 100cm of the white stuff! Find our top 4 picks for amazing early season conditions below…
One of the Tyrol region’s gems, Solden was a location of the Bond film Spectre. Containing not one, but two glaciers, snow is the least of your concerns, especially with 80cm of the fresh stuff on top.
A premier destination that intermediate and advanced skiers especially enjoy, Tignes picked up 62cm in the past 3 days. If you’re craving more terrain, simply pop over to Val D’Isère for more world-class skiing.
Your ski trip is right around the corner, have everything packed? While clothes are an obvious addition, some things such as ski insurance, lift passes, and airport parking can be easily forgotten. With our ski holiday checklist, you’ll be prepared for everything, so you can hit the slopes without worry.
If you haven’t yet arranged your ski insurance, make sure you have sufficient coverage. Regardless of your ski ability, we highly recommend pre-purchasing ski insurance. In addition to covering medical expenses and personal liability, you are insured for lost baggage, lost skis, and travel delay.
Ensure that you can spend more time on the slopes and less time queuing at the ticket office. We can deliver your lift passes directly to your chalet. If you haven’t already, give us a call on 01483 791 933 to pre-book your lift passes today.
Have you pre-booked your ski/snowboard and boot hire? If not, we can add this on for you, so all you need to do in resort is collect your kit. Eliminate the stress of having to organise ski hire and get on the slopes quicker.
Check out our fantastic ‘Ski Total Savers’ deals like ‘Book a Lift Pass and get ‘2-for-1’ on your ski/board/boot hire or ski carriage’ deal! Please note, these offers must be pre-booked at least 6 weeks prior to departure and are not available locally.
We recommend checking in at least 2 hours before the printed departure time on your e-tickets for your flight. Before you head off on your ski holiday, make sure to read through our pre-departure information.
And last but not least, if you’re not sure what clothes to pack, check out this handy guide. If you haven’t booked your ski holiday this season, you can view our top deals here.
The Countdown to the 2018/2019 Ski Season has Begun
The first dustings of snow have fallen in the Alps, a sure sign that winter is almost upon us. Many resorts have also been busy in the off-season making multi-million euro improvements to make 2018/2019 the best season yet! If that doesn’t make you excited, the below first snow pics are sure to get you hyped for the upcoming ski season.
The Espace Killy area is a world renowned snow-sure ski area, which includes the Grande Motte Glacier. Over half of the 300km of pistes are located above 2,500m, so it’s easy to see why Tignes and neighbour Val d’Isère are a firm favourite with skiers.
The heart of the famed 3 Valleys ski area, Méribel is a firm favourite among Ski Total guests. The adjacent Val Thorens offers the highest ski resort in Europe, with fantastic snow-sure early season skiing. This season has seen the start of a two year, €15 million improvement in the Roc de Fer area. The result is two new high speed six-seaters replacing the Cherferie, Plan de l’Homme, Roc de Fer lifts.
This classically Austrian village is the highest in the entire country, providing a plethora of high-altitude skiing pistes. Additions this season include the opening of full Kirchenkar Gondola in the Hochgurgl area.
Les Arcs comprises 3 villages and accompanying pistes at various altitudes that are perfect for all skill levels. Combined with neighbour La Plagne, the Paradiski ski area is among the largest in Europe with 425km of pistes.
Known for its glitzy and glamourous crowd, Courchevel is part of the world-renowned Three Valleys. New for this ski season, the Grangettes gondola has been modernised in addition to improved snow making capabilities.
Famous for it’s mantra ‘relax. if you can…‘ Ischgl is a firm favourite for those who like to ski hard and après harder. Straddling the border with the Swiss tax-free resort of Samnaun, Ischgl offers something for everyone. The 2018/2019 ski season will see the debut of the new Gampen E4 six-seater and the Gampenalpe restaurant.
Ski Total’s Best Bang for your Buck Chalets for 2018/19
Ski Total holidays offer it all: stunning scenery, fantastic skiing, and drinks aplenty. Because the UK isn’t exactly mountainous, ski holidays usually consist of a trip to The Alps. Our Ski Total chalet deals allow you to relax and enjoy some fantastic ski destinations without breaking the bank.
Chalet Hotel Breithorn in Champoluc is full of charm and is proving to be a popular choice with our guests. It is a lovely, traditional hotel which has been beautifully restored and modernised whilst respecting all its traditional Alpine features and character. The spacious lounge and reception area has a fireplace, wooden vaulted ceilings and comfortable furniture to make you feel at home as soon as you arrive.
