Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor? //

  Topic Started By:  Kenny123    On:  Thu 10th April, 2014 at 15:48
Member Since: 2014
Posts: 2
#1  Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor?  10 Apr '14 at 15:48
Hey up everyone

my wife and I, a pair of 40+ DINKs, are thinking about we should do in the future.

We maybe in a postion to take a break from our work next year and are weighing up the possibilities.

We have both talked about working somewhere in the ski holiday area.

But doing what, we don't know.

We have no formal training as my wife works as a sister in the local hospital, and I am an IT / tech guy.........although I do love DIY

Ideally we would like to run a small chalet (max 5 rooms) in a quiet resort, cooking breakfasts and making simple, but wholesome evening meals.

The only problem / criteria is that our accomodation would have to be of an acceptable standard..........we are too old to put up with living in a dump

I am hoping that someone on here might read this post and offer me, and anyone else who might stumble on it, a way forward.

i.e. that we are living a dream that is unobtainable (that chalet hosts are either young or will sleep in a garage if it means they can get drunk every night) or that yes with our age, even with no experience, we are of the right calibre

Thanks in advance

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#3  Re: Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor?  11 Apr '14 at 10:43
It all depends on the company as to the staffing levels, for example I know that Supertravel have two members of staff in 10 bed chalets, one chef and one housekeeper. Look around at some of the smaller chalet companies and see what they have to offer. It may be that you end up running a small chalet each, but in the same building and sharing accommodation, which itself can be very hit and miss depending on resort, chalet and company. Age doesn't matter, in fact some companies prefer to have older staff who tend to have more common sense and life experience than kids straight Fromm school.
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#5  Re: Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor?  11 Apr '14 at 12:41
In reply to Dinosaur (Post #4)
No, I was just using it as an example that, contrary to what you said, there are smaller chalets out there that have two members of staff working there, it's just a case of looking round. More chance however of finding something if they are willing to increase chalet size by a couple of rooms.
Edited 11/04/2014 @ 12:43 Revision #1
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#6  Re: Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor?  11 Apr '14 at 15:27
When we did your first season we were both late 30s and got a job with an independant chalet operator as a chalet couple... Mrs M had to go on a cookery course (Orchards) and i did all the cleaning and driving.

It worked quite well and as it was a small independant company they were prepared to be flexible which on the accommodation menat that we agreed how much rent tehy would pay and that we could top up, which meant in our first season we had a nthree bedroom apartment to ourselves.
The Seasonal Accommodation Professionals.
We can help you find your dream home for the season.

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#7  Re: Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor?  12 Apr '14 at 22:31
Thank you Dinosaur and Broken for taking time to answer my question.

It appears I needed a much needed reality check

Thanks also to Marcellus for giving us a possible way forward for us both.

Can I ask what your experiece of these courses are.

Are they aimed at "kids" who don't know how to boil an egg, or are they of more use to a pair of adults who like to cook..........allbe it on a small scale

Thanks once again

Edited 12/04/2014 @ 22:32 Revision #1
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#8  Re: Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor?  13 Apr '14 at 17:39
The course Mrs M went on at Orchards was aimed at those how could already cook quite well but wanted to improve their quality, cost control and speed.
The Seasonal Accommodation Professionals.
We can help you find your dream home for the season.

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#9  Re: Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor?  13 Apr '14 at 18:35
Hi Kenny,

My boyfriend and I did a season last year, when we were in our early 30s. Accommodation was also important to us and we spent a lot of time researching companies we would like to work for. It sounds like we had similar criteria to you although we were happy to go up to 6 rooms.

All our applications were to small independent operators running 3-6 chalets. We wrote dedicated chalet host cvs, and each application had it's own cover letter detailing why we wanted to work for that company and why we thought we would be good at it. We had a really positive response and were able to discuss the details about which chalet we would be working at and the accommodation details with the chalet owners. We applied early (mid-May).

The chalet we ended up in was a 13 person/6 bed chalet. No fire, not hot tub, in a small village connected to a large ski area. Although we could sleep 13 we only had 13 for one week - 8-10 was much more common and we had a couple of weeks with only 2 in. We went back to the chalet this year as guests and gather it has been much the same this year. We ran the chalet independently with limited input from the company owner. We took our own car out and did our own shopping (we got petrol money for this). Our accommodation was in a studio apartment on the ground floor of the chalet. It was completely separate from the chalet and could not be accessed from within the chalet. It was dated in its furnishings, but was warm, clean and dry, with a double bed, sofa, table and two chairs, wifi, UK freeview, one hob, a proper oven, fridge a kettle, ensuite shower room. So, not a palace, but much better than standard seasonnaire accommodation.

