Brexit and French Employment Laws

We still have no information about whether we will be able to employ UK staff after Brexit, but we do know that we have to comply with French laws whether we are in or out of the EU.

Since last winter season, our wage costs have increased by more that 60% (due to the French minimum wage).

Staff are also entitled to more time off, which means they will be having two days off a week next season.

You may have seen that some of the larger tour operators now offering catering for just five nights, but as meals out are costly, we will continue to offer dinner on six nights, but one evening there will be no staff on duty. On this night, we will be doing a raclette evening, which is one of the local specialities.

We will leave all the food in the fridge ready prepared for you, so when you are ready, all you need to do is turn on the machines, take out the food, and open some bottles of wine, and you will be all set for a delicious Savoyarde evening in the chalet, Bon Appetit!

There will also be two self service breakfasts. On both of these mornings pain au chocolat and croissants from the boulangerie will be delivered to the chalet, and there will be eggs left to boil, plus a platter of cheese of ham as well as cereals, fruit and yoghurts.

Baked goods for our la tania ski chalets

These changes we hope will cause very little disruption to the enjoyment of your holiday, and we appreciate your understanding during these uncertain times.  We sincerely hope that there will be come agreement reached on employing UK staff after Brexit, and we’re hoping like everyone that some decisions are made soon!

 

 

Latest news from the Three Valleys.

We’re nearly half way through May, and the lifts shut in La Tania on 22 April, and a what a great season we had for snow and sunny days too which is always much appreciated in the winter months.  It’s been cold and wet the last few weeks here in the mountains, and we’re hoping that the sunshine and warmer days are not far away, as we’re ready to put away the winter woolies and enjoy some summer sporting activities.

FOLYERES PISTE 22 APRIL 2019

As usual there’s lots going on this summer. The resorts are open in July and August and once again the lifts are free to use in the Courchevel Valley, which is a great way of getting around to explore the area whether on foot or by bike.

There’s plenty of sporting events to look forward to – Ski Jumping in August, Cycle races, Trails, Golf Tournaments to name a few.

We’ve already had our first cycle race on the new Col de La Loze track and there’s lots of building projects going on too.  Here’s a brief round up of what’s happend so far since the lifts shut and some exciting news for La Tania.

Col de La Loze Cycle Race

There was a cycle race this weekend on the the new paved cycle track up to Col de La Loze, Courchevel.   The distance from the bottom of the valley is 22.6km and at 2,300m it is the 11th highest paved Col in France and the third highest pass in the Savoie after the Iseran and Galibeir.  The fastest time was one hour and eight minutes.  Not bad going considering it was a pretty miserable day for weather, and low temperatures higher up.

A path is being made on the Meribel side too, with plans to link all the way to Val Thorens.  Rumour has it that they hope that with this new path for cyclists, it will lure the Tour de France back to the area, so watch this space…

 

(photo credit Courchevel Officiel)

Alpinium Building and the World Cup 2023

Work has started again on the new Alpinium building in Le Praz.  The old gondola building has already been bulldozed and they are taking out the old plyons this week by helicopter.  The new high speed gondola up to 1850 will take less than six minutes.

The building is part of the resort’s preparations for the 2023 World Alpine Ski Championship, which Courchevel is hosting jointly with Meribel.

The men’s downhill run will start near the top of the Bouc Blanc piste here in La Tania and then cut across on to Jockeys and down to Le Praz. The Women’s and Team events are being held on the Roc de Fer piste in Méribel.

A new grandstand will be built for the world cup event and the new multi-purpose building will house a medical centre, tourist office, sports facilities and underground parking for 500 cars.  Work is expected to be completed by December 2019.

New Green Run in La Tania

A new green piste back to La Tania is planned for next winter.  The existing piste, Plan Fontaine is not ideal for beginners as it crosses two red runs and is quite steep in places.