Situated close to our Chalet Lou Trave, the Castor is a charming, rustic chalet, tucked away in the tranquil Mussillon district, about 800m or 8-10 minutes’ walk from both the resort centre and the piste that descends to the main Chaudanne lift.
This classically Italian, attractive hotel is full of character. Featuring exposed wood beams and wooden panelling in the lounge, bar and dining room. Large rugs, an open fire and comfortable armchairs and sofas create a warm, inviting ambience. Enjoy Views over the hotel garden from the dining room on the lower ground floor.
This chalet has everything that you need for a comfortable stay. included heated boot warmers are the perfect way to start your ski day. At the end of the day, the sauna will help relax any aching muscles. Rooms feature smart bedrooms with en suite facilities, most of which have a balcony.
A max occupancy of 10 people ensures a great atmosphere for relaxation to get the most out of your holiday. Get cosy in Meribel >>>
The Champs Avalins offers a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere in the heart of Val d’Isère’s Daille area. The attractive restaurant on the first floor has excellent views to the piste. It also forms the centrepiece of our chalet, setting the scene for our Xtra Chalet catering.
The attractive open-plan living/dining-room sets the scene for a convivial chalet atmosphere.
Skiers will delight in the chalet’s own sauna, where tired muscles can be gently eased. Complete the après-ski relaxation regime by sinking into the hot-tub on the terrace.
Ski Total holidays offer it all: stunning scenery, fantastic skiing, and drinks aplenty. But, there is nothing better than coming home after a long days skiing to one of our luxury platinum chalets. Soak in the opulence in the hot tub or warm up in the sauna whilst your 3-course dinner is prepared by our chalet hosts. Our finest accommodations on offer allow you to relax and unwind, leaving you refreshed for another day’s skiing. Scroll down to view all of our platinum chalets:
The Chalet Marie is modern and spacious inside, and charmingly decorated with Alpine antiques and inviting Savoyarde colour and panache. The wood-panelled bedrooms are all comfortable, and each has its own en suite facilities.
The comprehensive features of the Marie are completed by the sauna/steam room situated on the lower floor and the bonus of a ski in/ski out location in the truly enviable setting of Avoriaz.
The modern Chalet Arktic is one of our most popular platinum chalets and has received several press accolades as one of Tignes’ elite chalets. Its light and modern lounge is designed and furnished in a funky contemporary style, and the views from the huge floor-to-ceiling windows, out over the sun-terrace to the lake and the whole Tignes bowl, are simply sensational.
The Arktic is home to a superb indoor pool and leisure facilities, including a sauna and outdoor hot tub, from which guests can enjoy more stunning views.
La Roucheure Chalet is a traditional old Val d’Isère farmhouse which has been beautifully renovated into one of our finest platinum chalets. It retains its original charm by featuring local wood and stone, with sections dating back to the 17th century. But, it also offers a modern and stylish home-from-home.
For total relaxation on your holiday there is a sauna on the lowest level, a warm thought as you ski straight to the door of La Roucheure.
Chalet Isba has to be one of the best located chalets in Méribel. A short walk brings you to the nearest piste, the Doran, at the Tourist Office. From here it is a minute’s ski to the Chaudanne lifts. Alternatively our complimentary Ski Total minibus service will whisk you to and from the main lifts.
The chalet is built in to the hillside so the entrance is from the back on the second floor. This allows splendid views from the chalet, particularly from the hot-tub!
After many years of repeated guest requests we are delighted to offer Ski Total skiers a hotel in Ischgl – and this one is very special! The Platinum Chalet Hotel Abendrot has been built specifically for our Ski Total guests and has it all, from a modern and stylish interior to a location that is hard to beat anywhere in the Alps.
Recover from a tough day’s skiing at the Abendrot’s wellness area, which features a traditional sauna, infrared sauna, steam room, and relaxation area. Oh, and it’s only 50 meters from the number 1 piste.
The stylish and extremely comfortable Chalet Cairn has proved hugely popular with our Ski Total guests over the last few seasons. Ski access is simple, with the Toviere gondola and the Palafour chairlift both within 3 minutes’ walk, and a ski shuttle bus stop just outside for access to the lifts at Val Claret. The resort centre of Tignes le Lac is also only a couple of minutes easy walking.
With it’s unique cosmic sauna and outdoor hot tub offering stunning views, you can relax and soak in your surroundings.
