It may still be summer, but if you’re considering a Canadian ski holiday next winter, now’s the time to book. With Whistler leading the way, Canadian resorts have once again turned August into the month of significant early-season discounts, – with savings of up to 50% on accommodation, and more than 60% on lift passes.
American ski resorts are also offering discounts; but Canada is cheaper. For example, with Ski Independence, an early-December week in a five-star hotel in Whistler is currently available for £1,291pp, room only, including flights, transfers and lift passes. For Breckenridge in Colorado, the same deal is £1,919pp – and in a less high-falutin’ hotel.
Families take note: these deals are valid for school holidays too, and over February half-term they can work out cheaper than a chalet holiday in a big-name Alpine resort, if you factor in lift-ticket prices. (By contrast, low season weeks in the Alps will almost always be cheaper.)
Bear in mind that the biggest discounts are only available until August 31, although deals will still be available until mid-November.
Meanwhile, in the Alps…
This was the Col de l’Isern above Val d’Isere this morning, August 11: a reminder that we’re not so far away from the start of the ski season, after all.
So it’s no wonder the number of ski deals is growing. Mostly, they’re aimed at stimulating sluggish demand for the first weeks of the season – up to and including New Year. After the last three slow starts to winter, that’s not surprising. But it’s worth noting that some deals apply to the high-altitude resorts as well as low-altitude ones, with little risk involved of a snowless pistes.
Skiing during the school holidays
Half-term Whistler holidays from £1,385pp with Ski Independence
Free skiing for the kids and 35% off accommodation mean that one week from February 10 in Whistler, North America’s biggest resort, will cost a family of four £5,541, room only, including flights, transfers and lift tickets. They’ll stay in the Aava Hotel, 400m from the lifts, sharing a deluxe room with two queen-sized beds. Bookings: ski-i.com
Kids get up to 75% off Christmas in Reberty with Ski Famille
Reberty is set at the top end of Les Menuires in the Three valleys. With most of its skiing above 2000m, and quick access to high-altitude Val Thorens, it’s a safe bet for Christmas – which makes Ski Famille’s latest offer an interesting one. For a family of four with kids aged 5-10, the first child skis for 25% of the adult price and the second for 60%, making the total cost of a week in one of its chalets £3,844 for four, chalet-board and including flights and transfers. The holiday starts on December 23. Bookings: skifamille.co.uk
Christmas in La Rosiere from £500pp with Esprit
Is East Midlands your local airport? If so, you can bag a week’s Christmas holiday from December 19 in La Rosiere for £1999 for a family of four, including flights, transfers and chalet-board accommodation, with family-skiing specialist Esprit. La Roisere is set at 1850m and gets more snow than its famous neighbours in the Tarentaise valley. 40km of its pistes are covered by snow cannons, just in case Mother Nature doesn’t deliver, and its links with La Thuile in the Aosta Valley mean you get access to an Italian climate as well as the French one. Bookings: espritski.com
Easter in Tignes from £416pp with Ski Collection
Next year, Easter is early (April 1): and demand for late-season ski holidays in snowsure, high-altitude resorts is bound to be strong. That’s why this 10% price cut from Ski Collection on the four-star self-catering Nevada apartments in Tignes Val Claret is interesting. They’re 150m from the nearest piste, and they’ll put a self-reliant family in the heart of one of the best late-season ski areas in the Alps. The one-week holiday starts on March 31, includes a Eurotunnel crossing, and is based on five people sharing a three-room apartment. Bookings: skicollection.co.uk
Free New-Year skiing for kids in Lech with VIP
The Arlberg ski area has always been good: but now that’s its two halves have been connected by the Flexenbahn lifts, it’s allure is even stronger. Lech – which is home to many of the area’s easier pistes – is the best place for families, and over New Year VIP is offering two free kids’ places to families of four in the Hotel Theodul. One week from December 27 costs a total of £4,898, chalet board, including flights and transfers, if they all share a family room. Bookings: vip-chalets.com
20% off Christmas in St Martin de Belleville with the Alpine Club
Chalet Ecurie is a converted 130 year-old stable which has been given a stunning makeover – and it’s only four minutes by private transfer from the slopes at St Martin de Belleville in the Three Valleys. Offering both cutting-edge luxury and proper, Savoyard character, it sleeps eight adults in considerable luxury, and you can rent it for a week from December 20 for £12,695 – down from £15,880, chalet board, not including travel. Bookings: thealpineclub.co.uk
Other Ski Deals
Two-for-one lift passes, pre-Christmas in Val d’Isere with Ski Total
Val d’Isere is usually a fantastic place to ski the early season, and a mid-December trip with Ski Total just got cheaper, thanks to its two-for-one lift pass offer on mid-week departures, on December 12 and December 19. Arriving on December 12, a week at the Chalet Champs Avalins, next to the lifts at La Daille, costs £528pp, chalet board, including flights and transfers, based on two sharing. Taking the deal into account, lift tickets will cost only £112pp extra. Bookings: skitotal.co.uk
£100pp off selected ski holidays with Crystal
Crystal is currently offering a handy £100 off a wide range of ski holidays – and not just for the early season. So, for example, a week’s holiday from February 24 in the Chalet Violetta in easy-skiing Canazei, surrounded by the stunning cliffs and crags of the Dolomites, is currently available for £515pp, chalet board, including flights and transfers, and based on two sharing. Bookings: crystakski.co.uk
£250 off Val Thorens in March with Snowfinders
In early March, the snow in high-altitude Val Thorens should be excellent condition: and with Snowfinders a “Ski All In” deal at the Chalet Verseau costs £894pp, chalet board, including lift pass ski hire, flights and transfers. The chalet is a 5-minute walk from the lifts and only 200m from the nearest pistes. Bookings: snowfinders.co.uk
And finally, a late-summer Alpine escape
£95pp off a September holiday in the Zillertal with Inghams
The Zillertal in Austria offers a huge variety of summer activities: everything from skiing on the Hintetux glacier to gentle, lift-serviced hikes. Mayrhofen is the canniest base, with good public transport up and down the valley, some cracking restaurants in the mountains, and a pleasant late-afternoon buzz as everyone returns from their adventures and sinks a beer in the sunshine. With Inghams, a week from September 16 in the central Chalet Tirol is only £515pp, chalet board, including flights and transfers. Bookings: inghams.co.uk