Daisy Allsup checks out the funky new Hotel Terminal Neige - Totem in the French Alps resort of Flaine. Just over an hour's drive from Geneva, she discovers a super family-friendly ski paradise:
Banish all thoughts of a pretty, chocolate-boxy alpine village for Flaine offers something entirely different. Designed in the ‘60s by Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer, the small resort is resolutely concrete. But don’t let that put you off - built to be practical this is the ideal place to bring young children on a first ski trip. Functional benefits can be felt everywhere; the cable car is at ground level (no lugging skiis up stairs as in many resorts) and the shops and restaurants are all arranged around a central square where children have snowball flights, whiz about on sledges and skate on the natural ice rink all within view of their parents who can relax with a well-deserved après-aperitif.
The only hotel in the resort, Terminal Neige opened just last year. A new concept from the Maisons & Hotels Sibuet Group, it offers a more affordable, contemporary three-star ski hotel. With retro-cool interiors and a large open-plan bar and restaurant area the vibe is super friendly with guests of all ages relaxing together. The view of the mountains from the floor-to-ceiling windows is mesmerising and you can quite literally sit here and watch your kids on the nursery slopes just below the hotel.
Much like the resort, Terminal Neige makes everything incredibly easy. There's a ski hire shop within the hotel – if you’ve got uncomfy boots you can swap them at breakfast rather than trekking back to the rental shop, and you can buy all manner of kit from goggles to gloves for both adults and kids. Breakfast and dinner are both buffet-style so you can eat whenever you like, and the food is absolutely delicious - kids will love the fondue. Ski-in, ski-out, the hotel is literally 20m from the ski school meeting points and kids playground which is popular with tinies in the afternoons.
The hotel bedrooms are lovely – with incredibly comfy beds - and the family suite has interconnecting rooms or try the loft which is new this season and sleeps 6. But the chances are you’ll want to spend your time downstairs, settled into the sofas by the open fire. Highly recommended.
Erna Low offers 7 nights B&B at the Hotel Terminal Neige the from 8th April from £3,399 based on Stansted flights with standard hold baggage, shared shuttle transfers, 2 x classic forum view rooms, Bed & Breakfast for 4 people. www.ernalow.co.uk 0207 584 2841