We were enthusiastic and competent home cooks, nothing gourmet though! We did do a cookery course, but this was very much our choice, we weren't required to. The one we did was with Mountain Chefs out in Sainte Foy in August. We had morning and evening classes and were free to enjoy the local area in the afternoons. Sounds to be a very similar standard to Orchards but being out in the Alps made it a holiday and we really enjoyed it. The chalet menu was well within our capabilities and we were allowed to modify it within reason.

So, whilst what you are looking for is not the norm, I'm sure it's possible, and if you apply early you get to pick and choose a bit. The only thing I would recommend is upping your limit to 6 bedrooms - this really is fine for two of you and would give you a lot more choices. As has already been said, most 5 bed chalets are run by one person or are very high end and require a professional chef. Plenty of mid-market 6 beds with two hosts though!

If you'd like any details about who we applied to/worked for I can PM you.

Hope that helps,

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#10  Re: Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor?  28 May '14 at 20:34
In reply to Kenny123 (Post #1)
Hey Kenny

I take my hat off to you & your wife, go for it, i truly believe that you have skills which are beneficial for small chalet owners, we 'oldies' do have some awesome skills, not forgetting that we are/will be more reliable.

What you state as your goal is something I would jump at, the kids are nearly independant thing is though I am 54... & she who has to be obeyed is very much younger at 49 years young. Not to say though its something we won't actually do in the near future.

Go for it, both guns blazing, hey, we only have one chance.

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#11  Re: Will a 40+ couple enjoy doing a season togethor?  2 Jun '14 at 12:57
If you do your research and spend time looking for something which is right for you, you will love it. You're definitely not too old! Most people head out to do seasons not having any direct experience, but if the personality fits and you can apply qualities such as customer service from previous job roles you'll be fine.

Make sure you do your resort research to find ones that would suit you and then look for job ads in those places. Look for smaller, more upmarket companies or apply for privately owned chalets. These often stipulate a minimum employee age of 25, sometimes older, because they want more mature, less crazy, employees that they believe could better look after customers with high expectations. If you don't want to live in a dump, private/small is also your best bet. They tend to look after their staff a little better as their customers pay more for the higher quality chalet experience. You could always ask for a photo of the staff accom if it's a private job ad too as your employer will know exactly where you'll be living. But as previously said, season accom will usually be extremely basic, but is pretty hit and miss. e.g. My pokey little basement room in ADH, France was bloomin' awful, but in St Anton, Austria all of the reps had apartments which surprisingly were all really, really nice!

A 'chalet host couple' job for 5 rooms is definitely optimistic, and would normally be run by 1 host. Slightly larger chalets may have one chef and one host, or two hosts. Have you considered couple jobs with different roles? Such as host and maintenance couple jobs if you like DIY. For maintenance you'll definitely be required to drive though so have a licence and be happy to drive abroad. If you are comfortable driving, one of you could apply as a driver?

Below is an example of a job that was advertised last year working for snowchateux that may suit you. Just as an idea as it's still early days so nothing for this year immediately popped up on Google.

Chalet Couple: 1 x Chalet Cook-Host / 1 x Driver & Maintenance
Locations: Tignes & La Plagne (France)
This role involves one person being a chalet cook and the other driver & maintenance across our chalets. The positions either comes with accommodation to the chalet or with living quarters within the chalet itself. The chalet cook-host would either be working independently in one of our smaller chalets or with another person(s) in a larger chalet.

Chalet host/cooks responsibilities will involve; preparing, cooking and serving
- Welcome drinks and canap├ęs
- Breakfast: Cooked options and continental.
- Afternoon tea: homemade cakes, biscuits etc.
- 3 or 4 course evening meal
- Cleaning, including all bedrooms and bathrooms etc., mountain hosting may be involved for the correct applicant, and generally offering great hospitality, service and assistance to ensure their holiday is memorable, for all the right reasons.
Chalet Driver & Maintenance responsibilities will include driving guests Saturday and Sunday and in the week for our ski chalet service / movement of stock and people / support of resort management. Driving to our other resorts (Les Arcs and Tignes) and nearby suppliers.

Hope this in some way helps Good luck!
Alpe D'Huez 12/13 St Anton, Lech & Zurs 13/14
TUI/CrystalSki - www.holidayhypermarket.co.uk
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