Although I’ve been helping families book their dream ski holiday for over 17 years, this was my first foray into travelling with kids and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
We headed for a chalet in the traditional and picturesque village of St Martin de Belleville at the far corner of the 3 Valleys. A hidden gem of affordable luxury chalets with an excellent selection of sophisticated on-mountain restaurants and high-end apres ski.
Pre-arrival planning for childcare and nannies was essential, as we were travelling with three small babies unable to ski and two toddlers of 3 years skiing for the first time. We decided to book two nannies and a full day of childcare for the 3-year-olds with ESF in the Piou Piou Club to allow us plenty of time on the slopes.
St Martin De Belleville, Opposite Main Bubble
On arrival at our chalet, the sun was shining and the living area was bathed with light, the afternoon tea was laid out beautifully with champagne, fresh French bread and the most stunning cake adorned with flowers. The chef and hostess were there to greet us and our nannies came to introduce themselves and offered to stay to help with the little ones whilst we headed to the ski hire shop with our in-resort driver.
The amazing thing about St Martin de Belleville is everything is in one place. The Intersport ski hire shop is opposite the bubble that takes you up to high altitude skiing in Les Menuires and the ESF Piou Piou is next to this. The brand new uber trendy Lodji Hotel sits at the base of the gondola and is a haven for luxurious apres-ski drinks and a real suntrap.
We couldn’t have been more delighted with the ESF Piou Piou club for the 3 years olds learning to ski. It’s right at the foot of the bubble, super easy for dropping the children each morning. They went in happily each day to the indoor creche before being served a delicious lunch, followed by ski school in the afternoon from 2ish – 5pm. Most afternoons we would pick them up and whisk them off for a celebratory apple juice and a bit of live music apres ski at the Lodji Hotel next door.
My little boy Jasper is two now and pretty active, so I was a little nervous that he might be bored from time to time in the chalet, but the nannies couldn’t have made it more exciting! They went out to the soft play centre in Les Menuires, for picnics at the top of the bubble lift, made snowballs and snow ducks in the snow and they came with a tonne of toys, books, buggies and other things to make our life easier. Their flexibility with timings also allowed us to switch our routine as we needed, which is a godsend when you are rushing to get back to them in time.
The Michelin trained chef was absolutely exceptional and went out of his way to accommodate all of our are allergies and wishlists, preparing an incredible Japanese tasting menu and early kids meals, all with flair and ease.
Our super stylish luxury ski chalet sat in the gorgeous Hamlet of Villarabout, a less than 2 minutes chauffeur drive from the centre of San Martin de Belleville and the ski slopes. With uninterrupted views across the valley and an outdoor hot tub (loved by all) that had the sun until late in the afternoon, it was the perfect setting for returning after a sunny ski day.
The Michelin trained chef was absolutely exceptional and went out of his way to accommodate all of our are allergies and wishlists, preparing an incredible Japanese tasting menu and early kids meals, all with flair and ease. Our on-call driver made getting to and from the slopes incredibly easy, filling up the van with ski kit for us and our gorgeous chalet host Holly was always there to help with a smile on her face. Absolutely perfect in every way.
Family Ski Holiday St Martin De Belleville
Needless to say, the skiing was absolutely phenomenal, we found the access to high snowsure skiing in Les Menuires and Val Thorens super quick and easy and far less icy than that of the neighbouring Courchevel valley. But it’s not for the faint-hearted the skiing is fairly challenging across the whole of the 3 valleys. There’s also an incredible selection of super cool on-slope restaurants like the Roc 7 and the La Fruitière in the Folie Douce in Val Thorens that are perfect for long lunches.
It’s safe to say that travelling with so many young children comes with its own challenges (not to mention a mountain of stuff lying around the chalet!), but the holiday couldn’t have run more smoothly and the children left excited to return again to the ‘big ski house with big bath’ next year.
See you in St Martin de Belleville…
View from our Chalet, St Martin de Belleville
WHERE TO STAY
Sleeps 8+2 . Fully Catered with driver . Hot tub, Sauna
Sleeps 12 . Fully Catered with driver . Ski-in/Ski-Out, Hot tub, Sauna
Sleeps 18 . Fully Catered with driver . Ski-in/Ski-Out, Hot tub, Games room
Sleeps 18 . Fully Catered with driver . Hot tub, Sauna
We specialise in organising luxury family ski holidays. We arrange every detail of your trip from scratch and with over 17 years of experience in the ski industry, we know the resorts and the chalets inside out. We aim to make your trip as memorable and unique as possible – no request is insurmountable.
We have a whole host of fabulous family-friendly Luxury Ski Chalets on our website, so please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are waiting with plenty of knowledge and inspiration to help you organise your dream ski holiday.
Call: +44 (0) 208 133 1130
Written By Anna Sampson – Director of The Chalet Edit
After her ski trip – March 2022
Please note these photos are copyright of Anna Sampson and are not for commercial use.