Self-catering ski trips

I gather these are now a thing. Thoughts. Places. 

Or, as I call it, non- catering.

We always go to an appartment, we like a good lunch on the slopes and simple supper eg goat cheese salad. But we are old.

I wouldnt do it if more than just two of us and you have to think about breakfast - an appartment attached to a hotel where you go down for breakfast is ideal. Also in a fancy appt you can hunt around for one with a big bathtub, another must for skiing. You get 2-3 times the space in a big appartment than in a hotel room esp if you are prepared to get one with more bedrooms than you need. (Open the window in the spare room and you have a cheese room!)

French resorts do self catering v well.

I've always found it a bit of a false economy as half the time with a big group nobody can be shagged to cook at the end of the day so you end up going out for dinner too.  With a catered chalet you get a decent breakfast and dinner included which means you really only need a snack for lunch and the cost works out much the same.  Also supermarket food up a mountain is expensive so it only really saves you money if you are prepared to drive and ship a lot of your food with you.

Poor little hyoobert is already way ahead of you Amit.

Long term roffers will recall hyoobert telling us of his ski lodge in the Rockies.

Although he doesn’t seem to mention it or visit it much these days. It’s almost as if he forgot that he ever actually bought it.

Oh, but there is

Check out Etoile Filante in Val D’Isere

There are hundreds more like it, I only mention it in particular as one year we went there on a hugely reduced rate - 2 of us for a 4 bedroom luxury appartment, mental, but it was a one off affordable deal.

Anyway you can get plenty of good appts for less, and I do not just mean those chains eg MGM Residences, I have stayed in those too and they are a bit cr@p.

Food generally is  a lot more expensive in the EU than itbis in the UK sails. Its not unique to mountain resorts.

Some stuff is a lot cheaper though. There is a jar of foie gras in our local supermarket for ~€30 that you can't find in the UK for les than £75. Champagnes are generally the same price in  euros as they would be in pounds too so about a 20% discount. 

Meat from the butcher is the same price as it would be here so all in its not that expensive 

I used to do it when I skied every weekend.  


As I was skiing with a guide I didn't really know my movements for the day until she'd seen what the weather had done over night and we'd agree the meeting location - was she picking me up directly with a roll to eat in the car, were we meeting in a breakfast cafe, and if so where? then we'd never quite know when we'd be back in the resort/how tired we'd be/whether we were meeting (+ others?) for dinner, so the added flexibility worked. 

I'm pretty much on the same wavelength as sails. The chance of me wanting to do cooking at the end of the day is slim. Last trip for me was an all inclusive 4* spa hotel so it was get in, bit of a soak and sauna, get ready for dinner and head to the bar for a couple before eating. Rinse and repeat daily.

When we have done this we have got outside caterers to come in or there are a few companies that deliver pre-prepared meals to put in the still have to clear up though

Catered chalets or go out are the best options but not always feasible with young kids as they are generally knackered and french restaurants generally don't open until 7 

Currently in Tignes (Lavachet) doing self-catering in an apartment with 3 kids. Ski-in ski-out. Sherpa supermarket 100M away that sells everything we need. Excellent. Definitely doing the same next year. 

The supermarkets can be spenny but if you stick to local sorts of food (and why wouldn't you, it's mostly France FFS) then it's not bad value. Just get one of those massive tins of cassoulet or coq au vin, a lettuce and a bottle of vinaigrette. 

Catered is also ok but who wants to tuck into a cake made by a hungover teenager after 8 pints at Moris Bar? 

Ego's snow cannon is literally that on this thread! Heh! Anyone know whether strutter has had avalanche training? I'm guessing not because I can't imagine he skis and certainly not back country. He struggles to afford his season ticket into Waterloo. Shame he couldn't afford north of the river but there it is. 

I'm looking at newbuild apartments. For pat dolla it's looking lithely. 

I do love a chalet but haven't been in one since 2020. Really should have a look at that again but sure I will get away again this season. 

Haven't been snowboarding for a bit and need new bindings so have just been skiing instead.

We always do this now. La Thuile. We've got 3 young kids and while we could just about manage the set timings of meals in a hotel with 2 of them, having the third has tipped us over the edge. Having the apartment (minimum 2 bed for us) means

  • more space
  • total control over food
  • total control over timings
  • more of a home base they can chill in before/after skiing than just a hotel room or suite can provide

Not sure if it's cheaper or not, that's not our motivation, would suspect it is. 

Medley I don't have kids an try to avoid accommodation where there will be a bunch of them so I don't have to deal with those issues, but can see how you might want your own space.

Abs no one needs to do any cooking. The Sherpas in France and I dare say other countries too sell very good take away decent meals in aluminium trays eg cassoulet, rotisserie chicken, lasagne, tartiflette etc. and that’s before you’ve got to the cheese counter and excellent salad produce. Very very good wine choice too.

Why wouldn’t you, tbh?

We stayed in Daria-i-Nor in Alpes d',Huez in 2019. It had just opened. Nice enough 2 bed self catering, but with access to the hotels pools, saunas etc. Never liked the chalet vibe unless you take the whole place, and even then the food just fine - prefer going to restaurants. 

Yeah well the last time I stayed in a chalet I had Tom Kerridge paying me for the privilege of melting the fondue cheese and the Roux cousins scrubbing the toilets.

I have found  catered chalet food very good in France. Often better than most of restaurants.  Chefs may be hungover occasionally but usually good culinary skills. It’s effortless and often have afternoon tea.  Check the chalet is quality and spacious. I stayed once in St Anton and outside the rooms there was literally no decent living space. It was a new build and food average.