“If you’re not falling, you’re not learning,” said our ski instructor as he extended his hand to help our youngest son untangle from his skis. He pointed to the endless white powder that now dusted the flowing blue piste in front of us. “Try to keep your skis together and we’re heading to the Yeti Park just ahead.
Our son’s eyes glowed with excitement at the prospect. The Yeti runs, with their safe and accessible wide pistes, featuring fun activities including gongs, trumpets and prayer wheels, were just one more reason why Méribel-Mottartet had taken its place among our favorite family ski resorts.
Nestled amongst France’s iconic 3 Vallées, Méribel-Mottaret is the largest ski area in the world, boasting 600 kilometers of pistes, 62,000 vertical meters, and 15 summits over 2500 meters.
For four years we have been skiing with our boys and each time we learn something new. Méribel-Mottartet was a real eye opener. Here are some great tips if you plan on taking on this mammoth multi- mountain resort.
Where you stay matters. Skiing is a tough sport, requiring a ton of energy. If you’re using half of your reserves just getting to the lifts in the morning, then you’ll feel it by day’s end. But what if you could wake up, put on your gear and ski from your front door?
Stay at Madame Ski France’s Hôtel Le Mottaret*** and you can.
Perched on a hamlet above Méribel-Mottartet 1800, our family of five enjoyed the cozy, inviting atmosphere of this chalet-like hotel. With comfortable connecting rooms, easily accessible ski storage, and slopes not 20 meters away, convenience is the first word that comes to mind to describe these incredible accommodations.
After a long day of skiing, relax by the fireplace in plump sofas dotted around a comfortable lobby, sipping an Aperol Spritz while listening to the live musicians performing next to the well stock bar. Kids? Don’t worry about them. They’re having a blast splashing around in the outdoor hot tub just a few feet away.
Maybe it’s from years of experience or maybe we’re just getting older but simplifying our vacations is the name of the game. So, when we found out, Hôtel Le Mottaret offered an all-inclusive package, we didn’t t think twice. An on-premise restaurant giving you a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains offers breakfast, lunch and dinner dining. With an ever-changing menu, we were grateful that only steps were needed to find excellent food and refuel our bodies.
Did I mention kids go for free?
Throughout the ski season (for two adults and two children up to the age of 18). Kids get all the benefits but are absoultly free.
A week’s stay at Hôtel Le Mottaret costs from £332.50 pp (£1,330 total) for four people sharing a Comfort Plus Family Room with the kids go free offer on an all-inclusive basis.
Hôtel Le Mottaret: You can book your stay at 0203 475 4756, www.skifrance.co.uk
Unless you’re an avid skier, don’t buy your gear. It’s heavy and cumbersome and there is nothing more pleasant than just walking into a rental shop and getting everything you need without the hassle. Especially if that gear shop is Sport 2000 Mottaret Ski Evasion.
Friendly and helpful staff will get you outfitted with precise expertise. Sport 2000 has a convenient location next to Hotel Le Mottaret making the whole process painless and finished in the matter of minutes.
Where large ski schools seemed ideal for our budding ski bunnies when we first started out, now we find that our children benefit much more from smaller classes or individual instruction. For private teachers, look no further than skibro.net.
SkiBro is an innovative new platform that enables you to find your perfect instructor, guide, ski school or adventure and book instantly.
We were fortunate to be paired with Raab who was not only patient but also skillful in the art of motivating even the laziest amongst us. But just don’t take our word for it. Skibro.net allows you to read reviews and watch videos of each instructor.
If private lessons don’t fit in your budget, never fear, there are plenty of ski schools who offer group lessons with an individualized feel. Our oldest son loved his group classes booked with The Snow School.
The small group (3-4 children) only fueled his desire to improve, learn from his peers and make friends at the same time. “We strive to make learning fun,” said Paul, owner of the Snow School. And fun it certainly was.
Language is important. Although most instructors in Méribel have some degree of English fluency, heavy accents might hinder communication. The British school of certified instructors eliminates any language issues and puts the concentration back on skiing where it counts.
Méribel-Mottaret has an abundance of wide-open spaces and many on- or off-piste adventures. Check out our family favorites:
Olav: In Méribel, skiing takes place amongst the highest mountains. The Mont Vallon reaches 2,952 meters. Here you’ll find almost 1000m of descent. There are many off- piste opportunities and untamed routes. For snowboarders this is a dreamland.
Karyn: Méribel is at the crossroads of Courchevel, La Tania, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle. You’ll find some magnificent panoramic views. Don’t forget to take a breath and enjoy the beauty.
Louie: The Inuit Piste is a village with lots of outdoor games and entertainment including an eagle show, huskies, hot chocolate and more….
Eric: Mission Black Forest has a wild toboggan run. Race down 3.4km with a 470m vertical drop and 28 turns!
Marlon: The Yeti Runs can’t be beat for shooting down the mountain through tunnels, over ramps, and through the trees!
Make sure you also ask the real experts at the Méribel Tourism Office. Not only can you purchase your ski passes but they’re also a great resource for navigating you around the mountain.
- Karyn Gorman and Olav Adami