Nikki and Nicole from our reservations team have just returned from a few days in the French Alps where they managed to visit a lot of resorts, stopped in on many of our featured properties and also managed to get some fantastic early season skiing and snowboarding in. Here's a round-up from Nikki and some great photos from Nicole. Working with Ski Independence definitely has its perks, and this week we were lucky enough to take part in a fam trip to France. Not only to familiarise ourselves with the resorts, but to see all the amazing properties where we send our clients every winter. Knowing the resorts and properties inside-out is an essential part of being in the sales team, it means we can give the very best advice and share our first hand experiences. I started at Ski Independence fresh from a season in the Portes du Soleil, so I already knew this area very well, however I benefited from throwing a fresh pair of eyes over the accommodation that we feature in this massive ski area. [caption id="attachment_6464" align="aligncenter" width="491"]Early Season Skiing Avoriaz deep in snow[/caption] First of all I couldn't believe how much snow had fallen so early in the season - it was up to our knees and made getting around the resort fairly interesting! We met Céline from Savoie Mont Blanc Tourism, as well as Virginie from the Avoriaz tourist office and Miriam who put us up in the Saskia Falaise residence and showed us around the rest of the Pierre Vacances properties that we feature. Avoriaz is such a convenient resort, and is perfect for families, I was amazed by the Aquariaz tropical water park, the perfect place to have a bit of fun with the kids after skiing. A highlight was seeing Residence L'Amara, the new flagship Avoriaz property - it really lives up to it’s reputation. These are very high quality self-catering apartments, but what really sets the residence aside is the service and facilities of a hotel. I would love to stay here! [caption id="attachment_6470" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Early Season Skiing The luxury Residence L'Amara in Avoriaz[/caption] We negotiated our way down the mountain to Les Gets and Morzine, we didn’t think we would have to battle with the snow so early! Having made it down we were shown some of our most popular properties, all of which were undertaking some kind of renovation for the new season, which is good to see! Hotel Le Petit Dru and the Chalet Philibert are firm favourites in our range, but it was the new spa in Hotel Le Samoyède and the great atmosphere and décor of La Bergerie, coupled with a great location that really impressed. We stayed in Les Gets for the night and set off bright and early in the morning for Flaine. [caption id="attachment_6468" align="aligncenter" width="491"]Early Season Skiing Getting to Flaine - stunning![/caption] The drive into Flaine was absolutely stunning! I really think it is an underrated resort, many people do not want to go there because of the buildings, and the fact that it is not a ‘chocolate box’ resort. The views are stunning, the skiing is amazing, and we have some excellent properties there, including the 4-star Flaine Montsoleil, which is excellent value for the standard of accommodation. The adventure continued as we set off for Val Thorens, but due to the levels of snowfall, the road between Megève and Albertville was closed, so we took an impromptu detour through Les Saisies, which turned out to be great as the views were amazing and Les Saisies is a hidden gem! [caption id="attachment_6472" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Early Season Skiing Lovely Les Saisies[/caption] We eventually made it to Val Thorens, only to look around lots of amazing hotels, Val Thorens really does have the pick of the bunch when it comes to quality. The 5-star Hotel Altapura was an absolute favourite, the bar made of ski boots and the amazing décor was completely unique. All hotels have great access to the slopes in Val Thorens, and while we were there, not only did we benefit from the opening night party in the square, but the next day was a blue bird powder day…nothing better! [caption id="attachment_6466" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Early Season Skiing Happy to be in Val Thorens![/caption] [caption id="attachment_6465" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Early Season Skiing Hitting the slopes of VT![/caption] If you fancy an early season skiing trip to benefit from the amazing early snowfall in the Alps or indeed North America, we have a wide range of options and special offers available - call 0131 243 8097 to speak to one of our expert team to find out more.