Why Brits book more catered chalet holidays than any other nation.
Allez le Chalet
Presented in association with SNO
Chalets are hands-down our favourite way to ski. It’s the quintessential week in the mountains - we’ve even made films like Chalet Girl about this very English type of ski digs - but what makes this kind of ski accommodation so popular?
We believe it’s because it works for every type of skier and snowboarder…
Whether you’re part of a big group or skiing alone… adults-only, or with kids in tow… looking for luxury or skiing on a shoestring… we’re yet to find a holiday type that chalets can’t cater for. With such a vast selection across the alps, take the time to find one that’s tailored to exactly your preferences. Use the advanced filters on a big ski specialist website (e.g. ski chalets on SNO can be sliced and diced by features like hot-tub, doorstep skiing and even whether you can bring your dog!) and you’ll soon see how to find accommodation which is designed and run to precisely your own taste.
Booking a chalet for sole-occupancy gives you your own place where you don’t have to worry about other guests – make as much, or as little noise as you like. Sit down for meals together with wine included in the price (costing a lot less than you’d spend on everything separately), then head out for a night in the town or stay in for wine and games around the fire. Hot tubs and swimming pools are a good persuader for anyone needing a nudge to join the party, while central and slope-side locations turn chalets into handy meeting points.
Get adjoining rooms in a specialist family chalet where children can make friends with other guests their age and enjoy games rooms and movie nights. Or, book out a whole chalet with the extended family or friends, and have your own home-from-home in the mountains. If your chalet doesn’t already come with childcare, there’s always the option of hiring a local nanny to look after your children in the property. Split the cost if you’re travelling with other families, or take turns looking after the little ones while the rest of the group skis. Early supper sittings for youngsters let you get bedtime out of the way, before finishing off the day in more adult company.
For Solo Travellers
The sociable nature of chalets is brilliant for solo travellers. Meet people to ski with, and come home to a convivial atmosphere as everyone shares their stories of the day over tea and dinner. Chalet-hotels often have single rooms, or allow single beds to be booked for room shares – giving you a lot more flexibility than you’d find in most hotels or apartments.
There’s nothing more romantic than a rustic wooden chalet with an open fire and a hot tub under the stars… Pair this with suppers where you get to know other guests and you’ve got a perfect mix of together time and socialising. Look out for master bedrooms with their own fireplaces and Jacuzzi baths to make the stay extra special.
For the budget conscious
With the price of catered chalets including nearly all the meals you’ll need for the week – it tends to work out a lot cheaper than eating out in resort all week. All costs considered, chalets can sometimes be more affordable than self-catering in resorts when shops hike up food prices (with the added bonus of less housework). Go for a basic chalet or chalet apartment, which might not have its own hot tub or sauna but still makes a great base for the week. Chalet hotels are worth considering too – not always terribly cosy or classy, but with the same meal plan and more rooms and facilities. Tip: to avoid the kind of fraudsters reported in the news last year, who were pretending to sell other companies’ chalets on the cheap, stick to companies who are ATOL protected and members of a big travel trade organisation like ABTA or the TTA.
For big spenders
There’s no end to the luxuries a chalet can come with these days – from private swimming pools and spas to wine cellars and grand pianos, those who want to push the boat out will find opportunity aplenty. At the top end of the scale, the policy tends to be “if it’s legal, anything’s possible” – so just ask and you will get, whether it’s having your favourite wine flown in last minute, transforming the chalet for a themed party or having an ice bar built in your garden…
Catering to your every whim
From log fires and convivial dining, to hosts who do the housework, cook your breakfast, afternoon tea and a multi-course dinner… which usually comes with free wine by the way… these cosy lodgings have it all.
Combine the rustic stone and timber buildings with a roaring fire and you’ve an atmosphere that feels somehow traditionally alpine, even though the catered chalet is a uniquely British invention. When you add the hearty comfort-food, that refuels after an athletic day on the hill, you’ve a formula that’s hard to beat.