News - Winter

How to Organise a Group Ski Holiday

November 9th, 2014 by in News, Winter

group ski holidays

Group ski holidays with Riders Refuge

If you are tasked with organising a snowboard or ski holiday for a group, it can often feel like an unsurmountable task. A lot of juggling can be necessary to keep everyone happy and accommodate each group member’s needs. There are a variety of factors to consider such as the ski area, the location of the chalet or hotel, catering and facilities, lessons and on top of this it has to come in on budget. We decided to speak to our guests and staff to find out the most important factors to consider when arranging a group ski or snowboard holiday and how to keep the whole experience fun and stress-free.

Tip 1 –Book ahead to get the most choice and best deals.
If you are looking to organise a group ski holiday, you will want to start looking as early as possible, particularly if your group is large. Starting early will give your group the best chance of finding your perfect ski accommodation. Chalet holidays are ideal for groups with a great, social environment and communal relaxation and dining areas to enjoy after a hard day on the mountain. In addition, there are early bird discounts in many chalets for those who book ahead.

Tip 2 – The Ski Area
The Ski area itself must be given serious consideration when booking a group ski or snowboard trip. In most cases, group members will be of different ability levels and so terrain needs to be found to suit everyone. For accomplished skiers and riders, days tackling the steeps or doing park laps may be tempting but don’t forget about any less experienced members of the group who will reap the benefits of good nursery slopes and greens and blues for progression. Ski areas such as the Portes du Soleil are ideal with hundreds of kilometres of pistes for all levels and a good choice of well-placed mountain restaurants where different group members can reunite for a drink.

Tip 3 – Location, Location, Location
Location is extremely important when organising a group ski or snowboard holiday. Firstly, the location of your chosen resort comes in to play. If you choose a resort with a short transfer from the airport, you can take a morning flight and be on the slopes by the afternoon. Many Riders Refuge guests chose Morzine for its short transfer time at just 75 minutes from Geneva.
The location of your chalet within your chosen resort is also extremely important. If some of the group are non-skiers or are keen to take days off, a chalet that is a long way from shops and activities may feel quite isolated. Resort maps can be hard to interpret if it’s your first visit, so ask the chalet company how far the property is from facilities before you book. All Riders Refuge chalets are either in the town centre or a short walk away whilst Chalet les Pistes, our most central Morzine chalet is just 100 metres from the Pleney lift.

Tip 4 – Enquire about room sizes and living space
If you are travelling with a large group, you will want a chalet that feels spacious, where rooms are a decent size and with a good number of bathrooms. With increasing pressure for space in many ski resorts, some chalets may have smaller bedrooms than you’d expect. Conversely, other chalets may have small living areas which aren’t always sufficient for the number of guests. Riders Refuge properties have been carefully selected to provide comfortable living space for your ski or snowboard holiday. Our guest Amy, who visited Riders Refuge in February 2014 wrote “The chalet itself was bigger than places I have stayed before and felt really homely”. Our living areas are also equipped with Wii consoles and media centres containing a good selection of films to ensure groups are kept entertained.

Tip 5 – Catered versus Self Catered
Whether you opt for a catered chalet or a self-catered property will largely depend on your group’s needs; however it seems that these days the costs are now comparable. Guests who have opted for self-catered in the past say that costs quickly mount, particularly taking into account staples and food for breakfast as well as the cost of an evening meal. In addition, there is the food preparation time to consider when you’re tired after a day on the mountain. Riders Refuge offer a catered service in our chalets on 6 days including a cooked or continental style breakfast, afternoon tea and a three course meal with plenty of wine. One night a week, the chalet staff have a day off which gives guests the opportunity to sample local Morzine restaurants.

Tip 6 -.Chose a company that can offer a personal service
One of most common pieces of feedback that we receive at Riders Refuge is that our guests really enjoy the personalised service. As our guest Amy explains, “Everything was great – booking with a small company you really get much better service from the moment you book to when you leave”. Sam who stayed with Riders Refuge in January 2014 agrees “Jill and Jono who run Riders Refuge were so helpful beforehand. Replying to every message swiftly and giving me great advice”. All Riders Refuge packages include airport transfers which will be arranged around your flight times plus the team can also help with any extras such as lessons, ski hire and activities – all you have to do is turn up!

Riders Refuge have years of experience in organising group ski holidays. So whatever the size of group, we should be able help arrange a superb holiday for you in our chalets in Morzine. For more information, contact us to speak to one of our friendly team.

