Grapevine Stories

Are you thinking of taking your children skiing for the first time?

Oxford Ski founder and Grapevine ambassador Rupert Longsdon shares his thoughts on taking your little ones skiing for the first time and tips he’s learnt along the way with his family ski holidays.

“I often hear people proclaim that they learnt to ski aged 3, 4 or 5, and whether this is strictly true or not, it is true that many experience the mountains for the first time from a very young age. What is more important is that ski resorts are very much geared up to accommodate children of all ages. With three children myself who are now aged 11, 9 and 6, we took the plunge and took them out on a ski holiday almost straight away.

The memories and photos start with fun sledging down the nursery slopes aged just one or two. The screams of delight (and sometimes horror) as they head off on their own for the first time, albeit only a few metres to begin with. Before you know it, you’ll be collecting them from ski school with beaming smiles and shouts of “we went on a chair lift”, “I didn’t fall over” or the more promising request of “please can I go to ski school this afternoon”. This quickly progresses to “we went to the snow-park”, “we did a black run” and in no time at all they’ve found their ‘ski legs’ and are off.

You can of course hold back and start them later but within a week with professional instructors they will no doubt be skiing alongside you and potentially faster! Personally, I think it is better to experience the fun with them all the way through meaning we can now enjoy precious quality time as a family when we head to the slopes.”


Book ski lessons early to get the best ski schools or instructors. Our Pre-arrival Concierge team can provide recommendations!

Take the children for one or two lessons at a ski slope in the UK first. This helps them hit the ground running and progress quicker when they reach resort.

Choose a chalet or hotel with a separate playroom for the children. Both children and adults will be grateful for their own space.

Children really get a grasp of skiing from age 4/5 onwards. By six years old most children can ski all day. If you have younger children, they will still enjoy kindergarten, sledging or playing on skis.

We can arrange for Nannies to look after infants and toddlers for all or part of the day to allow older children and adults to spend more time on the slopes.

Keep investing in lessons, even when the children think they are experts. You can never stop learning!

Les Barmes De L’ours, Val d′Isère

This hotel has firmly established itself as one of the luxury 5-star hotels in Val d′Isère. Just a few meters from the central lift station, this stylish hotel has a superb location at the foot of the famous La Face ski run.

The family rooms and suites are great for all family configurations and the three in house restaurants provide plenty of choice to suit all at mealtimes. The arcade and bowling alley are also popular facilities for children and adults alike!


Chalet M, Morzine

With plenty of space for larger families Chalet M sleeps up to 14 guests with living space spread over 3 floors. Families staying here will benefit from a short transfer time and a driver service to take you to and from the slopes.

When they’re not on the slopes, children have access to games, books, a cinema and games room to keep them entertained at Chalet M.

Tivoli Lodge, Davos

Tivoli Lodge occupies a secluded and discreet mountainside location whilst still being ski-in/ski-out and only two minutes’ drive from the village. From the south-facing windows, gaze out across the valley towards the highest peaks of the Engadine.

Younger guests will enjoy exploring the incredible indoor multi-storey soft play area whilst teens can retreat to the home cinema to relax after a day on the slopes.

If you are considering your first family ski holiday or have any further questions, speak to our experts and start creating your perfect trip today. Contact us on 01993 899420 or contact me by pressing the 'Contact Rupert' button in full post. Please tell us you are a Grapevine member when enquiring.

Grapevine is a trusted network of private members, linking kindred spirits from town or country. Members promote, sell or buy goods and services within the network.

Grapevine also believes in supporting young people to get a strong start through internships and work placements. We also help a number of charities including Heads Together and The Injured Jockeys Fund.