Could you be the chalet host with the most?
Our guest blogger Cookie is a regular on the seasonnaire scene. He hits the snow-capped slopes in the winter, then heads to the Med in the summer. I know what you’re thinking – nice life if you can get it!
But you can! Glean all the information and advice you need from Cookie’s blog posts for us, and you could be living that lifestyle too!
Here he talks honestly about the life of a chalet host doing a winter ski season. Over to you Cookie:
A good chalet host can get the most time on the mountain out of many jobs in the Alps, and I’ve know some great hosts who wouldn’t change it for the world. But is it for you?
Early starts, physically hard work, non-stop guest facing, lots of cleaning, ordering and budgeting for food, plus the cooking. A chalet host’s job is basically running a house for a bunch of strangers every week.
Can you cook breakfast and dinner for 10-14+ people, make cakes, serve dinner, all the while keeping the whole place spotlessly clean, being friendly with the guests and creating a great atmosphere. By the way, you have to do all this while looking like nothing could phase you!
Maybe you’ve been on a chalet holiday and the great host has made it look like it’s not work at all. It is!
I’ve seen so many people come to start seasons as hosts, not realising quite how much work is involved and how stressful it can be.
It takes time to find your flow and get into your work patterns, especially if this is your first season working as a chalet host. Northern hemisphere winters begin mid to end of December, so often your first guests arrive for Christmas and New Year – the highest paying times of the entire season.
Get through to January and you’ll hopefully be OK but, until then, hosts need to be patient – that means expect to work long hours and not expect much time on the snow.
You’ll know when you’ve made it and you can enjoy it once you know how to make a cake without checking the recipe, clean rooms and bathrooms in minutes, can handle late nights and early mornings, all whilst consistently smiling to your guests, keeping the wine flowing and maintaining the relaxed mood! Nailed it!
This is supposed to be a true-to-life account, so I’ll be honest – some chalet hosts find it too much and walk away. But find the stride within your team (if you’re lucky enough to be working in a pair or team) and the winter can be amazing!
It’s not a glamorous job but, if you can keep all the plates spinning (excuse the pun), then chalet hosting is amazing!
Has Cookie convinced you that you’d make a great chalet host? If so, please do follow Holiday Staff’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) to be kept up-to-date on all our new job openings!
My life couldn’t be more active! As a full-time instructor, coach & trainer, I thrive seeing others enjoy sports as much as I do.
My passions are windsurfing, skiing and snowboarding, and I love trying to inspire people to get active through social channels (and some polite peer pressure of course!).
I’m into all kinds of sports – basically anything that gets me outside and moving!
A particular love is speed-riding – like low-level parachuting with skis on, high speed skimming across the snow.
Find me a sport I haven’t tried and I’d love to give it a go!
My seasonal journey began straight from college, and is now split into two seasons.
Through the winter I live in Alpe d’Huez, working as ski and snowboard instructor and off-piste guide for the local ESF school. I teach everything from beginners to advanced and off-piste on both skis and a board. I started winters with the simple love of being in the mountain and riding.
I have done a wide mix of jobs over the years that allowed me to ski and board a lot – bars, hotels, chalets, repping and operations management. It’s amazing the people you meet through the years and opportunities that arise.
My skills were improving over the seasons, particularly in back-country and off-piste. I then became friends with the director of a local ski school while in the ski resort Flaine, who encouraged me to work for him the following year, to train and become an instructor with his school. The rest, as they say, is history (thanks again Theo!).
Through my winter life I’ve also been lucky enough to hook up with a number of brands as a sponsored athlete and brand ambassador. Huge thanks to Whitedot Ski, Planks Clothing, Cassette Optics and OLFI action-cameras for all your help and support.
The summer sees me working as a Resort Manager for Neilson Holidays. I’ve worked summers with them since 2006, across Turkey, Egypt and Greece in a variety of roles, leading me to now head up the operations in one of our Beach Club resorts. Our centres include windsurfing, sailing, stand-up paddling, biking, tennis, fitness, waterskiing & wakeboarding, and kids clubs. The last few summers I’ve been in the Cosmos Hotel, Vassiliki, a mecca for watersports with some epic biking and fitness facilities available too!
If anyone is looking for advice or to chat through options for work and overseas life, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my Instagram feed at @cookiesport