If you’ve never been on a catered chalet holiday, the following overview might give some useful insight on whether it’s something you might enjoy.
What catering includes
This is an important area to look at because different companies offer very different packages. At the top-end, you’ll typically have meals prepared and served to you to a very high standard. That might include breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. Some services might also offer pre-dinner aperitifs and so on. Lunch is usually assumed to be something you’ll take care of yourself as you’ll be out and about on or around the slopes.
The standard of food may vary depending upon the company you’re using and, inevitably, how much you’re paying.
Accommodation sizes and options
Once again, catered chalet options here can vary. Some may be based upon multiple occupation of a very large place by several different parties. If you’re a very sociable person and like meeting lots of new, like-minded people and spending time in relatively close proximity to them, this will suit you fine. These options are typically at the lower-end of the budget spectrum for catered ski holidays.
If you’re shy, don’t enjoy living alongside people you don’t know or like lots of privacy, then it might be better to look at catered options that involve private accommodation.
Don’t immediately assume this means you’ll need megabucks, though! Relatively small versions are available at a modest cost. Alternatively, you could take a smaller chalet and share it with family and friends. That might give you the best of all worlds – sharing the cost but not needing to live alongside strangers or casual acquaintances.
Catered versus self-catered
There’s no real general answer to this one other than to say you probably know yourself better than anybody else does. For some, the first option is the ultimate. After all, you’re in the Alps (or wherever) to engage in some serious skiing or other snow sports. Doing things like preparing meals and, even worse, the clearing up afterwards, isn’t how many people really want to spend their precious holiday time. True, you can eat out in restaurants but that can prove expensive and sometimes a little impersonal – particularly when it’s over several days. If, however, you enjoy cooking the very specific food you want to eat and buying local produce and trying out local cooking techniques is high on your holiday agenda, then a self-catered chalet might be best for you.
In passing, don’t write-off the fully inclusive option just because you have special dietary requirements or strong personal preferences (e.g. vegetarianism). Just contact your holiday provider and ask them the question. Some may be able to be very flexible in that respect – within reason of course.
If you like the ultimate in ski luxury, it might be worth checking out the many excellent catered chalet options. There are some superb accommodation options out there with incredible facilities – they could help to make it the ski holiday of a lifetime for you.