Meet the chalet specialists

04 June 2019

Meet the chalet specialists

As many of you will already know, The Oxford Ski Company are a close-knit team who live and breathe skiing - we are passionate about what we do and put great emphasis on sharing our years of industry knowledge to deliver unforgettable holidays time and time again. With many of us having spent years working in ski resorts and topping this up with regular trips to each of the properties we feature, we strive to offer up-to-date information to assist in your tailored holiday planning. Here's your opportunity to learn a little bit more about the faces behind Oxford Ski with an insight into our Chalet Specialists and where their love for skiing began.

Sarah Roberts - Head of Chalet Sales

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How long have you been skiing? I have been skiing for 24 years. I started when I was 10, skied with family for 6 years, and then had a break until I was 24 when I did my first ski season. The bug was back and since then I have not missed a year!

Favourite ski resort? St Anton. I lived there for two years so it feels like my second home. The ski area is, in my opinion, the best in the world. It is also well known as a great après ski spot in the Alps, and from my experience it really is!

Favourite ski chalet? Chalet Le Grenier in Meribel. In my opinion, and having been lucky enough to stay here, the chalet has been designed perfectly for guest’s enjoyment. The location is great and offers lovely views. The facilities are fabulous, and the décor is tasteful, stylish, but you still feel like you can kick back relax and make it your home for a week. This chalet in my eyes really is one to beat.

What's your ski industry myth buster? Ski-in/ski-out isn't always best. Granted there are a few chalets that offer this sort after location, however only a handful and they tend to be mega chalets!!! Most ski chalets that are ski-in/ski-out are on pistes that are not ideal for all group members (children/ beginners and none skiers for example). You are always better off having a chalet that provides a driving service, trust me, and my 10 years of experience in the industry!

Where are you holidaying next? I will be skiing the Three Valleys next year and I can’t wait!

Why did you join Oxford Ski? Working at Oxford Ski has allowed me to live, breath and work in the industry I love. I am able to ski at least twice a year, enjoy and visit the best chalets in the world, and arrange our clients their perfect ski trips. There is a reason I have been here for 8 years!

 

Tim Newns - Chalet Specialist

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How long have you been skiing? I have been skiing for over 30 years since I was a little toddler.

Favourite ski resort? Chamonix. It is a beautiful and vibrant town less than an hours drive from Geneva airport. There is so much going on off the slopes as well as on. It was one of the first established ski areas in the Alps and is a must visit for off piste skiers with many adventure seekers ticking the famous Vallee Blanche run off their bucket list. It is also a great base in which to explore a variety of ski areas, many within a half hour drive. I would recommend a day out skiing in Courmayeur in Italy which is about an hours drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel.

Favourite ski chalet? Chalet Du Cret in Val d’Isere. The chalet interior is absolutely stunning so a must see for any interior design enthusiast. The property is very cosy but with plenty of space for guests to relax in and is just simply a beautiful chalet full of history and charm.

What's your ski industry myth buster? That it isn’t a relaxing holiday. Many people find a ski holiday a very stressful trip to organise (and ultimately a stressful trip without proper organisation!). This is understandable, particularly with families with young children when considering the many elements of a ski trip such as sorting ski passes, ski hire, ski tuition. The best way to beat the stress is to organise everything well in advance (through our dedicated concierge team!). Then you can really take advantage of the ‘being away from it all’ feeling that a ski resort can provide. I honestly think it is one of the best ways to revitalise the mind and refresh the soul.

Where are you holidaying next? I travel to Mallorca, Spain a few times of year as I have family there but I am hoping to return to the slopes again next winter – hopefully taking my husband for the first time to Val d’Isere (my second favourite resort).

 

Alex Harvey - Chalet Specialist

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How long have you been skiing? I was 9 months old when my parents first took me on a ski holiday, no skiing that year but apparently I loved the snow! Two holiday’s later I was in Ski Ski Kindi in Courchevel learning to snowplough and I’ve been in love with skiing ever since.

Favourite ski resort? This is a hard choice for me, it all depends on what I want from the trip and who I am going on holiday with. If I’m skiing with friends then Val d’Isere tops my list, if I’m with the family, Les Gets is the one for me. Val d’Isere offers everything you need to have an excellent holiday from first run to last drink.  An expansive ski area, great lunch stops, restaurants and bars, a lively atmosphere and some stunning chalets. Les Gets gives my family a quieter more traditional resort to base ourselves in where everyone can enjoy the mountain regardless of ability.

Favourite ski chalet? Chalet Grande Corniche in Les Gets is my favourite property I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. It’s secluded location and beautiful design make it the perfect place for a ski holiday.  The outdoor infinity pool offers stunning views over the valley far below and the chalet has been designed to maximise these views with huge windows and a wrap around terrace.  If that’s not enough, once you’ve enjoyed your pre-dinner drinks on the top floor bar and are ready to make your way down to the huge wine cellar/ dining room, why take the stairs when you can take the slide! The service provided in this chalet are some of the best you will find in the Alpes and certainly will leave you wanting to return next season.

