Club Med Life…

A very different ski trip to the traditional chalet break but fun, easy and a kid’s dream holiday it is for sure.


It exists, the luxury all-inclusive ski hotel.

What’s it like?

Totally bizarre. And, ultimately, a fun and convenient family holiday experience.

I say family;

I visited the Valmorel Club Med in the popular Savoie region, which I would certainly recommend as a family resort, and, out of school holidays time, the Club Med was still busy with hundreds of under 5’s (and of course their entourage).

Katie Bamber on the slopes of Valmorel

Katie Bamber on the slopes of Valmorel

Club Med

Club Med lunch time

And the Club – can I abbreviate it to this?! – certainly caters for these little guys.

Did I mention it’s all inclusive? That’s everything…

Food – five times a day! – drinks, skis, passes, ski school, childcare, activities, spa.

The complex sits a few kilometres above the sweet French village and is quite separate from Valmorel resort life.

Perhaps as expected for an all-inclusive.

I lived the two-day experience with a Dutch person and two Italians.

This was a good start – we all had a completely different ideas of what was to come.

A 29-year-old with no children, I assumed a 18-30s party scene.

I’ve been on the chairlift over Club Med in Val Thorens many times and have always been intrigued by the thud of music from the terrace beneath…

My Dutch friend told a charming story of asking her dad on a rustic winter holiday 20 years ago.

From her small cabin on seeing the smoke and hearing the buzz through the woods from the Club Med complex, her dad told her it was holidays for rich people.

The Italians were most on point with their idea of it being like Disney Land – easy, cheesy and busy.


‘Valmo’ Valmorel

It works.

Stepping into the pink-lit lobby of Club Med you’re in the zone for the duration of your stay, emersed in Club Med life.

You eat, drink, socialise and relax here.

And there’s more than enough to do.

Other than skiing, fat biking, cooking lessons, spa-ing, snow shoeing, paraponting, sledding, yoga, pilates and fitness classes are all on the roster.

What is lovely to see is how much all of the children are enjoying the atmosphere and themselves – comfortable, confident and making friends.

And the relaxed and friendly staff are on hand everywhere to help anybody lost in the flow.

And a current there certainly is in Club Med life.

From breakfast to ski school to lunch to kids club to more skiing to apres it’s a chain of activities, bustle, singing and noise.

Then there’s the evening entertainment…

Think Saturday night TV from 20 years ago when it was at its best.

Dance performances, singing, clowns, costumes – and the safety of the bar at the back of the main room from where to take it all in, if you need warming up to the organised fun…

Club Med entertainment

Club Med entertainment

Club Med life

The band

Happy Hour on Wednesday on the slope at lunch is fun.

A DJ on the balcony plays to the outside party with wine, snacks and ski instructors.

Club Med lunch time happy hour - DJ on the balcony...

Club Med lunch time happy hour – DJ on the balcony…


The ESF instructors were fantastic and well in the holiday spirit.

The rental gear was in great condition and there was a wide range of skis and boards.

The quality, quantity and array of different food is really impressive.

The cake, crepes and sandwich apres parties every day for everyone a clear favourite among Club Medders.

And for the grown ups during events, the cold meats, bread, cheeses and wine reminded you you were in the Savoie with all its fantastic food.

Calling it a buffet for breakfast lunch and dinner would be an understatement…

There’s everything, from to order omlettes at the egg station to lobster and steak latr in the day.

Club Med

Raclette at Club Med

Club Med

Club Med

And if you discover it in time, there are quieter, kid-free lounges and areas with special dishes on the menu.

Remember, it’s all included!

My Dutch comrade’s father wasn’t wrong.

Club Med isn’t cheap.

It is priced the same for people little or large, though this seems fair with amount of entertainment and child care provided.

For February half term you’re looking at prices from £4,641pp. Adding on the cost of flights and transfer.

But covering the cost of ski hire, lift pass, insurance, child care, food, drinks, and most other things you can think of, that truly is the final price.

No surprises.


The experience is a comforting blast from a decade or so ago;

An American summer camp, turned winter, with parents invited – would be my very home-made explanation.

I spent my first evening, before diving into Club Med life, looking around Valmorel. Here, I learned some French:

‘Station’ is the word for ski resort.

A ‘resort’ said my teacher, is the word for this, pointing up the hill towards Club Med.

This would be my main concern.

That you miss out on the authentic ski experience of apres in the village, elevensies hot choc stops and the customary challenge (or satisfying feat) of working it all out in another language…

But for families with young ones looking for an easy, no stress holiday it’s spot-on perfect.

Everything is taken care of, the kids will surely be entertained and exhausted and if you’re taking a week you’ll find the evening to duck out of the party to check out the local area.

And Valmorel is charming.

A small pedestrian village with plenty of bars and restaurants and boutiques to look in, traditional French Alps style…


Valmorel village


With ski instruction included in the package you can really explore the ski area.

Valmorel has 80% north facing slopes. What does this mean?

– Less direct sun exposure so the snow stays quality and lasts well into April.

Here’s your place if you’re thinking a Spring ski trip.

Serious views up the Tarentaise Valley and back towards Mont Blanc and easy access/short transfers from the main airports are ticks on the ‘Pros’ list.

But more on the resort in my next piece; Do check back…

Club Med Valmorel

Club Med Valmorel

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains – PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news