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Best catered chalet experience by company

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

For the past two years we've gone with Ski Total to a full catered chalet. The food is of a reasonable standard, the wine is drinkable, the accommodation is very well kept, very clean and all the staff are very polite and down to earth. So we've been happy.

Without going to Scott Dunn prices, I was wondering what people's experiences were with other companies?

Id be particularly keen to hear from those who have stayed at a range of different operated catered chalets.

Many thanks
R
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@rossyl, I have organised many group holidays with Silver Ski & Ski Olympic - All have been somewhere between very good and excellent.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Been with various over the past 5 years:

Alpine Elements (Tignes) - Nice chalet, good food / great wine, good staff, chalet locations don't seem to be the best.
Nielson (Montgenevre) - Lovely chalet, great location, staff OK, food ok / wine not great.
Zenith (Montgenevre) - Ok chalet, great location, staff not the best, food poor / wine ok.
Ski Olympic (Courchevel 1650) - Chalet hotel, basic but ok, food excellent / wine good, staff excellent.
Ski World (Val Thorens) - Nice Chalet, good staff (but others in resort were terrible!), good food / ok wine.
Ski World (Tignes) - Lovely chalet, good staff, great food / ok wine.
Crystal (Mayrhofen) - Very basic chalet, good staff, OK food / poor wine.

Quite an array of chalets and standards, but all were satisfactory (some of the worse ones were booked very last minute and were therefore very cheap!).
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I organise an annual catered chalet holiday, and over the years have stayed with Ski Total twice, Neilson, Ski world, Ski basics, and this year VIP.

My experience is that the ski total/world etc are all very similar; good, but nothing special.

VIP this year, for a relatively small increase in price, were in a different league. I would highly recommend them.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 31-03-15 12:52; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
My only experience is of Ski Amis. As a company to deal with their communications were excellent, whilst booking the holiday (honest description of the Chalet) and during, always someone on the end of the phone the night of Snowmageddon, and I know what lengths they went to get the clients they were transferring that night safely to their destination. The young resort staff were backed up all night by the company owner/director.

The Chalet we stayed in was good value for money, not without faults, but we booked very last minute and got a good deal. I would not have been impressed if I had paid full price, but then I have no other catered experiences to compare it with.

All the chalet staff were very helpful but as it was only the New Year week, still very inexperienced. The other guests were great Company and several had used Ski Amis before and were happily returning.

I would consider booking with them again.
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Project SkI Val d'Isere. 2 experiences, fab
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Stayed with VIP in La Plagne January this year and it was absolutely fantastic - i don't think i could fault it. Extra bonus was to get full area ski passes included free which made the price very reasonable too Smile
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quite a few times with Le Ski. Always good in all areas. Some staff better than others, which is always the way with chalet companies. Never any real problems, a good middle of the road choice. However they only go to Val or Courchevel,
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I always get tempted by the idea of going for a catered chalet but the numbers just don't add up. We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 kids aged 12 and 9. I've just booked a nice apartment in Val Thorens for next New Years week (pretty much the most expensive week possible) for £900. It has 2 bedrooms, one with a double and and a bunk room. There is also a lounge area, kitchen and a bathroom with an actual bath in it! It's in the middle of town with direct ski in ski out in a quiet area.

Looking at the catered chalet options for that week in VT we are looking at around the £1200 per person (catered accommodation only). That means nearly £5,000 for the 4 of us for the week! I'm sure better deals are available but I'd be surprised if a sub £3,000 deal was available. Food wise, we usually spend about 20-25 Euros a day buying Pain au Chocolats and Croissants with a couple of baguettes, cheese, ham, butter, crisps e.t.c. which covers breakfast and lunch. In the evenings we usually eat out 4 times (roughly 70-80 EUR per evening) and cook dinner in our apartment 3 times (10-15 EUR per evening). That's a total of around 500 EUR for the week. Lets be generous and call it £400, our 'catered' week is costing us £1,300.

Yes, it would be lovely to have meals cooked for us and have everything included but the price just seems a bit too prohibitive. I would probably pay £2000 for the 4 of us to have a catered experience if it were in a really nice chalet, but during school holiday time that just isn't going to ever happen!
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I prefer catered chalets, no need to cook, breakfast hot/cold options available, cake/bread available in the afternoon, good varied 4 course meals, free wine, hot tub, no need to clean up meals or chalet after we leave.
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Snow Retreat every time for me recently - very good value. I've also used Ski Amis and agree with Caravan Skier above - they were good, and I'd use them again.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Stayed with Neilson in Les Deux Alpes, Chalet Glacier - only small but lovely inside and our chalet girl was fantastic. Decent cook too! Wine was okay.

