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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've done non-TO trips too and found the results to be good for about the same price.
I prefer driving to flying, and since it costs about £250 to drive to the French Alps, with a few people it works out cheap.

Anyway, back to the TO results, I've just spent a really good week in Courcheval 1650 in a Chalet operated by Ski World. It really showed up what was was lacking with the previous holiday. For about £100 less than I paid Alpine Elements in Jan I stayed in a good chalet, with good food and a much more professional attitude shown by the operaters. I couldn't fault the holiday or the service.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
tomstickland, I agree. I've had a couple of really good experiences with skiworld in Europe and Colorado (a last minute week in Vail was even cheaper than Europe!). The other one I would say is worth it in terms of good food, excellent staff and personal service is YSE in Val D'Isere - I would say you get what you pay for with them and being a small company you really benefit from them running a tight ship re: their staff and their logistics.
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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?
PJSki, nothing about brochures in that extensive quote you quoted
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nbt wrote:
PJSki, nothing about brochures in that extensive quote you quoted


The OP was complaining about the price (brochure) being too high. I said he wouldn't get a holiday for 350-400 as a brochure price and that he'd have to go for a late deal.

We then had this interjection:

Quote:
What do you believe to be "unreal" about his expectations - remembering he is talking about first week of January?

OK, I usually take late(ish) deals, but I have never spent much more than that (and usually between £350 and £400), and have had much better quality accommodation than what he describes, with the possible exception of the hotel I stayed at in Campitello.


This complaint/thread is, I think, about the expectation by the OP that a published brochure price could be as low as 350-400 for that kind of trip even for the first week of Jan.

So has anyone seen any equivalent holidays being sold at 350-400 published brochure price?
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PJSki, not so sure the OP did imply he was reffering to a brochure price to be honest with you. Confused
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No, I don;t think he was referring to brochure price - I think he was referring to the price he'd pay, which for a last minute holiday can be vastly reduced - as has been established
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nozawaonsen wrote:
PJSki, not so sure the OP did imply he was reffering to a brochure price to be honest with you. Confused


All becomes clear when you have a copy of the Alpine Elements brochure.
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nbt wrote:
No, I don;t think he was referring to brochure price - I think he was referring to the price he'd pay, which for a last minute holiday can be vastly reduced - as has been established


Hmmm, now let me see. The brochure price for first week in Jan is published as £529. The OP said he paid supplement which took the price to over 600. From that information I was able to deduce that he was talking about the brochure price.

Now we have established that, were that any equivalent holidays with a brochure price of 350-400 being sold this winter?
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PJSki, Puzzled Way the original posting read to me was, I think the service I got (brochure price -implicit) was overpriced - I wouldn't be willing to pay more than £350-400 pounds for that (no implication of whether that would be brochure price or not - just price). I don't have a copy of their brochure, but I can see from their website that they like a lot of others have some good discounts, several down from around £600 to about £350 to 400 as it happens. A late discount of £350 to £400 for a ski holiday given the conditions right now is actually a pretty nice price I think Smile and paying that I would expect to have to take a bit of rough with the smooth, though I would still be a bit annoyed if the chalet staff were waking me up a 3am every night and I would definitely be very annoyed about rotting chicken in the fridge.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sat 3-04-10 9:56; edited 1 time in total
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nozawaonsen wrote:
PJSki, Puzzled Way the original posting read to me was, I think the service I got was overpriced - I wouldn't be willing to pay more than £350-400 pounds for that. I don't have a copy of their brochure, but I can see from their website that they like a lot of others have some good discounts, several down from around £600 to about £350 to 400 as it happens. A late discount of £350 to £400 for a ski holiday given the conditions right now is actually a pretty nice price I think Smile and paying that I would expect to have to take a bit of rough with the smooth, though I would still be a bit annoyed if the chalet staff were waking me up a 3am every night and I would definitely be very annoyed about rotting chicken in the fridge.


