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  • Choosing the right chalet holiday for you!


    We get the low down from our freinds on choosing the right chalet holiday!

    In the age of do-it-yourself holiday planning, booking your ski vacation can be a dizzying experience.  With so many small independent companies offering a proliferation of ski packages, each with its own website depicting dreamlike snowscapes and gut-busting cuisine, narrowing the focus to a chaletbased ski holiday still seems to leave a head-spinning plethora of choice. 

    Before you know it, you're looking at a list of chalets, wondering which best suits your group and, in many cases, what is even meant by an eco chalet or a corporate chalet, a ski-in ski-out chalet or a resort-central chalet, a luxury chalet or a budget chalet, catered or self-catering, a chalet hotel, a solo ski chalet and so on.

    The trick, of course, is to take your time, be patient, and start to narrow the focus bit by bit.  This article sets out some of your options.  As you begin to make your decisions, you should try to break these options down to 'essentials' and 'desirables'; the former being must-haves, where not having them is a deal-breaker, and the latter being an added bonus.  If you find yourself taking the plunge on 'gut instinct', you should probably take a break first.

    Choose your Budget

    Sometimes this can be hard, as it's often difficult to know whether you're being realistic in your expectations.  But a quick look through one of the main chalet agency websites will give you a rough idea of what you should expact to pay.  If you're booking a catered chalet holiday, you won't have to worry about food expenses while you're there, but self-catering can work out cheaper if you are happy to spend some of your holiday in the kitchen.  Choosing your budget will set down the first of your 'essentials', but will also help you choose your resort, as price often varies according to resort prestige and altitude. 

    Choose your Resort

    Your choice of resort determines more than just your budget.  In fact, find the right resort for your group will probably solve most of your other problems in finding your ideal chalet break.  Ask yourself these two questions: which kind of resort would best suit my group while we're skiing; and  which kind of resort would best suit my group when we're done skiing for the day (apres ski)?  If you're a parent, taking the kids on holiday, then a family-friendly resort will be your priority.  In La Rosiere, you'll find plenty of beginner-type slopes where the kids can get started.  Similarly, in Les Gets, you'll find a quiet, picture postcard resort, well suited to keeping the kids entertained.  By contrast, a group of student ski enthusiasts will be attracted to the nightlife of Tignes or the off-piste challenges of Chamonix.  So, by choosing the right resort, you have narrowed the focus substantially. 

    Another factor to consider is where you would like to be in relation to the resort centre.  If you're a night owl, then you might wish to be close to the resort centre for a late-night stroll home from the local watering hole.  Other other hand, if you like to be first onto the piste each morning, then a ski-in ski-out chalet will cut down on any time spent getting to the ski lifts, getting you straight to that fresh powder first thing. 

    Food and Drink

    You only have to look at a typical chalet holiday website to realise that, for a great many people, the cuisine is a major factor in how they choose their ideal chalet.  As I mentioned above, self-catering can be a good way to save money, but the obvious drawback is that - if you're not careful - you can end up spending as much time in the kitchen as you do on the slopes.  Chalet hosts often develop really ties with local producers and, as a result, can provide really good regional food and drink that doesn't cost the earth.  Having hot coffee and a slice of cake waiting for you when you get back from the slopes each afternoon, and not even thinking about the dishes, can really make the difference during a rare week off.

    Once you have shortened the list by means of these key factors, you should have a much more manageable list of chalets to choose from.  At this point, it might be worth contacting some of them to find out their availability.  Especially with the small independent companies, where you can speak to your chalet host directly, you will be able to ask some more detailed questions and get a feel for what the chalet and its staff.  Sooner or later, you'll have to take the plunge, but having narrowed things down into essentials and desriables, hopefully you'll be able to do so in confidence and relax in anticipation of a well-deserved holiday.


    This article was provided by www.thechaletexperience.com



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