Skiing is all about luxury and spoiling yourself. From champaign lunches to a nighttime soak in the chalet hot tub, it is your duty to document them all and share your experience with your friends.
No mountain holiday would be compleat with the overindulgence of cheese and this comes in many forms. There is the fondue night, the tartiflette on the mountain, the after-dinner cheese board and not forgetting the stunning displays and tasters on offer at the local market.
Top Tip: Fondue tastes better than it looks especially when it a low-resolution camera in a low light restaurant after a few wines!
The Mountain View
On a clear day, it is the summits are where the Alps is at its most spectacular. With views across to other mountains, sweeping valley vistas and endless horizons. Not to mention the untouched snow full of untapped potential.
Top Tip: Never used the panorama setting on your phone? This is the moment.
The Action Shot
Possibly the hardest one to get done. Let’s be honest very few of us are amazing skiers and even few of us have a camera crew follwing us about taking 1000’s of pictures allowing us to pick the best one.
So get your mate to have a go at getting a good shot of you. You will get better results if the photos are being taken closer to the ground.
And if you get a good one it will be your profile picture for many years to come.
The Apres Ski One
This is the one even your non-ski pals will find envious. It can be hard to get right as many apres venues can be a bit dingy. But choose one like the Folie Douce in Meribel and you’re going to get a winning photo every time.
I am a St Bernard dog and I live in your chalet, I hope you don’t mind if I hang out with you on your chalet holiday. You will be pleased to know that I am chalet and chairlift trained. I also love playing with children of all ages. I enjoy making new friends and having adventures.
It would be great if I can come on some of your adventures? I would hate to miss out. I can guarantee that we will have a good time.
I am a big poser and love having my photo taken when I am doing cool stuff. I have lots of friends all over the world and they like to see what I am up to. It would be great if you could share our adventures on-line using the hashtag #AlbertAction.
You can also see what other adventures I have been on by searching #AlbertAction or by following me on Twitter @AlbertActionSki as I like to share my photos with my friends.
Alberts list of things I like doing…
Skiing and Snowboarding
Most other extreme sports
Alberts list of things I don’t like doing…
Going in Washing Machines
Hanging out with cats
I am looking forward meeting you this winter . I think we will have a great time.
Brexit was voted for and we will have to wait to see what the exit of Britain from Europe will look like. One thing the referendum has done is make us think about the future and how skiing and snowboarding might change over the next 50 years.
Snow and Climate Change
There is a big move for ski resorts to become more responsible for sourcing their energy as it is an industry that feel the affects of climate change directly. One example is our winter home of Méribel where all the energy that powers the lifts and snow cannons are powered by hydroelectricity. Other resorts are installing wind turbines and solar powered technology. You can expect most ski resorts to be self sufficient and 100% powered by renewable energy in the near future.
With climate change we may well see less snow and a shift in the seasons so we predict a huge rise in snow making. All the big resorts are investing in snowmaking equipment some are even making it part of their marketing. For example the 3 Valleys is boasting about the 2189 cannons it has covering 50% of its ski area. Maybe one day it will be 100%.
Since the the UK voted in the referendum the pound has dropped meaning that we currently get less euros to the pound. To help put into perspective the lowest cost of a € during the following winter seasons looked like this: 2013 – £1.14 : 2014 – £1.18 : 2015 – £1.26 .
We haven’t heard of a single tour operator currently looking to increase the cost of their ski holidays based on the referendum results and as you pay in sterling your holiday won’t cost any more.
However the cost of a lift pass is likely to creep up every year as the cost of maintaining and improving ski areas becomes more costly. But there is some good news as a handful of experts believe that the cost new chairlifts are coming down so maybe the yearly lift pass price hike won’t be as much in the future.
One thing that is sure to change is ski and snowboard technology. The fundamental design of skis probably won’t change very much so it is likely that it will be the boot that sees the biggest changes with fully mouldable outers and inners. According to Mike Hatrrtup from K2 we will probably also see a change in bindings with a move to magnetic systems in a bid to save weight.
The hoverboard could ruin everything if its is invented as that is because if they did create Back to the Future type hoverboard technology it would be like cruising down a powder field!
Currently the number of people skiing globally are decreasing and many in the industry are saying that the uptake of the younger generation is much lower and few people take it up later on in life. This could mean that ski resorts are quieter in 50 years time which is great news for people taking the sport up now.
Don’t worry about the future if going skiing or snowboarding makes you happy go to the mountains and enjoy yourself.
