Autumn is here, and with the kids back at school, it’s time to start planning your next ski adventure! September and October are always the most popular months for bookings here at Chalet Virolet, where we’re happy to take both whole chalet (sole occupancy) or room by room (shared chalet) bookings. This means that if you’re a smaller group, or even just a couple, you can still enjoy the full catered chalet experience by sharing with people you don’t know (yet). Yes – that’s right – people you don’t know :>
‘Won’t it be Weird?’
Now, we know that for some prospective guests, the thought of sharing the living area, dining table and even the hot tub with strangers, is a scary one. The most frequent question we’re asked by those who have yet to experience the shared chalet is ‘won’t it be weird?’ And we can understand that there will always be a bit of trepidation about who you might find yourselves sharing with for the week. However, speaking from 9 years hosting experience, we can honestly say that it’s never been weird! We welcome around 150 guests per year into our chalet and around 70% of these are sharing with ‘strangers’.
We find that time after time, following a few drinks and dinner on the first night, our guests generally get on like a house on fire and often end the week hitting the slopes together. Conversation flows easily – after all everyone has one big thing in common – SKIING!!
We’ve welcomed guests who now come as a big group but originally met on a shared chalet experience and we even have a married couple who actually met on a shared chalet holiday! The shared experience also works very well for children, who love having other kids to hang out with after a hard day’s ski and often leave as pen pals. On the whole, we find that the atmosphere on a shared week is very relaxed, sociable and fun!
‘What if we don’t like each other?’
The other question we’re asked all the time is ‘do you ever get shared groups who don’t get on?’. Again, speaking from experience on this one – the answer is ‘no’. In 9 years, we haven’t experienced a mixed group that really didn’t get on. In fact, it’s much more likely for there to be discord in a big sole occupancy group! Before we started to run Chalet Virolet, we went on several shared chalet holidays ourselves and always found them very sociable, with all holiday makers (singles, couples, kids, small families) mixing well and enjoying each other’s company. Again, with skiing in common and a warm glow after a day on the slopes, a bit of après ski and a hot tub, people are really not disposed to disagreeability and in general look forward to a good chat with new friends over dinner.
But really, there MUST be some drawbacks?
To be honest, it’s hard to think of down sides to the shared chalet experience. In the past, the shared experience may well have meant sharing bathrooms and loos, but most chalets have ensuite rooms these days, so guests still have their privacy. Yes, you might be super unlucky and land a chalet with that one person you can’t abide – but, in our experience, the chances of that are low. You can mitigate the risk by choosing your resort and chalet carefully, so that you’re likely to find yourself with like-minded guests looking for a similar standard and pace of holiday. It’s also worth mentioning that here at Chalet Virolet we offer short breaks in January and March, so if you’re not sure, you can try the shared experience for a few nights rather than a full week.
If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and booking you first shared chalet experience, then our advice would be to go for it. Who knows, you could make some fabulous new lifelong ski friends, or at least have a fun week meeting some interesting new people with similar interests.