What's your ski industry myth buster? It must be Ski-in/Ski-out… A classic requirement for all ski holidays but the times have changed since the days of needing to walk or use the bus system to get back to your chalet after a day on the slopes. The vast majority of our portfolio include a driver service and this for me is far better than a Ski-in/Ski-out location.  When you have one run on your doorstep you are restricted on how you plan your ski day, with a driver service, you can start your day at any lift and finish on any of the home runs. Want to go to après in soft shoes or without your skis? No problem, your driver can meet you at the bottom of the slopes, bring soft shoes to you and let you go enjoy yourselves whilst your skis and boots are taken back to the chalet without you.  Drivers are also a great help in the morning, especially when there are children in your group.  Your driver can load all your ski’s, help with the children’s boots, make sure they have lift passes, helmets etc whilst you focus on keeping your holiday cool in the often stressful mad dash for the door at 8.45.

Where are you holidaying next? Summer trip to Sardinia but the next ski trip will hopefully be to Italy or the Three Valleys.

 Why did you join Oxford Ski? Skiing is my passion, it’s the one thing I have loved all my life and couldn’t imagine a winter where I won’t ski at least once.  This is also why I joined The Oxford Ski Company, talking about my passion all day is amazing it is so rewarding knowing you are helping people find the perfect holiday year on year.

 

Marcus Roberts - Chalet Specialist

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How long have you been skiing? I’ve been skiing since I was 6 years old. My first experience was on a school trip to Courmayeur, and I’ve been hooked ever since, taking in three winter seasons in various roles in both La Plagne and Val d’Isere.

Favourite ski resort? I’m a big fan of Zermatt as it has a bit of everything. An excellent ski area across two countries (it links with Cervinia in Italy), some of the finest glacier skiing on the planet, a lovely traditional village, some of the worlds best mountain restaurants and of course the Matterhorn.

Favourite ski chalet? The Arula Chalets in Lech are up there with some of the best in the world, its design is a perfect blend of traditional build with every modern facility you could want, including its very own ice rink. This plus the fact it’s ski-in/ski-out, has the most amazing living space, can sleep up to 29 people and is finished to an exceptional standard, makes it a superb choice all round

What's your ski industry myth buster? Height doesn’t always mean snow sure! One of the largest misconceptions in skiing is that resorts like Morzine don’t get enough snow which is simply untrue. Whilst at village level there might not be as much as at the top, in every ski resort we offer there is a 100% chance of skiing in the ski area, it might just mean taking a couple of lifts to get to it.

Where are you holidaying next? Hopefully Verbier.

 

Pippa Gaskell - Chalet Specialist

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How long have you been skiing? I have been skiing since I was 6 years old with my mum, sister and family friends (Dad always had to stay home to look after the farm). From here I found my love for skiing, as I realised there’s nothing better than bombing down a beautifully groomed slope surrounded by your loved ones, immersed in trees and a dome of blue sky.

Favourite ski resort? My favourite ski resort to visit has to be Meribel. The reasons being it’s like a home from home to me which I love, and really stole a little bit of my heart when I completed my second winter season there in 2018/19. Furthermore I really feel like it has everything I long for when dreaming of being back in the alps. Not only is it nestled bang smack in the middle of the larges ski area in the world, but its also home to majority of the alps best après ski bands, and has a bustling après scene for all ages to enjoy after a long day on the slopes. If you’re looking for an English friendly beautiful ski resort, with some of the best skiing the alps has to offer combined with plenty of fun to be has once the lifts shut. Then Meribel is the resort to head to.

Favourite ski chalet? My favourite chalet is Shemshak Lodge located in Courchevel 1850. I am a little biased however, as I worked in this beautiful chalet on my first winter season. That being said, I feel it has one of the best views in the alps to enjoy when tucking into your morning breakfast. As you can look out to totally unspoiled snowy mountain tops, without a chalet in sight making you feel like you have the mountains to yourself. Furthermore it is situated directly on the Plantrey piste in Courchevel 1850. Meaning you can walk out of your front door, click into your skis (which have kindly been placed on the piste by your driver) and you’re ready to tackle the vast ski area of the 3 valleys, while dodging the morning queues of central 1850.

What's your ski industry myth buster? One of the biggest misconceptions about going on a ski holiday, is that you have to travel to a high ski resort to guarantee the best snow. This however is not the case; for example if you were to visit Morzine which is a beautiful French resort that sits below 1000 meters, and might not always have huge amount of snow coverage within the resort itself. The ski area Portes du soleil surrounding Morzine has an extensive ski area that climbs up the mountain to a much higher altitude. Therefore guaranteeing to have plenty of good snow for you and your loved ones to ski on and enjoy.

Where are you holidaying next? My next holiday is a lovely hot one to Ibiza with some close friends, to soak up some sun before I return to the beloved alps again in the winter.