Le Savoie commands an imposing setting right on Val d’Isere’s main street, and is only a short walk to the nearest ski-lifts, the main ‘home-run’ pistes, and children’s nursery ski area.
To complete Le Savoie’s appeal, there is a relaxing spa area on the ground floor, comprising an indoor pool, a steam room, two whirlpool hot-tubs and two saunas, in addition to a range of beauty treatments and massages. The pool and spa area is not available to children under 12 years after 5pm each day.
Skiers have always loved Méribel and it’s easy to see why: Sat in the middle of the Three Valleys ski area, impressive lift systems, pretty chalet style architecture and an epic aprés ski scene make Méribel an ideal resort to get your snow fix. The resort team have been busy over summer working on some great new additions and we are buzzing to let you know what’s new in Méribel for 18/19:
Le Mont Vallon – A fresh look for the summit of Méribel
The Mont Vallon gondolas have had a make-over: Travel to the top of the Méribel Valley in first class style, the gondola will now feature comfortable 8 seat cabins that offer panaromic views over the entire ski area. You will then be greeted at the top by epic views and two famous red pistes to make your way back down in the best type of way.
Two new high speed chairlifts for the Roc De Fer side
The Legends chairlift is a new high-end chairlift starting from La Chaudanne. A first in France, the Legends chairlift combines the latest technology and comfort offering you an even faster journey : 4 minutes 40 seconds to the top! On board, enjoy the highest level of comfort with its 6 thermo-regulated seats and weather-shield.
Cherferie has also had a new 6 seat chairlift built for winter 18/19. By replacing the difficult Cherferie draglift, the new high speed 6-seat chairlift will allow more skiers to discover these pistes, especially the delightful blue Choucas piste, appreciated for its good snow and sunny aspect. With its 4 minute journey time, this forms a very quick link to the Belleville valley, another easy access to les 3 vallées.
New Pistes Coming in 2019
Méribel’s ambitious investment programme will continue in 2019 with two new pistes, a cultured-snow network and a tunnel to improve skier comfort. It’s not by chance that Méribel was chosen to host the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2023!
Chairlift selfies are about to get a lot easier in Méribel. We have all been there, desperately trying to take a decent selfie whilst heading up the chairlift, removing your gloves at -15°C, taking your phone out of your pocket and risking it falling into the snow below, never to be found again… Well in Méribel they have taken away all the stress of chairlift selfies, all you need to do is lift up your goggles, strike a pose,
give a great big smile, and click the button on the lift – the photo will be taken automatically, all you need to do is head over to the big screen at the top to collect it. The new photo system will be available on two chairlifts: Combes chairlift, from Méribel-Mottaret and the new Legends chairlift, from la Chaudanne.
To ensure that the 3 Valley links are snow sure from the beginning to the end of the season the main altitude reservoir in Mottaret, used to produce artificial snow, has been extended, thereby doubling the snowmaking capacity!
Luge Now Open All Week
New for 2017, Méribel’s toboggan run will now be open 7 days per week. That means even more chances to race down its 3.4km and 470m vertical drop, and around 28 bends. How many times will you go down the Mission Black Forest luge track this winter?
Updated Snow Park
The Elements Terrain Park offers you a world that’s more colourful and fun. This year, the focus is on different themes to offer skiers courses they’ll want to enjoy again and again. The four different worlds – fire, water, earth and wind – can be discovered in turn, so you can try all the different types of obstacles. The Boardercross will inspire you to challenge your friends and family to a race. The line of Whoops is ideal for
novice thrills. The Mini-zone has become a hit with beginner skiers who want to learn the joys of freestyle in peace and safety. And the Fun Slope is sure to be the hit of the 2018-19 season: this wide piste will please everybody with lots of fun elements: corners, whoops, arches, bumps and figures to set spinning…
On Slope Entertainment
This Winter Méribel will be hosting free entertainment on the slopes. Four enthusiastic entertainers will work all season long in the fun zones to make them even more magical. Inuit fishing, challenges, teatime treats, treasure hunts, coconut shy and other games will delight kids while parents can take a well-earned rest at the tables, hammocks or loungers.
Why wait for the busy peak season crowds? Head out on an early season ski holiday and enjoy some alone time with the piste. Here are our favourite, high altitude resorts for early season skiing:
1. Val Thorens – 2,300m
Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe. Situated on the Peclet Glacier, at high altitude, Val Thorens is one of the most reliable early season skiing destinations.
