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Top Tips for Ski Holiday Planning: Tarentaise Resorts

At Luxury Chalet Book, our primary goal is to assist you in planning your upcoming ski holiday. Along with this we also aim to eliminate the stress of hunting for ski equipment hire, locating suitable ski schools and private ski instructors, and arranging reliable airport transfers. To ensure this, we have established partnerships with exceptional companies, many of whom we’ve worked with for many years. These trusted partners are committed to delivering the superior service our clients expect. The best part? We don’t charge for this service, and in some cases, you can even enjoy discounts when you book through us, paying no more than if you went directly to our partners.

Suzy, a vital member of our team, is responsible for co-ordinating our clients’ transfer services, ski equipment rental, plus ski lessons or private mountain guides. Here are her expert recommendations for a stress-free ski holiday planning process:

Plan Early for Peak Weeks

My primary tip is to book your transfers, ski equipment rental, and ski lessons well in advance if you plan to visit during peak holiday weeks such as Christmas or New Year, February half-term or Easter. These weeks tend to fill up rapidly, and delaying your bookings may limit your preferred choices and availability.

Selecting Your Mode of Travel to the Alps

When it comes to getting to the Alps, you have multiple options: air travel, train journeys, or driving. Each mode has its advantages and challenges, so let’s explore each of them further.

Travelling by Air:

  1. To make the most of your arrival and departure times, try to align your flight bookings with your accommodation’s check-in and check-out times. Typically, check-in times start around 4-5pm, and check-out is usually before 10am, but it’s essential to verify these details in your rental contract. If you arrive early or depart late, most accommodations offer luggage storage at their office or chalet.
  2. After securing your flights, make sure to book your airport-to-accommodation transfers early, especially during peak weeks. Availability does fill up quickly on the popular dates. We collaborate with various transfer partners, contacting all of them to find the best availability and prices for your group.

Travelling by Train:

For environmental reasons many people are opting to take the train to reach their destinations in the Alps. In France, the main stations for popular ski areas include Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-Les-Bains for the 3 Valleys resorts of Courchevel, Meribel, St Martin de Belleville, and Val Thorens; Aime-la-Plagne to access La Plagne; and Bourg Saint Maurice for Val d’Isere, Tignes, Les Arcs, and Sainte Foy.

Keep in mind that train tickets may not be available until eight weeks before your departure date. Once you secure your train tickets, we can arrange a taxi to pick you up at the station and take you to your accommodation. It’s always advisable to pre-book a taxi since taxis may not always be readily available outside the train stations.

Travelling by Car:

More people are considering driving to the Alps or renting a car from the airport. It’s crucial to ensure that your accommodation offers enough parking spaces for your group. If there are more cars than parking spaces available, you can pre-book additional parking spaces in public car parks within the resort for the duration of your stay. Often the resort parking will also be covered, which means you will not need to clear snow from your car in the happy event of heavy snowfall.

Please be aware of the legal requirements when driving in France, including carrying snow chains, a self-breathalyser, a warning triangle, and a reflective high-visibility vest in the car. You may be required to use snow chains based on weather conditions, road signs, or requests from local authorities.

Additionally, check your car insurance and breakdown cover for European travel. If you’re not experienced in driving in snowy conditions, the RAC offers valuable advice. For electric car owners, most major resorts have charging points, but be prepared for increased energy consumption in cold and snowy conditions, especially when driving uphill to resort.

Ski Equipment Hire:

We work with several ski hire partners in France, and booking is typically a breeze. You can make reservations online through their websites, and we provide you with a discount code to apply. For other partners, we can collect your equipment preferences and pass them along to our partner.

