We’re thrilled to introduce our new childcare manager Andrew Richardson. After 3 years of operational experience with us, Andrew has now stepped into a new role based in the Alps.
Andrew has overseen the recruitment of our VIP SKI nannies this year and can ensure your little ones will be well looked after on your family ski holiday.
Andrew's top tips
We asked Andrew why he recommends booking a private nanny, and for some of his top tips when it comes to organising a family ski holiday.
Booking a private nanny gives parents the chance to really relax and unwind on their holiday, knowing that their children are in good hands. We offer a flexible approach to childcare with our nannies working 5 and a half days for 8 hours a day. Whether it’s picking the kids up from ski school or organising a trip to the farm, our nannies will be your extra pair of hands on your ski holiday.
Your nanny will visit the chalet on the evening you arrive to meet your children and discuss anything from routines to meal preferences. You can rest assured knowing our nannies are qualified to NNEB or equivalent level, CRB checked and have passed our rigorous training course.
If you’re heading to one of our Austrian ski hotels, then maybe consider our Theodul or Montjola Kids Clubs. These flexible childcare services work around the ski school timetables so once the children have finished their lessons, our nannies will collect them from their lessons and keep them entertained for the afternoon.
As for my top tips, if it’s your first family ski holiday, make sure you pick a resort that’s considered family friendly. I would recommend Morzine, Alpe d’Huez, Avoriaz or Les Gets. They’re all close to the airport, offer great, easy terrain for beginner skiers and lots of activities for non-skiers and little legs.
We provide childcare in across al 10 of our resorts. We highly recommend pre-booking childcare, particularly on peak dates where they are often booked months in advance. Book for 27 Dec, 7 & 14 Jan to take advantage of our FREE nanny in whole chalet bookings or half price nanny for room by room bookings.
Skiing is one of the world’s most popular winter sports. What was once seen as a luxurious pursuit for the elite has been democratised over the years by inexpensive equipment, snow cannon and a proliferation of resorts in countries as diverse as Australia, Japan, Bulgaria and Scotland.
Despite dire predictions of worsening snow records caused by global warming, more people take up skiing every year, which is great news for the sport as a whole, but does carry with it some problems. The most obvious of these is overcrowding.
In-demand resorts can often be swamped, especially during peak season, and busy pistes can be dangerous. This is why encouraging skiers and boarders alike to follow a common code of etiquette while on the slopes has never been more important.
Some of the following rules broadly correspond with those set by the International Federation of Skiing, while others are more informal and relate to simple courtesy. But they’re worth keeping in mind to ensure you have a hassle-free, fun skiing holiday, and that you don’t prove a danger to yourself or others.
Heed the dress code
A big part of being safe on the mountain is bringing the right equipment with you. That doesn’t just concern your skis or board, bindings and boots of course. You need to dress for the weather conditions, with warm, layered clothing.
It makes sense to always have a charged phone in a secure pocket, bottled water, a form of identification and a helmet. 25 years ago, they were a novelty. Today it’s rare to see anyone skiing without one.
More experienced skiers relish the challenge and plush snow that you often find off-piste, but leaving the piste carries its own set of dangers. At the bare minimum you ought to leave room in your backpack for an avalanche transceiver, a shovel and a probe, and if you don’t know the route, you should be skiing as part of a group or with a guide.
Most bottlenecks tend to form either at the top of the pistes or around the lift stations. A long lift queue is annoying, but why make it any worse? Some advice here is blindingly obvious - don’t cut the queue, or attempt to change lanes as this will just rile fellow skiers.
Ensure when approaching a lift that you begin to slow down well before you reach it, otherwise you risk ploughing into people.
When your turn approaches, be ready so that you don’t hold things up. If you’re skiing, have your poles in one hand and your lift pass in the other so that you can take your seat promptly. Don’t wait for other members of your group to join you - you can always reconnect at the top.
Manage your speed
Naturally there’s a lot of fun to be had in whipping down a slope at top speed, but if you’re not in full control, able to turn or stop when you need to, then you’re no better than a cannonball, and about as welcome on the piste.
Going too fast when you’re not ready to do so, or the situation doesn’t suit it, means that you’re probably incapable of avoiding a collision with rocks or other people. If you want to open up the throttle then you need to be confident that you have enough room to manoeuvre and that you’re confident in the conditions.
