Embarking upon your first ski holiday is a thrilling and trepidatious experience. Of course, there is all the fashionable fun, selecting the most stylish ski attire and coordinating your accessories, the excitement of the après-ski scene and the sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you’ll return home with a new skill firmly mastered, but naturally, there is always the fear of the unknown that faces any first-time skier. As always, however, the team of Elegant Resorts' expert Travel Consultants, some of whom are serious snow bunnies (!), are on hand to alleviate any concerns and answer any queries you may have before taking to the slopes.
Our number one tip for any soon-to-be skiers is to book a private lesson for your first day. Even if you’re at an intermediate or advanced level, you can benefit from spending time with a professional instructor, whether it’s to improve your technique, work on a specific skill or just to refresh the basics. Being shown the correct way to stop, change direction or control your skis is a must for safety and security on the slopes. Each of our luxury ski resorts features first-class ski schools and tuition, so you’re sure to get the most out of your snow adventure.
Each of our luxury ski resorts offers a variety of lift passes. These are essential for anyone seeking to spend more than two days on the slopes. Once purchased a lift pass gives skiers access to all areas of the resort and a variety of runs. Some resorts offer lift passes for pistes of varied abilities, therefore, beginners can buy the correct category of pass for their experience and feel safer knowing they only have access to slopes that are right for them. Ski passes can be purchased when you arrive, but if you would rather organise passes prior to travel our expert Travel Consultants can facilitate this upon request.
What to pack
Water resistant salopettes, thin cotton layers, thermal gloves in a size larger for dexterity, ski jacket, ski socks, reflective sunglasses or ski goggles, a helmet that complies with CEN, ASTM, or Snell Foundation regulations, arnica ointment
At a glance: Beginner slopes 20%, awarded National Ski Area Association’s Best Overall Safety Awards, Beaver Creek’s design ensures that beginner skiers aren’t stuck at the bottom of the mountain. The Drink of Water Chairlift takes new skiers to the top of the mountain to enjoy dedicated beginner ski trails and spectacular views.
Beaver Creek in Colorado is one of the USA’s most renowned ski resorts and it is, therefore, one of the best destinations for beginners. If you’re looking to introduce younger skiers to the slopes, Beaver Creek’s fabulous array of family facilities ensures everyone can enjoy a memorable ski experience, whatever their level upon arrival. The resorts eponymous Ski School regularly receives accolades for it’s brilliant Beginners Programme. Using state-of-the-art technology, Beaver Creek Ski School instructors use video analysis to aid beginner’s progression and improve technical ability. We recommend booking a private lesson, as you’ll get to keep the DVD ready to review your progress at home or before future ski sessions.
At a glance: Beginner slopes 20%, slopes are patrolled by the Mountain Safety Team, beginners get a ‘whole mountain’ experience and a real sense of achievement for completing full slopes from their first days. When it comes to quality and quantity, Whistler can’t be beaten for terrain and slope variety.
Whistler is a skier’s mecca and, ideally for beginners, it is also the ‘destination du jour’ for the world’s best ski instructors. The most in-demand instructors consider Whistler a vital aspect of their training and beginners can enjoy the slopes, safe in the knowledge that they’re surrounded by knowledgeable, helpful and insightful assistance. For absolute beginners and families it is recommended that you spend your first few days on Blackcomb, the opposite side of Whistler’s vast resort, which is made up of beginner and intermediate runs. There are steady increases in the difficulty of the trails across Blackcomb, upon which to find your ski rhythm, then the many wonders of Whistler await. Whistler is also a very family-friendly resort and there are specialist ski schools for children, while private family sessions are also available.
At a glance: Beginner slopes 10%, viewing terraces for parents to watch their children’s lessons, be aware that Val d’Isere’s colour coding system is entirely different to other resorts and skiers of all levels must be aware of the colours before taking to the slopes.
Val d’Isere isn’t the first destination that comes to mind when discussing the best ski resorts for beginners. Known for its challenging slopes, thrilling runs, and off-piste offerings, Val d’Isere is a much-loved destination for experienced skiers. However, beginners can still take a lot from the captivating setting and supreme skill levels on display. Instructors here are inclined to push clients to get the best out of them, chances are you’ll advance quicker here and feel more confident as you swiftly progress through the beginner stages, ready to take on any one of Val d’Isere’s picturesque pistes. Val d’Isere is a fantastic option for families, and the first-class facilities cater to children of all ages for a fun and rewarding holiday for all.
At a glance: Beginner slopes 45%, specially designed ‘Ski Slow’ pistes to help novices advance to beginner level, a beautifully relaxing and scenic resort.
If the ‘holiday’ aspect of your luxury ski holiday is as important as the ‘ski’, Villars is an ideal choice. Visually stunning with a thriving spa culture, Villars is a wonderfully rewarding resort and caters expertly to beginners. Select from an inviting array of beginners slopes, ski slopes and family facilities to uncover the best of Villars. For those taking up skiing for the very first time, Villars boasts two beginners areas that don’t require a lift pass and can be used on a complimentary basis, to ensure you have all the time you need to get to grips with the basics. Another area where Villars excels is in its choice of après-ski activities. It is unlikely that first time skiers will escape without some muscle soreness and mild aches, therefore Villars’ selection of thermal baths and luxury spas are the ideal settings in which to unwind and recharge. Villars also caters well to families, both on and off the slopes, with specialist children’s menus and activities available – look out for the glass viewing window, where young skiers can observe Villars’ resident donkeys and sheep.
At a glance: Beginner slopes 35%, a healthy selection of beginner and green slopes, home of École du Ski Internationale (International Ski School) with specialist beginner courses.
Megève is an ideal location to start your ski career. Chic chalets, rustic architecture and designer boutiques make Megève a quaint setting for après-ski, but on the slopes there’s a faster pace. Beginners can enrol at a number of ski schools and follow a tailor-designed development plan to ensure you progress through the ranks of runs and return home feeling satisfied. Gentle slopes and wide runs are ideal for families, but it is likely your young skiers will enjoy the village activities every bit as much as the ski sessions. For inexhaustibly active families, Megève’s large sports centre has much to offer.
At a glance: Beginners slopes 40%, designated beginner’s ski area, and excellent family facilities.
Méribel was chosen as the host for the 1992 Winter Olympics and guests visiting today can still enjoy the purpose built facilities, including a 25m indoor pool, children’s pool, waterslides, fitness centre, climbing wall, spa and ice-rink. Other activities include horse-drawn sleigh tours, snowmobiling and snow-shoeing. Méribel features impressive dedicated beginners areas, located in their own mini-resort, with low and green slopes in abundance. The special beginner lift passes, known as ‘mini-passes’ provide access to chairlifts and slopes designed with first-timers in mind. Particularly impressive is the range of children’s slopes, including the ever popular ‘Moon Wild’ – a themed piste with life-size structures of animals and forest creatures throughout the run. Some slopes are rated for age groups, so you can ensure your family finds what best suits their needs.
For further information about any of our luxury ski destinations, or to discuss your luxury ski holiday for beginners, please call one of our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 331.