Cheap ski holidays in France 2022
Price comparison of a skiing holiday in Val d'Isere with Inghams, Crystal, Club Med and Neilson
Skiing or snowboarding can be an expensive holiday but the range in prices of different ski companies can be hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
We looked at the cost of a family skiing holiday in mid-January 2022 for two adults and two children in Val d’Isere with Crystal, Inghams, Neilson and Club Med. Those four companies will let you book the whole holiday including ski lessons, equipment and lift passes rather than having to faff around on your first day.
We picked Val d’Isere in the French Alps as it’s a hugely popular winter holiday resort which a lot of the big name skiing holiday companies travel to.
Our search was for the cheapest skiing holiday available – with the essentials that you need but none of the upgrades that you don’t need.
Our criteria was:
Cheapest: Inghams Ski Holidays – total cost of £5434 for a family of four
Inghams was the winner on price in our comparison, with a saving of about £300 over the next cheapest option.
However, you don't get as many meals as you get with Neilson or Club Med.
The cheapest skiing holiday with Inghams was self catering but we upgraded to a hotel with bed and breakfast to fit our criteria. At the time of searching, the cheapest hotel was Hotel Le Kern in Val d'Isère which was scoring a very impressive 4.4/5 on Google Reviews. I wouldn’t say it is a posh hotel, as it only has 2.5 stars on Inghams rating system but it is well located as it’s only 200m from the ski lifts and 300m from the ski school and easiest slopes. Walking in ski boots is hard work but 300m is not too bad.
The accommodation worked out as £819 per person with an additional £99 ‘flight supplement’. Flights were from London Stansted.
Adults or teenagers who are beginners were able to sign up for a bundle for £387 which is a good saving as it includes lessons, ski hire and lift passes. That wasn’t available for children so we had to pay for a morning of ski lessons each day (£270 each per week) and ski hire (£62). As far as I could tell, it doesn’t include lift passes for children which was 252 Euros each at the time of writing. That’s another £215 at the exchange rate as I write this.
We got a small discount for booking early (£20 each) and we also got a children’s discount on the flight fares.
Price breakdown per person
Notes: only includes bed and breakfast, does not include evening meals
Total: £5434 for a family of four
Second cheapest: Crystal Ski Holidays – total of £5768 for a family of four
Crystal Ski came second in our price comparison - with the same caveat that it doesn't include as many meals at Inghams.
The cheapest hotel in Val d’Isere with Crystal Ski was the same one which appeared in our search with Inghams (Hotel Le Kern). That’s rather convenient for us as it makes a like for like comparison easier.
The cost of the flights and the hotel was about £600 cheaper for a family of four but the cost of the extras such as lift passes, lessons and equipment hire was significantly higher. With Inghams, the adults were able to get a bundle of all three for £387 whilst a similar thing with Crystal was £766 – roughly twice the price.
Overall then, you’d make a good saving if you have your own equipment and won’t want lessons. However, if you want the full package then Inghams would have been a cheaper choice by about £300 in our comparison.
Price breakdown per person
Notes: only includes bed and breakfast, no lunch or evening meals
Total: £5768 for a family of four
Third cheapest: Club Med - total of £7,096 for a family of four
There was a definite leap up in price between Crystal/Inghams and Club Med/Neilson. However, that doesn't tell the full story as Club Med and Neilson include more in their holidays and their hotels are a bit posher.
With Club Med, you get three meals a day included plus you get access to an open bar.
Club Med has its own hotel in Val d'Isere which is known as (you guessed it) Club Med Val d'Isere. It scores 4/5 on Google reviews and 4/5 on TripAdvisor at the time of writing.
It's a large and plush hotel with more than 250 rooms. There's a swimming pool, two restaurants, a bar, 'wellness activities' such as massages and the option to upgrade to their 'exclusive collection' accommodation which is a private wing with your own hot tub, champagne and other fancy add-ons.
For the purposes of our price comparison we looked at the price of the cheapest accommodation available which was a 'superior room'. The price is bundled in with the cost of ski passes, adult lessons, flights from London Gatwick and transfers and came to £6240. We had to add on equipment which took the price up to £6776.52.
Also worth mentioning is that children's lessons aren't provided and they recommend that you book at the resort. When we checked a local English-speaking ski school, the price of a morning ski lesson for five days for a child was from 187 Euros or £160 at the time of writing.
Fourth place: Neilson Ski – total of £7100 for a family of four
I'm a bit reluctant to say that Neilson came last in our price comparison because a) it was only £4 more expensive than Club Med and b) you get more for your money than you get with Inghams and Crystal.
The hotel with Neilson is one of their own hotels - Neilson Hotel La Tovière – which has the advantage of being run by Neilson’s own team.
It’s certainly more expensive than the cheapest hotel in Val D’Isere from Inghams but it gets terrific reviews (4.7/5 on Google reviews, 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor at the time of writing) and is described as being four star.
It’s got a swimming pool, sauna, steam room and a hot tub which are luxuries you might actually get around to using.
The distance to the nearest slope is only 120m. Those few metres will make quite a difference when you are carrying your skis back at the end of the day. However, the distance to the ski tuition is much further away (2km) so you’ll need to get the ski bus.
Perhaps most importantly, you get breakfast, afternoon tea and seven evening meals. That will save you a good chunk of money over a week compared to venturing out every evening. Of course, you might prefer the variety of eating out.
You can choose from Gatwick or Stansted but Gatwick was slightly cheaper when we checked.
The majority of the cost was the hotel and flights but we did get a modest saving from buying a lift pass, tuition and equipment bundle. They worked out as about £570 per person, compared to about £650 if they were bought separately.
Price breakdown per person
Total: £7100 for a family of four
Note: this price includes breakfast, afternoon tea and seven evening meals. Assuming that you spend about £80 on an evening meal for a family of four then that would save you about £560, which makes the comparable cost about £6500.
Images are from Neilson, Club Med, Crystal and Inghams