The new piste will have a gentler incline and it will not cross any other pistes, which will make it much safer and a more enjoyable experience for beginners.  The piste will follow much of the existing track through the forest to the left hand side of Folyeres.  (see photo below)

In addition, there will be a new beginners’ area, with two new magic carpets and an underpass for pedestrians. Work starts this summer.

Future Developments

The new hotel/apartment complex for La Tania looks like it is going ahead.  This will be built on the existing car park as you come into La Tania.  The planned for chair lift is not going ahead,  but instead they are going to update the existing gondola in La Tania, similar to the improvements made on the Mont Vallon gondola.

So, lots of improvements and exciting developments to look forward to. More news to follow in the coming months, but in the meantime if you would like to book for winter 2019/2020 do get in touch!

What’s new this winter at Ski-Dazzle

Autumn is officially here, and we’re enjoying glorious weather here in the alps, with lots of sunshine and blue skies. We’re not quite ready to put on our winter woolies yet, but it wont’ be long I am sure until we have our first frosts and snow fall.

We have nearly all our staff in place and we’ll be making Christmas Puddings, Cakes and Mincemeat soon ready for our Christmas Guests.  Then, a trip back to the UK in November for British supplies such as tea bags, porridge oats, baked beans and Christmas Crackers.  Every year we come back with a fully loaded bus of goodies!

It has been a busy few months in Chalet Juliette with the renovations almost complete.

We have renovated two bedrooms and two bathrooms this summer.   We’ve done some before and after shots, so you can see the transformation.

In the bathrooms, we have new floor and wall tiles, and a new bathroom suite to include a large walk in shower.   We provide fluffy bathrobes and slippers, l’occitane toiletries and don’t forget a complimentary half hour massage, which really helps to ease those tired aching muscles.

 

Bathroom Before Renovations

Bathroom after Renovations

Bathroom after Renovations

In the bedrooms, we have taken out the step, to make just one level, which has made the rooms more spacious. The walls have been decorated, there is a new parquet floor, and we are fitting new curtains. We have chosen 100% pure wool fabric in a Scottish style Tartan, to make the rooms warm and cosy, the perfect place to unwind and relax after a busy day on the slopes.

 

Bedroom Before Renovations

Bedrooom Ater Renovations

 

Tartan Fabric 100% wool

The wall in the lounge which cracked this winter due to the pressure of the snow on the roof  has been fixed.  The weight must have been something to cause such damage.

The lounge/dining rooms area was totally remodelled two years ago. There’s a gorgeous contemporary wood-burner which revolves and comfy sofas with fur cushions.   Just imagine sitting back and feeling the glow of the fire, whilst sipping a chilled glass of bubbly.

 

Chalet Living Room

We have a great team working in the chalet. A lovely Kiwi/British couple, one being an experienced chef and my husband Bertrand will also be working in the chalet, running the dinner service.  He is looking forward to preparing mouthwatering French cuisine with English twists!

Bertrand loves nothing more than talking about cheese, so if there is a cheese you would like to try, just let us know. (just don’t pick Camembert)!

He has been on a number of cookery courses this summer.  You won’t want to miss his salted caramel chocolate truffles, they are to die for.

 

Also featuring, will be Pain Perdu, with a berry compote and vanilla ice cream, which was a big hit at a dinner party recently.

 

We’re trying out lots of recipes in the coming weeks, and also choosing our wines, who said that work had to be a chore!

Carli and John are returning to Chalet Jamais Bleu. Their season hardly got going last year, due to John getting injured on the slopes. They have been cooking in Scotland this summer and can’t wait to come back.

 

Chalet Jamais Bleu

We have also decided, because of the changes in regulations, to trial chalet Dahu as a self catered chalet. We are offering some optional extras, to include a daily bread delivery service, a drinks delivery service (wine, beer and soft drinks) plus catering options in the evening to include a Raclette night and two course dinners starting from 16 Euros per person, so if the extra cooking and work is putting you off, you can get some help with this. We know that many of you love a catered chalet and who wouldn’t want to be cooked for and looked after, but if you know of anyone this would appeal to, please let them know.