  1. Always pre-order your equipment before your arrival at the resort. Booking online in advance ensures you receive a discount, whereas waiting until you arrive can result in paying at least 25% more for your equipment.
  2. During peak weeks, don’t delay booking your ski hire, as equipment can sell out quickly. Booking early ensures you get the equipment you desire.
  3. If you lack convenient transportation to the ski hire shop, consider booking a mobile fitting service. This service allows the ski hire company to come to your chalet and fit your equipment in the comfort of your accommodation. They’ll also collect the equipment at the end of your stay, eliminating the hassle of returning it to the shop.
  4. For budget-conscious skiers, visiting the shop in person can sometimes provide better value for hiring skis. However, it’s essential to pre-order online to secure the discount.
  5. If you are in Courchevel 1550, 1650 & 1850, our ski hire partner offers a shuttle service that pick you up from your accommodation, takes you to the shop for fitting and returning you to your accommodation. This service is subject to availability and requires early booking.
  6. In Val d’Isere, Tignes or La Plagne, if you prefer to visit a ski hire shop, one of our partners there offers you a 30% discount on ski hire if you also book a ski lesson with their ski school.
  7. In Courchevel 1850 and Morzine, two of our partners offer free locker facilities. Instead of carrying your equipment back to your accommodation daily, you can conveniently leave it in the locker and retrieve it in the morning. Both shops are conveniently located near the main snow front areas. Booking early is advisable to secure availability.

Ski Lessons & Guides:

  1. If you plan to visit during the peak holiday weeks, especially New Year and February half-term, booking your ski lessons or instructors well in advance is essential to avoid disappointment.
  2. If you haven’t skied in a while and don’t require a full week of lessons, consider booking a private instructor for a morning or day, or for your first couple of days. Private lessons can help you regain your skiing confidence, enhance your technique, and provide valuable insights into the best slopes.
  3. In Val d’Isere, Tignes, and La Plagne, if you book a lesson or instructor with one of our partners, you can enjoy a 30% discount on ski equipment hire at their resort shops.

Ski Passes:

  1. Moving forward we are seeing some accommodation operators charging a fee for organising your ski passes. Check if you have last year’s pass, as you can recharge it online and reuse it. If you don’t have a pass from the previous season, or have changed ski resort, you can still order them online and have them delivered to your home address if in UK or mainland Europe or pick them up from lift pass ticket machines in resort.
  2. Early booking discounts on ski passes are often available, so be sure to check the website of the ski area you plan to visit for potential savings.

Self-Catered Accommodation and Resort Tips:

  1. If you’ve booked a self-catering accommodation and are interested in having a chef cater for your stay, we can explore this option for you. We have connections with companies that offer private chefs and hosts, enhancing the overall relaxation of your stay. Additionally, in certain resorts, meal deliveries are available as a convenient alternative to cooking, making your holiday even more stress-free.
  2. If you want groceries stocked in your apartment before arrival, some of our partners offer this service, either for free or for an additional fee.
  3. If you’re traveling with young children and desire more time on the ski slopes, we can connect you with our resort nanny service partners. These partners have highly trained nannies on their teams who will ensure your children have a fantastic time under their care. Nannies can be hired for varying durations, and babysitting services are also offered in the evenings, allowing you to enjoy a night out in the resort.
  4. Keep in mind that most operators typically provide a basic welcome kit for the week, including essentials such as a small amount of cooking oil, washing up liquid, toiletries, and toilet paper. You may need to purchase additional toilet paper in the resort, but if you’re driving, consider bringing some from home. I would also consider packing a few dishwasher tablets to save on buying a full box in the resort.
  5. Check our restaurant guides on our resort pages for recommendations and pre-book your tables, especially during peak weeks. We can send you a PDF with details on how to book tables yourself to avoid additional fees. Some accommodation providers offer table booking services, either for free or with an extra charge, so inquire with your provider.
  6. While in resort ensure you have your property managers contact details in case you encounter any accommodation-related issues.

I hope this guide provides valuable insights for meticulously planning the finer details of your upcoming ski holiday.

My primary recommendation is to book your transfers, ski lessons, and ski equipment hire early, particularly during peak holiday weeks.

I’m always here to assist in obtaining quotes from our partners and securing the highest quality services for your trip.

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