Other than the obvious reason, (the beautiful white fluffy snow, just incase you were wondering!) why would you want to visit the resort you might be working in?
You may have just landed yourself a job in the great resort of Tignes, but ask yourself, do you really know what’s there? What can you do on white out days (that’s days where it just won’t stop snowing and you can’t see a metre in front of you, and if you didn’t know that you will certainly experience it!) Is there a cinema nearby so you don’t miss the new star wars in December? What about Après!!!!
Well I’m going to tell you about some different resorts and where to find them in today’s post! I won’t be able to cover every resort because there are too many to mention but I will go into more detail about what makes a resort stand out.
Its really important that you go somewhere that is suitable for you and what you want to get out of your season. For example, you just left uni, love to party and ski… there is no way you would want to be stuck in a smaller quiet resort. But if you are an older chalet couple, perhaps married. Love to ski and like the odd tipple, a smaller resort would be for you!
Working in a big and lively resort in comparison to working in a smaller quieter resort
There are lots of pros and cons to working in a ski resort but finding the ying to your yang is not that difficult. Big resorts can boast large ski areas, for example the 3 valleys is the largest in the world and consists of three of the liveliest resorts. It also plays host to the famous Folie douce après ski bars, where you can ski all day and dance on the tables until it’s time for dinner. But in comparison, the resort we are in now (and have been for the winter) is a traditional, smaller and quieter area. It’s still the 5th largest ski area in Europe but doesn’t have much or any après ski. The area is more suited to skiers and families.
Finding the right one is easy if you research.
Below is a link to the telegraphs website, they have written a great and detailed guide about what seems every resort!
What’s in it for me
It’s important to find out what else there is to do in resorts, for days off, adventuring, relaxing or white outs. For some people it is important to go the gym and other want to go off piste.
Each resort will off a variety of activities, entertainment and leisure facilities, most resorts offer free taster sessions with activities like Fat Biking (its highly recommended) snow yoga and free Van Chaud! Everywhere you go there will be companies waiting to take you for adventurous day out off piste or Paracending and even ice climbing. This all comes as an extra cost but if you work hard, you play hard. In Les Arcs there is the Igloo village where you can stay overnight in a proper igloo, have fondue or simply just visit the ice sculptures on the igloo on piste. In Chamonix there are experiences like no other, a trip up the unforgettable Aiguille de Midi to stand on the glass floor at 3842m overlooking the Magnificent Mont Blanc. Or a trip up the Mer de Glass, a tramway taking you up to the remains of the glacier. Every resort has its highlight!
It’s also good to know what’s included with your season ski pass; usually it includes three full day passes for other resorts in the area. Sometimes free passes to resorts further away or local attractions. All this information will be available to you once you receive your pass in resort.
Check out some more great information from the Telegraph about things to do in snow resorts
Après ski literally translates to after ski, and you’ll do nearly every day. Around 3pm every starts to head to mountains bars for music, dancing ,djs, shots, magnums of wine, the list goes on. There are some really famous places for Après ski such as, st Anton in Austria which is almost as famous for its Après as it is skiing. Folie Douce as mentioned before the legendary Pano Bar in Les Deux Alps and Rond Point in Meribel. If you like to party or at least pretend to party before work you need to make sure there is somewhere to do it.
Most resorts have free ski buses to and from the slopes and to close by resorts, but sometimes you will be placed somewhere either where the bus isn’t great or you have to walk to catch it. It is important to find out this information early on, either from your employer or by using the internet. Every resort will have its own ‘Tourist information’ website which will provide you with most of the information you need. It usually has downloadable timetables for buses and other transports in your resort. Some companies will provide you with a company van for moving your guests about and some companies have designated drivers, most of the time it’s possible to jump in with them too. It is also possible to get a bus to other big resorts, usually having to make your way down the mountain to the nearest big town, where you can catch a coach to another resort. A great website for finding out this information is Rome2Rio (link below) it’s actually great wherever you go all over the world for finding local buses etc for travelling. Altibus also run coaches around the Alps (link below.)
This last winter we drove to the Alps, this was great for us as our apartment was away from the main telecabine and the bus was pretty unreliable. This meant we could drive straight to the slopes and straight home without waiting for a bus in the cold. It also meant we could visit other resorts or things of interest in the area. There are a lot of pros and cons to driving abroad, Insurance, breakdown cover (this is super important!!), European modifications to your car etc. As decent Breakdown cover is £300+ it’s not usually worth it as a Seasonaire, your company will offer you flights. It’s much easier, cheaper and if the plane breaks down it’s not your problem! And you’ll have to drive on the wrong side of the road!
Popular Resorts with Seasonaires
There are a lot of resorts that seasonaires talk about but there a few that top the list and you have to do at least one of them once.
St Anton, Austria
We haven’t been lucky enough to get to visit St Anton yet but its 100% on our list, mainly for its guaranteed snow but also for its insane Après! According to some, it is the birthplace to modern skiing and the spiritual home of Après
Tignes and Val-d’Isère
Tignes and Val are up there in the seasonaires choice of resorts, lots of Après and challenging runs. It also has its own glacier so guaranteed skiing all the way up till late April. It is also home to Folie Douce après ski bar and countless bars to carry on the evening.
Les Trois Vallées – 3 Valleys
The world’s biggest resort!! As you can tell were pretty excited to be hosting in the 3 valleys this winter. Home to 600km of skiable area with 8 resorts all linked together, (183 ski lifts, which can transport 260,000 skiers per hour!) It boasts a huge Après scene, again with Folie Douce you can’t go wrong. In Meribel you have the famous Rond Point or Dicks Tea Bar to carry on the evening. Live music, DJ’s, Comedy, you name it, these resorts have it all!
Portes du Soleil – Morzine, Avoriaz, Les Gets
The Ports du Soleil is the world’s first border crossing ski area, 12 resorts spanning over the Franco/Swiss border. It’s a huge ski area and definitely worth a visit. Popular with seasonaires because of its après and great snow parks and features. Famously ‘The Stash’ a freestyle ski and snowboard run made from the trees and natural features, the free airbags for practicing jumps and the huge Olympic sized half pipe in Avoriaz.
Ever year resorts play host to Festivals, a lot of these are on my list to visit. It nice to know what’s on in your resort, here are some links to the biggest snow parties and where there heading!
Snowbombing – Mayrhofen, Austria
Snowboxx – Avoriaz, France
Rise – Les Deux Alps
Horizon – Arinsal, Andorra
Altitude Comedy Festival – Mayrhofen, Austria
There are some many great resorts to talk about and just so little time! I hope this has helped give you a feel of what it can be like to bag a job in a fun resort.