The OP is right about the crappyness of the service making it worth less. Everyone agrees that you can get a late deal for 350-400. But I don't believe TOs have been offering equivalent holidays (with good service) with a brochure price in the 350-400 range.

As I said to the OP on the first page, if he wants to pay those sorts of prices (350-400) he will have to go for a late booking. If you look at the AE brochure, you will see that the OP paid the brochure price of 529 plus supplements, bringing the price to over 600.

When next year comes around he'll have the same choice of whether to book in advance for the holiday he wants, take the chance on a late deal, which may not be exactly where and when he wanted it or all that much cheaper.

It's all about risk on both side. A game of poker between the TOs and their customers.
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It was a late booking and the offer price was below original brochure price.

What I received was well below what I've experienced previously for similar or less money. That wasn't just my opinion , that was the opinino of everyone in the chalet.

Alpine Elements didn't seem interested in our feedback, so now I tell everyone I know to avoid them.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
what started off as a minor and possibly justified complain ,got out of hand by the input of others may be TOs
and now you have a real reason for your complain .
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I think, overall, I was just very lucky with my first few package deals. My opinion now is that it's just a risk that you end with a so-so or bad experience. The chalet workers are poorly paid and sold a bit of a lie in terms of being able to ski every day in return for doing a bit of work.

I tend to book independant chalets now and sort my own flights. It costs about the same but a small operator has a lot more at stake.

If Alpine Elements had been less dismissive and less helpful after issues had occured then I'd put it down as "one of those things". They're not the only operator who can fail to deliver. I've read a fair few Tripadviser reports now and all sorts of big names appear in there.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
YSE have been recommened to me by several people.
Good to hear that other peeople have had good experiences with Ski World too.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Where has Wayne gone?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
PJSki, You managed to dig a hole for no reason and then instead of giving in you tried to bluff your way out of it by making no sense, good job. rolling eyes Confused Toofy Grin
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I DIY and TO, and TO has always been cheaper (although not always better). 2 adults, 2 kids, flights from Scotland, transfer, chalet board in hotel in Courchevel 2nd Jan £2900. I tried every permutation I could to DIY cheaper, wasn't happening. Same at Easter last year £2000 to Selva. Crystal did us New Year in Kaprun last year for £2400 with a really nice pair of rooms en suite and balcony. Food was good and wine drinkable.

DIY to Mayrhofen in Jan. Flights £220, mini bus £70 hotel (B & B) £65 a night, dinner say £20 a night £640 for 4 nights. (And Skiworld did 2-4-1 lift passes for this year)
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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?
Boredsurfing wrote:
bertie bassett, What sort of person goes on holiday with a tape measure.

I do Toofy Grin
OK not really on holiday, but I have brought a 50m tape with me from the UK. Within the next week or so I am going to measure that distance from each hotel in the resort to the lift. Yeah I know the distances are on our website already, but they were done from a map, so am going to find out the "exact" distances.

kevin mcclean wrote:
Where has Wayne gone?

May I refer the honourable ( snowHead's) member to my previous comments on the subject at hand. wink
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Wayne, Use a GPS to measure the distance. With a 50m tape you will need two people and take longer.
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riverman wrote:
Wayne, Use a GPS to measure the distance. With a 50m tape you will need two people and take longer.

"Ah Tybalt (riverman wink ) had not the impetuosity and desire for speed in all things governed young Mercutio, would you not stand before me as ever."

So, speed is not the reason but accuracy - anyway, done it before

The Inca Trail - Peru see page 4
Lukla to Everest - Nepal see page 7
Ben Nevis - North Wigan
Think this will be a little simpler Madeye-Smiley so just a tape needed
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Wayne, better strategy is to walk the distance in ski boots and carrying skis. Add five minutes to however long it took you (because lots of your guests will be rubbish at walking about with all their stuff) then put time taken rather than distance on your site.

I can give you an egg-sucking lesson as well if you like. Laughing Laughing
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tomstickland wrote:
It was a late booking and the offer price was below original brochure price.