There are thousands of chalets in Meribel and almost as many chalet companies. This makes the acquisition of a new property for our portfolio quite exciting. This winter we will be offering the wonderful chalet Chez Menor. We have been in the chalet business for quite some time now, twenty years in fact. Over those years we have learnt that there are many factors that need to be considered when taking on a new chalet and that any old chalet just won’t do.
When we take on a new chalet we consider the following things…
1. Quality of the chalet
2. Location of the chalet to the slopes
3. Size of the chalet
4. Location of the chalet to the centre of Meribel
5. Layout of the chalet
6. Comfort of the chalet
8. How it can be improved
9. Would we like to stay there
10. Is it as good as the rest of our portfolio?
If a chalet ticks all these boxes then we start to become interested. As we said in Meribel there are thousands of chalets, new ones are built each year and existing ones become available all the time. With all that choice you can see why we don’t just snap up any old chalet. We know what you expect when you stay with us and we will only choose a chalet that we know you will love.
Once we have taken on a chalet we move in and get started making it so it fits with the rest of the Alpine Action family. Over the summer our new chalet, Chez Menor will be getting the Alpine Action treatment. We will be going in and getting dirty with the decorating. We will be furnishing and accessorising too.
Like all our chalets it will have what we call ‘essential additions’, such as a log fire to cuddle up in front of after a hard day out in the cold. There will be boot warmers so you can slip on warm dry boots every morning. There will be a great selection of entertainment in the form of Freeview TV channels, DVD player, CD player, an iPod docking station and a selection games for all the family to play with. We will also be installing internet access for you to log onto our WiFi with your laptop, tablet or phone.
The natural lay out of Meribel means that not ever chalet can be close to everything. One of the things we won’t be able to get done this summer is relocating the chalet. So instead of that we will be providing a complementary mini bus service during the winter. This will help you get to and from the slopes, however you can access the mountain on foot as the nearest slope is less than a thousand metres away and the town is only a ten minute walk away.
Some of you may have stayed in the Chez Menor before, as it has been used for ski holidays for many years. And now that we have got our hands on it, it will be even better than before.
Take a look at the Chez Menor page on our website to see all the stats and facts about it. We would also like to know what you would like to see added to our new chalet to make it even better. Let us know by adding your comments below or by posting to us on Facebook or Twitter.
It seems fitting that you should be able to get your Table Tennis fix when out in the Alps and staying in a chalet. After all, it was invented over at a dinner party and was originally played with a wine cork as the ball. So where can you play this? Well if you are planning a ski holiday to Meribel then you may want to consider the Chalet Serpolet, as not only does it have a sauna and hot tub it also has a games room complete with a Table Tennis table.
The game has seen a major resurgence since its inception in the 1880s, as an after dinner game played with books for nets and rackets. Its recent popularity has come from many sources. Thousands of people took an interest in it when it appeared in the 1994 movie Forest Gump. It was also a ratings winner in the 2012 summer Olympics despite the Chinese dominance of the game. Also as part of the Olympic legacy, 100’s of outdoor tables have been put into our parks and recreation areas. Also, many Table Tennis themed bars such as Ping in Earls Court have popped up, not as part of the Olympic legacy.
So let’s imagine that you have never heard of Table Tennis, Ping Pong or Wiff Waff before and you have booked into stay at the Serpolet. You will probably want to know the basics and the rules.
What you need to know.
To play you will need a racket or paddle as it is also known. A ball and a 9 ft long by 5 ft wide table with a 6 inch net to divide the table up. All of these items are available in the games room of our chalet Serpolet.
How to Play
Deciding the serve.
This is done by the toss of a coin.
To serve you must throw the ball up into the air, which must be at least the height of the net. You must then hit the ball so that it bounces first in the servers court and then in the opponents, without hitting the net.
When returning the serve the receiver must send the ball back before it bounces a second time in their side of the court. The returner must not hit it into their side of the table or the net.
A let is allowed if the ball touches the net in service or when the player receiving the service is not ready to receive the serve.
How to score points
Points get scored when a rally is concluded in one of the following ways: The return of service fails; The ball is hit and does not touch the table on the opponents side; One of the players obstructs the ball; The ball is struck twice by the same player; A point is awarded to you if the competition hits the ball with the wrong side of the bat; If the opposition moves the table or net during play; You opponent is awarded a point if you touch the table with your non-playing hand.
The winner is the person who scores 11 points first. In the event that both players reach 10 points then the game is played until one person has a lead of 2 points. If you are playing a match then you should play to the best of 5 or 7
Who serves and from what end?
At the beginning of each game the players change ends. The services is decided rotated every two serves, this is regardless of who won the last point.
