Choosing a ski resort that is fun for the all the family doesn’t have to be a nightmare. La Rosière simply is the resort to go for. Not that I am biased of course. Having spent six months working there, I understand that families of all types look to achieve different goals from their winter holidays. Truly, though, La Rosière has something to appeal to everyone.
Situated at 1,850m, the South-facing resort is built of traditional stone and wood chalets, none of this high-rise, purpose-built infrastructure that dominates the bigger resorts in the Tarentaise Valley. With sunsets and sunrises that dominate the open-plan layout, you can rest assured that there is a worthwhile view. The name La Rosière comes from the French rose, meaning ‘pink’ in English. The pink-ish tint to the sky as the sun sets is remarkable, making for an experience that no photograph can recreate.
Evolution 2 Ski & Adventure School and l’École du Ski Français (ESF to you and I), are the two major ski school operators in the resort; with Evo2 (as it is colloquially known) offering some superb, family-friendly adventures at reasonable prices. You could be cheerfully experiencing the relaxed ski guiding or, for the more adventurous, launching yourself off the mountain with a parachute (and instructor) attached, paragliding down the mountain. Failing that, why not try the 300m-long Snowpark de la Poletta featuring rails, fun boxes and small-rather large kickers? When it comes to family time, dog sledding is probably the most sought-after activity; taking place in the resort’s other half, Les Eucherts.
What about the skiing? That’s what you are there for, after all. With children’s skiing being the first and foremost point coming to mind on a family ski holiday, it is really worth pointing out that the lower pistes are pointedly aimed at children. Both major ski schools have their own dedicated beginner’s gardens so that little ones, (big ones too!) can learn to ski in safety, avoiding the bustle of the main runs. The green slopes of Manessier, Clarines I and Dahu are free-to-use, meaning there is no lift pass required. The station boasts 160km of pistes, linking France and Italy via a lovely set of runs, with something suitable for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Don’t be dissuaded by reports of excessively long drag lifts between the two. Sure, it isn’t for complete novice skiers, but it isn’t that bad.
Think about it like this: La Rosière offers you the chance to leave your children in ski school, safe in the knowledge that they are going to receive expert tuition and child care, especially when choosing Esprit Ski, the number one for family skiing. This leaves you the chance to forge fresh tracks through powder that fell overnight, while the sun shines and you ski, or snowboard, across the border to the Italian resort of La Thuile.
One thing that puts La Rosière above the rest is its location within the valley. With Tignes and Les Arcs being approximately 45 minutes away, the resort itself doesn’t really get busy (aside from February half-term, queuing actually isn’t a problem). A lot of skiers tend to frequent the bigger ski areas, also meaning, should you wish it, that there are awesome ski away days within an easy drive.
The resort itself is not a wild party, although the (somewhat limited) nightlife has potential. Wednesday nights are live band nights in Le Comptoir, when you can head out to enjoy musicians from around the Alps, if not around the world, while Monday nights are ESF’s Instructor Spectacular, a torch-lit descent with tricks and humour. That said, the real gems are the local eateries. Restaurant Le Genépi has top TripAdvisor ratings, with many of my guests taking equal delight with other restaurants on offer (Marmottes, La Flam’, Le McKinley and l’Ancolie to name but a few). Most of the restaurants in La Rosière host typical plates with charcuterie and fondues appearing all over the menus.
If you’re still not thoroughly tempted, just ask around; you won’t find anyone with a bad word to say against this lovely family resort.