Brochure price was 529, you said you paid over 600 and now you say you paid below the brochure price. Puzzled
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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!
Brochure price
Offer price
What I paid

Three different things.

From what I remember, the offer price was below the original brochure price but once I'd paid surcharges for flight (original was fully booked), having a bathroom and something else it came to more than the original brochure price.

Either way, I paid more than I'd paid for previous holidays and received a worse outcome.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 21-12-10 21:29; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:
The OP was complaining about the price (brochure) being too high.

I was complaining that I paid a lot more than I'd ever paid before and the holiday was a lot worse.

Quote:
I said he wouldn't get a holiday for 350-400 as a brochure price and that he'd have to go for a late deal.

Correct.

I said in my first post
"I wouldn't bother with them again unless they were offering a week for around £350-400. "

Pretty simple really. I would tolerate a week like that only if it cost me £350-400 regardless of how it ended up at that price.
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I am just curious as to why this thread was bumped after 8 months Puzzled
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tomstickland
Quote:
I would tolerate a week like that only if it cost me £350-400 regardless of how it ended up at that price.


Then late deals are your best bet, with all the uncertainty they bring, because you won't find any brochure prices that low for that kind of trip.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
It seems that those without the money to go with a quality TO and/or without the inclination/ability to arrange their own trips get the worst of both worlds - unsurprising
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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
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You know it makes sense.
PJSki wrote:
tomstickland
Quote:
I would tolerate a week like that only if it cost me £350-400 regardless of how it ended up at that price.


Then late deals are your best bet, with all the uncertainty they bring, because you won't find any brochure prices that low for that kind of trip.


You've completely missed his point. He went on holiday with a TO.

He would only go on the same holiday again if it were to cost £350-£400. i.e. there's no way he'd ever book with them again if the price was higher. It's not an invitation to find an equivalent holiday at that price point, merely a refusal to go with that TO again unless it were that cheap!

Go skiing, drop your blood pressure!
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Seems to me tomstickland has valued the holiday he got with AE in a remarkably fair and objective way - along the lines a District Judge would - without exaggeration , vitriol and a false sense of what he actually got was worth.

Whilst I have every sympathy with the points Wayne makes ( and I do , running a very small business of holiday lets ) about the way some guests will find fault with everything no matter what - and expect a full refund and compensation etc etc , tomstickland's complaint was fact based and on point with regard to what any of us should reasonably expect , especially taking into account cost.

John
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James the Last wrote:
PJSki wrote:
tomstickland
Quote:
I would tolerate a week like that only if it cost me £350-400 regardless of how it ended up at that price.


Then late deals are your best bet, with all the uncertainty they bring, because you won't find any brochure prices that low for that kind of trip.


You've completely missed his point. He went on holiday with a TO.

He would only go on the same holiday again if it were to cost £350-£400. i.e. there's no way he'd ever book with them again if the price was higher. It's not an invitation to find an equivalent holiday at that price point, merely a refusal to go with that TO again unless it were that cheap!

Go skiing, drop your blood pressure!


FFS! He might get a deal at that price. 'You've completely missed his point.' no I haven't.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 23-12-10 8:27; edited 1 time in total
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red 27 wrote:
It seems that those without the money to go with a quality TO and/or without the inclination/ability to arrange their own trips get the worst of both worlds - unsurprising

I've got the money and I've arranged my own trips several times. Sometimes packages look cost effective. In this case it was because I was joining an existing party who'd already booked.

Quote:
I am just curious as to why this thread was bumped after 8 months

Because I came back to Snowheads after the summer.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
We have booked independant for years, the prices seem to have hiked up however the last few years so 2 years ago we booked with Inghams, used the early bird discounts offered and booked a year in advance. We were a little aprehensive of the usual "herding" you seem to get with a TO but in the end this was ok.

My point is that whilst we were in Murren (car free and accessible by cable car only), my brother in law & niece had a serious accident which meant them being airlifted off the mountain by 2 helicopters. Inghams were fantastic, they sorted all the details with the hospital, organised transport to and from the hospital and liased with the insurance company in the uk.

