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Doing B&B rather than Hotels/CHalets

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We're chatting about next years skiing holiday and a few of us are starting to get a little peeved by the regimented meal times in the hotels and chalets also being able to stay out if you want more beer and being able to choose what you'd prefer to eat. This got us thinking if there was another way to do this and is B&B a better or viable option. We can't be bothered with self catering.
Has anyone done similar, have you got any tips?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Only ever did it once but I loved it – if for no other reason than it stopped us drinking until silly o’clock at night. You can choose your hostelry when you come off the mountain, have a few cheeky ones and then eat where& when you like. Doing it that way meant we returned circa 9pm; shower, bed, and up with the larks in the morning. The only word of warning I would give is that if you don’t drop your kit off first, ensure you carry locks for skis/boards .
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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?
We did this last year for the first time. There were only 4 of us so it was easy to get a table at each restaurant/hotel we tried. The costs varied from €15 per head for pizza/beer/wine to over €40 per head for a fabulous feast in a lovely hotel. Some days we had an early/light lunch and ate our evening meal early (and early night/early start) - other days we returned to the guest house and went back out later. We loved the flexibility and it was far less expensive that staying in the 4* hotel in the same town the previous year.
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I would never want to stay in a hotel if I had the choice of choosing where to eat out every evening. But I don't see the advantage of B &B over self-catering - where you can fill your fridge which supermarket booze and stuff for quick snacks and breakfast (doing some coffee and croissants shouldn't strain anybody's powers of organisation) and have your own sitting area, usually with comfortable seating, a big table you can all sit round if necessary. And eat out as much as you want. A B & B where the only private space was my own bedroom wouldn't appeal at all.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
This
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It's certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but we switched to self-catering after a few years. Partly because of cost, but as much because of the much greater personal space available and flexibility around refreshments and snacks. Choose a resort you like and take a look at the local immobiliers websites and compare costs. Self-catering doesn't mean you have to cook your own meals: either eat out or many resorts have cafés offering a service where you drop off your order in the morning and they deliver a full meal in the evening. You may even find that like my wife, some in your group really don't mind preparing a meal.

If you do, be careful about the m² and facilitites you're actually getting - so, for example, our 68m² apartment with 2 bedrooms is comfortable for 2x2 people sharing, possibly 3 kids in the bunk bed room, but more than that isn't really enjoyable. It also includes an underground parking space and unlimited central hot water and central heating, plus wired broadband and WiFi and all the UK TV channels on cable, plus NetfliX. Whereas another smaller apartment is advertised as sleeping 6, has no covered parking, low MBpS internet, and only EU TV channels, and a small immersion heated water tank.
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We often do B&B when skiing in Italy, good value for a usually pretty high quality of accomodation, eating out at night is usually a pleasure. The nights you are too tired to move a takeaway pizza does the trick just fine and costs very little in general.
I look forward to all the food on a ski hol almost as much as the skiing!
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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!
@alasdair.graham, where do you eat your takeaway pizza?
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I'd echo what others have said regarding B&B v's Self catering. SC gets you more space, prob at a cheaper price, and you can still eat out every night. B&B gets you a cooked breakfast, and if you've got good hosts they might provide more value via local knowledge, transport, possibly skiing or drinking partners.
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And are there facilities to store the beers?
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Only thing I would add is find out if any busy eg Fri and sat nights and book a table or you may struggle. Otherwise a super way of doing things in Austria. Cannot speak for other countries.
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@holidayloverxx, In our room! The last B&B we stayed at had plates, cutlery and mugs/glasses in the room, changed everyday, and also a little fridge. Rooms are generally bigger than French studio flats. Just no cooking facilities.
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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
It's also nice coming back to a made up bed, clean room and not having to clean up at the end of the week!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
pam w wrote:
And are there facilities to store the beers?

The window ledge in winter.

Unless you're rich though watch Switzerland, I don't find it too pricey overall but eating out in the evening can be eye warteringly expensive.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@T Bar, It sure can, Italy and Austria great value tho compared to most French/Swiss so that's why it works for us.
France I would still self cater however and mix it up as required.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@marksovereign, Like you I can't stand having a no-choice dinner planked down in front of me at 7.30.

Good hotels allow you to eat when you want up to about 9.00 but B&B and dinner out is a great alternative.

It works well anywhere really but it helps to have at least a few words of the local language so you can read the menu and say please and thank you to the waiting staff.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Choose your B+B well, and theres usually plenty of areas to sit/eat/drink etc. Often fridges provided for your use too. Tea and coffee on tap 24/7 - afternoon snacks left out etc.

