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A Tale Of Two Ski Chalets

Aug 11, 2008
Skiing holidays are something that everyone should experience at least once in their life. They are an excellent way to enjoy an activity laden adventure holiday and to see some of the most magnanimous scenery the world has to offer. One of the best ways to enjoy a relaxing break with friends is to pool together money and choose from one of the many private ski chalets, or at least I thought.

I would like to definitively state before proceeding with my tale of doom and trepidation that this is not a reflection of everyones experience with ski chalets and since this fateful sejour I have been back to the same resort with a different provider for one of the best vacations I have ever had. As with everything these days, it started with the internet.

I was looking for something different and through a work colleague I heard about private ski chalets. After minimal research, I discovered that the price was higher than a usual holiday however if I bent arms and crossed palms I might be able to convince some of my friends to pool resources. I located a provider who could arrange everything for me and then secured the interest of my friends.

After seeing many ski chalets online profiles I clicked the mouse and fell in love. It was in a resort called Val d'isere and I knew nothing about skiing, but I liked what I saw of the chalet. It was sumptuous, spacious and just within our price range. A week after forwarding the link to friends they were on board and we were ready to book.

The company was offering to arrange everything from flights to ski lessons, all we had to do was sit back and pay a large sum of money. This we did and in one month we had all the documentation so we played the waiting game. Six months dragged by as I snatched glimpses of the chalet, dreaming of sipping brandy by the open fireplace, watching the snow subtly settling through the French doors.

When we reached this mother of ski chalets, we opened the door and it was better than any of us had dreamed. It boasted three floors, the bottom a massive open plan living room with bar and kitchen facilities and the open fireplace I had been dreaming of. The rest of the house boasted four double bedrooms, a sauna and a luxury bathroom.

We skied, ate, laughed and planned our lives around annual trips to this and other ski chalets. We tried to think of a time when we survived without ski chalets, saunas and the snowplough ski technique. On the third night we heard a rattling at the door as we lounged in front of the fire. Suddenly the door opened to reveal the Petersons and the Chipowskis.

I was in fact asking the same question as you are right now, who the hell are the Petersons and the Chipowskis?
After a mass debate, we got an answer to the question. They were apparently the rightful residents of the chalet and to our horror; they had the paperwork to prove it. I produced our paperwork and then called our provider only to find that the number was no longer in use.

We used the excellent internet connection now available in most ski chalets to discover that the company had gone into administration six weeks ago and although the flights had been valid, the agreement had been re-sold to another company who had in turn let this king of ski chalets to Petersons and the Chipowskis.

We did not have a metaphoric leg to stand on and had to vacate. With a lump in our throats and tears rapidly freezing on our cheeks we went to the resort manager who was really good and put us in a budget chalet with three single bedrooms. It was better than going home but after tasting the exquisite elixir of luxury ski chalets, it tasted bitter. The resort manager offered us a deal for the next year and we have been going back ever since.

The moral of the story is to check and double-check your providers background and history. It is safe to use online resources to book ski chalets and in fact many of the best deals can be found on the web. We have now found a provider who we love and book through every year. It is more cost effective than many other holidays with hidden costs and is an affordable taste of luxury.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has years of experience hiring and writing about ski chalets , he is also a travel writer and improving skier.
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