The ski business is a tricky one to succeed in. Some travel companies get snapped up by the giant corporate tour operators, others go under, but just a few succeed and build their businesses year after year, clearly doing something right. Ski Amis is a standout case here. After nearly 30 ski seasons the family-run business keep getting better, now with a choice of 20 chalets in the French Alps to cater for every taste and need.
So, what are they doing right while others fail?
Firstly, there’s that essential cliché: location, location, location! Ski Amis have fine-tuned their chalet collection over the years, enabling them to secure properties that are all in prime locations close to the slopes. Indeed, many are positioned slopeside and are ski-in/ski-out.
Secondly, they know their ski areas. Ski Amis focus on just two French ski regions – and it’s no coincidence they’ve chosen two of the world’s biggest and best. There’s Paradiski, with 425km of runs shared between the resorts of La Plagne, Peisey-Vallandry and Les Arcs; and there’s Les 3 Vallées, the world’s biggest ski area with 600km of interlinked trails, home to La Tania in the Courchevel Valley, Les Menuires and many others.
Apart from their huge ski areas, what these resorts also have in common is a fantastic snow record, with bases already above three metres/ten feet this season. Both Paradiski and Les 3 Vallées have ski areas crowned by glaciers for absolute snow certainty, and also huge skiable verticals of around 2,000 vertical metres from top to bottom, with hundreds of runs for every taste and ability level in between.
Thirdly, they’ve put a focus on affordably quality. Again, some companies promise the world but deliver something fairly lacklustre, while others actually do spend a small fortune on over-the-top quality and price themselves out of the market for all but the super-rich. Ski Amis have opted to offer a very high-quality ski holiday, but at a realistic price for most people.
So that includes everything from a hot tub at all but one of their properties (and several also have saunas); an in-house transfer service, so no need to rely on third-party pick-ups; and of course the all-important catering is of an excellent standard, boasting full English breakfasts, unlimited afternoon tea and belly-warming evening meals. Again, some chalets also offer extra comforts as well with a “premium service” option, of which you can read more below.
Fourth, they have all aspects of your ski holiday covered. Along with everything already mentioned to cover your well-being, from walking out of arrivals at the airport to dropping off back at the airport at the end of a wonderful stay, all the details including in-resort booking for ski passes, lessons and discounted ski rental are included. It’s all part of the care and attention provided by their dedicated team of chalet hosts.
Finally, there are the deals! Look out for Ski Amis’ special offers when you can get all this for less. We’ve listed some below but you can also see the current offers by clicking here.
Ski Amis now have nine chalets that offer the company’s premium service, designed primarily for adults who are looking for that extra service in their catered chalet. In addition to all the services provided in their standard chalets, premium service catered chalets take everything up a further notch.
You can expect pre-dinner aperitifs and canapés; higher-quality bottled table wines in unlimited supply during the main meal; an additional cheeseboard course after the evening meal plus after-dinner liqueurs, coffee and mints. At breakfast there are freshly baked croissants, a fruit bowl and some other little extras available in addition to the normal full English breakfast, cereals, porridge and other options offered as standard.
There are brand-new Hypnos beds, the most comfortable in the world, in most premium chalets, bathrobes provided and better towels and linen. The list goes on but you get the idea!
The premium chalets themselves will have more generous living space and ambience, a hot tub (sauna in some) and will be run by Ski Amis’ most trusted, reliable, experienced, which all equals “best” chalet couples.
Examples of premium chalets include Chalet Anniek, which sleeps 14 in seven en-suite rooms with hot tub and sauna. It’s located in La Plagne’s traditional village of La Plagne Montalbert, which offers you the “best of both worlds” by being part of the massive Paradiski domain, but still retaining the atmosphere of a genuine French village resort.
There’s also Chalet Nadine, which is new to the Ski Amis premium service chalet selection for winter 2018. Sleeping 13 people in six en-suite bedrooms it has an outside hot tub and is located in the heart of the beautiful village of Montchavin on the La Plagne side of the giant Paradiski region. However, Montchavin is very close to the Vanoise express cable car linking Les Arcs and La Plagne’s giant ski areas, and with Chalet Nadine just a few steps from the piste you have fast access to all corners of the vast Paradiski area.
If you just want to ski with a comfortable base and great service and catering provided by Ski Amis’ chalet hosts, the company has plenty more choice for you.
Chalet Morgane, for example, has been built to a very high specification to provide a homely environment to spend your ski holidays. Located in the village of La Tania in the Courchevel Valley, part of the world’s biggest ski area, Chalet Morgane, caters for 12 in five twin rooms and one double, all en-suite, with all the traditional features of a log cabin with exposed beams, open fireplace and old skis on the wall as well as an outdoor hot tub.
Or there’s the Bruyères collection of chalets, located right on the doorstep of the Bruyéres gondola lift, which takes you straight up to the peak above the Meribel valley. These catered chalets are in the perfect location with hot tubs, en-suite rooms and cosy log fires.
Whichever you choose, you’ve laid the foundations of a great ski holiday by choosing Ski Amis, which is probably why so many of their guests are repeat clients.
* 10 February – ONE ROOM LEFT £899 per person
* Last few beds for 17 and 24 February from £449 per person
* Easter Deals 31 March from £449 per person plus a FREE ferry crossing
* Skiing in the sun on 7 April from £349 per person
For full details of all the latest ski deals, see the Ski Amis offers page or call on 020 3411 5439. Lines are open from 9:00 to 21:30 weekdays and from 10:00 to 17:00 at weekends!