Overwhelmed by the options available for your ski holiday? Here's what you need to consider when renting a luxury chalet.
Booking a Luxury Ski Holiday
When booking a ski holiday there is a lot to consider, from choosing the perfect ski resort to the accommodation itself and selecting the service level and facilities you want. With so many choices, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed by all of the available options. With this in mind, we have set about putting together our Complete Guide to Renting a Luxury Chalet. Over the coming weeks, we will explore in more detail all the things you need to think about to ensure you have the best holiday, from the initial search to the booking process.
Top 10 things to consider when renting a luxury ski chalet:
- When to travel?
- Who is travelling?
- Which ski resort to go to?
- What type of service do you want?
- What are your “must-have” facilities?
- Do you want ski lessons?
- What other activities do you want to try during your ski trip?
- The booking process, payments and security deposit
- What type of financial protection does my booking have?
- Why book with Leo Trippi?
Where and When to Travel in the Alps
Before you begin your search it is a good idea to know your group size and the configuration of the group i.e. the ratio of adults to children. Once you’ve established this, the search can officially begin.
Whilst it is not necessary to know the exact resort you wish to go to, it is important to think about whether you want to be at the centre of the action or somewhere a little more tranquil and remote. If nightlife is a priority then you need to make this known, as some resorts are quieter than others after hours and we will be able to point you in the right direction (from personal experience!)
If you have beginners in your group, you need to look for resorts that have adequate beginner areas and nursery slopes such as Les Gets or Meribel. Or perhaps your party is more advanced, in which case you will need expansive terrain or even some off-piste skiing to keep you entertained. Ski areas such as the Three Valleys and Espace Killy offer hundreds of kilometres of skiing whilst Chamonix, St. Anton and Verbier are renowned for their off-piste itineraries.
One of our most popular requests is for ski-in/ski-out accommodation. However, not all ski-in/ski-out properties are created equal and as such it’s often a better bet to opt for a property with a driver service or even just close proximity to the lifts. This will open up many more options and you’ll likely stumble upon something special if you are a little more flexible. It is also worth remembering that a ski-in/ski-out location pushes up the price point somewhat, plus many ski-in/ski-out chalets will not be suitable for beginners.
You will also want to consider the time of year you are going, as lower resorts early or late-on in the season might be a little more unpredictable when it comes to snow cover. Again, we can advise you on this. If you are considering a peak week (Christmas, New Year, Half Term), it really is important to book well in advance. These weeks, particularly in popular resorts such as Zermatt and Courchevel 1850, get booked up extremely quickly, so if you think it’s too early to be planning your ski holiday it probably isn’t. It is also important to note that these weeks will also have peak prices. New Year tends to be the most expensive week of the season whilst the middle to end of January is often a much cheaper time to getaway.
Types of service in ski chalets
Luxury chalets are offered with different services which reflect the different price bands. These services are usually catered, bed & breakfast, self-catered or accommodation only.
Accommodation only means you are just booking the property with no service other than perhaps an end of stay clean. Self-catered often includes some level of service such as a mid-week or daily cleaning service. Bed & breakfast is self-explanatory but will usually include housekeeping. A catered or half-board service means that you will have your own private chef and team of chalet staff who will attend to all your needs, serving breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner.
However, in reality, it is a little more complicated than this with the quality and inclusions varying within each type of service. Rest assured though that all of our properties receive the Leo Trippi stamp of approval, having been inspected by a member of the team and our portfolio is continually checked and updated.
All Leo Trippi properties include a concierge service to help you plan the finer details of your holiday such as ski lessons, ski hire, restaurant and spa bookings, childcare and airport transfers. We are also able to advise and arrange any other activities that you may want to try during your stay, from dogsledding to paragliding and heli-skiing. You will also have someone on hand in resort to assist you with anything else you may need during your time away.
The chalet booking process
Although the booking process can vary from chalet to chalet depending on the operator and/or owner’s requirements, the one thing you can be sure of is that you will receive a booking form with terms and conditions that you will need to sign and send back to us.
As a general rule, a deposit between 20 to 50% of the total is due immediately to secure the booking with the final balance payable 4 to 12 weeks before arrival. Payment can usually be made by bank transfer and by credit card.
You will also usually be asked to pay a security deposit to cover any damage caused to the property. This is taken either by bank transfer or as a credit card authorisation and is normally paid anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks prior to arrival. It will be refunded at the latest one month after departure but normally sooner, less any costs incurred during your stay or cost of damages.
Why book a ski holiday with Leo Trippi?
Booking with a specialist ski agent, like Leo Trippi, rather than directly with an operator or owner has several advantages. Firstly, we have a wider selection of properties at our fingertips and can give you a totally unbiased opinion on what we think would best suit you and your group. We also have access to many off-market properties (private chalets and apartments) that you would not be able to find elsewhere and it's worth highlighting that there is no difference in price whether you choose to book directly with the operator or with Leo Trippi.
Secondly, our team knowledge is second to none. With offices in the key Swiss resorts (St Moritz, Verbier and Zermatt), we have deep-rooted contacts in the Alps, giving us the ability to create totally bespoke and memorable trips, as well as providing insider access to exclusive events and properties. We are aware of the best deals on the market and any recent changes in a chalet (facilities, team members) that may impact your experience. We also have offices in the UK and Russia and regularly travel to visit guests around the world on our client roadshows.
Thirdly, having an agent involved gives you a second level of support should anything go wrong. Hopefully, this won’t be an issue but it may help to give you peace of mind knowing that we are on your side and can talk to the owner/operator on your behalf as well as other suppliers.
Leo Trippi is a member of Guarantee Fund of the Swiss Travel Industry, meeting the foundations' professional competence, seriousness and solvency requirements and we’re subject to regular monitoring.