We've often used a B+B when skiing, and stayed in some great places, with some wonderful people.
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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?
marksovereign wrote:
We're chatting about next years skiing holiday and a few of us are starting to get a little peeved by the regimented meal times in the hotels and chalets also being able to stay out if you want more beer and being able to choose what you'd prefer to eat. This got us thinking if there was another way to do this and is B&B a better or viable option. We can't be bothered with self catering.
Has anyone done similar, have you got any tips?

The only difference between B&B & self catering is breakfast which I frequently find to be fairly poor in places where it is provided. You don't have to cook an evening meal in S/C but you can't cook in B&B
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we stayed in a B+B in Aosta and while the people were really nice it is a pain having just one room to yourself, we like self catering as its more like home, we always take the slow cooker with us and put it on in the morning so tea is ready whenever we return, my wife wasnt keen on eating at 8 when we went catered chalet for a few years
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
tangowaggon wrote:

The only difference between B&B & self catering is breakfast


...or The only difference between a B&B and an hotel is dinner.
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If there’s only 2 of you B & B can be a better option as apartments with a proper bed rather than a studio with a sofa bed are not particularly cheap for 2.
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holidayloverxx wrote:
This


+1
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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!
B&B gives (much) more choice and flexibility for dinner, at a fraction of the cost of HB
Self catering apartments in general are more expensive than B&B rooms (paying for the kitchen) and thus only economic if you are cooking at least some nights
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'Self catering apartments in general are more expensive than B&B rooms (paying for the kitchen)' well, yes, with a 'fridge and facilities to make your own coffee and tea and snacks, and the personal living room, and breakfast/dinner area. There's no best or worst solution, but the self-catering plus point is you get all that extra space of your own. Of course, some people don't value it and wouldn't use it, so it won't suit them, but worth considering.
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Thanks for all the replies. It would appear as though there could be some mileage in this particularly as I love Italy and Austria. Are there any easy ways to find B & B accommodation or is it trawling the web?
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LaForet,

Are you saying that 68m2 for 5 is uncomfortable? Puzzled

That (to me) seems a lot of space for a holiday home...
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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.
Bergmeister wrote:
LaForet,

Are you saying that 68m2 for 5 is uncomfortable? Puzzled

That (to me) seems a lot of space for a holiday home...


Me too but it was the bit about UK tv channels I found most odd. I don't part with my hard earned to go on a holiday abroad to spend it watching Eastenders or Top Gear.
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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
It all depends on the preferences of the people in the group. Hotel, B+B, hostel, self-catering: they all have their +/- points, and variants e.g. hotel with spa, self-catering with sauna etc.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Personal preference again: You may not want to follow your favourite soap but some people do. Or catch that nice nature programme. Or Ski Sunday. So for some, UK TV channels may be a nice to have.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 10-01-20 0:15; 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:
@LaForet, I don't have a favourite as I don't watch any of them (or indeed much TV at all). But, yes, each to their own. I do remember being rather surprised in one apartment (in La Tania IIRC) that only had UK channels though - if I'm going to watch TV abroad I like to watch the native programs.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As an owner, it’s surprising how diverse people’s priorities are. The three biggest complaints we’ve had are - Lack of egg cups (2 were not enough, apparently); hot water taking 20-30 seconds to arrive (it’s central, so piping hot and effectively unlimited, but not always instant); and the wrong duvets on the bed (cooler/warmer ones in the cupboard). I once offered a friend a 50% discount and he replied “Nah, we only do ski-in/ski-out.”

