The idea of taking a ski holiday that involves staying in a fully catered chalet is one that appeals to many. Yet before you get entirely lost in the romance, it’s worth keeping in mind that you need to be sure that you are getting what you expect in terms of catering, and to make certain of such before you actually make your final booking.
Here are some top tips for the sort of questions you may wish to ask your holiday provider.
What meals are included? Typically, that will include breakfast, afternoon tea and a full evening meal, but some might miss out on that mid-afternoon break.
What do the meals comprise? If you’re burning thousands of calories more than usual because of your physical exertions, you will need plenty of good wholesome food. For example, it’s particularly important that you get a good energy-laden breakfast. Make sure it isn’t just going to be a glass of orange juice and a bowl of cereal.
What is the quality of the catering? Of course, inevitably price will play a part in this. If you opt for an economy-first catered chalet holiday, you might expect good quality, wholesome and filling meals. However, if you pay more, you may be able to expect more of a fine dining experience.
Will you sample some local cuisine? Some catering may offer what might be termed essentially international cuisine only. That may include things like pasta, pizza and burgers. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but if you’re hoping to get some of the local delicacies, you may wish to check that in advance.
Be clear on the wine position. Some chalets don’t provide it included in the price whereas others do. Some of those that do may offer some fairly basic ones (bordering controversial ‘Vino Collapso’), whereas others will make a point of offering good medium-level quality wines. Certainly, stay realistic by all means; you’re unlikely to get the finest vintages, though you perhaps might be offered them if you’re willing to pay a little extra.
Understand the arrangements. At the risk of sounding childish, or even worse, greedy, make sure you understand the physical dining arrangements. If you’re in a catered chalet that you are sharing with others, free-for-alls and ‘food grabs’ can occasionally get out of hand and result in you missing out your fair share – particularly if you happen to be late for one reason or another. It’s actually been known for some poorly managed chalets to run out of food before everyone’s eaten. When dealing with grown adults and responsible individuals, this sort of thing should never be an issue, but it’s worth asking in advance about what would happen (e.g.) if you just arrived a little late to eat.