Stayed with Skiworld in "The Lodge" is Val d'Isere, chalet catering but operated as a hotel. Again, good food, although the porridge was really rather odd in the morning. Again, staff all excellent, wine was okay, and they had a bar which was priced on a par with other bars in resort, so best of both worlds if you didn't fancy going out.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Becstar wrote:
Stayed with VIP in La Plagne January this year and it was absolutely fantastic - i don't think i could fault it. Extra bonus was to get full area ski passes included free which made the price very reasonable too Smile


How did you manage that?

Was it a late deal, an offer, or just plain luck?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
SuperTravel worth the money every time- 4 so far
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
+ 1 Ski Amis ... Excellent service with honest approach
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@kiteman69, based on the emails they send me, VIP seem to try a range of offers throwing in a lift pass, cheap/free nanny, or reasonable discounts for last minute on low season weeks.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@mtsuit, really?????

That's not fair Sad

I just get offers for kitchens and fake sunglasses rolling eyes
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@kiteman69, yes it was an email offer they sent through. Wasn't a late deal though, i think i booked october time for january trip. I think they were just trying to get some people in on a low season week Very Happy
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Now that tempting.

We go "low season" and quite like the look of their chalets.

Think I'll have to get n their mailing list.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Chalet Chardons, in their premium chalets.

Still cheap, but brilliant food, staff and the chalet is very luxurious.
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Nadenoodlee wrote:
SuperTravel worth the money every time- 4 so far
Blimey, I didn't know they still existed. I worked for them, a lo-o-o-ng time ago.
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Define Low Season

Great to see that there are so many positive responses. VIP Ski do sound very good. As do Ski Amis.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
LeSki win hands down for me, based on two trips with them to Courchevel 1650. Great food, fantastic hosts and beautiful chalets, plus slick arrangements for flights and transfers, with very good customer service. They knock the socks off Mark Warner, Ski Total and a couple of owner-run chalets I've stayed in. I had a very bad experience with 'Absolutely Snow', and would avoid at all costs!
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We did a last minute in Courchevel 1650 with Le Ski some years ago - no flights, we drove. The chalet was superb, excellent food and company. That was just 2 of us - with kids we either self catered or went for rock-bottom price chalets (which were always decent value).
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We did La Tania a couple of years ago with Ski Beat and they were brilliant. A colleague went to La Rosiere with them at half term and also thought they were really good.
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@rossyl, quick flick through old emails suggests free lift pass offer I saw was specifically for w/c 11th Jan.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
My experiences recently rather than historic:

1 ski val this year in tignes. Chalet hotel. Basic bedrooms in terms of look (dated) but great beds, pillows, hot water , great bar, great food and nice staff, ok,wine
2. Zenith nice chalet in aloe d hues, great service by resort rep, food ok , wine ok.
3 crystal St Anton very basic chalet/ lodge ( could be amazing), food ok, wine poor
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Stayed with many - here are my thoughts on a few more recent holidays:-

skiamis & skibonjour - provide excellent value for money - no complaints at all on what you pay - but we always go for a low season last minute deal - making it exceptional value for money - in my opinion!
Skiamis - excellent breakfasts, cakes and wine - dinner fulfilling after a day on the slopes.
Skibonjour - good breakfasts, lovely dinners, wine ok. Chalets (well all the ones I have stayed in) spacious and comfortable - with larger than average rooms.
Snowcrazy - excellent all round service.

Friends have stayed with Freeride Republic and Snow Retreat - both excellent reviews
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You know it makes sense.
We used Reach For The Alps in Morzine for the first time for our family trip this year (had used Skiv02 in Le Praz and Le Ski in La Tania before). We loved R4TA. Lovely chalets with modern, clean spacious rooms and bathrooms. Amazing food. Brilliant booking process and website. Very friendly but not too in your face. I liked them so much we've booked our lads/lasses trip with them first week of Jan in an apartment and also our next family ski trip (but this time self-catered as we are at the stage where we can do babysitters and go out more). We stayed at Claire Vallee.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 3-04-15 7:29; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Over the last 3 years:
Skibeat - La Plagne - last minute deal at crazy price. Chalet clean and comfortable, but slightly tired furnishings. Food OK, wine plentiful and OK.
Chardons - Tignes le Breviere. One of their top end chalets, can't remember the name. Very friendly team, nice chalet but cramped living room. Food excellent, wine both good and plentiful. Nice attitude to people helping themselves to a glass of wine rather than tea/coffee when they came in or raiding the fridge generally. More than helpful about us arriving a day early as they had space, and hardly charged anything for the extra night. They have a range of places in Tignes le Breviere at various budget levels.
Ski Bonjour - Tignes le Breviere. Far and away the most professional of the three, and very good value. The others felt that the quality would depend a lot on your hosts, with Bonjour it was run more to 'process' and felt as if the actual staff could change but the offering wouldn't. Really nice large chalet (which they own), well maintained, spacious rooms but cramped living area. Good food (chef was a professional when we were there). Quite rigid about how things were done - wine removed promptly at end of meal, and you were forced to move to the living area so they could get breakfast ready, which broke up conversations that had just got going.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
What an EXCELLENT thread you started @rossyl.

