It is often brought to my attention that there are many options of ski chalet accommodation out there of varying prices to suit all budgets. From Hotels to Hostels, the main focus of today’s post, is that of Catered Ski Chalet v’s Self Catered Chalet.
Having run both styles of chalets in the past, I encounter the debate, that it is much cheaper to stay in self catered accommodation. On the face of it, I completely agree and in possibly 90%+ (statistic made up), those people are probably right. The overall price of booking your self catered accommodation looks so remarkably better when placed against an all inclusive package offered by the catered ski chalet.
So you have sifted through websites searching for that ideal self catered chalet or apartment. Now it is time to add on all the extras. So more time you have to take looking for the best value ski transfers to/from Geneva airport! The first additional cost 😉 You arrive at the airport in a melee of other people, queuing to get on that transfer. Whilst I am a great fan of what these services provide and they do it very well, the efficient service offered by most catered chalet operators, collected and whisked away immediately, has its own value.
You arrive at your self catered chalet to find it lacking in humanity, bear and without character or warmth, furnished by classic Alpine IKEA furniture (sarcasm). These chalets are holiday homes recouping some monies, which is completely understandable. Would you furnish your property for other people in the same fashion you would furnish your own home? Most catered chalet operators here in Chatel, live here all year round, spending bundles of time titivating their chalets for your comfort, investing huge amounts of money to attract your attention year after year.
Then we have the ski hire. Your superb online discount that you managed to secure…..50% off! 50% off of what I always reply and generally to a muted response. You may have your 50% off of the price you know never really existed in the first place, but it is a trek across town to find the shop in the back end of beyond nowhere near your chalet. Catered chalet operators will always ensure you are cared for, recommending ski hire places and will either have them delivered or will take you to the shop to have the equipment fitted.
The Ski instruction in Chatel is superb and apart from ESI for group lessons which have been fabulous over the past 13 years for our clients, we use some amazing independent instructors who are outrageously great! The value they offer is bonkers and I only ever receive superb reviews about the standard of delivery of the lessons given. As a catered chalet host, we know from experience which instructor would suit your personality, your level and your overall requirements. This is all information which adds value to your holiday where catered ski chalet v’s self catered chalet is trumped!
People love the ski passes waiting for them at the chalet to save them queuing unnecessarily whilst the cashier explains for the 4th time the difference in passes and where they cover to the person in front. This discussion we have with guests before hand, and not only do we have the ski passes ready for your arrival, but we then drop you off at the slopes in our private minibuses. No getting on the communal bus and panicking about getting to your lesson, where actually, you are not entirely sure where it is and then getting there late and still having to buy your pass! We drop you off direct to your instructor and introduce you accordingly. Having had a relaxed breakfast, everything is coordinated by us and you are dropped at your instructor on time…. Catered Ski chalet v’s Self catered chalet already sounds better lol 😉
We have not even started to go into details about shopping, cleaning, cooking and no Hot Tub! lol
Classic quote “Self catering is so expensive! After the first night, no-one could be bothered to wash up, so we ate out every night!” It made me smile. Not only could they be bothered to clean up but also, apres ski got in the way of shopping, and the thought of walking back up to the chalet, meant staying in the bar was a better option. Catered chalets whilst flexible, give some sense of structure to your holiday and ensure you eat very well every night, sit in surroundings including a roaring log fire and drink plenty of wine without fear of breaking the bank. Best thing is being collected from the slopes and not having to be a ‘Bus stop w*******’ (Inbetweeners quote), squeezing in like sardines and battling bad breath and grumpy tired people. Oh and by the time you’ve managed to stroll into a local shop for your packet of Pringles and not sat in your chalet with a 4 course freshly made meal, you are starting to recognise, that the cost of food here in the Alps is somewhat inflated.
So, how are we swaying in the battle Catered Ski chalet v’s Self catered chalet?
This season like many others, we unfortunately will receive that call.”I’ve been helicoptered off the mountain!” Guidance in these situations and assistance by your local catered chalet host is second to none. The reassurance and the arrangements usually given by your wonderful catered chalet owners.
We are humbled here in Chatel by your continued return to our wonderful chalets and the primary reason for this we believe, is our strong belief in ensuring we as a business, deliver you a fantastic service, providing all the ingredients to have a seamless and superbly enjoyable ski holiday. It is a logistical challenge which we will make every effort to make as easy as possible for you. As you sit in the Hot tub with your beer each evening, without a care in the world and reminiscing about each days skiing, it is a glowing feeling for us to know that you are having a great time.
There are elements that may ring true with you, but it is with tongue in cheek that I right this. I love what I do and I love the magnificent people I meet. Thank you to you all and I look forward to seeing you again or meeting some of you for the first time soon.
My conclusion, catered ski chalet every time….but then I may be bias 😉 lol