Chalet life baby

Ski Skeptic to Ski Convert: My Luxury Week of Skiing in Alpe d’Huez

Fresh powder, refreshing mountain air, the sun beating down on my face with un vin chaud to hand; this is a ski holiday and I’ve not even mentioned the skiing part yet.

I was invited by my friend to go skiing in Alpe d’Huez, the fifth largest ski area in France,  where her parents own a luxury chalet, Chalet Namika. Tempted by this, the alps, the promise of sun, good company and for the sake of relieving my smog infested lungs from the City, I couldn’t resist. To set the record, I am not an avid skier or in the slightest bit accomplished in the sport, in fact the thought of me whizzing uncontrollably down a steep mountain more aptly sums me up. A ski accident that left me in hospital without the ability to speak for a week as a child somewhat hampered my fondness for the sport early on, and when I got over this traumatic experience and decided to embark on a ski trip with university, I once again had a visit to the emergency room after being (rather embarrassingly) skied down the mountain due to my shattered wrist, and confidence. However my spirit could not be broken, and a ski holiday in Chalet Namika followed a couple of years later where I regained my confidence and enjoyed the finer things a luxurious ski holiday has to offer. ‘Luxurious’ being the key part, which is why visiting Chalet Namika a second time made me jump for joy (even unwittingly down the mountain).

The view from Chalet Namika balcony
The view from the Chalet Namika balcony

La Vie de Chalet…

Known as the ‘Isle de Soleil’ meaning ‘Island in the Sun’ makes Alpe d’Huez a great resort for sun seekers to head to. From Grenoble it’s a one hour and a half to two hour journey by bus to the Alps depending on weather conditions, and my tip would be to take a plastic bag for those vomit-inducing hair pin bends. Chalet Namika is situated in a chalet complex in a secluded area overlooking the slopes, and is about a 20 minute walk from civilisation (the town). What makes the chalet location so dreamy is that you can ski straight from the chalet to the slopes – no faffing about carrying all your ski gear on a bus! In prime position, the sun terrace catches the afternoon rays which make having your afternoon cuppa and cake the chalet girl whipped up even better.

Bliss
Bliss

The skiing…

Being a novice, ski lessons were essential. I booked 6 morning classes at ski school for just over €150 and spent the mornings in a group of approx. 10 English speaking people.

❤ Hidden Gem Tip: If your French is a tad rusty, when you arrive at the ski lesson, there’s probably going to be a lot of people there, so make the instructor aware that if the classes get divided you want to go with the English speakers. There is also the option of getting a Beginners ski pass, it’s cheaper than a normal one as it takes into account you won’t be going on the higher and harder runs.

I thoroughly enjoyed my ski lessons because I got to meet new and interesting people, I gained confidence and got to explore the resort in safe hands (no getting lost off piste and having to side step down a mountain) which I wouldn’t have been brave enough to do on my own or with my much more competent skiing friends.  Hidden Gem Tips: Beginners ski pass – cheaper as doesn’t go to all the high points.

Stunning scenery

Ski School Pals
Ski School Pals

Are you a seasoned skiier or a novice like me? And are you planning any ski trips? Let me know in the comments below!

 

One thought on “Ski Skeptic to Ski Convert: My Luxury Week of Skiing in Alpe d’Huez

  1. I think I might have to go there too after reading this. Hope I won’t have to visit the emergency room during my visit!

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