Most groups agree that ski chalets make the perfect base for a group holiday. Catered chalets are great for groups because they tick all the boxes for an unforgettable week together in the mountains.
The cosy chalet atmosphere creates a great place for your SNO mates to relax after big day on the hill, especially if you've secured the whole chalet for your party’s sole use (known as booking a catered ski chalet for “sole occupancy”).
More than mere "half board" meals included in hotels, chalets usually add afternoon tea and cake, the cleaning is taken care of and, most important for some, chalet board usually includes wine with dinner.
It’s hard to beat a home cooked breakfast to start your big day on the piste and you can even buy a packed lunch as an extra in some group chalets, although this is often at the discretion of your chalet hosts.
Booking and Top Tips
1. Get everyone to commit deposits at the start; essential for very large ski groups but experienced group organisers will do this at the start of their holiday search for any ski group above 6 people. It means that, if you come across a great deal, you can book it and not take the chance of losing it while the stragglers are slow to transfer the money. It’s also a great way to be really sure who is definitely coming and who is just talking the talk - many great group chalet deals are jeopardised by the odd few people who can’t actually commit to the trip or don't have the deposit when everyone else has agreed on a package and is ready to secure the booking. Deposits vary but are usually £135 or less. If you are booking Club Med all inclusive ski packages deposits are approximately 25% of the total holiday price.
2. Collect everyone’s info;
3. Make the most of your host; it’s easy to see that the most worthwhile “extra” or added value, included in your catered group ski chalet holiday, is your chalet host. Living and skiing full time in the resort, they have a wealth of information about both the ski area and the après ski close to your group’s chalet. A good group chalet host is the best “feature” of even the most luxury group ski chalet and they are the key to making your stay surpass your expectations. Where is the best off-piste, the most group friendly restaurants, the best dancing, the sunniest slopes, the nicest mountain meet-up spot and the best way to get around? Just ask and your host will make sure your group has a great week both in and out of your chalet accommodation. They will also have information on all local events, including night skiing and tobogganing. Ask them to make your reservations for you, especially for your supper on their night off - doing this at the beginning of the week is a good idea, especially if you are a large group because restaurants get very busy on the tradition chalet hosts’ night off. Some Chalet hosts are also able to set up your own bar in the group chalet itself, if you would rather have a night in!
It can be really handy to record the skiing or snowboarding level that everyone is at, to help inform your choice of the best ski resort for a group like yours.
For more advice and top tips look at our guide to organising and booking a group ski trip.
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