Skiing – the perfect family break
Skiing to some families is the perfect break; a mixture of relaxation, exercise, tasty food and drink along with quality family time and fresh mountainous air. Choosing where to go and finding the perfect ski holiday to suit everyone can be difficult. So, when Sevenoaks Mums were invited to review a newly built hotel, Hyatt Centric La Rosière, our decision was made for us and we were excited!
The Loder and Watson families on the H40 Brasserie terrace
La Rosière is a bit of a hidden gem situated in the Northern alps with Mont Blanc and Petit-St-Bernards pass just a stone’s throw away. The resort has a great snow and sunshine record and offers fantastic beginner and intermediate skiing so is a great choice for a family ski trip. We found it to be calm and relaxed with a nice family vibe.
Where to stay
As with all resorts, there are a number of different accommodation options. The Hyatt Centric Hotel offers the only 4star+ hotel. Newly built and opened in December 2017, the Sevenoaks Mums team took two family rooms at the hotel.
Each room was wonderfully spacious. It had a lounge with flat screen TV, Nespresso coffee machine, mini bar and balcony, master bedroom also with flatscreen TV and ensuite bathroom, a second bedroom with bunk beds, magnificent shower room and separate WC. Loads of storage space too. One of the big advantages of this hotel is wherever you look you are reminded of the stunning location in which you are staying with breath-taking mountain views.
The hotel offers a ski, board and boot hire service exclusive to hotel residents. This was the most luxurious boot/ski hire fitting service we have ever experienced. No trudging down to the nearest shop, no queues. This was our own personal ski concierge experience and Josef could not have been more helpful. We were fitted with new boots, skis and helmets and then shown to the impressive hotel’s locker room with direct access outside. All lockers are heated to the perfect temperature to dry out wet boots and gloves overnight and opened and closed with your room key, so everything was secure.
The hotel has so much to offer in addition to comfortable living space, great ski fitting service & locker room…………. what else?
Swimming Pool & Spa
The spa offers a vast range of treatments and packages to suit all guests from the expectant mother to the exhausted skier. The swimming pool was surrounded by loungers with jacuzzi hot tubs at one end. The water in the pool was warm and there were lots of crisp white towels to wrap yourself in afterwards. So, there was no need to get your hotel robe and slippers wet! The spa facility is perfect for all and tops off a fantastic day on the slopes.
The most fantastic thing about the whole hotel for us was the opportunity to relax in the outdoor whirlpool whilst soaking up the amazing views. Certainly, a bucket list moment for us.
Restaurants & Bars
The hotel had two restaurants (H40 and La Tavola) and two bars (H4o fireside and Surus). We spent most nights by the fire in the cosy, stylish bar area. On offer was everything from champagne cocktails, a variety of beers and wines to non-alcoholic options. At 17 euros per cocktail we settled most evenings for a bottle of Rosè which seemed ‘a good value option’ H40 was our restaurant of choice. It had a good variety of pasta, meat and fish dishes and the most popular choice, particularly with the children was the incredible pizzas. La Tavola offered a finer dining experience which the Watsons chose one evening, they were not disappointed.
A large breakfast was on offer every morning in H40. This was included in our hotel stay as we had booked in under the Bed & Breakfast option. The kids thoroughly enjoyed hot chocolate with cream topping every morning with tarte framboise and doughnuts becoming a regular treat accompanied by fresh fruit and yoghurt, of course!
A gem that we discovered upon exiting the spa one afternoon, was the little-known Surus bar on the first floor, exclusively for hotel guests only. With a library type feel at one end and funky well stocked bar at the other, we were very comfortable sipping cocktails in this quite area. The perfect location for a pre-dinner drink, family card games or a spot of work if necessary!
Options include putting the kids (3yrs and up) into the Galopin Kids Club run by ESF, right next to the Les Eucherts Express Chair Lift and La Flocon Restaurant. They’ll take the kids to their lessons and provide indoor and outdoor play and lunch. Private nannies are also available via the hotel which has a playroom with toys and a TV.
