If you are tasked with organising a snowboard or ski holiday for a group, it can often feel like an insurmountable 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.