Family ski holidays

The family chalet ski holiday is alive and well in Les Arcs

Last updated 20th December 2022

Out of the seven villages in Les Arcs, Arc 1950 is practically made for families as Family Traveller’s Andrew Dent recently discovered as a guest of Bear Lodge by VIP SKI.


Bear Lodge, Arc 1950, Les Arcs

It has been a torrid few years for the ski industry, having to deal with Brexit and then Covid. But we are happy to report that one of the best tour operators is back in the market and looking better than ever. VIP SKI is offering a full programme for 2022-23 season and showing off a stunning new property at Les Arcs in the Savoie area of France.

Growing up as a British skier, one of the traditions I fondly remember is the French chalet holiday complete with wonderful food and drink served up by amiable young English gap year types. We were told that post-Brexit this would be a thing of the past as it had become too expensive and logistically difficult to employ the staff.  However, the folks at VIP SKI have found a way to navigate this, and launch a huge, new chalet/ hotel concept on the slopes of Arc 1950. But more of that later.


Arc 1950 village, Les Arcs © Andy Parant

Majestic Les Arcs is perfect for beginners and intermediates

Let’s look at the ski area first. Les Arcs is a majestic resort with a huge offering of pistes to suit all levels. On its own it offers up 128 pistes of which 64 are blue and 44 are red. If that’s not enough for you, add neighbouring La Plagne and the ski area doubles, forming Paradiski. So needless to say there’s more than enough to keep you occupied for a week. Although, even in the busier times of half term and Easter it’s still possible to find a piste of your own.

The array of green and blues makes Les Arcs perfect for beginners and intermediates. But there are also some great, long, fast red runs which will help advance slightly older kids – and give Dad a chance to get some speed up. Don’t fret if you want to dial it up a bit and do some off-piste. There are some spectacular runs from the top of the Grand Col which is over 2500m, and also excellent forest runs, if the visibility isn’t great.


Bear Lodge master bedroom, VIP SKI, Arc 1950

Discover Bear Lodge, winner of Best New Ski Hotel 2022

Importantly more than 70% of Les Arcs is over 2000m, making it as snow sure as it gets in Europe. In its entirety, Les Arcs comprises a series of villages, catchily named Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000. I’ll leave it to your imagination to work out why. Most of the original resort was built during the 1960s, but it really is quite attractive. However, Arc 1950 is possibly the most charming village of all, and also where you will find VIP SKI’s Bear Lodge Hotel.

Made up of 30 hotel rooms and 12 chalet style apartments, Bear Lodge is a winner. So much so, it was recently voted ‘Best New Ski Hotel 2022’. It’s also ideal for families as the apartments sleep from four to 12 guests. And wonderful views are an added bonus, our top floor apartment looked out over the resort and slopes below.


Hot tub, Bear Lodge, VIP SKI Arc 1950

Brilliant service gives Bear Lodge the edge in Les Arcs

The VIP SKI vibe is luxury ski holidays powered by ‘wonderful caring British Staff’ and they certainly deliver on the service. We were looked after by a posse of friendly and attentive staff and an incredibly good chef. The breakfasts were the stand-out for me and definitely designed to set you up for a day on the slopes. There’s also afternoon tea at the end of a day’s skiing, then aperitives at 7pm. A full evening meal is served at 7.30pm, with no limit on wines!

Bear Lodge features an Intersport ski room within the property, so all equipment hire can be booked in advance and on site. École du Ski Français (ESF) school can also be organised right outside too, so the kids can be handed over to the professionals without any fuss.


Sauna and pool, Bear Lodge, Arc 1950

A great pool and wellness area add extra family appeal to Bear Lodge

The après ski side of things is taken care of at Bear Lodge with a great pool and wellness area. Childcare is available for kids who don’t ski or only ski for a half-day. There’s also a full cinema set up which is ideal for family movie night.

If you want to go out for some entertainment, then you can jump on the gondola and head up to Arc 2000. The trip itself is only a few minutes but it’s great fun for kids. Up in Arc 2000 there are plenty of family-friendly options. We went bowling one evening and, at just €20 for four, it was much better value for many than the same night out in the UK.

Les Arcs is just under three hours’ transfer from Geneva airport, so not as close as some resorts. However, if you’re visiting for a full week, the journey is certainly worth doing. I would highly recommend the resort, and Bear Lodge is a perfect place to stay for the whole family, plus the folks at VIP SKI more than deliver. But hurry up, it’s nearly fully booked for 2022/23. Although there’s always 2023/24, if you want to get a jump on next season.

Plan a ski holiday at Bear Lodge with VIP Ski

Family room at Bear Lodge, seven nights full-board from £2519pp for February Half Term 2023.

Two-bedroom Suite Koda at Bear Lodge, seven nights full-board from £2881pp for February Half Term 2023.

Prices based on family of four sharing and include a scheduled coach transfer from Geneva Airport.

How to get to Les Arcs

Direct EasyJet flights from Gatwick to Geneva take from 1 hour, 30 minutes year round.

Family ski holiday essentials

Six-day Les Arcs lift pass, pre-bookable with VIP SKI, from £259 per adult.

Six-day Paradiski Essential lift pass, pre-bookable with VIP SKI, from £303 per adult.

Child and senior six-day Les Arcs lift passes, pre-bookable with VIP SKI, from £207.

Weekly ski rental from £118 per adult and from £48 per child. Available from Intersport at Bear Lodge.

To book Bear Lodge visit VIP SKI