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How 'contactless-catered chalets' are the ski world's answer to Brexit and Covid

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Telegraph article today, helpfully archived by yours-truly to get around the paywall snowHead :

https://archive.is/XYF7R

Note the compulsory: "...experts warn of dwindling availability" line to drum-up business for 2022. To be fair, I would think that there is some truth to that.

Let's know your thoughts please! snowHead too
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Poogle, doesn't sound very different to the levels of service available to our self catering clients Puzzled

... and expansion from 5 to 50 and a need to put the infrastructure in place? What could possibly go wrong?
ski holidays
 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?
That's a blast from the past! I worked with Richard Green in Meribel Mottaret in 1991/1992 Hard work but certainly an experience!
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under a new name wrote:
@Poogle, doesn't sound very different to the levels of service available to our self catering clients Puzzled

... and expansion from 5 to 50 and a need to put the infrastructure in place? What could possibly go wrong?


Ah but you see this is “Contactless–Catering” which is completely different and far superior to simple “self–catering” rolling eyes Very Happy
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Meals delivered while you are out? So what are these meals? Microwaveable? Left under a heat lamp? Salads?

Sounds suspiciously like self catering without the shopping to me.
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@Poogle, ah, ok, so no marketing placebos then?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Most catered chalets have several unrelated groups in residence - or even if it's a big crowd of mates and family members, it's they who are the most potent source of infection. Not the minimum-wage slave who will clear up the sitting room when you've all had your apres ski tea and cake and get the dinner ready - and clear up in the kitchen when you're eating it!

People are trying to think up permanent and investy solutions to a fast-moving set of problems. The CDC in America suggested yesterday that social contact be allowed between consenting and fully vaccinated adults. Either things will go well, and this pandemic will get a lot easier, or they'll go badly, and re-thinking ski holidays will be the least of our worries.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Interesting concept but the food needs to be heated up (not all can be palatably) and a no to salads from me for skiing holidays.Out to the restaurant I go from a cheap self catering apartment rather than paying £1k a week for this.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Meals delivered while you are out? So what are these meals? Microwaveable? Left under a heat lamp? Salads?

Sounds suspiciously like self catering without the shopping to me.


Sounds like self catering but a takeaway delivery each night instead of just the nights you're too knackered/drunk/can't be 4rsed

Like @pam w, says, it's not really a solution for shared chalets, though I guess it's safer for staff and might give some improved staffing efficiencies for the operators.
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Quote:

might give some improved staffing efficiencies for the operators.

Yeah, not doing any cleaning or washing up should save them a pile of dosh.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
hawkesbaynz wrote:
Interesting concept but the food needs to be heated up (not all can be palatably) and a no to salads from me for skiing holidays.Out to the restaurant I go from a cheap self catering apartment rather than paying £1k a week for this.


Yes, it just sounds like rebranding a self catered chalet; chuck in some grocery deliveries and double the price.
ski holidays
 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.
I'm still so scarred by Ski France refusing any refunds or re-schedules, but simply keeping the money, from the original lockdown that I cannot possibly look favourably on any new concept they are coming up with. And like said above, is is only a whisker away from self-catering surely?
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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
Isn't there a company in Les Arcs area offering to delivery meals ??

Found it -- Huski -- https://hu.ski/

They cover from Avoriaz to Val Thoren..
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've been doing self catering for several years now, and MUCH prefer it to hotels/catered chalets. It's always a roll of the dice as to whether you're going to get a numpty in a shared chalet, and hotels are not exactly the most social things in the evenings if you're in more than one room. I dare say I'd do catered chalet again, but I can't see it happening whilst we're a 3 generation ski group.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Gousto come to mind. Guests can do a quick prep every evening - nah!

Like @Timmycb5 am beyond mixed chalets now. Like it with mates but not strangers

Just do what we did on the EOSB in VT. Wander off to the irish bar for several nutricious guinesses and come home via the sports centre for a large unhealthy pizza. Worked well for a week!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I can envisage this working when it is effectively one group booking the whole chalet. But when there are multiple groups there could be issues, like one group finding all the food has been eaten!

pam w wrote:
Most catered chalets have several unrelated groups in residence - or even if it's a big crowd of mates and family members, it's they who are the most potent source of infection. Not the minimum-wage slave who will clear up the sitting room when you've all had your apres ski tea and cake and get the dinner ready - and clear up in the kitchen when you're eating it! ...
I think this varies a lot. In my recent experience it is the chalet staff who spend at least some evenings drinking / partying in crowded bars; most of the guests don't go out much at all after skiing - perhaps just for a quiet drink before dinner.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yeh and it is not the guests sharing bodily fluids off the slopes!
ski holidays
 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?
Quote:

it is not the guests sharing bodily fluids off the slopes!

I don't know. Sharing some bodily fluids can be an enjoyable holiday activity. wink The evidence seems to suggest that infections are transmitted when we are upclose to people for significant time - we are not spending much time sitting and chatting and laughing with the kitchen or waiting staff in chalets or hotels.

