While it might be a little late to head off to the slopes before the end of this year’s ski season, there should be nothing stopping you from organising next year’s escapades. If you have found the destination, the next all-important decision is the accommodation. With this in mind, here’s a quick guide to the main differences between catered and self-catered chalets.
Food and drink is hugely important for your skiing holidays, not only because you’re on holiday and should be enjoying yourself, but because you are spending long amounts of time on your feet. As the word catered would suggest, those who opt for a catered chalet will come in from the cold and be met with a fantastic feast of prepared food each and every night. In the case of most catered chalets you are offered breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner as standard, meaning there’s no chance of you going hungry.
With self-catered chalets you have the choice of cooking for yourself, which is feasible if there’s a good supermarket nearby, or heading out to one of the resort’s restaurants. This can be a good opportunity to get out and see some local favourites.
The level of service offered in a catered chalet is fantastic, and in most cases all meals will be prepared by a chalet host who lives in another section of the chalet. With the majority English speaking, you can easily inform them of foods you don’t particularly like or even have them be aware of any food allergies you or a member of your party may suffer from. You can enjoy a menu that is carefully crafted by them and these are paired with some great wines, which could well be the perfect way to unwind after a day on the slopes.
Some ski companies offer a great service on their self-catered chalets, which can include having beds made up on arrival, pre-ordered lift passes delivered to your door and a final clean. There will also be a ski company representative on hand to help if you have any queries, so whilst the service will naturally not be as attentive compared to opting for catered, you will still have all that you need.
While a self-catered chalet will offer a completely flexible holiday experience and allow you to have meals at whatever time you feel, it doesn’t mean that a catered chalet has rigid eating times to adhere to. As already mentioned, your host can usually be found in the chalet, so if you do feel like coming home a little later one evening, just let them know in advance and there should be no problems.
Catered chalets also don’t offer a strict service of lunch, and while a packed lunch can often be arranged, it’s a great opportunity to spend the best part of the day exploring the piste exactly as you see fit.
Self-catered chalets are a great chance to obtain the cheapest ski holiday possible, but if you would rather dine out at breakfast, lunch and dinner instead of eating in then the price soon ramps up. On the other hand, a catered chalet gives one set price, and with the majority of meals included in this, it often works out a cheaper method if you are holidaying in a large party.