2. Tignes – 2,100m
The Espace Killy area is a world renowned ski area, and completely snowsure due to the Grande Motte Glacier. With well over half of the 300km of ski areas located above 2,500m, it’s easy to see why Tignes is a firm favourite with skiers.
3. Les Arcs – 2,000m
Les Arcs, is home to a number of superb ski resorts. Our chalets are located in Les Arcs 2000, the best and the highest of the ski resorts – based at the foot of the Aiguille Rouge, in a secluded snow-sure bowl.
4. Obergurgl – 1,930m
Set high at the end of the picturesque Ötz Valley – the highest village in Austria. Obergurgl with its high altitude snow, is one of Austria’s most famous, best loved and most sought-after ski resorts.
5. Alpe d’Huez – 1,860m
Alpe d’Huez is at the same height as Val d’Isère, and the ski area soars to virtually a whole vertical mile above, at the Pic Blanc summit and the guaranteed snow of the Sarenne Glacier.
Ski Total and Esprit Ski’s top six reasons to book Winter 18/19 trips early
Leading ski holiday companies share insider tips on why skiers should book sooner rather than later…
21st May 2018, London – As a record-breaking ski season draws to a close, leading ski holiday companies Ski Total and Esprit Ski have released some enticing deals for early bird bookers. Chalet specialist company, Ski Total, has announced a range of deals and offers for winter 2018/19, including deals on equipment hire and area lift passes. Meanwhile Esprit, the UK’s top ski holiday company for families, is also running ‘Family Savers’ which include amazing discounts for Baby and Toddler weeks.
Here, Ski Total and Esprit Ski’s Thomas Wake, ski trip veteran and marketing managers, shares top tips on the benefits of booking your next ski trip early:
1.Don’t miss out on savings of up to £870 per person with early bird offers
“Early bird bookers are rewarded with a number of deals, from two-for-one on equipment hire to discounted lift passes”
Currently, Ski Total and Esprit Ski are offering ‘Buy One Get One Free‘ on six-day adult lift passes for the Espace Killy ski area for those staying in Tignes departing on 9th and 16th December 2018. This offer is in addition to the ‘Buy One Get One Half-Price’ offer on six-day adult lift passes departing on selected dates between January and March 2019, also available in Tignes. Ski Total is offering CHF50 (£37) bar credit per person for bookings to Xtra Chalet De Verbier in Verbier, Switzerland made before the 27th June 2018, as well as 50 euros (£44) bar credit per person for bookings to Chalet Hotel Parc Victoria in Cortina, Italy bookings made before May 31st 2018.
Customers can also take advantage of 2-FOR-1 Ski/Board and Boot hire or ski carriage when they pre-book a lift pass through Ski Total. This offer applies to all properties in Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland on all departure dates and is subject to availability.
Meanwhile, Esprit Ski is offering up to £870 in savings per family during Baby and Toddler (BAT) Weeks, as well as free Infant places (saving £115 per infant), half-price Nursery places (saving £174 per infant) and half-price Spritelets and Snow Club for Toddlers, when booked together (saving £229 per toddler).
2. Book early and distribute the holiday costs over the year
“Guests only pay a £150 deposit up front, and after that can pay as little or as much as they wish at their convenience, providing the balance is cleared 10 weeks before the trip”
With a deposit of just £150 per person needed at the time of booking, skiers and boarders do not have to compromise on the holiday they really want next season. The earlier a booking is made the longer travellers have to save up and pay the balance, which is especially useful for groups giving the organiser plenty of time to gather everyone’s payments. Now is also a good time of year to secure snow gear bargains, so paying for your holiday in instalments frees up some funds to buy that new jacket in the sale- guests also receive 15% off Cotswold outdoor and Snow + Rock when they book.
3. Get in early for specific chalets, resorts, childcare places or room types, especially for peak season trips
“Those looking for specific chalet sizes, heading for famous resorts or in need of childcare will hugely benefit from booking early whilst the full range of options is still available. Small chalets in popular resorts such as Tignes and Peisey-Les Arcs, along with family and connecting rooms are snapped up quickly, especially during the school holidays. We also find some chalets are prone to being booked up early by groups – particularly those with hot tubs – so if you like a soak after a days’ skiing, it’s definitely worth getting in early!”