New Catered Chalet – Chalet L’Hérens

October 31st, 2014 by in News, Winter

new catered chalet

L’Hérens – New catered chalet

Our New Catered Chalet – Chalet L’Herens will be available for this coming winter. We are very excited to have this beautiful brand new property in our portfolio. Riders Refuge is now entering our 8th winter season with all our catered chalets based in Central Morzine to date. This fabulous brand new chalet we feel will fit in perfectly for our guests due to the high standard of the chalet, its location and the fantastic views not to mention our food and service.

New catered chalet – Chalet L’Herens

Chalet L’Hérens is situated on the outskirts of Morzine in Montriond. It is with in walking distance of Morzine town centre it takes 15 minutes to get to Morzine tourist office and less to walk to the nearest lift station the Super Morzine. The Super Morzine lift takes you to Avoriaz there is also the Pleney chairlift another 5 minutes walk away which takes you to the Morzine ski area and across to Les Gets and it is an easy walk on the flat. This chalet will sleep up to 10 people in 5 spacious bedrooms 3 of the bedrooms have their own en suites bathrooms with either a bath or a walk-in shower with the other 2 bedrooms sharing a jack and jill style en suite. This catered chalet will have a large living area downstairs with a log fire, open plan dining room and kitchen. Chalet L’Hérens also boast an equipment store with boot warmers and drying room.

Our service in this catered chalet

Our price includes free return transfers from Geneva airport to your chalet. Chalet L’Hérens is catered on arrival you will be greeted by your chalet hosts and onced you have been showed your bedroom you will be offered a welcome drink. We provide breakfast every morning there is a hot option available which is different everyday from bacon sandwiches to pancakes, the hot option is not available on the staff day off but there is cereal, fresh fruit and fresh bread available.  Afternoon tea is freshly baked everyday and will be waiting for you when you return from your day up the mountain.  Dinner is preceeded by canapés then a three course dinner followed by coffee.

We offer to take you to the slopes after breakfast and there is the offer of a lift back from 16:30 till dinner time. The chalet is very conveniently situated next to a bus stop, the buses in Morzine are free of charge and run throughout the day till early evening.

Price

This chalet is sold at a introductory price for this winter starting at as little as £379 per person for the easter holidays, the chalet is still available for February half term so get in quick if you are still looking for this week.

 

 

 

 

Early Snow for Morzine – 2014

October 27th, 2014 by in News, Winter

early snow for morzine

The Pleney has already had snow. October 2014

Early snow for Morzine this autumn. As the temperatures dropped last week to just above freezing level and we saw the first snow of the season fall on higher ground. We are now looking forward to winter which is just over 6 weeks away. Early snow for Morzine and the Portes Du soleil area is not unusual. In the time we have been here (8 years) we have always been delighted to see early snow with the lift companies often opening the lifts on weekends late November for the locals to enjoy the snow before the resort officially opens and gets back to business. Avoriaz opens on the 13th December with Rock on Ultimate a snowboard and music event over the first week.

Snow Conditions in morzine.

Morzine town is at 1000m and it is because of this many people think we would struggle for snow. This is not true we have a fantastic snow record, the highest point in the Portes Du Soleil area reaches 2500m. We are in close proximity to Mont Blanc and because of this we benefit from their weather system, this brings Morzine and the Portes Du Soleil similar snow conditions to that of higher resorts. We are also very close to Lac Leman (Geneva) and as the cold winds arrive from the north east they pick up moisture from the lake and deposit it on the first mountains they meet which is the Portes Du Soleil area.

The average snowfall for Avoriaz over the last ten years shows that it has an outstanding record better that that of Val Thorens. Even when the snowfall across the French alps has been poor the Portes Du Soleil has still been open for the whole season mid December to mid April.

Early snow for Morzine

Snow arrives in Avoriaz park

Our Ski area also boasts a fantastic snow making system with over 694 snow cannons to date. These snow cannons can make natural snow when the temperature drops to below 3° c, and the lift companies strive to keep the Pistes in perfect conditions from early December till late April.

So why not come and join us for some early season skiing or snowboarding we have short breaks available pre Christmas.

