Chalet host: whats it like being a chalet host? any advice?

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Chalet host: whats it like being a chalet host? any advice?

Started by G93 in France - 8 Replies

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G93 posted Mar-2010

Hi

I'm thinking about doing a season after I finish college, and being a chalet host seems to be the best job to go for. Can anyone who's done the job before tell me what its like - is it easy to meet people? do you get much skiing in? Also what age are most of the people that do it?
Ive heard its really hard work! but thats fine as long as its fun aswell lol.

Any info and advice would be great - thanks!

Pertyb2
reply to 'Chalet host: whats it like being a chalet host? any advice?'
posted Apr-2010

I did it for a season 05/06. I worked for Silverski-a medium sized chalet co. They employ many older staff so I (aged 40) was not the youngest, though I was working with 2 young aussies aged 21 and 26. Some operators will take people under 21, many do not. Being a chalet host can mean a number of things. It can mean that you are cooking breakfast, cake and dinner 6 days a week, plus cleaning, shopping, budgeting. Sometimes you will have a set menu to do, other co's will want you to design your menu. The budget will be miniscule. if you can't cook, frankly I would not advise doing it. There are a number of chalet cookery courses that last about 4 weeks that may stand you in good stead. if you are good at the job, you should be able to do your evening meal prep, clean and be out skiing each day by 11am, with no need to be back in until 5 or even afterwards if you are efficient and evening meals are at 8pm. You could look at jobs which do not involve being responsible for food. Most chalets that sleep 12-14 will have a main cook plus assistant, so you would be chopping and prepping food, but not the main cook. You would also be involved in brekkie, serving and clearing up meals, setting tables, cleaning rooms, snow clearing and anything else that needs doing. Some companies will employ someone who is also more of a ski guide-which I what I ended up doing mostly, having originally gone out to cook in a chalet for 19.

Be aware-to do the job properly, isn't for the faint hearted-ypu will be utterly knackered. My day (for 4 days of my week)-up at 7.20, into chalet to prep breakfast and serve 7.30, off with guests skiing 9-4.30, break for 2.5 hours, 7pm help with supper, 9.30 finish. Changeover day-up at 5.30, see guests off, clean, prep cake/ dinner till 12/12.30ish, Shower and put on best smiles. New guests arrive 1.30/2pm-settle them in for about an hour. Get a couple of beers in till 5/6pm, cook dinner, finish about 9.30. One other day- breakfast, clean cook till staff meeting at noon. Afternoon free and then prep dinner. One day off. Even my younger colleagues were not ones for endless partying-and they had time for a middday kip if they wanted it!

As a ski guide-best bit is skiing all day, but you can't decide not to go out, unlike my colleagues who could chill all day after 11am till dinner prep time at 5.30 ish if they fancied it.
Worst bits-no privacy, sharing a room. Crap "pay". And in my case, virtually no free time at all save my day off when I used to just go off on my own to get some headspace.
Best bits...the skiing........

it's important to check
- what the perks of the job are-make sure you get a lift pass, kit and insurance thrown in (I have heard recently some operators are not even doing lift passes now), if you are working in a large ski area-do you get the whole area lift pass, or just a local one. I was lucky to get a whole 3V lift pass for the season.
-will they tell you where you are to be employed before you go-you may want to have an idea whether you will be somewhere with lots of nightlife or not;
-can you use company vehicles to get about on your day off?
-do you want to work alone (chalet of 8-10 guests) or with others?
-some chalet hosts live in, some live out. How far away is the live out option? What will the accommodation be like?
Hope that helps!

Liberace
reply to 'Chalet host: whats it like being a chalet host? any advice?'
posted May-2010

You might find the job profile videos on www.ski-jobs.co.uk useful as they include interviews with people who have been there and done it. There are different videos showing a typical day for a Chalet Host, Bar Staff, Kitchen Assistant, Driver and a few other roles.

Trencher
reply to 'Chalet host: whats it like being a chalet host? any advice?'
posted May-2010

Pertyb2, I was feeling tired just reading that description. BTW great post.
because I'm so inclined .....

NellyPS
reply to 'Chalet host: whats it like being a chalet host? any advice?'
posted May-2010

Great info in the mammoth post. I worked as a CG for 6 years, although I use that term very loosely as I was actually in a hotel working as a waitress/bog scrubber for a couple of years before moving onto a smaller chalet, I couldn't cook, however I was with a boyfriend at the time who did the cooking and I did all the other stuff.

It is hard work and the mid season blues can stretch your patience, but I wouldn't change anything about my years in resort.

Equity Total Ski employ a number of people for various jobs from running your own chalet to working in a hotel with lots of other people, where there's also bar work, nannying etc.

Good luck with the hunt!

NellyPS
reply to 'Chalet host: whats it like being a chalet host? any advice?'
posted May-2010

Just another note about the age question, I was 18 / 19 when I did my first couple of seasons, I started doing them again at about 25/26 so I was around 30 when I finished.

I knew of plenty of people of all ages doing what they love, age really is just a number when it comes to skiing and working in a resort.

You will have a blast!

TheoBane
reply to 'Chalet host: whats it like being a chalet host? any advice?'
posted May-2010

Well i met a Dj for Dicks tea bar in Val d'isere, pretty much had the best life style ever. God drunk every night, snowboarded during the day and then start drinking at night. I never met a dj that was so good when he was so drunk, probley had a set already arranged for the night so that if he gets too drunk he puts that on

Calvahead
reply to 'Chalet host: whats it like being a chalet host? any advice?'
posted May-2010

I have been a chalet host for the last 4 years, but it think it is different working for yourself as we run our own chalet. From feedback I have from other people it makes so much different finding good people to work for, I would do you homework when it comes to this, also get out to ski as much as possible even if you are tired (it is what you are there for after all), also will beat the mid season blues.

Have fun
www  Ski property 4 Vallées www.skiproperty4vallees.com

Topic last updated on 18-May-2010 at 21:28

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