Also, to comply with French employment laws, we are planning on giving our very hard working staff one full day off and one half day off a week, which means that in our catered chalets there will be two self service breakfasts in the week.

Well, that’s all for now. We’ll keep you updated with what we have planned for this winter in the coming months.  The weeks are booking up quickly, so do get in touch if you would like to book, or have any questions.

 

Hear what some of our guests from last year thought about the chalet

Chalet Juliette is a wonderful place to stay, right on the slopes

**********

The layout of the Chalet is great, we particularly liked that you could all sit at the table together or all sit on sofa’s together as a group to play games of an evening – we didn’t find many chalets which offered this when we were looking around.

************

Every bedroom, toilet, and communal space has been upgraded to a fantastic level. It felt like we were staying in a boutique 5 star hotel! The open plan living space was just the perfect setting for our group to unwind after a big day on the slopes.

**********

 

CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW or email me at info@ski-dazzle.com

Brexit and the French Ski Industry

With Brexit looming, there are uncertain times ahead. So far, we do not know what changes will take place after Brexit, but there is much speculation, and many are saying it will have a negative impact on the French ski industry.

Due to on going changes in legislation, we have to comply more and more with French employment laws. You may have seen that some of the larger tour operators are now offering catering for just five nights, rather than six. Staff must have either one and a half days or two full days off a week.

We have to pay the staff the French minimum wage too, which has seen our wage costs increase significantly.

Ultimately, the French want us to pay our social charges in France, which are very high, which we have so far avoided as currently we are in the EU and can second staff to France. It is uncertain what will happen after we leave the EU, but it is likely that this will no longer be allowed after the transition period which is due to end on 31 December 2020 (if this is agreed, as nothing has been so far due to difficult political issues such as the Northern Ireland Border and governance) The French Ministry for Labour have made it very clear that they intend to put an end to the right to secondment in the travel industry.

The pound has also devalued significantly since the Brexit vote (around 15%)

In light of these changes, many of the big chalet operators have downsized their operations for next season. Ski Total and Snow Chateaux have closed down in La Tania, plus the Hotel Telemark will also not be open (due to disabled access and acoustic issues), so I have a feeling there is going to be a shortage of accommodation in La Tania next season, so if skiing is on your mind, if I were you, I would be booking a holiday sooner rather than later. CLICK HERE to book now or make an enquiry

Despite all the uncertainty and changes, we’re still here! And we’re looking forward to welcoming you in the coming season

First,

Here is what we have going on this summer, and changes taking place for next winter at Ski-Dazzle

In Juliette, this summer, the final two rooms out of the seven are being revamped. We’re having new bathroom suites and tiles in the bathrooms, and the bedrooms will have a complete makeover. You can see the progress by CLICKING HERE

We have also decided, because of the changes in regulations, to trial chalet Dahu as a self catered chalet. We are offering some optional extras, to include a daily bread delivery service, a drinks delivery service (wine, beer and soft drinks) plus catering options in the evening to include a Raclette night and two course dinners starting from 16 Euros per person, so if the extra cooking and work is putting you off, we’ve taken care of that for you. We know that many of you love a catered chalet and who wouldn’t want to be cooked for and looked after, but if you know of anyone this would appeal to, please share this post and let them know.

Next season, all our transfers will be offered via local reputable transfer companies, and when you book with us, we will obtain quotes for you. Le Praz transfers are offering preferential rates to our guests. They also have a 16 seater bus, which is perfect when you book the whole chalet. There’s plenty of space for your luggage, and you will all get to travel together.

Bertrand, my husband will be running Chalet Juliette with a British/NZ couple (Jude and Tim). Tim is an experienced chef and will be cooking the breakfasts and afternoon tea cakes and biscuits.