Respect the environment
Essentially, leave the mountain as pristine as you’d like to find it. So don’t litter. If you smoke, carry a tin for your butts. Resist the temptation to hack at tree branches with your poles, and if you do encounter any wildlife, keep a safe distance.
If you see someone taking a bad fall, or arrive in the immediate aftermath, then you have an obligation to stop and check if they need any help. You don’t need to be trained in first aid to ski, but it’s common decency to look out for others. That’s another good reason why carrying a phone with you while skiing can come in very handy.
Don’t overdo the alcohol at lunchtime
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a beer or a glass of wine when you stop for lunch. But too much alcohol impairs your responsiveness as well as your decision-making. It’s also worth noting that many insurers will not pay out if you have an accident after drinking alcohol.
Stop and go safely
Before launching yourself off down the piste it’s essential to check that you’re not about to put yourself in the path of someone else.
When it comes to stopping, either to check your map, take a photo or catch your breath, you should ensure that you and anyone else in your group are off to the side of the piste, leaving space for others to go past and not causing an obstruction.
If you’re on a narrow piste then it’s best not to stop until it widens out a little, and if you take a tumble in a dangerous place, do your best to get clear as soon as possible.
Share the space
Respect the line of those ahead of you at all times. The downhill skier always has the right of way. Don’t cut people up, and have patience with novices if they’re obstructing your run. We were all first-timers once. This especially applies when you’re overtaking a ski school group, which may well contain young and inexperienced children. Give them as much space as possible.
Warning signs are there for a good reason - your safety. If a trail is closed off, or a reduction in speed is advised on a section of the piste, then you ignore this at your peril. Similarly, pay close attention to weather reports.
Respect the mountain
All of the above can probably be summed up with one golden rule. Have respect for the mountain, and the other people using it, and you should be just fine.
Now to book yourself the perfect ski holiday to test your new skills see our 2017/2018 season selection. We've got some fantastic offers for the start of the season including short breaks from £300pp, FREE lift passes in Val d'Isere and FREE places in Altitude Lodge, Les Gets.
After a fantastic first year in Lech, we’re thrilled to see so many guests returning. Hotel Theodul is already 50% booked for the coming season and it’s not hard to see why. Arguably one of the most fashionable resorts in Austria, Lech is full of traditional charm, style, and sophistication.
If you’ve already booked your stay, or you’re considering visiting, why not check out our list of 12 fun facts you might not know about its history, skiing in Lech and the Hotel Theodul.
1. Lech has its own micro climate which means the snow record is one of the best in the Austrian alps. Bring on those powder days!
2. From Lech, you can access the whole Arlberg ski area made up of 305km of runs, making it the biggest ski region in Austria.
3. The first attempt to ski the Austrian Arlberg region was made by the parish priest of Lech in 1895.
4. Lech is just 1.5hrs from Friedrichshafen airport on our transfer coach. You'll be tucking into your afternoon tea cake in no time!
5. Since 2006, Lech has hosted “The White Ring Race”. The race covers the popular ski circuit between Lech and Zurs, consisting of 22km of pistes and 5550m of altitude. This year celebrates the 50thAnniverasry of the ski circuit.
6. Lech was featured in the film “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”
7. Lech has several highly rated restaurants, many of which feature in the popular “Gault Millau” restaurant guide. Don't worry, you can ski off the calories
8. The resort is popular with royalty. Diana, The Princess of Wales brought William & Harry here to learn to ski. The King of Spain, Dutch royal family and King of Jordan are also regular visitors.
9. 2400 people per hour can be transported by the newly constructed Flexenbahn lift during peak operation
10. Our ski hire partner Strolz originated back in 1921 when Ambros Strolz opened his own boot making workshop. You'll feel more like you're in a luxury hotel than a ski shop.
11. The Hotel Theodul dates back to 1968 when it was built by the Walch family
12. The hotel has plenty of family rooms and suites, making it great for families and groups.
Peak dates in Hotel Theodul are filling up fast and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to stay in this fatntastic resort. We’ve got some great offers including free kids places, £100pp savings and much more.
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