Let the shenannigans begin….
With an estimated snowfall of 2 metres in Tignes at the end of December 2017, the highest amount recorded in the last 8 years, the Marc Warner Fam (Familiarisation) Trip was destined to be a rewarding and powdered snow-filled adventure through one of Europe’s prettiest and most popular family resorts.
Tignes is a fantastic location and along with Val d’Isere is listed as one of France’s ‘Snow-Sure Resorts’. Tignes boasts of a very reliable snow record and it certainly didn’t disappoint with a whopping snow-fall during our stay between 17th-20th December, even the ski instructors were over the moon.
Tignes has its main resort on the edge of Le Lac with an altitude of 2100 metres above sea level. Towering above this is the Grande Motte Glacier which is a jaw dropping 3450 metres high and accessible throughout Winter and Summer. With plenty of nightlife, eateries and family fun, Tignes-Le-Lac is generally classed as the main village of Tignes and is extremely popular with families.
And we’re off
We kicked off with an 8am start at Heathrow Airport and were treated to a big breakfast before boarding the plane to Grenoble, my sneaky Bloody Mary to calm my nerves almost caused me to miss my chartered Marc Warner flight and there were some hurried and frantic What’s App messages bleeping away on my phone. With a sharp dash, tripping over my luggage and causing chaos in the airport I made it to my seat whereby I was greeted by a collection of relieved faces.
A sharp intake of breath once through immigration and into the freezing temperatures of -8 degrees, where we were then seamlessly transferred by coach, luggage tagged by smiling Mark Warner staff ensuring our bags were properly allocated to our rooms. The journey from Grenoble Airport takes approximately 3 hours and there is one stop-off for a quick coffee/snack/loo break before winding higher and higher up into the beautiful snowy mountains. I never wear hats but it was so bloody cold, I was grateful for my woolly hat!
We arrived at Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percée just in time for Afternoon Tea of delicious homemade lemon biscuits, hot chocolate, cake and cheese quiche. Re-fuelled, we headed straight out to get boots, pole and ski’s fitted at Intersport and the service was quick, polite and professional. Intersport have a huge range of Winter apparel so you will certainly find any extra bits you need for your trip.
The rooms at the Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percée are of a very high standard, cosy, extremely clean and comfortable and the views from the window of the alps are absolutely stunning.
Just before dinner at 8pm we were given a quick health & safety briefing by Wayne Leslie, the General Manager, whom I must say was incredibly helpful and chirpy and really made sure everyone knew he was on hand to sort out any issues but also to listen to any good feedback too so that he could pass it on to staff that had stood out. What a great way to show appreciation for his team but also appreciation to the guests that they have a small hand in shaping the Mark Warner experience for themselves and others.
We were also introduced to a tour and ski guide company called Evolution 2 who offer a range of activities from Huskey Tours, Ice Dives and Bunjee Jumping. Not for the fainthearted! The patience of the ski instructors knows no bounds as I must have held the ski group up at least 10 times on our trip down the slopes with not only falling over whilst stationary but wiping out so many times even I got bored with having my face in the snow. My instructor was such a gem he just laughed, got me back on my skies, filled me with confidence and taught me a couple of swear words in French.
A few people know that I am hula hoop mad and my travel hoop tends to travel everywhere with me and Tignes was no exception.
Despite it being freezing cold and me worrying about not only breaking my neck as I attempted to ski and hoop at the same time but tossing my hoop for a badass trick and it rolling down the mountain, never to be seen again.
I am pleased to say neither of these things happened and I not only managed to ski and hoop but I roped in the fabulous Gabriella of Mark Warner and had her hooping at the top of the mountain too.
We drew a little crowd, showcased our skills a top an incredible snow capped mountain. What more could one possible want but beautiful scenery, laughter and lunch!
Dinner time is set to 8pm for all the guests and we were treated to a sumptuous buffet of healthy and filling food at the 120-seater hotel restaurant. Over chalet red wine and delicious grub the group got well acquainted and our hosts Gabriella Burden and Julia Franklin, Agency Sales Manager of Mark Warner Holidays had us all well prepared and excited for the shenanigans that lay ahead.
Breakfast is served from 7.30pm and the ski lifts open at 9am, so plenty of time to get ready and fuel up as skiing is hungry work. Breakfast at the Chalet Hotel Aiguille Percée is a range of continental and full English offering lots of choice for both adults and children.
The hotel also has a cosy bar where and a pool table for those with a competitive spirit.
It’s easy to see why Tignes attracts a lot of families and groups due to its affordability, location and dining, there is something to suit every budget.
Mark Warner offer excellent value for money and although not the cheapest package holiday on offer, the Mark Warner experience is well worth paying a bit more for. The quality of the accommodation, chartered flights service, transfers, food and incredible childcare make what could be a potentially stressful holiday with young children, streamlined, enjoyable, consistent and fun.
We spent the next few days skiing, meeting up for lunch and dinner and sharing our stories and getting to know each other which was fabulous.
A truly delightful group of mixed ages and skiing ability all enjoying being together and enjoying simple pleasures.
Hotel Chalet L’Ecrin
Mark Warner arranged for us to have a tour of their neighbouring accommodation called Hotel Chalet L’Ecrin which is more of a boutique style and oozes charm and quality. L’ecrin is certainly very impressive boasting of 52 rooms, spa, swimming pool with supervision from the pool management Roswell and is set on the outskirts of Val Claret village and is within easy distance of the ski lifts by bus or walking at Val Claret.
On our last day, we were up at the crack of dawn and greeted with a light breakfast to see us through our 3-hour transfer to Geneva Airport.
Once back at Heathrow, it was a mixture of deflation that our wonderful trip was finally over and elation that Christmas was only in 5 days’ time. Such a strange but glorious feeling.
My experience of Mark Warner as a holiday provider couldn’t have been any better from the staff, the transport, the food and completely streamlined service that really doesn’t leave any stone left unturned. Both Hotels offer a massage service as they know how tiring a day on the slopes can be.
They really have thought of every little detail and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mark Warner as a package holiday provider of the highest quality. Nor would I hesitate in using them to book my next family Ski trip. As you can see from the photo – there were many happy faces!
You can download the Marc Warner in-resort app for your stay and get up to date information on things happening during your holiday.
Booking your Mark Warner holiday couldn’t be easier, you can call their travel experts on 0333 305 9795 or visit their website for online bookings and discounts.
MyFamilyClub 5 Star Rating
We have given a 5-star rating for Mark Warner Ski Holidays for:
Quality of accommodation
Friendliness of staff
Overall family friendly experience
We also reviewed the following items as part of of press trip:
Incredible underwear and thermals from Boody which kept me me roasty toasty on the slopes. Boody are an organic eco-wear range for men, women and babies made from up to 95% organic bamboo for a soft feel and breathable experience. I wore the Boyleg briefs at £8.95, full leggings at £21.95 and a long sleeve top at £31.95
Boodywear get a big thumbs up for comfort, fit and quality. Highly recommended if you are looking for funky, eco-friendly under garments.