Good balance of different runs, beginners blues, fast reds, not busy....Its Italy
Very very quiet in evenings
So, we're back from a week ( 6 days ) skiing in based in Gressoney-Saint-Jean. This thread (http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=97114 )was initially based around making our own arrangements for the kids first skiing holiday during half term and specifically finding an English speaking ski school for them.
What was I worried about .....the Ski School in the region covers all three valleys and for where we stayed, there is an English speaking school in Weissmatten. Just to be clear,
our hotel (Residenza del Sole - we booked direct) is in-between the main town of GSJ (7 mins in the car) and Weissmatten (3 mins)
The hotel was excellent, could not do more to help us with locating the ski school, ski hire, supermarket/restaurants and local directions,
however it was very very quiet in the evenings which suited us as we used the swimming pool ( bring ya swim hats for between 16:00 and 19:00-closed on Mondays), games room ( table tennis, table football, pool table ),sauna, bar, restaurant and a laptop loaded with movies for those odd occasions when relaxing back in the room.
Very clean, warm (centrally set at 22c/23c) and very friendly.
After a few days and 3 (Gino, David and Marko) 1 hour 1-2-1 private lessons in Weissmatten ( one nursery slope, one button lift to a little blue run,
the main chair lift to a long winding blue and of course the world cup red run) we drove to Stafal and took the cable car up to Gabiet - Lago. Oh I should mention that the weekend was a little busy with locals which made the lifts/piste a little busy but nothing too crazy.
At both locations we parked the car with no problems/no cost probably because it was not busy. At Stafal the closer car park was 1Euro for an hour, 4Euros for the day.
Stafal lift (Gabiet-Lago) made up the other half of our trip because the blue run was clear, wide and a good piste to build confidence with
lots of varied 'blue' ways down the mountain. Chair lift also gave access to the snowpark so able to watch the jumps, flips and crashes on our way up.
Drive from GSJ is about 30-40mins, again suited us as we breakfasted ( rolls/croissants, parma ham, local cheese, juice, fruit - cheeky chocolate snack for a mid morning snack) at the only supermarket/spar we found on the main road, opposite the petrol garage, to the resort
After that lot, we lunched occasionally at the restaurant at the top of the Stafal cable car, noting that most of the lifts closed at 16:30 we were back in GSJ by 17:00/17:30 each night in time for the pool / sauna.
In the evenings for dinner we varied our meals between the hotel restaurant which was fine for pizza / pasta and mixed grill / cutlets type and driving to GSJ - Flyinghorse I think was very good - One bad meal - expensive , salty and just bad - Residence Oberteil Restorante in GLT , we only went there because everywhere else was fully booked !!!
We spent a day over at Antagnod. WOW, what a gem. Drive took about an hour but worth it for the open, wide, clear, long blues. Confident enough to even try the red. Probably our best day as we had the resort virtually to ourselves. For us definately worth the diesel for that drive. We used half a tank (60euros) over the course of the week.
Last day, back in Weissmatten after it had snowed all night and both blues were beautifully powdery, previous confidence / knowledge of the slopes gave them a real chance to enjoy our last day before driving back to Malpensa for a night in the Best Western next to the airport ready for the early return home the next day.