What is it? A weeks ski-ing holiday in late January in Wengen, Switzerland, staying at ‘Hotel Caprice’, a 4* hotel and a member of The Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Where? From Birmingham to Geneva (no flights were available into Zurich, due to our late booking!), then caught a couple of trains to Wengen. Note: Wengen is a ‘car-free’ village.

Description: [on_the_slopes.jpg] A superb family resort in Switzerland where Rachel Mayer has spent many years ski-ing with parents and siblings. It’s no wonder when the opportunity arose to re-visit the quaint village of Wengen, Switzerland with her children Oliver (4yrs) and Zara (3months) Rachel jumped with joy !

To celebrate Grandma’s 60th Birthday on the slopes.

Of course ski-ing, snowboarding, sledging or hiking. Hotel dependent, you can ski to the hotel door – very handy! There are specific runs for sledging. For the babies – the ski-hire shop ‘Intersport’ has skis for the pram wheels or even pram sleighs (very cute).

Not a vast amount of evening entertainment, although after a day’s skiing an nice evening meal and early night is welcomed by all. For those party animals, the Hotel Silberhorn has a nightclub.

Ski School (highly recommended), 09:45 – 13:00 daily from 4yrs up. Price: 50 CHF per day. Private Lessons also available in the afternoons. Creche available from 18 months Price: 18 CHF per hour. No babysitter facilities available at ‘The Caprice’ Hotel.

The 4* Sunstar Hotel, 4* Lauberhorn and Silberhorn offer swimming pools/saunas and beauty treatments.

Local activities:

Wish we had known: The local Co-op didn’t stock SMA baby milk, remember to bring enough with you.

Our top tip: Get your train pass to include Murren, Switerland. You will be able to experience some good ski runs and then stop at the revolving restaurant – it’s the location of the James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’.

Kids say: Loved Snowly says Oliver “he makes ski-ing really fun”. “Can we build another snowman?”. “Can we take the sledge home?”.

Getting There: For the week… L750.00 for 4* accommodation (half board) & flight per person (child gets 10% discount, infant free). L200.00 for train/lift pass, Children under 6 years are free. Don’t forget the price of skis approx. L100.00.

About our stay: We arrived in Wengen on the Saturday, early evening. My first thought was getting settled in at the plush Caprice hotel. We walked into the lounge area, absolutely fantastic but hold on, lots of adults but where are the children? We sat down in front of the roaring fire when Zara was sick, straight over my shoulder onto the spotless sofa – oh no! We ordered drinks and then Oliver spilt his orange juice onto what seemed a brand new carpet! I felt somewhat uncomfortable, but the hotel staff where great and cleaned up with smiles on their faces. l decided l will leave this hotel for the couples, groups of adults and families with older children on our next visit to Wengen. [ski_school.jpg] In the morning, it was time to introduce Oliver to the snow activities. I booked the ski-school in the village office. The mornings were allocated to the group sessions, which were age and experience dependent. The afternoons are scheduled private lessons. I opted for the group sessions for Oliver. Next job, getting his ski boots and skis at the main hire shop ‘Intersport’ in the village, then onto the ski school. The session commences at 09:45 and closes at 13:00 prompt. Day 1 was all about introducing the children to each other, getting used to the ski equipment and ski lifts. There was no pressure put onto the children to ski. It was all fun based and Oliver made lots of new friends. Due to the fun element of these sessions, l believe this enhanced the want to ski. By the end of the week, Oliver was comfortable in the equipment and joined in the ski races… yes at 4 yrs old, he was belting down the junior slopes and won a bronze metal in his group – proud mother moment! Wengen ski school has a mascot named ‘Snowly’, whom l may add, Oliver followed around most of the time. Our group hired skis, but l didn’t ski every day as Zara needed minding and the creche is available to children from 18 months and above. This wasn’t an issue, as there are some fantastic walks to do, and with a pram on skis it’s really easy. Also the train goes to the Keine Scheidegg (top of Europe). This is worth taking as having lunch in one of the restaurants is a real must, the scenery is amazing. You can either ski back to the village or take the train back, your decision. Our group consisted of my parents and two brothers, therefore we all had lots of fun with the children. We all joined in the sledging and building snowmen too. For those skiers, close your eyes and just imagine… breathtaking scenery, crisp fresh snow, sun beaming down, wind in your hair as you ski past snow topped trees to the wooden chalet serving hot chocolate and Rosti. [what_snowsuits_were_made_for.jpg] Spending time with my relatives and children on an activity holiday was great, everyone enjoyed it and are really looking forward to our next annual trip to Wengen, Switzerland. I have promised my husband that if he’s not away on business this time next year, he can join us…. [Rachel is a mum of Oliver (aged 4) and Zara (aged 3 months) is currently on maternity leave and lives in Elland, West Yorkshire]

Created: 2008-02-05 20:45:25.013

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