Our catered chalets are in waiting … snow capped peaks … winter is coming!

Jenni - Operations Manager, Ski AmisWelcome from the Alps!  I’m Jenni and I’m the Operations Manager for Ski Amis.  I spend a lot of time out in France all year round making the preparations for the ski season and in the winter I manage the operation of our catered chalets.  I feel very privileged to experience the spectacular changes of scenery happening around me in the mountains several times a year.  It’s almost October now and the summer season has turned.  The first hint of winter is in the air and the mountains are dusted with the promise of powder days that lie ahead.   The inter-season, although beautiful, is a time of slow simmering nervous excitement for the season just around the corner …. Winter is Coming!!!!

The colours of the alpine fauna and flora in Autumn is a sight for sore eyes.  The vivid greens and rusty browns never cease to stun me as the trees and the mountain nature prepare for winter.

Suddenly, all those noted action plans from the close of last season must spring into action!  The current resort team of two (myself and our Resort Planning Manager, Lesley), are pushing aside the calm of the last 5 months.  We’ve been working on lots of different projects – but now it’s time to bring them all to completion at the same time and make sure our catered chalets are all ready for the approaching season!

A new menu for our catered chalets ….

Last year’s chalet menu plan has been retired and it’s time to put in a whole new plan for the coming season.  We put all the old recipes aside and have been researching for new ideas.  The directors gave us one rule though …

“No one touch my Double Chocolate Brownies”

….. declared from the Med (our Directors summer retreat)!  So yes the favourites remain, but what about the rest?

We’ve come up with lots of different ideas and been cooking and eating all summer! We scheduled taster sessions – drafting in the help of friends and family both in the UK and France.  We needed their help to complete the critical task of selecting the right menu for our catered chalets!  It’s almost there and the new menu will be revealed in a few weeks’ time but here’s a sneak preview ….

Our new chalet hosts ….

We’ve been interviewing continuously all summer searching for the special people who will be my resort team this winter.  This is no easy task!  We are very particular, looking for those qualities which set the Ski Amis chalet hosts aside from the rest.  We are almost there and the team is missing just a few people.  

By the end of November, they will all be flying out to France to start their training programme.  This is high on my agenda to prepare right now!  We are busy preparing all the documentation for our drivers.  It’s a major task to apply for their licences for our transfer service and to train them in winter driving. We are also putting together the Ski Amis cookery school course which they will all follow.  In addition, there are all the other things they need to know.  Our training also includes Food Hygiene exams and Health and Safety training.  

Our new chalets …. And our old ones ….

This summer has also seen a lot of work setting up our new Chalet Nadine in La Plagne – check out those amazing new bathrooms!  Ski Amis Catered Chalets - Chalet Nadine - Italian Style BathroomI’m looking for new furniture, and kitting the chalet out from scratch – including finding a solution for the hot-tub and replacing all the bed-linen and soft furnishings.  We will post a full report when we have completed the project and the new chalet is ready to launch. 

Our existing catered chalets Irene and Jasmine are being upgraded to premium service, so they have also undergone a facelift with new furniture, bed linen and soft furnishings.  All the others are also checked over each summer and inventories replaced and upgraded – every year it’s a continual effort to keep them all up to scratch including this year upgrading the electricity supply to Lea and Morgane.

The UK Office comes to life ….

Our deserted UK office is now a hub of activity.  The new intake of seasonal staff and apprentices are learning their roles and getting ready for the phones to ring.  In October, our guests start to plan their escape to the iconic French Alps.  This week the sales team had their annual educational trip to resort.  Ski Amis Catered Chalets - UK Sales Team

The Ski Amis transfer service (me!) was ready and waiting for them – with my yellow and blue driver jacket clearly visible in the relentless hustle and bustle of Geneva airport.  The team of 7 were based in Chalet Anniek for the week – they experienced standard and premium service, morning and evening with Lesley and I acting as chalet hosts to demonstrate how it all works. 

They visited every one of the chalets and stood in every room taking extensive notes.  They explored the resorts and rehearsed the access to the slopes so they can pass this knowledge on to you. 

And the favourites …. ?

The team debated their favourite resort and their favourite catered chalets but so difficult to pick just one.  After all, there are 20 chalets across six villages!  There is something for everyone, the calm of Bettaix for a quiet, relaxing get away.  Bruyeres – for the perfect access to the Three Valleys, skiing from first lift to the last run of the day straight to the door.  La Tania for those seeking tree lined runs down to the apres hubs of Le Pub de Ski Lodge and Le Taiiga.  Montchavin in the charming rural French resort with great access to the Vanoise Express.  The best view of them all from Chalet Sermoz in Peisey Vallandry and finally Montalbert where Mont Blanc’s year round snowy peak reminds us all of the winter ahead.

A favourite truly was impossible to pick.  Did they prefer the charm of the Chalet Dolomites or Ski Amis’ new Chalet Nadine with it’s newly renovated bathrooms that make me turn green with envy?  We could all see why Chalets Jasmine and Irene were picked to be upgraded to premium service this year …. those views are simply amazing!!!!

Then there was the food and the sales team were our guinea pigs!   “Oh… can I have this recipe?”  The signs are encouraging and we can’t wait to find out what you think.

And finally …. so what are you waiting for? 

We are ready to quote you for the holiday you’ve been daydreaming about all summer. Our sales team are clued up on our catered chalets and know the pros and cons of each resort.  From my side, I’m looking forward to welcoming you in resort in a few months’ time!

À bientôt

Jenni