Skiing up to 3,300 metres
Family Ski Alpe d’Huez
Guaranteed snow plus lots of sunshine, and from the Pic Blanc on a clear day, you can see one-fifth of France
Alpe d’Huez is the main hub resort of the fabulous ‘Grandes Rousses’ ski area, offering plenty of family skiing opportunities over the 250kms of wonderful piste, and endless acres of off-piste powder. Neighbouring Les Deux Alpes is also covered for 1 day on the same 6-day lift-pass, combining to create the ‘Grande Alpes’ area, with 468kms of pistes.
The main children’s ski area is at the Rond Point des Pistes at the top of the ‘Telecentre’ lift, which starts only approx. 50m from our Chalet Hotel, and is known affectionately as ‘the yoghurt-pot lift’! As children progress, there is a huge range of green, blue and red runs which fan out from here. There is plenty for families to enjoy on top of the skiing here too!
Renowned for its sunshine as much as for its excellent snow record, Alpe d’Huez is at the same height as Val d’Isère, and the ski area soars to virtually a whole vertical mile above, at the Pic Blanc summit and the guaranteed snow of the Sarenne Glacier. From here, you can take on the challenge of the Sarenne descent – the longest black run in the world – fully 16kms from top to bottom!
For children skiing and less gung-ho parents however, it is the huge main snow-bowl immediately above and around the village itself which is the main attraction. The plentiful wide open pistes here offer the perfect mix of confidence-building blues and gradually more challenging reds, making this an excellent resort for making steady progress. With the children safely in Esprit child care, parents can also enjoy skiing all the way to Vaujany at one end of the system, or to Auris en Oisans at the other.
Chalet Hotel Mariandre in Alpe d'Huez
Many guests have asked us to add family-friendly Alpe d’Huez to our range, and we are delighted to have done so with the comfortable Chalet Hotel Mariandre, and these guests have proved absolutely right! Esprit families love Alpe d’Huez itself, its wonderful ski area, and the comfort and convenience of the Mariandre itself. Traditionally styled and furnished, it is warm and inviting, and ideally placed for skiing families, with easy slope access, convenient child care, a choice of family bedrooms and suites, and of course our full Esprit Chalet Hotel meals and service.
Five mornings a week, children in Esprit Sprite classes and Spritelet Snow Clubbers are collected from the Chalet Hotel meeting point by our staff (and/or the ski school instructors) and taken by bus to the appropriate slopes for their lessons or to our Snow Club for morning fun. At the end of the morning lesson or Snow Club, children joining Supervised Lunch, afternoon Snow Club or with afternoon Sprite or Spritelet sessions will be collected and returned to the Mariandre for lunch. The Snow Club is based in the Mariandre, with outings for their specific snow fun activities. All children in afternoon Sprites or Spritelets will be taken to and collected from their session by our staff and will join the Snow Club children for the remainder of the afternoon and high tea. We ask that Nursery children are delivered to the Nursery by their parents. Nursery lunches are held in the Mariandre. Nursery children must be collected by their parents at 5pm and accompanied at high tea, whilst all other children will be supervised by our staff through high tea until 6pm. Mini Cocoa Club will run in the Nursery 6 nights a week from 7.30-9.30pm for children aged 3-5 years. Parents are asked to deliver and collect their children. Cocoa Club runs in the Snow Club room from 7.30pm until 10pm on six nights a week, and is available to all children aged 6-12 years. Parents are asked to deliver and collect their children. Parents can put their children to bed and enjoy a further hour of relaxation, making the most of our free Baby-Listening/ Child- Patrol Service, which runs till 11pm.
See our Esprit Classic Child Care page for more details
Ski range from 1,480m – 3,300m
Alpe d’Huez has a deserved reputation as an ideal place to start your ski career, with the area around the Rond Point des Pistes offering numerous gentle runs on which to start, as well as gradually more challenging slopes to tackle as you improve.
This is where Alpe d’Huez really comes into its own, with great snow, miles and miles of wide open cruising pistes above the tree-line, and the same sense of majestic mountain vastness that you get in Val d’Isère or Tignes. The other villages on the ski area provide welcome focal points for days spent exploring all the far-flung corners of the area, and you can stay on reds and blues all the way from the top of the Dôme des Petites Rousses at 2,800m right back down to Alpe d’Huez and beyond.
16 black runs may not sound like a huge number, but when you consider that one of these is the legendary Sarenne, the world’s longest black run, you’ll see that there is plenty here for experienced skiers to enjoy! Considerable off-piste opportunities also beckon for those whose powder skills are up to the challenge!
As with any resort peaking at 3,300m, there is wonderful off-piste skiing and boarding to be had after each fresh fall of snow. Alpe d’Huez is blessed with several established local favourite routes, some of which require a qualified guide, which our Resort Representative will gladly arrange for you.
The plentiful chair-lifts, gondolas and cable-cars across the area make Alpe d’Huez a good boarder-friendly choice, and there are two snow-parks to add to the fun.
There is a huge variety of après-ski activities available to add to your day’s on-piste excitement, plus a selection of bars and cafés, and a good choice of restaurants from which to choose on our chefs’ one evening off. The cosy lounge-bar back ‘home’ at the Mariandre will also be ready to welcome you back from the slopes with afternoon tea of course, followed by your choice of tipple from the bar!
- Ice-skating rink
- Swimming-pool (open outdoor during the day)
- Light aircraft, Helicopters, & Sky-Diving – all from Alpe d’Huez’s own Altiport
- Night Skiing
- Shops & banks
- Library and media library
- Ice Cave
- Spa centre with massage, sauna & jacuzzi
FREE Esprit Ski Host Service Now 3 days per week!
This refers to the snow on the *Sarenne Glacier
See booking Conditions - Section 16. e
We set high standards for our cuisine, and train our staff extensively before the season starts, to ensure that Esprit guests will enjoy every meal with us.