So probably worth the OP convening their group to have the sort of chat we’re having here.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The ski in ski out requirement is very common amongst people I know.
As long as I can ski all day everyday when I'm on holiday I'm happy, self catering, B&B, hotel,whatever! Ski bus or short drive to the lift is no problem to me either, in fact nicer accom at the expense of staying slope side makes more sense to me.
We are all different tho as this thread very much proves!
booking.com or ski area websites are a good starting point, can usually find a rate that includes ski passes out of peak weeks which can be very good value indeed.
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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?
@marksovereign, We have gone down the self-catering route for years and when you think about what you have for Breakfast at home why even go B&B? Quick trip to the supermarket or the local bakery can knock you up Bacon Butties et al for a fraction of the cost and we find there's always the "First Lift" bloke happy to pick up fresh bread in the morning. We liked it so much we now do it for a living! I echo all those above about Hot Water, Space etc and if you don't mind a 5 min bus ride you can cut costs considerably. Austria is our venue of choice as there are so many Valley based options rather than being stuck in a concrete jungle on top of a Mountain. Self Catering usually best for non-skiers too.
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Read this with interest as we're doing B&B for the first time in a few weeks. After a tough year we planned a treat ski hol in 4* hotel so I researched, found one that suited but then found a similar package to a highly recommended B&B for about £1000 less. I reckon I can get some nice dinners for that much so we went for that.
Looking forward to being able to have different meals every night. We're going to Italy so the food will be good!! Maybe having a big lunch one day without knowing there's a big dinner at the hotel that night. Also as already said, half board options do mean you're stuck with the hotel timetable.
We've done chalets, hotels, s/c so will be good to try something different. The place seems to have a small bar attached so not too worried about only havvng one room - actually some of the s/c places we've had for 2 in France have barely been as big as a hotel room and 2 hotplates doesn't lead to great cooking!
Let's hope it's a good option
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
tangowaggon wrote:

The only difference between B&B & self catering is breakfast which I frequently find to be fairly poor in places where it is provided. You don't have to cook an evening meal in S/C but you can't cook in B&B

I generally self cater and enjoy it.
I don't agree with your comment about breakfast being poor though. Wherever I have had B&B in ski resorts or indeed hotels breakfast has invariably been excellent.
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For two anyway B&B is quite often cheaper than self catering and the breakfast is usually excellent, it's easy to read reviews etc beforehand.
The last place we did B&B we had freshly baked bread, crossants, home made jam and cakes, cheese, cold cuts eggs/bacon to order, superb Italian coffee, even home made chocolate(not for me in the morning!)
L'ancien Paquier in Valtournenche if anyone is going that way I can't recommend highly enough.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
B&B and SC is better than going Full Board to a Chalet/Hotel by a mile IMO. The only reason you'd want FB I believe is if you wanted a cost saving or want the regimented meal structure that full board provides. I much prefer the freedom of doing what I want when I want.

With regard to B&B/SC, I'd take either. I like the kitchen in SC for tea/coffee etc and have only ever once cooked in the apartment but can be good if some on your party want croissants or whatever for breakfast.
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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!
There is no "one option is better than the other.

It's more to what suits you. What you want out of a holiday. Budgets. Times etc.

We have never done anything but a catered chalet. The reason, we are a sociable bunch and don't like the feeling of "isolation" you can get in a hotel. In a chalet, you get the feeling as if you are all in it together. I know this would be some people's worst nightmare! We also prefer the more relaxed feel of a chalet over a hotel and the smaller number of guests. For us as well, the whole wooden chalet nestled in the trees covered in snow is the quintessential "alpine" look. Whilst we do like a drink on the mountain in the afternoon, we aren't massive apres people so don't mind the meal times. And with an independent chalet company/smaller chalet the staff are normally pretty flexible with the meal time (we have found anyway). By the time we have eaten, drank our share of wine and/or beer it's just nice to chill in the lounge and recap the day's adventures and plan the next days. If we are in the mood, we will get our fill of partying on the customary chalet night off where we will go out for dinner and then hit a few bars till late. Finally, we are on holiday. I get to wash up 51 weeks of the year. Not having to do it for a week in nice!

However, I do see the appeal of other accommodation options.

The OH and I are doing a self catered DIY trip in March to Bardonecchia. Just 6 days and 4 days skiing. Got a nice little apartment at a great price. Easy drive. And a reasonably priced area. After considering self catering options for a few years, after pricing up there has never been much difference (on paper) anyway between the overall costs vs catered. But again, it depends what you want from meals etc. If you want a pizza and a carafe of wine every night, with a simple breakfast (cereal, yoghurt etc) then it'll work out good value. If however, you want 3 courses every meal and at least a bottle, then the prices will skyrocket. As it's just us two, we will be more sensible. I wouldn't do self catering with our usual ski bunch as we like a drink and eat far too much together!
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I'm an absolute B&B fan; eat what you want, when you want, where you want. No regimented hotel meal times, no chalet bores ('Ive never had lessons, me!" etc etc). No washing up. I wouldn't go any other way even if I'm staying in hotels. Very Happy
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I fully agree with the comments about different things suiting different people.
One thing I don't usually have a problem with, which seems to exercise some is washing up when we self cater.
A dishwasher is always on our check list when booking. Though I think self catering without dishwashers is pretty rare nowadays.
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