Les Deux Alpes is a high-altitude glacier resort in France
Although the name might not be as recognisable as other popular French ski destinations, it is the second oldest after Chamonix and was the first resort to introduce the electronic ski pass, saving skiers from fumbling about for money in their pockets.
Offering 220km of pisted runs, the resort is suitable for all levels of skiers.
The unusual topsy-turvy layout has nursery slopes and the easier runs at the top of the mountain, with the more challenging ones at the bottom, leading back into the village.
This means novices can experience taking a lift high into the mountains and get an idea of what “proper” skiing looks like.
The Oeufs Blancs (white eggs) gondola transported us en famille to the ski school where we met ski instructor Marco from Firstrax Ski & Snowboard School.
We watched him lead our four-year-old daughter Nelly on to the magic carpet – a conveyor belt that carries children up with their skis on to the top of the nursery slope.
I had no reason for any concern because Nelly seemed happy right from the start – even giving her skis pet names.
I could hear Marco shouting child-friendly instructions such as “pizza”, which means pushing ski tips together to slow down, or “spaghetti”, which is skis parallel to increase speed. After hearing that, we’d all worked up quite an appetite by lunchtime.
Les Deux Alpes: A room with a view at Hotel Ibiza
Not only did Marco turn out to be a super ski instructor (Nelly was happily tackling blue runs by the end of the week), he also knew where the best restaurants were hiding. It’s the first question I ask all ski instructors: whose tartiflette can top their raclette?
L2A has more than 70 restaurants, three of which are in this year’s Michelin Guide.
One of these, Le Diable au Coeur, is at the top of the Diable lift at 2,400m and is accessible to non-skiers. It’s everything you want from a mountain restaurant: a traditional wood and stone chalet with sheepskin blankets draped over chairs, a roaring open fire and exceptional French cuisine.
Outside on the sunny terrace, bury yourself into a beanbag or deckchair and watch skiers dance in their heavy ski boots – or better still, join in, like Nelly and I did.
The magic carpet conveyer belt, which is used to take children to the top of the nursery slope
Our home for the week was Hotel Ibiza, an unusual name for a hotel in the snow. Its décor is quirky, filled with British music memorabilia and Monopoly boards built into tables, but despite all this the hotel isn’t lacking in alpine charm.
It has a very cosy, homely feel and its pièce de résistance is a large sun terrace with stunning panoramic views over the Écrins mountain range.
The majority of the hotel’s rooms have balconies that share this picturesque outlook, too.
The buffet-style food at Ibiza is tasty and varied and every evening one special is served. The swimming pool is a decent size and a must-have if your children are, like mine, not worn out from the day’s skiing.
I instead was happy to tire myself out in the sauna and steam room next door.
Kitty, Sissy and Nelly enjoy the dizzy heights on The Skywalk at Belvedere des Écrins
A week’s stay in a family suite at Hotel Ibiza costs from £534pp (for four people sharing two bedrooms on a half-board basis).
A six-day lift pass for Les Deux Alpes costs from £218 per adult (£175 per child). Six-day ski hire costs from £79 per adult (£43 per child).
Transfers cost from £84pp return (based on four people travelling from Grenoble to Les Deux Alpes).
Book through Ski France (020 3475 4756, skifrance.co.uk). Return flights from London to Grenoble in April 2018 cost from £72pp with Ryanair.