Catered Ski Chalets with hot tubs? Can a ski holiday really beat some winter sun? I have to say I am not a natural ski bunny. I have friends who would forgo any summer holiday as long as they get to hit the slopes every winter. Personally, when I daydream I think of lying on a sun lounger on a tropical beach, before taking a dip in a warm aquamarine sea, so freezing my socks off in a ski lift queue and having to do strenuous amounts of exercise doesn't really cut it in the comparison stakes. Well, didn't use to cut it, until I was persuaded to give skiing a chance the luxury way.
So first up for comparison was travel and yes, I have to agree that skiing won hands down over a long haul winter flight to a tropical destination. I flew to Zermatt in Switzerland and door to door from London to my chalet took four hours, which compared to eleven hours to the tropics excluding transfers is a no brainer. Next up was accommodation. When I travel I always stay in hotels so the idea of a luxury ski chalet was a bit of an unknown. The thing that put me off the most was the idea of cooking when I was supposed to be on holiday. Well welcome to the world of catered ski chalets.
The Chalet Zermatt Peak is the crème de la crème of Zermatt Chalets. It provides a private chef who will design a menu with you at the beginning of the week, chalet hosts to cater to your every need and a plethora of luxuries such as cinema rooms, walk in wardrobes, and even a private masseuse who is on hand to alleviate any aching muscles you might acquire on the slopes. Chalets with hot tubs are often lauded as being 'the thing to have' on a luxury ski holiday, and after going on one, I know why. After being in the cold for the day, there really is nothing as relaxing as taking in the Matterhorn from the comfort of a hot tub. I definitely recommend it. Zermatt chalets are known for being some of the most luxurious in the Alps and I certainly found the standard of accommodation extremely high. I enjoyed staying in a catered ski chalet much more than I ever expected to. There is no having to be jolly with other hotel guests, waiting for tables or being confined to your room. If you aren't a night owl and prefer to stay in with good wine and good company then a catered chalet is a great option. I took full advantage of the home cinema and treatments and came home feeling thoroughly pampered.
Which brings me to my final comparison of day to day activities. Well, there is no getting away from the fact that skiing is more hard work then lying on a beach reading a trashy novel accompanied by a cocktail. But you probably knew that already. It is a lot of fun though, especially if you are taught by expert instructors and have the right equipment, which you will have if you go with a luxury ski company such as Oxford Ski, Ski in Luxury, Scott Dunn or VIP chalets. So would I go again? In a second. Would I forgo cocktails in the sun for hot tub views of the mountains? Probably not, but I could definitely get used to this two luxury holidays a year malarkey...