One of the oldest ski holiday companies in the UK is to change its focus for next season and rebrand itself as The Ski Specialist to the French Alps.


Erna Low, which has been going for 86 years, has reassessed its plans over the summer and decided to concentrate its attention on ski holidays to France.

“After talking to many of our clients and analysing the booking data it became clear that we are experts in the French Alps and whilst we can and do tailor-made bookings to Canada, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, France is our bread and butter offering,” the company’s Managing Director, Jane Bolton, told PlanetSKI.

Erna Low has previously promoted itself as a provider of holidays in apartments and hotels in Europe and North America.

In the 2014-15 season it launched in Whistler in Canada, with 12 different accommodation options from hotels to luxury apartments:

Now Whistler and the European destinations, excluding France, will be less of a priority.

“We know that the majority of our clients stay in great apartments and hotels in the French Alps so we are focussing on that,” Jane Bolton says.

Jane Bolton & Jenny Jones

Jane Bolton with GB snowboarder Jenny Jones in Les Arcs

The company will also be promoting the products that are most popular with clients, including self-drive and the Flexiplus Eurotunnel upgrade which gives priority boarding and lounge benefits – a bit like travelling Club or First Class on a flight.

” That is not to say that we won’t tailor-make holidays or add flights and transfers. We will of course continue to do that too,” Jane Bolton says.

She says Whistler is still very much in the programme, with bookings already in for the coming winter.

Many ski operators have reduced the number of properties they are selling this season but Erna Low says the change in approach does not mean it is dropping any, merely moving its non-French holidays to less prominent locations on its website.

Erna Low website screen grab

Erna Low rebrands its website

In fact, it’s increasing its French offerings, adding 10 new properties for 2018-19.

For the first time it’s added the resort of Arêches-Beaufort, close to Albertville in the Beaufortain valley.

The fact that it’s relatively unknown in the UK market means prices are competitive throughout the season.

Erna Low has a 7-night stay in a 4-person apartment in early January with a return Flexiplus crossing with Eurotunnel for 1 car for what works out at £187 per person.

The 4-star La Cle Des Cimes Residence has an indoor pool and a spa.

“Over the last few seasons we have realised that we are selling more self-drive holidays to the French Alps than any other type of ski holiday,” says the CEO Joanna Yellowlees-Bound.

“With all our years of experience and knowledge, we endeavour to find the best ski holidays for our clients.”

Erna Low

Erna Low

Erna Low, the entrepreneur who set up the company in 1932, was a fan of driving to the Alps.

“Taking your own car has financial advantages if at least four people travel together, take their own food for the journey and motor through the night,” she once said, adding: “Remember to drive on the RIGHT and take pills for car sickness.”


Alpe d’Huez

The new 5* Hotel & Residence Daria-I Nor with some additional spacious apartments in the Residence Daria-I-Nor is in the central Eclose area of Alpe d’Huez, with spectacular panoramic views of the valley and easy access to the slopes. Erna Low offer 7 nights from 5 January 2019 for £1536 for a 1 bedroom apartment with cabin for 4 persons including use of the spa facilities at the hotel. This price also includes a return Flexiplus crossing with Eurotunnel for 1 car.

Arc 1950

Arc 1950

Arc 1950

Ski-in-out Arc 1950 remains one of the most popular resorts offered by Erna Low.  7 nights for February half term with a saving of 10% on the accommodation. A spacious 2 bedroom apartment for 4/6 persons was £3801 and is now £3460. All residences have their own pool and the resort offers a programme of activities for children during the week, as well as having a crèche for little ones. This price also includes a return Flexiplus crossing with Eurotunnel for 1 car arriving 16 February 2019. There are further Early Booking Discounts of up to 20% off low season dates.

New properties for 2018-2019

  • Alpe d’Huez L’Apenrose/Residence Daria-I-Nor/Hotel Daria-I-Nor
  • Arêche Beaufort – Le Cle des Cimes
  • Chamonix – Folie Douce Hotel
  • La Rosiere – Hyatt Centric
  • Les Houches – Les Chalets Elena
  • Les Saisies – Les Chalets des Cimes
  • Samoens – Residence Alexane
  • St Martin de Belleville – Caseblanche
  • Tignes – L’Altaviva
  • Valmorel – Residence Anitea