Bertrand will be preparing the dinners. There will be a strong French influence in his cooking, and if you love cheese, you are in for a treat. Bertrand loves nothing more than talking about cheese, so if there is a cheese you would like to try, just let us know.

Carli and John are returning to Chalet Jamais Bleu. Their season hardly got going last year, due to John getting injured on the slopes. They have been cooking in Scotland this summer and can’t wait to come back.

We’ve been running chalets in La Tania for 16 years now, there have been lots of changes, and many chalet companies have come and gone, but we are still here, which we are very happy about! It is because of your business that we are here, so I just wanted to thank you for choosing us as we really do value you and hope that you will continue to support us through these changes.

Chalet Living Room

 

 

Chalet Juliette – makeover

We have started work on Chalet Juliette to complete its makeover. There are just two bedrooms and bathrooms to do this summer. We have taken out the step in the bedrooms, so the floor will be on one level. The walls will be re-decorated, and we’ll be putting down a parquet floor.

 

In the bathrooms, there will be new floor and wall tiles, and a new bathroom suite to include a large walk in shower.

The wall in the lounge which cracked this winter due to the pressure of the snow on the roof is also being fixed.

We will keep you posted of the progress throughout the summer.

Hear what some of our guests from last year thought about the chalet

Chalet Juliette is a wonderful place to stay, right on the slopes

**********

The layout of the Chalet is great, we particularly liked that you could all sit at the table together or all sit on sofa’s together as a group to play games of an evening – we didn’t find many chalets which offered this when we were looking around.

************

Every bedroom, toilet, and communal space has been upgraded to a fantastic level. It felt like we were staying in a boutique 5 star hotel! The open plan living space was just the perfect setting for our group to unwind after a big day on the slopes.

**********

 

CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW or email me at info@ski-dazzle.com

Summer 2018

The lifts opened in Courchevel this weekend, and the lift system in Courchevel is free this summer, so a bonus for tourists coming to the area. You do, however have to pay for the lifts in the Meribel and Belleville valleys.

There are some easy walks and mountain bike trails on our doorstep. This weekend, we enjoyed a lovely walk behind Bozel towards Tincave. In the photo below, you can see Le Praz, La Tania, 1550 and 1650.

The school holidays have now begun here in France.
At the end of the school term, we enjoyed a day out in Meribel. William and his class mates had some fun pony riding and also climbing in the trees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The work continues in Le Praz on the new multi purpose building, which will house a medical centre, tourist office, sports facilities and underground car park for 500 cars. A new grandstand for the world cup event is also being built, plus the new 10 seater gondola will be incorporated into the new building.
There is not much to see for now, but you can see the scale of the project, from the photo below, taken a couple of weeks ago.

We have started work on Chalet Juliette to complete its makeover. There are just two bedrooms and bathrooms to do this summer. We have taken out the step in the bedrooms, so the floor will be on one level. The walls will be re-decorated, and we’ll be putting down a parquet floor.

In the bathrooms, there will be new floor and wall tiles, and a new bathroom suite to include a large walk in shower.

The wall in the lounge which cracked this winter due to the pressure of the snow on the roof is also being fixed.

We will keep you posted of the progress throughout the summer.

Ski Pass Prices released for next season with a new pass including access to the Aquamotion complex

The ski pass prices for next winter 2018-2019 have just been released.

As before, you can choose from either a one valley pass (Courchevel) or 3 Valley Pass (Courchevel, Meribel and Belleville Valleys)

There are individual passes for adults, children (5-under 13) and Senior (65-under 75)
If you are under 5 or over 75, your ski pass is free.

There is also a family pass available for periods of six days or more. This is available for two adults and for two or more children. With this pass, the upper age limit for a child is under 18.

New for this year are ski passes which include access to the aquamotion complex.

If you purchase a Courchevel Valley pass for two or more days, you get one free entrance to Aquamotion included.
So, if it is a bad weather day, or if you simply want a break from skiing, then you can hop on a bus and enjoy the pool complex which is located between Courchevel 1550 and Courchevel 1650. With the aqualudique pass, you have access to the 25 metre pool, inside and outside lagoons, the baby pool, the wild river (110 metres long), the water slides and paddling pool.

