Real life story: running a ski chalet in France
Al and Deb Flight left London to scour France for the perfect property to start their mountain holiday business. After many months and many disappointments, they discovered the Châtel in the Portes du Soleil area of the French Alps. They tell FrenchEntrée about running a ski chalet in France…
“We knew that day, that this was the perfect place to realise our dream; simply to ‘give our guests the mountain holiday we could never find’. We were both willing to put everything on the line to achieve this goal, starting with the purchase and amazing renovations of Chalet Cateriane, designed and styled specifically for modern living, luxury skiing breaks and also an increasing summer holidays market. It’s constantly said that it really is in a league of its own – it had to be, as the standard of independent chalets in Châtel was already very high. Many of the chalet owners are here for a lifestyle change and not driven solely by profit, which is of great benefit to the holidaymaker.
Gone are the days of dingy wood-clad chalet interiors, sleeping on small uncomfortable slatted beds with suspect blankets and queuing for bathrooms that had long since run out of hot water. Today’s guests will not be trudging down icy roads in cold damp ski boots with the kids in tow to find an already packed ski bus.
We know that today’s discerning travellers demand so much more and so we work hard to deliver affordable luxury with a relaxed but ultimately polished service: en-suite facilities, top-end hotel quality beds, fluffy duvets, crisp white linen and towels, garden hot tubs, gourmet food, champagne and quality wines. All the comforts of home, with enormous emphasis on attention to detail, plus individual touches that make all the difference.
We believe that from the time we greet our guests at the airport in their private mini-bus, they are on holiday. Ski lift passes will be delivered to the breakfast table, help is given with hire equipment, child-care and lessons, they are then driven to the slopes and later collected and chauffeured back to the chalet for freshly baked afternoon teas in front of a roaring fire, or perhaps to an après ski bar in the village. With our extensive experience and local knowledge we can give informed advice on the best slopes, conditions and mountain restaurants.
Chalet Cateriane is cosy and immaculately kept, boasting a seamless mix of character and charm, its chic and boutique décor blending effortlessly with traditional alpine touches. Open plan living and dining with the original log fire lit every day, comfy sofas and vintage pine make for a perfect mix of new and old. Our mezzanine media den is a perfect hide-away with Sky TV DVD Wi-Fi iPod docks plus games, music and book libraries, a welcome haven for children and adults alike.
We are in the charming village resort of Châtel, nestled into the end of the Abondance valley. Originally established by a colony of monks in the 5th century, and then by poor peasant farmers who used this mountainous area to graze their cattle on land that was deemed to have few other uses. In 1948 Châtel implemented its first ski lift and the ski industry here was born.
Situated just 75 minutes from Geneva airport, this beautiful village set on the borders of France and Switzerland, has now been transformed into a major ski and summer holiday resort, mixing local traditions and much rustic charm with a lively village centre boasting superb modern facilities.
Châtel is in the heart of one of the world’s largest linked ski areas, the Portes du Soleil, 650km of piste combining 14 French and Swiss villages, offering skiing without frontiers on some of the best and most varied terrain in the world, all accessible using a single inclusive card. With incredible skiing and snowboarding for all abilities plus a huge variety of summer activities, there really is something for everyone.
For more information on chalet holidays or Chatel have a look at: www.chalet-cateriane.com, email: [email protected] or call: 0033 4 50 73 95 56 for a chat with Deb or Al.
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