If you should choose you can also play a doubles game. The rules effectively remain the same with some additions
When serving the play must go diagonally as the table is divided up into 4 quarters, this means the server must serve from the right hand side of the table to the left hand side. During play each team member must hit the ball in an alternating pattern. When the service is changed the receiver becomes the server and the partner of the server becomes the receiver.
Sometimes a match may go on a long time, especially if you are a novice. This could be annoying if you have a deadline, such as Canapés and wine being served at 7.30 or the ski lifts opening and it is a fresh powder day. The good news is that there is speedy version of the game. Sadly this only really benefits those of us that can have a rally of more than 13 returns.
Obviously Ping Pong is no substitute for getting on the mountains and skiing, but it can provide you with a lot of entertainment in the evening. That is once you have finished in the hot tub or jacuzzi.
Back in the year 1846 if someone suggested a ski chalet holiday you would visibly shudder. This is because way back then we associated ski holidays with cold bedrooms, no mobile signal, spaghetti bolognaise six nights a week and burnt porridge. This has changed dramatically and we now expect at least hot water. This is our guide to 10 things that make a great chalet.
En-suite – Walking down the hall in your towel and hoping that no one will see you is something that backpackers are happy to put up with. It is not something that should be endured on a ski holiday. That is why having an en-suite is a must have for most ski tourists.
Wi-Fi – We all like to think that we are highflyers and that the office just won’t be able to cope without us. This makes staying in touch essential. Well… the truth is that we want to add our photos to Facebook to prove how good our holiday is. Also, who can resist uploading a video of them skiing to Youtube, although this shouldn’t be encouraged.
Boot warmers – “Who needs heated boots, what a wussy thing to need”. These were my words before I had experienced the sensation of a heated boot. I remember how I felt the first time I slipped my feet into snug, dry and warm boots that were fresh from the heater. The experience was almost sensual and full of guilt. If you asked me to sum up boot warmers I would say they are the most essential unessential thing you will ever use.
UK TV – Ever since the advent of TV they have been put in all hotel rooms. Normally, when you are abroad this is a pointless, obsolete item in the corner, unless you happen to be fluent in the local language, or have a passion for the BBC World service. So having UK television channels when on holiday is a lot more useful. It may not have the weather for where you are, but at least you know what time the weather will be on.
DVD Player – If being able to watch Eastenders isn’t your idea of fun then maybe settling down to watch a film is. A DVD player is also for popping on a Skiing film and inspiring yourself to attempt a 720 Rodeo in the park or to hike into the back country. Maybe you haven’t seen your friends you are staying with for a while. If so this is the perfect opportunity to put on your wedding/baby/children’s play DVD.
Hot Tub – Nothing says luxury more than sharing a bubbling bath with your friends. That is why so many chalets have one. Sure it can be an awkward place to meet strangers, in your speedos, outside in the chilly night air. But once the other bubbles start fizzing into your mouth there is no better way to relax after a long day skiing.
Table Tennis – In 1994 the movie ‘Forest Gump’ hit our screens. This changed the profile of Table Tennis for ever. But what does having a Table Tennis table in your chalet say about you? It says I’m sporty and want to continue that into the evening of my holiday, but I’m not stupid, it’s cold out there. It also says, I’m staying in a chalet with space and every part of that space is filled with fun, this is going to be one fun holiday.
Selection of Games – If you are one of the lucky ones and have booked to stay in a chalet that has a DVD player and a selection of games, then after your wedding/baby/children’s play DVD, you can settle down to a harmonious game of Monopoly or Jenga. But what does booking into a chalet with a selection of board games say about you? It says, I’m staying in a chalet with not quite as much space needed for a Table Tennis table but every part of that space is filled with fun, this is going to be one fun holiday.
Sauna – A Sauna is a great place to conduct meetings, everyone knows that. In fact most of the Alpine Action resort staff meetings are held in a sauna. Which explains why the minutes always come back with water drip marks and wrinkled edges. When not being used for meetings, saunas are a great way to relax and ease the pain in your muscles from mogul training. See what we did there!
Catered – No catered ski holiday would be complete without catering. Without catering it becomes a self-catered holiday and who wants that? You could always eat out but what sort of person likes to dine out on a three course meal of potatoes and cheese for seven nights in a row? Of course catering not only means that’s you don’t have to cook during your holiday, it also means that you don’t have to wash up. Unless you foolishly volunteer, some people do.
Our chalets have many of these features. All of our chalets have en-suite rooms, Wi-Fi, UK-TV, DVD players and excellent catering. To find out which of our chalets feature other luxury’s such as the Table Tennis table then go to our La Tania or Meribel chalet pages.