You know the feeling – you’re researching your next trip and looking at all these amazing resorts and it feels impossible to choose just one. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to. I took a trip with Ski Weekender based in their perfectly located chalet-hotel in St Jean de Sixt, so you can choose where you ski each day. And even better it’s just one hour from Geneva making this a perfect location for a cheeky weekend.
Ski Weekender has developed a perfect formula for maximum time on the slopes. Short transfer? Check. Ski hire on site? Check. Close to excellent ski resorts? Check. Airport transfers are included in every holiday and we were met at Geneva by the friendly Ski Weekender team. A short transfer later, we arrived at Aravis Lodge, a chalet hotel in the centre of St Jean de Sixt.
The lodge has 18 en suite rooms but that doesn’t make it feel crowded. We sat next to different people at each meal and had a great time comparing stories and sharing recommendations for the best mountain restaurants.
Upon arrival, our lift passes were ready and waiting, and the on-site equipment hire option meant we were quickly kitted out to be ready for the slopes first thing the following morning, with plenty of time for a cheeky pre-dinner drink in Aravis Lodge’s own bar. After an excellent three-course meal served by a very friendly team we were ready for an early night.
I should take a moment to mention the food. Breakfast was as delicious as dinner with an excellent choice of options for our skiing day ahead, including hot dishes. I have some dietary requirements, and these were catered for imaginatively. Also, while I am not vegetarian, Aravis Lodge is one of the few places in the French Alps certified by the Vegetarian Society.
Over the next three days we skied four resorts — Le Grand Bornand, Manigod, La Clusaz (all part of the Annecy Mountains resorts) and St Gervais/Megève.
Our first destination was Le Grand Bornand. This resort is a bit of a hidden gem – its fans prefer not to tell anyone about it and you can see why. The pistes were quiet even though we were skiing in March and the restaurants are great value. There is more than 90km of pistes in Le Grand Bornand making it big enough to spend a few days exploring but small enough to feel local. It has one of the best snowparks in France, including a BigAirBag with a video system which lets you film yourself and share on social media.
In the evening, we headed out for night skiing in Manigod. Eight pistes are lit with spotlights until 9pm. We headed for our dinner earlier than that but from our piste-side restaurant, we watched the diehards making the most of the evening skiing.
Saturday took us to La Clusaz, home to skiing legend Candide Thovex. The resort with five peaks lies in an open sunny valley and despite its popularity remains unspoilt with a lovely traditional village centre. Again, the slopes were quiet, the restaurants uncrowded and not a single queue to be seen anywhere. La Clusaz has 130km of pistes with a wide mix of terrain, from steeps to trees.
Our next and final destination was St Gervais with the option to ski to Megève. For this, we changed accommodation to stay in the Hotel Coeur des Neiges, a Ski Weekender partner hotel in the centre of St Gervais.
St Gervais is a charming regency spa town connected to a ski area with 445km of pistes. It offers a lower cost option to its super-chic neighbour Megève with a great variety of ski runs including some pretty tree lined runs.
Overall, we had a really fun trip. It was great to try a new resort every day but I definitely felt I wanted to see more of each of them. From chatting to the guests in the Aravis Lodge (and from the Trip Advisor reviews) it’s clear that Ski Weekender have a high rate of returning guests. Based on the team friendliness, the super convenient ‘we have thought of everything’ packages and the excellent food, I can certainly see why.
Ski Weekender have been offering short ski breaks in the French Alps for more than 15 years. Their Ski Weekends and Ski Midweeks offer maximum slope time with minimum hassle.
All Ski Weekender ski or snowboard short breaks include:
- Catered chalet or hotel
- Airport transfers included – short airport transfers around 1 hour.
- Lift pass
4-day weekends run from Thursday to Monday evening and 3-day midweeks from Monday to Thursday evening.