12/09/2019 | Chilly Powder
Laura Macaulay is the editor of Families North Yorkshire and Families Newcastle Gateshead Magazines. Read all about her family holdiay with us in their September October issue (Page 16), with Laura's full write up below:
A few weeks into January of this year, we made a choice to take our two boys out of school so that we could enjoy our first family ski holiday and boy did we have no regrets! Our oldest had just turned 8 and our youngest was 4, so not statutory school age even. My husband was apprehensive about our youngest and how well he would cope with the demands of a ski holiday, but as it turns out, we had nothing to worry about. Chilly Powder had it all in hand!
Catering for families
Chilly Powder is a family run company that offers luxury catered and self-catered chalets in Morzine. We stayed in their largest catered chalet Au Coin du Feu, which boasts 16 bedrooms. All bedrooms are en-suite and the on-site creche, kids’ club, games-room, movie-room, private bar, outdoor hot tub, Wi-Fi access and luxury bathrobes all help to make the overall holiday just simply perfect.
There is, without a doubt, a lot of thought and care that has gone into making your stay with Chilly Powder as relaxing, easy and enjoyable as possible. On any skiing holiday, a ski door to door location is of huge benefit, but even more so when you have little ones in tow, and this is what Chilly Powder chalets all offer. The evenings are carefully planned so that adults can relax and take time to enjoy the amazing food and drink on offer, whilst getting to know the other guests too. Mealtimes for the children are earlier, which suited us just perfectly. It allowed us to return from a day’s skiing to the hot drinks, cakes and roaring fire place, to chill with the families in the chalet before sitting the kids down to enjoy their evening meal. Afterwards, there was enough time for the children to play before bath and bed. Later, canapes and drinks are served in the private bar, followed by a 4-course delicious evening meal. Staff are on hand to go and check on the kids, if requested and there is a listening service too.
The idea behind the creche and kids’ club is simple: happy children means happy parents! Chilly Powder was actually created specifically for family ski holidays. So, everything on offer is to make your life, as a parent, easier. Fully qualified nannies care for children as young as 3 months old, allowing parents to enjoy their time on the mountain, knowing their children are well cared for and entertained. The creche is available for babies and toddlers of pre-ski age. For older children taking part in the Chilly Powder ski school, the mornings have a drop off and pick up service and then the children are brought back to the kids’ club, served lunch and then supervised in the playroom or taken out on a trip to the local ice-rink or on the land train nearby. We dipped in and out of using the kids’ club. Our oldest didn’t need it as in the afternoons, after Chilly Powder ski school, he could happily hold his own out on the slopes with his Dad! Our youngest needed some down time in an afternoon, however, and so we booked him in for a couple of sessions and he had an amazing time with his new ski buddies.
The people behind the chalet
I have to say that it’s the staff who really make your stay with Chilly Powder so enjoyable. Right from the booking process through to your departure, you are made to feel a part of one big, happy family. Staff genuinely love their job, and this is evident all of the time. They make it their mission to learn the name of all of the guests staying in the chalet and nothing ever seems too much trouble.
Francesca and her husband Paul are the owners of Chilly Powder. When Francesca ventured to Morzine, to get away from her busy lifestyle in London, running her own catering business, she made an instant connection to not only the beautiful little town nestled in the Aps, but also to her now husband Paul. 25 years later, they are French residents having settled in Morzine, bringing up their three children, Ben, Eloise and Jamie.
Morzine and Avoriaz – Portes du Soleil ski region
I was lucky enough to benefit from a private ski lesson from Pierre Bayet, an instructor with more than 30 years’ experience, who works for Avoriaz Alpine Ski School, founded by Ian McKella in 1992. They are a small ski school offering private and group lessons and well worth a look if you are wanting to develop your skills as a skier or are learning for the first time. The ski resorts of Morzine and Avoriaz are a part of the Portes du Soleil ski region, which is one of the largest ski areas in the world and has one of the shortest airport transfers of any ski resorts. Because it is such a vast area, there are runs to suit all levels of ability and from young to old. It also means that you never have to do the same run twice, with new routes to explore each day!
The food on offer by Chilly Powder really is of high quality. Francesca prides herself in it being their niche. Evenings feel like a family dinner party, where award winning wine flows freely and guests leisurely chat. Staff choose this time to willingly share insider knowledge and information enabling you to get the maximum out of your ski holiday.
It’s not all about the skiing
One night during the week, the chef takes a well-deserved night off, so we took the opportunity to head into Morzine centre and enjoy the hustle and bustle of this beautiful French Alps’ town, dining out at a recommended location and people watching those who were young enough to ski all day and then enjoy the delights of Morzine’s Après Ski!
Indiana Adventures also offer an exhilarating option of night-time sledging. I took them up on their offer along with my 8-year-old son. What an adventure, but it’s not for the faint hearted. Skiing down the main blue run to Morzine centre, in the dark, on a plastic sledge with a head torch on and some important instructions of ‘watch out for the ravine!’ hurled your way every now and then is as mad as it sounds! Would I do it again? Of course, I would!
Without hesitation, I recommend Chilly Powder for a family ski holiday. I have a feeling that we will be back next year!
Top tips for a family ski holiday
- We got our ski equipment from All Mountain Rental, which made life so much easier. They provide specialist equipment with the added bonus that they deliver it direct to the door on arrival and collect at the end of your stay.
- It’s cheaper to eat lunch the further down the mountain you go! We actually enjoyed some brilliant food in a restaurant just along from our chalet most lunch times. Don’t pitch for the first one you come to.
- Be brave and go with the kids into the L’il Stash – a smaller version of the Stash – which is a series of natural and man-made jumps in amongst the trees.
- Chilly Powder put together a fantastic video to capture all of the kids learning to ski in their lessons and having fun in the kids’ club. Use a Go-Pro to get the best shots of the kids, follow behind them to capture the best memories!
- Go out of school holidays, not only does it mean the overall cost is lower, but you also don’t have busy ski slopes and hardly any queues for the ski lifts.
Chilly Powder Fact Box:
Chilly Powder operates all year round offering extensive winter holiday packages for individuals, groups and families looking to hit the slopes and experience the vast ski terrain of the Portes du Soleil region. Winter prices start from £795 per week based on two adults sharing a standard bedroom or £2,195 per week for two adults and two children sharing a standard family bedroom. Prices are based on a half board basis with wine included in the evening meals. Childcare facilities are also available with prices starting at £270 per week and ski school for £240 per week. The chalet also run a summer program and are available for weddings and events.
To book contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7289 6958.