SKI-BUZZ

The Crystal Ski Holidays Blog

5 ski resorts that mixed-ability groups will love

Getting the gang together is one of the best ways to enjoy a ski holiday. And whether you’re going with family, friends or both, there’s plenty to organise – starting with picking the right resort.

Depending on who’s going, you’ll need to make sure there’s something to suit everyone’s ability – a great ski school for beginners, a range of slopes for intermediates and experts, and runs suitable for boarders too. Not to mention things to do when you’re not skiing.

Read on to find out more about some of our best resorts for groups, or take a look at our group holiday deals.

Saalbach, Austria

First-timers can dive straight into their lessons here – the ski school’s excellent and the beginner area is right next to the main street. While they’re learning, the more experienced skiers in the group can head out to explore the 408km Skicircus area. Then you can all meet up in town for lunch, or hop on one of the speedy lifts to a mountain restaurant – there are over 60 to choose from.

Three skiers on a mountain peak
Saalbach (Credit: Mirja Geh, saalbach.com)

For any boarders looking to hit the rails, boxes and jumps, the Skicircus has four freeride areas. The Nitro park near Leogang has separate tracks for beginners, intermediates and pros. And there’s also a giant inflatable cushion so you can practise doing tricks in the air and guarantee a soft landing. Anyone not joining in can cheer you on from sunloungers outside the Adlerhorst restaurant.

Off the slopes, Saalbach has a great après scene, with more than 30 bars and clubs. So whether you want to party ‘til dawn or fancy a few quiet drinks, the whole crew’s covered.

Where to stay: Hotel Panther

This hotel’s close to the lifts, shops, bars and restaurants, so everything you need is within easy reach. It’s quite traditional on the inside, and there’s a wellness area and heated outdoor pool for when it’s time to sit back, unwind and chat about your day’s adventures.

Tignes, France

Get your pals together on the piste in Tignes. It’s part of the Espace Killy ski area, linked with Val d’Isère, so there’s over 300km of runs to explore. The pros can head to the Grande Motte glacier and take on the steeper blacks, while the newbies of the group can pick up the basics in the beginner area, which has gentle runs and five free lifts. Progressing intermediates can practise on the wide, sweeping slopes and then try out some of the longer, trickier reds. And when everyone’s done skiing, you can meet up at the famous Folie Douce slopeside bar and sing along to live DJs.

A groups of skiers
Tignes

There’s some great après down in town too, with plenty of places where you can stop for a drink straight from the slopes. And if you’re taking a break from skiing, you can have fun with winter activities like dog sledding, ice diving and snowmobiling.

When it comes to where to stay, there are five purpose-built villages that make up Tignes – each one with a range of accommodation to suit any group’s budget.

Where to stay: Hotel Tignes 2100

This modern hotel is right in the heart of Tignes Le Lac, only 3 minutes’ walk to the nearest lift. In the evenings, you can catch up with the gang in the popular bar that looks out over the village – or get a little R&R in the wellness area.

Zell am See, Austria

The Zell am See ski area is packed with wide, scenic pistes higher up and pretty tree-lined runs lower down. There’s an excellent beginner area up on the mountain, so skiers who are just starting out can head to the top with the rest of the group instead of being stuck down at resort level. There’s lots to keep the intermediates and experts happy too – and your lift pass also covers Kaprun and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, which are linked by local buses.

Aerial view of Zell am See
Zell am See

When you’re not on the slopes, wander through the town’s pretty pedestrianised centre, on the shores of Lake Zell. There’s a medieval church, bustling squares and plenty of streetside cafés and shops. And don’t miss a stop at Crazy Daisy, the popular après bar overlooking the lake. Anyone in the gang that’s not skiing can jump on a bus or train to spend the day in the mountain town of Kitzbühel or the city of Salzburg.

Where to stay: Hotel Daxer

The Daxer’s just 3 minutes’ walk from the lifts, and you can ski right back to the door at the end of the day. It looks like a traditional alpine chalet, and it’s got an indoor pool and wellness area where you can unwind together.

Alpe d’Huez, France

Alpe d’Huez is known for its high-quality ski schools and one of the best beginner areas in the Alps – ideal if some of the group are just starting out. And when you’re ready to move on, there are lots of wide, open greens and blues to practise on. Any advanced skiers can take on challenges like La Sarenne – the longest black slope in Europe. And there’s lots of off-piste to play in too.

Sunny slopes in Alpe d'Huez
Alpe d’Huez

When you’ve finished skiing for the day, meet up and catch the Marmottes chairlift to the famous Folie Douce for a couple of hours of slopeside après. Or try out some of the other activities – there’s an outdoor ice rink, a heated public swimming pool and an Alpine Coaster that uses virtual reality technology.

Where to stay: Hotel Petit Prince

The Petit Prince is well known for its friendly service, relaxed atmosphere and excellent food. The whole group can get together for a drink in the bar and lounge area, which has impressive views over the valley. And our Crystal Childcare is based here too, so it’s the best place to stay if you’ve got kids with you.

Soldeu, Andorra

Part of the Grandvalira ski area – the biggest in Andorra – Soldeu’s got access to over 200km of piste, with loads of wide, open blues and reds. To get up to the ski school, beginners will hop on the gondola with everyone else in the morning. And as the local ski school’s been voted one of the best in Europe, they’ll be joining the rest of you on the harder runs in no time. Confident skiers can also use the free shuttle to take advantage of Arcalis, which has an extra 30km of quiet slopes and excellent off-piste – and it’s covered on your lift pass.

A group of skiers
The Grandvalira

As for the village itself, Soldeu is laid back and pretty, and is a great choice for groups who are after a little slice of luxury. A collection of chalet-style wood and stone buildings sit along the main road, and there’s lots of high-quality accommodation with great facilities like swimming pools and spas.

Where to stay: Sport Hotel

Making first lifts is a breeze here – it’s just a minute’s walk to the gondola through the underground tunnel. The Sport’s one of three sister hotels, and between them they’ve got nine bars and restaurants, so you can take turns deciding where to spend your evenings. And definitely treat yourselves to some time in the amazing spa, which has 5,000m2 of pools, baths and saunas.

Fancy getting the gang together next winter? Give us a call on 020 8610 3123 to chat with our groups team – they can help sort everything, from picking your resort to booking everyone’s flights and ski gear.

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