Prices Courchevel 22/12/18-12/04/19
Six Days (price in Euros) (includes one free entrance to Aquamotion)

Adult 257 (tribu price – if you purchase 3 or more passes at the lift pass office) We give this pass to all our guests even if you buy just one pass
Child 217
Senior 246
Family 217

For those of you who love to explore the whole of the Three Valleys – (600km of marked pistes), you now have the choice of buying a Standard Three Valley Pass as before or a 3 Valley Wellness Ski Pass.

If you purchase a 3 Valley Wellness Ski Pass for six days, you will have two free entrances to the Aquamotion. With this pass, you have access to both the Aqualudique and Aquawellness areas. (aquawellness area reserved for adults only). Not only do you get to swim in the pool and other areas as explained above (aqualudique pass), you also have access to the spa facilities. Relax in the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, salt bath, ice pool (if you call that relaxing) and outside swimming pool. There are also massage and other treatments available for an additional fee.

Prices are as follows:

Prices 3 Valleys 22/12/18-12/04/19 (standard pass)

Six Days (prices in Euros)
Adult 291
Child 244.80
Senior 275.40
Family 244.80

Prices 3 Valleys Wellness 22/12/18-12/04/19 (Includes two free entrances to Aquamotion)

Six Days (prices in Euros)
Adult 351
Child 273.80
Senior 338.40
Family 299

Access to the aquawellness area normally costs between 24 and 26 Euros per person for one entrance and for a family of four access to the aqualudique area is 55 Euros, so if you want to do a mixture of skiing and other activities, it is well worth buying the Wellness Pass, or simply choosing the Courchevel Pass, which gives you one free entrance.

For Premiere Neige which, is from Saturday 15 December until Friday 21 December, there is a special rate for the ski passes as follows.

Prices for 3 Valleys
Six Days (prices in Euros)
Adult 260.40
Child 220.30
Senior 247.80
Family 220.30

Prices for Courchevel Valley
Six Days (prices in Euros)
Adult 229.80
Child 195.80
Senior 220.30
Family 195.80

The price per person for one of our catered chalets for this week is £504 per person, and for the self catered chalet (sleeping 12), the price is £3420 (£285 pp), so do get in touch if you would like to come for this opening week of the season.

When you stay with Ski Dazzle, you can pre book your passes in advance and they will be in the chalet when you arrive. Either pay in advance or in the resort. Remember, we always sell you the cheapest adult pass (tribu rate), which is only available at the lift pass office if you buy three or more passes at the same time.

For more information, please get in contact.

Latest news from the Three Valleys.

We are now into June, and it is almost starting to feel like summer. Work never stops in the Three Valleys. Here is a round up of what’s going been going on since the season ended.

LATEST NEWS FROM THE THREE VALLEYS

Snow clearing taking place

A mammoth job is taking place to clear the passes in the area such as the col du Petit Saint Bernard. This is a popular route for cyclists and tourists to access Italy and normally the road is open by now, but it is taking two weeks longer than normal to clear due to the enormous amounts of snow that fell this winter. In places the snow depth was as high as 6 metres.

World Cup 2023

Some exciting local news, Courchevel and Meribel will be hosts for the World Cup in 2023 and the men’s downhill run will start near the top of the Bouc Blanc piste here in La Tania and then cut across on to Jockeys and down to Le Praz. The Women’s and Team events are being held on the Roc de Fer piste in Méribel.

A new grandstand will be built for the world cup event and a new multi-purpose building is under construction in Le Praz, which will house a medical centre, tourist office, sports facilities and underground parking for 500 cars. There will also be a new 10 seater gondola incorporated into this building, which will finish near the Tovets chair lift in Courchevel 1850. Work is expected to be completed by December 2019.

