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Catered ski holidays

You may have been to an all-inclusive beach holiday in the Caribbean or Mexico. Or perhaps one of the upscale cruises on smaller luxurious ships where everything including the French champagne is part of your cruise fare. But have you ever had an all-inclusive ski holiday? The likelihood is not, unless you are from Britain and do your skiing in France, Switzerland or Austria. The ‘catered chalet’ is a uniquely British institution. Tour companies rent a chalet from the owner for several seasons and send out one or more ‘chalet girls’ (depending on the size of the property); usually a well-spoken young woman aged 18-23 who has done a ‘Cordon Bleu’ or similar cookery course. Her job is to do everything in her chalet to take care of you: make, serve and clear up 3 meals a day, clean the house, make the beds, give advice on the best runs and ski shops etc.

Staying in a catered chalet is a truly relaxing experience: no cooking, no cleaning, no hassle. When you come home from the slopes your chalet girl will have a delicious cake waiting for you with tea and hot chocolate (they call it cocoa in England), and later on will serve wine with a 3 or 4 course meal. Depending on your budget, you can be eating true gourmet or something simpler. By the way, 3 meals a day means breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner – you have lunch up the mountain. This concept is now starting to be introduced to North America.

So far it has served exclusively the British market, but some companies are now starting to introduce it to North Americans. After all, it can’t only be the British who prefer not to spend their vacations shopping, making beds and cleaning up. One of the innovators marketing this service to North Americans is Holiday Whistler, owned by a British couple. They offer 45 properties in Whistler, BC (repeatedly voted North America’s #1 ski resort), and British-style catering is offered as an option in all their properties. So if you want a Whistler rental which combines the pampering of a luxury hotel, with the privacy and charm of some the loveliest mountain homes in Canada (think peeled log interiors, cowhide rugs, wood-burning fireplaces, steam rooms and private hot tubs), click on this link, or give them a call.


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