I don't know how we would have coped without them & trust me we are very travel savvy & competant German & french speakers. We were in a group of 9 travellers so had plenty of support from friends etc but the support from Ian in Grindlewald, where we were staying, was over whelming.

A big thumbs up for the TO.
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suzysue2, good point.

One thing I don't like is the superior attitude of DIY'ers. They seem to think they are more intelligent and more intrepid than TO users because they can book an EasyJet fight, a bus and some accommodation. Whoopee fecking doo! rolling eyes
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I was a late starter, so have only done a total of five ski trips - two of which were with Crystal. Both were chalets in Mottaret. We were very happy with them the first time, but they were poor the second time. Not disastrous on tomstickland's level - his experience was unacceptable at any price IMO - but enough to deter us from using them again.

Our other trips were all DIY self catered, because we enjoy planning and booking holidays, and because we've tended to go in groups of 6 or so. Also because we're elevated to the status of intrepid DIYers now, and don't associate with TO scum wink

Seriously - I keep hearing good things about Inghams and Neilsons, and would definitely consider them in the future especially if it was a smaller group or just the two of us.
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Last year we did a trip to Zel am Ziller, Austria, first week in Feb, with Crystal ski, we only booked on Boxing day, the property was a named place but not in their brochure, as there didn't seem to be much available and there was 6 adults we didn't have a great deal of choice. The resort was quite industrial, not really a ski village and a short ride on a bumpy & always full bus to the slopes. Skiing was ace but very cold, hotel was a bag of rubbish, very little choice at breakfast and evening meal was fast food almost, one night just a pork schnitzel with chips!.Hotel needed a huge make over!

We only paid £370 each for flight transfers and hotel so hey, a classic case for getting what you pay for???

Around the same time as we booked this deal we saw another on last minute.com for Wengen, Switzerland. This is a more expensive resort/area normally but the holiday was for the hotel Brunner 3* h/b at £329, so we jumped in and booked this as well for the 20th Feb, this meant being away 1st and last week of feb.

After our experience with the Crystal deal we were dreading the Wengen deal in case it was as bad or worse. However, when we arrived at Berne and were met by Inghams we couldn't have been happier! From the outset the reps were proffessional, more mature and able to deal efficiently with queeries etc. The hotel was old, needed making over a bit but all the staff were efficient, food was excellent and we had an amazing time.

The moral of the story is this: it dosn't matter how much you pay, where you go or what you do if the company you go with don't look after you and treat you like you are the best customer they have ever had. Top marks to Inghams, we came back and booked for Murren for 2011, Jan and can't wait
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I stayed in Courcheval 1850 in 2007 with Inghams. We took one of their "allocation on arrival" last minute deals. It was a great chalet. We paid around £300 and were 40m from the main lifts in Courcheval.
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If a Ski Tour Operator is running a shoddy show they need to be told and what better place than on a Ski Forum.

Sow them up whoever they are!


Having said that anyone who goes to UK Chalet Style Holiday should realise that the staff of these places also think they are on Holiday & the work is just an inconvenience Very Happy
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stanton wrote:

Having said that anyone who goes to UK Chalet Style Holiday should realise that the staff of these places also think they are on Holiday & the work is just an inconvenience Very Happy


That's not generally true.
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PJSki, agreed. Last year in Mottaret with Ski World the 2 chalet blokes were aged 18 and 22. They were courteous, polite, decent enough cooks and generally nice chaps. They were under no illusion that they were there to work. Neither had more than a local ski pass and neither made it out skiing more than a once a week, this seemed to be the average for the other reps we spoke to. Yes they were hungover most mornings (so were we), but breakfast was always on time and perfectly good. Ski World ran a tight ship from what I could see.

That the chalet reps are there for a holiday is an easy (and lazy) generalisation to make, the same could be said about any resort workers in hotels, shops, restaurants and bars.
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