A lot of people are suspicious of strangers, leaping off the pavement to avoid somebody coming the other way in the outdoors, but most people have caught Covid from people they know well.
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pam w wrote:
Not the minimum-wage slave who will clear up the sitting room when you've all had your apres ski tea and cake and get the dinner ready - and clear up in the kitchen when you're eating it! .


That must have been some high-end operation if they were actually paying the minimum wage, most companies paid well below that, offering board, lodging and lift-passes instead (completely illegal in France).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
pam w wrote:
Quote:

it is not the guests sharing bodily fluids off the slopes!

I don't know. Sharing some bodily fluids can be an enjoyable holiday activity. wink The evidence seems to suggest that infections are transmitted when we are upclose to people for significant time - we are not spending much time sitting and chatting and laughing with the kitchen or waiting staff in chalets or hotels.

A lot of people are suspicious of strangers, leaping off the pavement to avoid somebody coming the other way in the outdoors, but most people have caught Covid from people they know well.


This is a truism - if folks are avoiding strangers - then by definition they are only going to be catching covid from folks they know well and thus are not avoiding.
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There has been a bit of a business model evolving from what I've seen in that many restaurants that are closed are delivering food etc and /or clients coming to collect from apartments that they are staying in.

I ski with a young chef who the last four weeks or so has been cooking to order in that whilst the Gite dining is not operating clients who are in associated apartments order up food which he cooks for them.

Though I've also heard that there is a lot of associated mess as well, maybe these types of clients are not too good when it comes to keeping somewhere neat and tidy, hence they prefer others doing the cooking, housework for them as opposed to people more use to self-catering?
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@Weathercam, same here. The good restaurants/private chefs are offering take away/delivery. The grub is a lot higher quality than you’d get in your average gap year chef chalet, although also more expensive!


Does the fairy godmother come in at midnight to clear it up?
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
This is where my mates group works well...I like cooking but hate cleaning up and try and use every pan. Two are ex-army, so the cleaning up is a given and the 4th is a lawyer, who just argues as to why he shouldn't cook or clean up and pours the vino! We tend to eat in/out half and half in a week.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
BobinCH wrote:
@Weathercam, same here. The good restaurants/private chefs are offering take away/delivery. The grub is a lot higher quality than you’d get in your average gap year chef chalet, although also more expensive!


Does the fairy godmother come in at midnight to clear it up?

Is that in Verbier? I've not managed to get a decent curry in a ski resort yet, but that might swing me towards visiting Verbier.
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First 'experts warn of dwindling availability' thing - has there been some Alps-wide earthquake that's wiped-out all the accommodation suddenly? Some alien form of concrete dry rot that's turned all those apartments and chalets into heaps of powder? No, of course not. It's just that it simply isn't worth the hassle of opening-up for bookings next year when things are so uncertain. This is just the usual '250 other people are looking at this item - buy now before the last 3 in stock go' marketing.

Second, isn't this just the same as the 'order out' service that's now established in most resorts? Where cafés and restaurants take your meal orders for the week or for the next day, and then deliver it? In our village, it proved popular because a big segment of the market don't actually want anyone else around - if they wanted waiter service they'd stay in a hotel. But owners have to be realistic: people aren't going to pay much of a premium ver going out and collecting a take-away themselves.
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First 'experts warn of dwindling availability' thing - has there been some Alps-wide earthquake that's wiped-out all the accommodation suddenly? Some alien form of concrete dry rot that's turned all those apartments and chalets into heaps of powder? No, of course not. It's just that it simply isn't worth the hassle of opening-up for bookings next year when things are so uncertain. This is just the usual '250 other people are looking at this item - buy now before the last 3 in stock go' marketing.

Second, isn't this just the same as the 'order out' service that's now established in most resorts? Where cafés and restaurants take your meal orders for the week or for the next day, and then deliver it? In our village, it proved popular because a big segment of the market don't actually want anyone else around - if they wanted waiter service they'd stay in a hotel. But accommodation owners have to be realistic: people aren't going to pay much of a premium for delivery, over going out and collecting a take-away themselves.

If catered chalet is your thing, and if you're paying catered rates, you'll want what's on the label - people on site doing catering, serving and tidying-up. Not a take-away delivery service, however good.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Thu 11-03-21 15:37; edited 1 time in total
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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.
@sugarmoma666, not sure I’d make the decision based on that but yes there’s a decent Curry Place in Verbier called Gunpowder https://instagram.com/gunpowderrestaurants?igshid=b97e2p3s3943

The pic above is from Cat Shepherd, an excellent chef who runs the Mountain Thyme cooking school. She does a weekly themed Saturday feast at the moment and it’s Indian this weekend!
https://www.instagram.com/p/CMMnsL8FNYb/?igshid=nrx1406z6b8x
ski holidays
 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
Well I for one cringe at the thought of a ski holiday with anything less than a fully catered chalet where I simply do not lift a finger!
Anything less would be as a last resort only!
To add - I have stayed in too many catered chalets to remember over the last 25 years plus - have never stayed in a bad one - interesting ones at time, but never bad.
Have stayed as just a couple with other guests and where my whole group has filled the chalet.

Looks likely my holiday searches my prove a little more challenging, however I will endeavour to search out the smaller independent run catered chalet companies.
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