Esprit Ski has introduced three new pop-up chalets in Tignes, France to keep up with demand during high season dates. Chalet Corniche, Chalet Chamois and Chalet Aiglon are available to families for Christmas, New Year, half term and Easter. It’s also important to book childcare as early as possible as Esprit Ski prides itself on having small nanny to child ratios, which means spaces are limited. For infants aged 17 weeks to 12 months and 13 to 23 months there is one nanny per three infants and for toddlers aged 24 to 40 months Esprit Ski allocates one nanny per four toddlers.
4. Take the stress out of travelling by avoiding last minute planning
“Groups finalising their ski trip dates before everyone’s calendars fill up avoid the near impossible task of coordinating 10 diaries with only a couple of months to go! Smug skiers can dodge the last minute planning stress and WhatsApp back-and-forth to find the perfect dates by starting group conversations well in advance”
Everyone knows the most stressful part of booking a group holiday is finding a date that everyone can do. Those who book early can therefore relax in the knowledge that next season’s trip is all booked and all that’s left to do is look forward to it! Furthermore, Ski Total’s ‘Saver Deals’ such as 2-for-1 ski hire offers, need to be pre-booked and are not available to book locally.
5. Give the family or group of friends something to look forward to
“Booking early gives everyone something to look forward to. Some of our deals can be booked up to a year in advance”
Once everything is booked travellers are able to simply look forward to their upcoming trip with more time to plan their stay. The Esprit Ski and Ski Total websites have full listings of all resorts, chalets and hotels and all their amenities available for guests to research prior to their arrival. Each resort webpage also lists the activities available both on and off the slopes, childcare options and a detailed overview and map of the slopes.
6. Boost your workout motivation by making your ski holiday a fitness deadline
“I think we are all sometimes guilty of suddenly bursting into a panicked burst of fitness activity a week before our ski holiday to ‘get the ski legs back’. Whilst this isn’t necessary to enjoy your holiday, being able to take an extra run because you aren’t knackered, definitely means you can make the most of your time out there. Having your trip booked nice and early at least gives you the motivation to prepare a little sooner…even if in reality the pub garden proves more tempting!”
Skiers and boarders can get the most out of their ski holiday when booking in advance by building up fitness throughout the year and minimising muscle aches once they’re on the slopes. It’s always easier to stick to a fitness plan when there’s a specific date in mind to work towards. That’s why booking a ski holiday early means plenty of time to build up stamina for the slopes, which is especially important for beginners or those who haven’t skied or snowboarded for a number of years.
Ski Total and Esprit Ski have a range of deals and offers for the 2018/2019 season for early bookers to take advantage of such as:
Ski Total is offering seven-nights at the Chalet Hotel Rosset in Tignes, France from £639 per person departing on 9th December 2018, including return flights with transfers and catered accommodation, which includes a cooked breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner with complimentary wine. Guests can benefit from the ‘Two-for-one on ski equipment hire’ offer, as well as the ‘Buy One Get One Free Lift Pass Offer’ on six-day adult Espace Killy Passes for departures on 9th December 2018.
Baby and Toddler (BAT) Week savings for Belle Plagne, France departing 20th January 2019
Esprit Ski is offering seven-nights at the flagship property, Chalet Hotel des Deux Domaines in Belle Plagne, France from £985 per adult departing on 13th January 2019, including return flights with transfers and catered accommodation with a hot and cold buffet breakfast, afternoon tea and a three-course evening meal including wine and coffee. Guest benefit from the Baby and Toddler (BAT) Week deals with free Infant places (saving £115 per infant), half-price Nursery places (saving £174 per infant) and half-price Spritelets and Snow Club for Toddlers, when booked together (saving £229 per toddlerFor further information or to make a booking, visit www.Espritski.com or call 01483 745 771.
CHF50 (£37) bar credit voucher for books at Xtra Chalet De Verbier made before 27th June 2018
Ski Total is offering seven nights at the four-diamond Plus Xtra Chalet De Verbier in Verbier, Switzerland from £655 per person departing from Gatwick on 15th December 2018. Those who book before 27th June 2018 receive a free CHF50 (£37) bar credit voucher per person. The chalet is located in the centre of Verbier with a bus stop just 50m away. Price includes flights, resort transfers and accommodation on a chalet catering board basis with skier’s breakfast, afternoon tea and three-course evening meal with complimentary wine over dinner.
It has been a truly incredible season for snowfall this winter and we have been blessed with great conditions throughout. The Alps have given our overseas team the perfect backdrop for some amazing photos and videos throughout the year.
We have seen everything – from huge firework displays to snow dances & dives, off-piste adventures, powder sprays, storms, snow balls and even snow yoga!