Skiing the Swedish Way
This Easter, I revisited Stöten to live and ski as a family, just like the Swedes do, and find out why April is their favourite time to ski.
Share an apartment with your friends
We were two families of four and took one of the three bedroom slopeside Pistbyn Apartments. They are designed perfectly for two families to share: two double bedrooms, a bunk bedroom (two sets of bunks to sleep up to four kids), two bathrooms and a lovely, spacious lounge/kitchen/diner.
It means you can split the costs and take a larger and higher specification apartment than you might otherwise take on your own. It makes bedtime much easier, knowing that the kids are on-site while you can socialise in the living area during the evenings. You also have the flexibility to dine in and dine out as you choose.
We had breakfasts in, buying all our provisions from the nearby supermarket (5 minute walk away and very reasonably priced), a couple of takeaway pizza evenings (excellent freshly made pizzas from Vargy’s Pizzeria and not too pricey from around £8 for a large pizza) and one fine dining night at the superb Brasseriet located at the Stöten Ski Hotel. That was a little dearer working out around £35 a head including drinks (admittedly we didn’t drink very much), but we all felt it was good value for the quality of food.
Barbecue on the slopes
The resort has several designated barbecue points, all lit and maintained by the resort so no need to light your own. You just need to supply and cook your food - a brilliant way to have a very social and frugal lunch!
April’s not too late for great snow
The resort may be low lying in altitude compared to better-known resorts in the Alps, but it’s all about the latitude here. They regularly run through until mid to late April with plenty of the white stuff.
We stayed 8-15 April and every single slope in the resort was open for skiing; lots of off-piste skiing was accessible too. Even the most snow-sure resorts in the Alps can’t boast 100% slopes open at the end of the season - Sweden, no problem and it’s when they have warmer, sunnier weather too.
April's when the Swedes choose to go skiing and it makes perfect sense when you’re in the know.
It’s so much quieter
Going to lesser-known resorts really pays dividends if you want crowd-free slopes. We had the place practically to ourselves even during the Easter school holidays.
Stöten is such a superb environment to introduce new skiers. No queueing at the lifts, helpful lift attendants (they even help you get going if it’s your first time, in or out of lessons) and blissfully quiet on the slopes - you choose where to turn without feeling pressured by others whizzing past.
If you’re up early, there’s morning skiing on Tuesdays and Fridays 7.30-9.00am. We found this was the perfect solution for one of us to get our own ski fix in whilst the other got the kids ready for their ski school lessons. If mornings aren’t your thing then there’s also the same option but in the evening, with night skiing Wednesdays and Saturdays 7.30-9.00pm. Both morning skiing and night skiing are included on the lift pass.
Non-skiers in your group too? No problem
My youngest, just 2 years old, was a bit too young to start this time around, but there were still plenty of things for her to do including a wonderful play park at the base of the slopes and close to ski school. Handy if you have older children in ski school and it allows you to watch their lessons whilst amusing the youngest ones.
There are great warming rooms as well if you need to go inside and take a break or nap. They were dotted around the resort, but we tended to base ourselves by the play park which had a warming room right beside it with toilets, seating area and even microwaves if you wanted to heat any food/drinks - all free of charge. And next door to that was a very handy waffle house if you wanted to indulge in what is very much a Swedish institution: waffles, cream and jam accompanied by a warm drink.
At the beginning of the week we actually bought a sledge from Kaisers Skidbod (the rental shop) which worked out at £10. I would highly recommend it and we felt money well spent based on the use we got from it. It provided hours of fun for my two daughters and doubled up as a very good way to transport any shopping bags back to the apartment too.
It’s not just pre-ski school kids that are well catered for - there’s an excellent indoor pool (access included with your lift pass) with hot tub and separate kids pool (for under 5s), ten-pin bowling, games room for the children, husky dog sledding and snowmobiling. There’s a small spa offering treatments too.
If that all sounds right up your street you should try skiing the Swedish way too!
Call our Scandinavia ski specialists on 01273 224068 or request a quotation online for first-hand advice or a tailor-made quote.
Started skiing at 4 years old and was bitten by the bug! I completed a ski instructor’s course in Canada after university and then spent five winter seasons working in both Norway and Sweden. Came back to live in the UK in 2007.