New and improved lifts in the Three Valleys

The Grangettes Gondola is being modernised this summer. The starting point will be directly from the slopes, and the lift will end near the Tovets Chair lift in Courchevel 1850.
In Meribel, the Mont Vallon gondolas are being replaced with seated gondolas. There will be a new seated and hooded chair lift replacing the old Plan de l’Homme chair and this chair lift will replace the Cherferie drag lift. In the Belleville Valley, the Bruyeres gondola is also having a makeover. The new improved lift will be faster and more comfortable.

Future Developments

In Courchevel 1850, the Croisette Building will be completely transformed, to give better access for pedestrians and skiers. There are plans to change the existing road access so that vehicles go underground. In the future, it is likely that there will be a lift from Aquamotion. The planned chair lift and new hotel/apartment complex for La Tania still seem to be in the developmental stages.

So, lots of improvements and exciting developments to look forward to. More news to follow in the coming months.

What’s new in the Three Valleys.

The Three Valleys have made major investments this summer to make your holiday experience even better. Here is a round up of what you can look forward to this season.

COURCHEVEL

New Ariondaz Lift in Moriond (1650)

The new sleek lift replaces the one built in the seventies and will whisk you up to the top in just seven minutes (before it was 10 and a half), combined with double capacity, this should see a reduction in waiting time during busy periods.

New Tobaggan Run in Moriond (1650)

Courchevel is launching its very own formula 1 themed tobaggan run, with 8 tunnels, carousel and an interchange. Open every afternoon and two evenings a week. The cost is 15 Euros per run. Ski-Dazzle will have tickets to purchase for just 11 Euros per run. Sledges are provided and a helmet must be worn.

New Picnic Room at the Western Ski Park (1650)

Le Saloon is a new picnic room located next to the Western Ski Park in Moriond (1650) There is a microwave, access to water, mobile phone chargers and children’s play area in the meazzanine, plus free wifi, so a great place to have a break for small and big children alike.

3 Vallees Ski Pass for Four Hours

Morning and Afternoon Passes have been replaced with a four hour pass, giving you the flexibility to begin when you choose. With the easy connections and fast lifts, you’ll have lots of time to explore the 3 Vallees.

More Snow Cannons and Snow Guarantee

A further 115 snow making machines have been added to the Courchevel and La Tania area, bringing the total to 714 in the Courchevel Valley and 2383 in the Three Valleys.
The Three Valleys guarantees the largest number of open connected runs in Europe for the whole season, or your money back, so why would you want to ski anywhere else?

Meribel

New Roc de Tougne Chair Lift

A new six seater chair lift replaces the two long, steep drag lifts, making the Mont de la Challe ski area more accessible and a quick route to Les Menuires and St Martin. The lift is also fitted with the latest technology to be able to operate during strong winds.

Lac de La Chambre Piste

The steeper sections of this run have been taken out, and the run reclassified as a blue, to make an easier return journey from Val Thorens.

DC AREA 43

Turn &Run is part of an area in DC AREA 43 for skiers and snowboarders who want to try freestyle, but without the huge jumps! New additions this year are mini kickers, the snail and a snowbridge, making the area fun and accessible for all levels.

Belleville (Val Thorens)

New Moraine Gondola

The old, slow, and being on the chilly side chair lift has been replaced with a 10 seater gondola. Users will be sheltered from this notoriously cold part of the valley, and will reach the Moraine and Genepi blue pistes much faster.

Two new Blue Pistes

There’s a new blue piste called the Corniche, which starts by La Folie Douce restaurant and bypasses the busy village centre to join the Croissant piste.

In the fourth valley (Orelle) a new blue run called La Croix d’Antide has been created, starting from the Bouchet chair lift and joining Gentiane.

There is so much to look forward to this season, and we can’t wait to get out there.
The Three Valleys has so much to offer and maintains its reputation as one of the fastest interlinked ski areas with access for all levels.