• Lucy Light

Ski Season Series: Being a Chalet Host (4/5)

Chalet host work in chalets and apartments throughout the winter seasons, with their primary jobs being to cook, clean and cater for visiting parties and holiday makers. Be aware, the job isn't for the faint hearted, you will (if the job is done properly) be absolutely knackered.

The average Chalets hosts’ week looks something like this:

  • Get up around 7am, walk to the bakery, get the fresh baguette for breakfast and head on down to the chalet.

  • Prepare a cold breakfast spread of cereals, jams etc for the guests then be prepared to cook hot breakfast requests if asked for.

  • Once the guests are off on the slopes get tidying, clear up breakfast, give their rooms a once over and most importantly, get the cake for afternoon tea ready.

  • Prep bits for dinner.

  • Set up the table for afternoon tea

  • GO SKI!

  • Get back to the chalet, clear up afternoon tea (some companies may wish for you to come back early and serve afternoon tea)

  • Lay table ready for dinner, occasionally serve kids dinner early if requested.

  • Serve the 3/4 course evening meal, along with wine.

  • Tidy up, dishwasher on.

  • Go out drinking.

  • Or go get some sleep.

Although this seems like a lot to do for 5 days a week for 5 months, you have to remember you're living in the mountains and also skiing 6 days a week! With 5 days work with skiing in your break, 1 day off (some companies now allow 2 days off) and the one dreaded changeover day, generally falling on a Sunday, although this job is tiring, the perks are certainly there.

Change over day is every chalet hosts end of week nightmare. Usually on a Sunday, changeover is the day your old guest leave and your new ones arrive for the week. This means cooking breakfast as expected, followed by waving off your guests, (hopefully with a sneaky sneaky ‘tip handshake’) then onto the deep clean!

Stripping beds, hoovering, mopping, remaking beds, cleaning toilets to the max!! And thats only the bedrooms. The whole chalet has to be immaculate and brand new for the guests about to arrive, first impressions are everything. With no time for skiing on a changeover day these long days are hard and do become very tedious, but be that as it may, one day with no slope action out of 7 isn't all that bad.

A brilliant bonus that comes with a chalet host job is the living expenses. Your average chalet host job will cover everything you need.

Accommodation, either in the chalet or in a shared apartment always a short walk from where you work.

Good ski hire is provided, usually very expensive for a weeks holiday, let alone 5 months!

Lift passes (also mega bucks), are provided and allow you to explore all of the resort and neighbouring ones.

Breakfast and evening meals are usually the leftovers of what you cook for the guests, lunch you can get on the slopes, but is commonly forgotten whilst you're getting in as much skiing as possible during your break. A good tip a lot of hosts do is to use the left over baguette from breakfast and make yourself a quick sneaky sandwich after the guests leave which you can eat on a chairlift to assure more slope shredding time. Eating what you make/have in the chalet saves you so much money as food in the mountains is pricey.

Realistically all a chalet host spends 99% of his/her money on booze, and maybe the occasionally fancy lunch on their day off. It has been argued that the pay for a chalet host is extremely low, averaging at around £400 a month. So a warning to all future chalet hosts, be prepared to be broke… and hungover.

If you chose the ‘Go out’ option over the ‘Go sleep’ option once you are done in the chalet, it will for sure be the multiple toffee vodka shots and skøll beers, followed by the takeaway pizza you forget you brought at après last night, that becomes the main factor of why no-one can save on a ski season. But hey, you may be the poorest you've ever been, but the experiences you'll have in those 5 months will undoubtedly be the richest.

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