The hotel is just 100 metres from the main Les Eucherts ski lift/La frontier de la neige. This is the main area where the ski schools meet, and your ski day begins. It is a leisurely walk down from the hotel. You can ski back to the hotel at the end of the day, only needing to remove your skis to cross over the road to the locker room door.
There is 160km of runs 8 green, 25 blue, 31 red and 13 black. The nursery slopes are fantastic and there are three free ski lifts and a magic carpet, so beginners can learn to ski at their own pace. The more intrepid skier can even go over to Italy and down into La Thuile resort for a spot of lunch.
There are two ski schools at La Rosiere: ESF (Ecole Ski Français) and Evolution 2. Our children had private lessons (45Euros/hr) as we skied from Wednesday and these ski schools begin on Sundays. Overall the children progressed well and had fun, happy children happy parents couldn’t apply more here.
The Petit Saint-Bernard fun cross was a clear favourite for the children. They were able to follow the Saint-Bernard Dog themed course, with tunnels and jumps throughout the tree lined run. I think even some of the adults enjoyed it!
The mountain cafes are privately run in La Rosiere and have traditional wooden interiors with cosy alpine touches. Our favourite was La Traversette which was at the bottom of the Fort Express Ski lift.
Our favourite place for lunch, and one evening, was Le Flocon restaurant in Les Eucherts close to the chair lift and kids club. They served fantastic burgers and healthy chèvre chaud or Ceasar salads, and delicious poké bowls. All washed down with a beer before beginning our afternoon ski.
Our favourite bits
- The relaxed, family vibe in resort.
- The scenic journey via Lake Annecy (a quicker motorway route is also available and shaves about 30-40 minutes off the journey)
- Instructor Ben from ESF
- Being able to ski as a family and the very well sign posted slopes.
- The view of Mont Blanc from the platform at the top of the Fort chairlift
- The pool & hot tub
- The spacious rooms
- The Petit San Bernardo kids adventure ski zone – a trail and jumps for those fearless kids with a low centre of gravity!
- To drive from the UK – circa 14 hours
- Fly to Geneva/ Chambèry with a 2.5/1.5 hr transfer via private taxi or hire a car from as little as £25 per person each way plus taxes and luggage
- Hire car – we booked through Europcar which was from c£300 for 8 days. Private taxi transfers are also available at around 100 euros a head.
- Ski lessons – 160 euros for 6 x 2.5 hour group lessons, 45 euros per hour for private lessons
- Babysitter – 12-15 euros per hour
- Lunch on the slopes – 17 euros for a spag bol, 4 euros for a CocaCola
- A pint of beer – 9euros in the H40 bar, 3,80 for a half on the slopes
- Lift pass – (6 days 2018) Child 5-12 years – 158.40 euros / Adult 13-64 years – 211.20 euros
- Coming soon – more slopes and more lifts! 5 new red runs will be open ready for the new season, woo hoo, we better come back to check them out!
In summary the Hyatt Centric La Rosière is the perfect hotel to spend a week skiing. Very quickly you realise just how special the experience is at this hotel. It isn’t cheap to stay here, but if your budget stretches to it, it’s well worth it and promises to give you a relaxing stay with fantastic food, surrounded by incredible views, to be looked after by polite and attentive staff.
The resort is the perfect place for a young family skiing holiday. Experienced skiers may find it limiting but having said that we think every skier should say they have experienced skiing at La Rosière, at least once. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
For more information, see the following links:
- Hyatt Centric, La Rosiere: https://larosiere.centric.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html
- La Rosiere: www.larosiere.net/en/
- ESF (Ecole Ski Francais): https://www.ski-school-larosiere.co.uk/ or Evolution 2: https://www.evolution2larosiere.com/en/
Note: The accommodation at Hyatt Centric La Rosière was provided free of charge but the trip was otherwise self funded.