5 things to look for in a ski chalet this Winter

It’s almost that time of year again for the age old dilemma of where to go on your ski holiday; so many choices; should it be catered, self catered, hotel or chalet, or maybe even an apartment? If you’re choosing to go down the chalet route this winter (a route which is becoming increasingly more common) then we’ve laid out five things to look for when booking your holiday. Location and layout When booking your ski chalet holiday decide on location; think about what you are looking for in a chalet holiday; is it a relaxing break away from the town, or do you want to be right in the thick of things experiencing ski resort nightlife to. Do you want to be right on the slopes so you can ski in ski out or does slope location not really bother you?  It’s all down to personal preference, so think about what is important to you. Check on google maps where the chalet is located as it has been known that places that say they are ‘central’ actually turn out to be half a kilometre from town- a long walk in ski boots. The location is one thing that can’t be changed in a chalet so make sure that if it is important to you, that you get it right. The chalet interior itself is important; if you’re booking a chalet with small children then make sure the chalet has cots and children’s beds, suites or adjoining rooms if necessary. Location Spa facilities? If you want to relax after a long day skiing then look out to see what spa facilities are available on site; quite often hot tubs and occasionally saunas are available; but is there anything else? An in house spa therapist is perfect as it means that after skiing massage will be easy to arrange; often chalets have mobile therapists so if you’re after some tlc make sure to enquire in advance. Some chalets are now progressing to having their own in house spas with pools, treatment rooms and facilities, steam rooms etc. These are becoming more common and are definitely something to look out for if you’re a little bit of a spa junkie, as often treatments will be included in the price. Spa In-house concierge One of the main reasons people choose chalets when they go skiing is because of how simple it is; everything is sorted for them and they don’t need to worry about anything other than where to arrive. Make sure the chalet you reserve for your luxury break has an in house concierge; most of them do but you don’t want to be caught out when it turns out you have to organise your ski passes, ski hire, ski lessons and anything else you might need. The concierge is also great if you’re travelling in a peak time as often nannies, ski lessons and ski hire can be difficult to get if you reserve late. Often chalets have an agreement with various providers and so will find it much easier to reserve these extras for you than if you just walked in off the street. Having an in house concierge is also useful for their know how; where to go for dinner on chalet night off, great places on the hill to eat and good pistes to try. Children’s tea times If you’ve travelled with children to ski chalets then you will know that some chalets have mealtime routines you have to meet; make sure that they offer children’s meal times as it means you can put the kids to bed before you enjoy your later dinner. This is especially true if you’re children are very small as no one wants to be feeding a cranky four year old a three course meal at eight in the evening. If they don’t offer children’s tea times then at least check to see if they offer meal alternatives; you might love foie gras but it’s highly unlikely your nine year old will. What’s included and what to ask Check what’s included in the price; you don’t want any nasty surprises at the end of your stay when you’re presented with a large bill. If alcohol isn’t included then ask for the average wine price before you book as quite often chalets make up their profit on the extras that aren’t included (in some chalets paying upwards of 70 pound for a bottle of wine can be considered normal). In the what’s included you can also see if slope transfers are included (if they are ask how many- sometimes it is unlimited, sometimes it is only one per day), this can be important if there are a range of levels in your party and you are away from the slopes. Check to see if lift passes and ski hire are included (in all likelihood they won’t be) if they’re not, check to see if the chalet themselves will charge an additional fee to book on your behalf or if it is a complimentary service. What's iincluded Overall a chalet holiday is a great choice for a ski holiday as they are so easy to organise and book, however be aware that if something seems like too good a deal to be true, then it probably is. Alexandra Howse is Events and Marketing Manager at Le Grand Joux. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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