I didn't know 90% of the companies listed.

Roll on next season snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Self catering and self drive we found the best as the kids got older, we resented paying full price for them as they seldom partook in the full catered offering.
We went via Erna Low who were without exception excellent. But as we got got braver booked direct in the resort for the following year and then booked Tunnel etc ourselves. Making a substantial saving along the way.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
+1 for Reach4thealps in Morzine - I've just enjoyed excellent catering in a very comfortable & clean chalet. Great hosts, really friendly and accommodating, and flexible pick-ups from the chalet driver.

Other times I've stayed with Skiworld (chalet hotel - basic but cheap), Crystal in Tignes (terrible food from an inexperienced and out of depth chalet host) and Chamonix (excellent food from a lovely host) and Alpine Elements in Meribel (taking the wee wee, basically - massively overcrowded chalet, indifferent hosts who did the bare minimum in the chalet while maximising their time out on the snow). A last minute room in a catered chalet in Courchevel (excellent food from a lovely host).

Plus the EoSB and a number of self-catered trips to Val Thorens

From very limited experience, I reckon that the big operators aren't necessarily any better or more consistent than smaller owner-run operations. Having organised Tunnel, ski school and kit hire myself, it really wasn't very difficult and I really appreciated the more personable approach from a smaller operation. Would definitely do catered chalet again if funds permit, and would start with Chalets Direct to get a range of offers.
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Not sure about catered chalets but I have heard that Nexus snow camps are just about the best possible way of enjoying a ski holiday known to man.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@T Bar, Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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Went with Mountain Heaven this year to Courchevel Le Praz, got a last minute deal that was effectively half price for the last room in an otherwise full chalet. Hands down best Chalet I've ever stayed in, great food, lovely wine and excellent hosts. Chalet was modern, spacious and luxurious. Transfers also included in the price (provided your flight arrives between 12 noon and 5pm, or you're willing to wait around) which saved us quite a bit of money and/or faff as well.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
bobalexander1983 wrote:
Went with Mountain Heaven this year to Courchevel Le Praz, got a last minute deal that was effectively half price for the last room in an otherwise full chalet. Hands down best Chalet I've ever stayed in, great food, lovely wine and excellent hosts. Chalet was modern, spacious and luxurious. Transfers also included in the price (provided your flight arrives between 12 noon and 5pm, or you're willing to wait around) which saved us quite a bit of money and/or faff as well.
that does look like an excellent chalet, but if you had paid full price for it, you would have expected it to be all that Smile
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Are everyones accounts based on what they paid for their holiday?
In other words - how important is value for money?
Personally - although the above should be taken into consideration - I feel the most important factor is that my precious holiday time is 100% enjoyable.
I would hate to be in a crowded chalet with poor staff and sub standard food just because it was a bargain!
It does appear that the best finds come from the last minute deals?
Interesting thread - hope it pops its head up again before the start of next season - may help with choosing chalet companies!
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@Dippy, I think that value for money plays a part. Generally, I'd rather pay a little more to be sure that I'm comfortable, but in my experience of hotels/chalets paying more is no guarantee of a more enjoyable stay. One of the nicest places I've ever stayed was in the back of beyond in India and cost very little, I'd have still loved it if cost more. And I can think of top end places that I severely dislike and think are a rip off. At the end of the day, I think that in general, it's the staff that make ANY hotel/chalet special, and when it's a shared chalet the other guests play a significant part, too.

If a cheap deal is a way to secure an extra holiday (as it was for me in La Plagne) then I could put up with a lot of niggles. Fortunately, with Ski Beat I didn't have any niggles despite the price, and have recommended them since.
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sj1608 - very fair comments - with which I totally agree.

It does feel nice tho - when you have had a great weeks holiday and not paid a fortune for it!
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