Originally Posted by ColonelB
Yes, Switzerland is a good alternative for the family Jan ski trip. What are your thoughts?
There are so many different regions within Switzerland that you can choose from, some include options for non-skier and some don't. I'll just include some that I'm more familiar with
In the Berner Oberland regions, I would recommend Grindelwald/Jungfrau region. Grindelwald is probably what you would imagine Switzerland to look like - surrounded by mountains and you will be able to see the famous Eiger and Jungfrau. There are a few ski areas there (Kleine Scheidegg, Mannlichen, First) offering runs for different levels of skiers. The famous Lauberhorn run is also here if you are interested. There is also a black run from the Eiger glacier down to Kleine Scheidegg which can be a fun experience for visitors if you are comfortable on blacks. For non-skiers or if you ever want a non-skiing day, you can always go to the top of Jungfrau Joch - your ski pass will cover the majority of the transport already, so you will only need to buy the last part of the mountain rail which, unfortunately, is still quite expensive. There is also a 360 revolving restaurant at Schilthorn which can be fun as well.
In Graubuden, you've got Davos/Klosters, St. Moritz, Lezerheide, Flims/Laax, Arosa and many more. Davos/Klosters is probably associated with the British royal. Lift tickets are however quite reasonable here. Some people like this place a lot and others not as much. There are several ski ares here and you can access the different areas by the ski bus (included with hotel stay in the region). The place is big enough for a week long stay skiing the different areas. Personally, I don't like Davos/Klosters that much as it seems like a "wide open highway" for most of the areas here. Most of the ski areas here are above the tree line (though, to be honest, most of Swiss resorts are above the tree line compared to the US) which lead to some very wide open pistes. If this is something you prefer, then you might enjoy the area. There are lots of restaurants/bars/clubs in the valley for apero ski as well. The one cool thing is that if you are interested and experienced enough, you can hire a guide and ski off piste from Davos all the way to Arosa. It's a full day trip and you'll need to get a ski pass for the Arosa region as well.
Lezerheide and Flims/Laax are both smaller and probably not exactly suited for a week long stay. Flims/Laax also attracts a lot more snowborders rather than skiers.
St. Moritz is probably the most expensive ski resort in Switzerland, but it's a very very beautiful. It is possible if you want to experience St. Moritz but don't want to pay the price for a whole week here that you stay elsewhere in Graubuden and take the train for a day trip to St. Moritz.
In Wallis, you've got the world famous Zermatt to ski at which I personally do not like. The lifts are not set up so nicely in Zermatt and it takes a long long time to get from one side of the mountain to the other. Although with a whole week there, you might find this acceptable. The pistes in Zermatt is quite varied, so should be suited for a mixed level family group. There are also lots of off piste actions here - which is what usually attracts the skiers. Despite the fact that I don't like the ski setup here, it's still one of "THE" place that you should ski at least once in Switzerland.
What you should keep in mind is that Switzerland is a very small country, especially for the Americas ... As a result, you can pretty much stay anywhere and ski anywhere else on a day-trip basis. For example, from Zurich, you can take a 6am train which will get you to Zermatt by 9:30am. On the way back, you can easily take a 6pm train and returns back in Zurich by 9:30pm. This could be tiring for a family trip, but what this means is that you do not have to limit your skiing to just one resort.
By the way, there are various Igloo available for a one-night overnight stay at a few resorts in Switzerland which can also be a fun activity for the children and adults. We spent a night in one last season and it was a great experience - can provide more info if you are interested.