Contact us now – 0033 682 635 591 or info@ridersrefuge.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

New Avoriaz Lifts Progressing Well

September 9th, 2014 by in Winter

Avoriaz Chairlifts

Work progress summer 2014, New lifts in the Portes Du Soleil

We are excited to report that work on 2 new Avoriaz lifts has been progressing well this summer. Here at Riders Refuge, we have been monitoring the progress of work on the Procolou and Serrausaix lifts with interest.

The Morzine and Avoriaz ski areas have benefited enormously from lift improvements in the last few years including the new Prodains express and Pleney lift. However the Avoriaz Lift company Serma have continued to invest heavily in their chairlift system and the Portes Du Soleil area. Residents and visitors alike welcoming plans to improve the Procolou and Serrausaix lifts, linking Morzine to Avoriaz via the super-Morzine.

The two chairlifts, (previously 2 four-man chairs) have long been the source of bottle-necks, particularly in peak-season. Congestion at the Procolou lift was exacerbated by the popularity of its run of the same name, a wide, very gentle blue, ideal for those progressing from the nursery slopes. Due to this popularity and the high volume of skiers and snowboarders coming over to Avoriaz from Morzine, queues at the lift could often be lengthy until mid-afternoon. Once people started to head back towards Morzine, the queues then tended to mount at the Serrausaix lift.

The good news is that both lifts are currently being upgraded and should be ready for the start of 14/15 winter season. The Proclou is to become a new high-speed 6-man chair, whilst the Serrausaix will be upgraded to run at higher speed, transporting a greater number of passengers per hour.

On our first visit in early August, bulldozers were preparing the ground for the 2 base stations and foundations to the new pylons were complete. Now, a month on, many of the pylons are actually in place and trees have been felled to make way for the new Serrausaix top station. The Serrausaix lift will now end slightly higher up, further in the direction of the super-Morzine.

Work has been hampered by the wet conditions this summer but the dryer weather we are currently seeing in Morzine-Avoriaz should assist workers in getting the project complete in time for the winter opening. We are looking forward to smaller queues and a faster trip for those who wish to ski over to Avoriaz!

Rock The Pistes

February 3rd, 2014 by in News, Winter

Rock Les Pistes MorzineMarch 26th -30th sees Rock The Pistes return for another year.

The Portes du Soleil runs many special events throughout the year, including a variety of sporting events and concerts. However, the Rock the Pistes festival, taking place each March, is one stand-out event on the annual calendar. The week-long music festival offers visitors the opportunity to ski or snowboard to different areas to watch a series of performances by artists and bands on stages all over the mountain. And the best part of all? The festival is completely free, you just need to have a lift-pass in order to get around! (more…)

Morzine Christmas

January 30th, 2014 by in News, Winter

ChristmasA Morzine Christmas! We can scarely believe that it’s almost a month since Christmas, the winter seems to be flying by! Here at Riders Refuge we enjoyed a fantastic festive week with our chalet guests. We thought we would share an account of our Christmas here in snowy Morzine along with a few pictures. (more…)

The Joys of January – 7 Reasons To Go Skiing Or Snowboarding This Month!

January 5th, 2014 by in News, Winter

Jan skiingWhilst many travellers choose Christmas and New Year to take their ski or snowboard holiday, January is a month that is often over-looked. Understandably those travelling with school-age children are more restricted; however for those with flexible holiday allowances, January can be the perfect time to get away. We take a look at the benefits of taking your ski or snowboard holiday this month. (more…)

Have Fun and Remain Safe Off-Piste This Winter!

December 9th, 2013 by in News, Winter

Powder There is nothing quite like the feeling of floating across a powder field on a bluebird day. With the right equipment and precautions, riding off-piste is one of the true-pleasures of snowboarding and skiing. The Portes du Soleil ski area boasts some superb off-piste, a large proportion of which is easily accessible from our chalets in Morzine.

To ensure our guests are fully prepared before heading off-piste this winter, we chatted to our friends at Mint Snowboarding to bring you the following advice. Mint will be running a series of introductory sessions to Avalanche Safety & Awareness this winter so make sure you get your place booked! (more…)

Morzine Restaurants

November 26th, 2013 by in Morzine, News, Winter

Morzine Restaurants

There are plenty of Morzine Restaurants to choose from. Morzine is an ideal holiday destination for food-lovers with a great range of quality restaurants. From fine-dining to some really great takeaways, there really is something for all tastes. We give you a rundown of our favourite restaurants to try just a stone’s throw from our collection of Morzine chalets.

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