Happy Easter Holidays in Alpe d’Huez.


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This year we returned to skiing after a break of 11 years! Having a family had meant that skiing holidays were put on the back boiler for a while, but now our girls are 11 and 9 we decided it was the perfect time to introduce them to the slopes. We booked a last minute chalet in Alpe D’Huez through Interactive Resorts which slept 12 and had an indoor hot tub and sauna.
 
On the Monarch flight out on the Saturday, I sat next to a lady who had her family in the row in front. I was talking to my daughter about the facilities in the chalet and the lady realised that it sounded very similar to the chalet she’d booked! Such a coincidence they were one of the families we’d be sharing our chalet with! Well we all got on like a house on fire as we also did with the other two families we met when we arrived. We ate together, drank together and skied together and had a fantastic time, even though 7 days before we had all been complete strangers!  
 
Our chalet hosts, Gillian and Nathan, were superb! The French dishes Gillian prepared were stunning and every meal was exceptional.  My favourite was the duck which was cooked to perfection. The meals started at about 7.30pm with a selection of delicious canapés and sparkling wine followed by a starter, a main course and a scrumptious dessert. There was cheese as well if we had room which of course we didn’t!  The French wine flowed and was very drinkable. We all stuck to the Merlot which was excellent.
 
We were mostly in bed by 11pm as the children had to be in ski school for 9.15 in the morning. Breakfast was at 8ish, again cooked and served by Gilian and Nathan and was a selection of cereal, French bread, jams, croissants etc as well as a cooked breakfast which was different every day. Our chalet hosts then got baking and provided us with a delicious cake every afternoon for when we returned from the slopes.
 
My daughters had never skied before so we booked them into ski school for three days each. However, on the after we arrived, we had a private lesson so they had an introduction to skiing before joining ski school. This seemed to work well for us all as I am a mid 40s mum who was nervous about skiing and needed a bit of refresher instruction before I joined a class on the Monday. 
 
Lilianne took the three of us up on the nursery slopes and mostly assisted my 9 year old daughter who had never even put on a pair or ski boots before. At the end of our 1.5 hour private lesson, she was confidently snow ploughing and turning. Lilianne suggested the groups we should join so when we arrived at ski school at 9.15am on the Monday we knew we’d be in the right groups for our ability. 
 
 
Bluebird skies and smooth slopes in high-altitude Alpe d'Huez. Image courtesy of i eat stars on Flickr
 
Both my girls picked it up quickly, as children often do, but even I improved my technique and gained a bit more confidence which I’m delighted about. My instructor, Luic, was a gem! He was patient, understanding and spoke brilliant English.  He knew all our names and helped us all improve over the mornings we were with him. The ESF ski school at Alpe D’Huez seems to be run brilliantly and the instructors often move people about according to their ability. They are keen to point out that 80% of skiing is about confidence and they can recognise levels of confidence in people and know how to help them gain more. 
 
One afternoon we took advantage of the gorgeous open air swimming pool in Alpe D’Huez. We’d spotted it from the bucket lift with steam rising from it, so we knew it was heated, although it was surrounded by piles of snow! It was free to enter with our lift passes and it was incredibly clean, warm and a real sun trap. On a sunny afternoon in April it could reach the mid 20s down in the resort. It was very inviting and a lovely alternative to skiing.
 
On the Wednesday, our chalet hosts had the day off so we needed to book a restaurant for the evening.  Our charming Resort Rep, Sophie, booked us a table for 10 at a lovely place called Lounge 21. It was informal and buzzy and a perfect place to take the kids. Great choice Sophie! Sophie also came to our chalet every day to check we were OK so we felt well looked after by Interactive Resorts. 
 
Alpe D’Huez is an excellent resort for all skiing abilities and as it’s high it’s a superb choice for families wanting to go at the end of the season over the Easter holidays. We’re looking forward to booking again for next year!