Well, we are home.
We got home yesterday actually. We were supposed to drive from Dijon and stay the night at St Quentin, then trundle home at a leisurely pace today but I was a bit speedy on the Autoroute and we arrived at our planned destination at 1:30 pm. DH and I looked at each other, neither of us fancied another night in a cheap hotel and having to unpack, then pack the car again the next morning.
We ascertained we could change our Eurotunnel booking, the threatened strike had not come to pass, we had until 7pm to cancel the hotel and the kids wanted to get home too so we went for it. It only took an extra 4 hours driving and we were home by 6:30. Bliss.
So I’m sitting at my computer in the lounge, ignoring all the unpacking that needs to be done. I want to have a sort through of the kids clothes before I put the holiday bits away, so getting rid of the suitcases isn’t a priority at this stage. The dogs also need walking, but that’s about all that needs doing. I’m so glad we made the extra effort to get home today.
We have had another wonderful holiday with Esprit and would highly recommend them for families who don’t consider the beach as an essential part of a summer holiday.
The accommodation has always been fine for us, but we aren’t hugely fussy. As long as our rooms are big enough for 6 and clean, we are happy. The nicest hotel is definitely the Chalet Hotel des Deux Domaines in Belle Plagne. It’s like a 3-4 star hotel, whereas the accommodation in Saas Fee and Alpe D’huez is more ‘rustic’. We’ve always been very comfortable as a family of 6 in room 33 in the Annahof in Saas Fee, but we booked late last year and had to book 3 separate rooms in Alpe D’huez last year. This was not ideal for our family makeup but would probably be fine for people with older kids.
The best resort for walking has to be Saas Fee. It’s very compact, and has a number of lifts operating over summer, so you can choose whether to walk up or down whatever mountain takes your fancy. If you are not a walker, there are a huge number of other outdoor activities to try. Paragliding, canyoning, white water rafting, mountain biking, horse riding, rocking climbing, summer skiing, tree adventure courses and adventure walks are all available to try as an individual or in a family group.
If your children are too young, or not of a disposition to partake of these more challenging activities then you can leave them with the Esprit rangers, who will guide them on gentler adventures of their own. The Rangers are one of the reasons we keep returning to Esprit. The Rangers are enthusiastic, cheerful, English-speaking, qualified young people who take care of your children while you are off enjoying some quality adult time. We particularly like the fact that a number are young men; our kids don’t have much experience with this age group and it’s great to see them interacting well.
You can take you children with you, or put them in childcare as many days as you, or your children, want. It’s all very flexible which means that each family gets exactly what they need from their individual holiday.
And the 1687.5 in the title? That’s the number of miles we’ve travelled since leaving our house on the 11th of August. Considering we used the car only once while we were at the resorts, we think that’s a pretty good road trip for the summer. Most of the families staying with Esprit do drive their own vehicles down, but others fly and rent cars, or take the train too. None of the options are particularly tricky.
If you are reading this and think Esprit’s summer holidays might be right for your family, then I urge you to give them a go. You won’t be disappointed. The vast majority of people we meet in the hotels are returners and the newbies are usually making plans for their next Esprit holiday before they leave for the drive home.
And if you do and happen to see a family group consisting of a Kiwi mother, an English father, 3 loud girls of various sizes and a small boy clutching a Thomas soft-toy wandering around what ever resort you are staying at, then do come over and say hello.
Or if you prefer, contact me and I’ll let you know where will be and when, so you can avoid those resorts on those dates, and so enjoy a more peaceful holiday.