March 24, 2016

How do you know if you are going to get an exceptional catered chalet ski holiday?

Choosing a chalet holiday can be a daunting prospect. There a lots of companies offering seemingly similar packages so how do you sort the wheat from the chaff? Here are a few questions you can ask and a sexy little infographic to help find the wheat. (And yes, I do think infographics can be sexy).

AliKatsExceptionalChaletHolidayCriteria.jpgAliKatsExceptionalChaletHolidayCriteria

  1. Is there a hot-tub? This is an essential method for soaking away a hard day’s skiing each day
  2. Are all the rooms ensuite and spacious? There is nothing worse than having to trapse down a corridor in your pants in the middle of the night only to bump into someone else doing exactly the same thing.
  3. Is the wine not just drinkable but enjoyable?Ask the company whether they drink the wine they serve at home. That’s a good start at least. A second question you might want to ask is whether the wine is from a bottle or a box. Boxed wine is not necessarily a bad thing (we have tasted some very good boxed wine in fact) but it might give you an insight into the chalet experience you are likely to have
  4. Is said wine free at any time or just with dinner? Free wine with dinner only can lead to un-natural drinking habits! We believe wine should be enjoyed over a long period of time before the meal, during the meal and after the meal. And hell, with breakfast if you feeling really special.
  5. Does the chef makes stocks, sauces and ice-creams from scratch? This is a great question to ask to determine the quality of food you are likely to be served. A home-made chicken stock is an essential building block to so many meals yet so often it gets replaced with stock cubes. And yes, you CAN tell the difference!
  6. Is the meat local and free-range? Animals that have had space to live their lives taste better. Fact. Meat that has not travelled hundreds of miles on the road is better for the environment and the local community. Fact.
  7. Will the chef cater for ALL restricted diets and fussy children? If you are celiac, vegetarian, pescetarian, vegan, dairy-free or just really don’t like mushrooms, why shouldn’t you be able to enjoy a holiday like anyone else? You should expect the same quality – you are paying for it!
  8. Is there an average Guest:Staff ratio of 5:1? This is a great way to work out how much personalised, attentive service you are likely to expect
  9. Do chalet hosts get 1.5 days off each week to rest without you losing out on service? Working hard for 5 months with only 1 day off a week is seriously tiring. If your chalet hosts have 1.5 days off however, it eases the burden and allows them to focus on giving you a great holiday when they are at work. However, you don’t want their time off to be at the expense of you losing out on service. So make sure there is full cover during their time off.
  10. Do you get lifts to and from the slopes so you don’t have to walk in ski boots? Ski boots are great for skiing. Ski boots are terrible for walking. Walking with ski boots on whilst carrying your skis, poles, gloves, helmet & goggles is rubbish. Getting taken to the bottom of the ski slope and then picked up from the bar next to it at the end of the day is living in style!
  11. Will you be met personally by the owner? In some cases, this may not be an entirely desirable thing! But at least you get an opportunity to resolve any issues you might have.