Where it all started
There was a shift in the winds for individuals searching for a luxury retreat throughout the 1990s. As the adventure and experience economy grew, the previously typical white sands and palm saw new competitors enter the area, competition from Europe’s highest peaks. The luxury catered chalets experience has been around much longer though, beginning from 1930s when British skier Erna Low created all-inclusive vacations to Austria for £15 including transportation to and from resort, lunch, housing, ski hire, ski courses and a German lesson.
However, as is often the case, nothing from those early years survives, save for architectural influences.
During this early time of expansion, there was little improvement in catered chalets; in fact, some would argue you were lucky if you had warm water in the property; toilets were shared, and rooms were leased separately.
With the democratization of travel in the 1960s, package holidays exploded, giving inexpensive vacations to the public. As a result, travel became more inexpensive, and participation skyrocketed. This expressed itself in the ski business as high-rise residences in key resorts, giving more rooms on a smaller footprint = lower pricing.
By the 1980s, skiing had firmly established itself as the vacation of choice for the affluent, which meant that hotels, properties, resorts, restaurants, and every other conceivable facility were expected to be of a higher caliber, delivering the service that those individuals had come to expect closer to home, in the mountains.
With the expanded availability of lodging options, “chalets” became a less competitive proposition and, as a result, underwent a much-needed revitalization. We began to witness the embodiment of what we know and love today in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
In the late 1990s these homes were mostly “comfortable” but not outstanding, so professional started about rethinking the offering from the bottom up… Looking back, the properties were pioneering, providing a degree of care and comfort that had not before been seen outside of private homes.
What Happened Next?
Fast forward 20 years, and the quality of properties that currently come through our operators is excellent. Client expectations have always led the changes we see in the service industry, particularly in the luxury ski market, where en-suite facilities were previously the key selling feature, hot tubs, pools, wine cellars, games areas, movie rooms, and yes, even bowling alleys…
Why Should You Rent a Luxury Catered Chalet?
In the late afternoon, after a great day’s skiing, the resort becomes quiet. The bars fill up for a festive après-ski!
Nothing like a luxury catered chalet for getting away from it all and relaxing. From the minute you arrive to the moment you leave, everything about the experience is designed to make your life simpler and better.
After a long day of skiing, frequently in various groups, with some skiers more proficient and others maybe at ski school, coming to the chalet to swap stories and rejoice in one another’s exploits is a time-honored custom. But add to that a level of service that rivals the best hotels in the world while being entirely focused on you and your visitors. You can make the most of your stay in the mountains with customized dinners, evening canapés, private saunas, in-house pools, and everything in between – the real trouble comes when it’s time to leave, and reality sets in – but there’s always next year…
I sincerely feel that luxury catered chalet provide the ideal experience for families, business retreats, friends, or any group of people who just want to spend more quality time together without the worries of everyday life getting in the way. There’s no need to go shopping or clean, and your private chef has dinner ready. I advise everyone who has not had the opportunity to experience a luxury chalet to do so, but be warned: once you’ve done it, you’ll never go back.
Permit us to take you there
If you are seeking for a family or friends ski holiday, we have a wide range of luxury catered chalets for you to have the best ski getaway.