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Club Med for kids

Eera

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Hey ladies.

I'm a huge Club Med fan. Thought I'd share some experiences of what they are like for skiing in regards to kids.

We initially booked with them after husband and I got talking about taking them skiing for the first time and I searched "best Japanese resorts for families". Both their resorts at Tomamu and Sahoro came up in various review sites. So we bit the bullet and booked (after initially falling over at looking at the cost, but more on that later).

Fast forwards a month and we are on a bus from Chitose Airport after spending a week in Tokyo. Sahoro is a slightly older resort and not flash-bang like some of the newer ones, but we figure it's a room for the night and there's somewhere to eat, and most importantly its got a kids club where the children are taught to ski included in the price.

The kids club runs from about 8am to 5pm. You sign the kids in where they are given an open locker for their helmet and ski gear and a team of international childminders look after them; then they go for their first lesson of the day, divided into groups based on ability. Both mine started in Flake group as they'd never even seen snow before, and initially taught skills on a private kids' area with a magic carpet before going on to the bunny runs with the chair lifts. hey have a lunch break after a couple of hours, then a play session where they do everything from theater to martial arts, and in the afternoon another couple of hours on the slopes.

The thing I really love about it is the progression they make, and each time they progress to a different group there's a medal presentation in the main theater and all the instructors are there to make it a party atmosphere. Before each trip my kids set themselves KPIs - to get into Star 4 this year, or to do every red run on the hill and I love the encouragement that they are given. In the years we've been going my eldest (now 11) is confidently doing red runs with his dad (you can sign the kids out of the club at any point during the day, the last trip he'd do the morning session then we'd have a family ski in the afternoon). My youngest (8) refuses to go with me because I'm too slow and boring apparently.

The instructors have all been wonderful and the kids have mainly enjoyed every second and look forwards to coming back each year - there's a thread here on why not to teach your own kids to ski and I agree with every word, I'm leaving that to the professionals!

So the cost, it's pretty exxy when you first look at it. Also bear in mind that we don't have any readily available snow so we realise we are going to have to pay. However, when you add up all the inclusions; room, all meals and snacks (and not canteen meals either, last year I had king crab, lobster, beef wellington and venison - the food is awesome), and open bar including spirits (I was also sick after Shot Night but let's not go there); four or five hours tuition a day if you want it, from all levels from real beginner through to highly advanced - the instructor my husband struck up a bromance with represented Bosnia at international level back in the day - kids club and entertainment, to cost is on par with doing it yourself, just with zero hassle.

I probably wouldn't recommend Club Med if you don't have a family in tow, but I do and I love their model and attitude. When you get off the bus the staff line up and shout "Welcome home!". And that's how I feel - Sahoro is our home away from home and we look forward to returning each year immensely.

A couple of photos - the awards ceremony where the kids get promoted to the next level; mast 8 taking part in a talent show (which was mainly doing all the dances from Fortnite); and him telling me to keep up as I was holding him back.
 

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Eera

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
It totally is. The kids actually value their medals and store them with their athletics trophies and soccer awards. That the instructors are involved in so much more than straight instructing is awesome - and that they also seem to enjoy it!
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
My DH and I went to Club Med Copper Mountain in 1989. As you say - all inclusive. I think if you wanted spirits there was a extra charge, but beer and wine were free.

I remember noticing the kids club and asked someone with kids about it. Like you they were returning year after year. So, my doctor skis, she had small kids then and when I mentioned that I had been out west to Club Med she asked me was there a kids club. I said yes and it looks wonderful. You drop the kids off after breakfast and you don't have to see them again till supper. I wouldn't have been surprised if the instructors tucked the kids some nights.

On our way out of the resort, the head of the ski school noticed the pin I wear on my sweater. It's my L2 CSIA pin. He reads it and says to me in heavy accented french...How come you not in my group? I responded with - I ski pretty not fast!

I so want to try the new one in Quebec. And I've already heard about some CSIA instructors that are heading there for next season.
 

Eera

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
That new one looks fantastic. trouble is I think it's as physically as far from us as you can be and still be on the American continent. We were hoping to go to one of the European ones in 2022 but that ain't going to happen. I've been learning French especially too!

It is a bit of a cult, has to be said.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
I know....it's a day's drive for me. Right now my ski buddy has booked us again (damn Covid) for Banff in February. But that still might not happen. I could head to Quebec there by myself if needed, since I know at least 2 instructors heading there next season.
 

Eera

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
OMG, having Banff on your doorstep! Couple of years ago I took the husband for the trek around the Pacific Northwest and surrounding states, we stayed in Canmore for a while. We were both so awestruck by the area we started making noises about buying an apartment there. Until one of the locals mentioned it had been -45C the previous winter. That's a nope from us then.

(for reference, it's pretty much winter here. Nights are 12C and days 26C and I was wearing a sweater today)
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Today here was 14C a little sun...tonight is supposed to be 4C. We're into spring and you're into fall.

Banff isn't exactly on my door step....maybe a 4 hour plane ride, but, I've a friend that lives in Banff. They have a great 1/4 of a 4 plex. But, they've decided it's better to get a place in Canmore than Banff. You don't get to own the land in Banff, only the building. So..

Yeah, If I ever win the Lotto, it's a place at Tremblant and Canmore, upgrade the cottage....ah...dreams..
 

ilovepugs

Angel Diva
I so want to try the new one in Quebec. And I've already heard about some CSIA instructors that are heading there for next season.

Is that the one at Le Massif? I’m interested after reading this review!
 

Eera

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Is that the one at Le Massif? I’m interested after reading this review!

Yeah, its official name is Charlevoix, I think it's the only one they've got on Canada right now. You get some really great discounts if you book early - 30% or so. They've still got some reasonable prices for January 2022. If you're looking for 2023 sign up for alerts for the sales which open usually end of January.

(I'm not affiliated with Club Med in any way. Just super happy with them)
 

Eera

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Today here was 14C a little sun...tonight is supposed to be 4C. We're into spring and you're into fall.

Banff isn't exactly on my door step....maybe a 4 hour plane ride, but, I've a friend that lives in Banff. They have a great 1/4 of a 4 plex. But, they've decided it's better to get a place in Canmore than Banff. You don't get to own the land in Banff, only the building. So..

Yeah, If I ever win the Lotto, it's a place at Tremblant and Canmore, upgrade the cottage....ah...dreams..

Yeah there's un petit château en Dordogne avec mon nom dessus...
c'mon Powerball!
 

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