Meet the team

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts

Head of Sales, Ski Chalets

My passion for skiing and being in the mountains was fueled by having survived three seasons in both the French and Austrian Alps! Now I am here to share my love and knowledge for the sport, properties and mountains with you.

I am a skier.

Favourite resorts: St. Anton, Val d'Isere and Verbier. Although St Anton will always have my heart!

Ski seasons: One in Courchevel 1850 and two in St. Anton.

Favourite properties: Maria Schnee in St Anton, La Tene in Val d'Isere and Edelweiss in Courchevel 1850.

Favourite lunch and après: Rodel Alm in St. Anton for their half chicken with a semmel (Austrian bread roll), Krazy Kangaroo for après and dancing on tables!!

My tip: Get the first lift and head high! In St Anton, head to Hospiz Alm in St Christoph and use the slide down to the bathrooms!

Karen Cabena

Karen Cabena

Head of Sales, Hotels and North America

With a passion for travel, sport and adventure I have been lucky enough to experience the amazing skiing in Canada and North America. I can help you do the same.

I am a skier.

Favourite resorts: Verbier in Switzerland, Park City in Utah and Jackson Hole in Wyoming USA.

Ski seasons: One in Breckenridge and one in Banff/Lake Louise.

Favourite properties: Hotel Rosa Alpina (San Cassiano), Hotel Le Saint Roch (Courchevel 1850) and Stein Erickson Lodge (Deer Valley).

Favourite lunch and après: Krazy Kangaroos (St Anton) and Ajax Tavern (Aspen). Lunch at Hospiz Alm in St Christoph – try the delicious local fried pancake dessert “Kaiserschmarrn”.

My tip: Take advantage of the mountain hosts for free ski guiding. Friendly volunteers who provide some great facts and history on the mountains as well as taking you to the best slopes for the conditions that day.

Annie Lambert

Annie Lambert

Head Pre-Arrival Concierge

Skiing on a clear day and overlooking the snowy white mountains is unbeatable. Combining this with experiencing new resorts and copious amounts of local food and wine is my idea of perfection.

I am a skier.

Favourite resorts: Morzine, Zermatt and Lech.

Ski seasons: One in Morzine.

Favourite properties: Severin*s in Lech, Chalet Les Anges in Zermatt and Chalet Joux Plane in Morzine.

Favourite lunch and après: Le Panoramic in Tignes, with its luxurious alpine décor and sheepskin rugs is the perfect mountain lunch spot. The food and service are excellent, and if you are lucky you might meet Igloo, the resident St Bernard!

My tip: Ski lessons are not just for beginners. They are the perfect opportunity to perfect your techniques and boost confidence on the slopes. Remember to book in advance for the best options and availability.

Ellie Whitticombe (Nee Knowles)

Ellie Whitticombe (Nee Knowles)

Senior Hotel and North America Specialist

I love how invigorating a few days in the mountains can be. My ideal day involves being active whilst taking in the fantastic scenery, finishing off with an après drink! Having had the opportunity to visit and stay in many of the properties we feature, finding your ideal hotel is no problem at all.

I am a skier.

Favourite resorts: Banff, Park City and Zermatt.

Favourite properties: Washington School House in Park City, Grand Hotel Zermatterhof in Zermatt and Hotel Le Crans in Crans-Montana.

Favourite lunch and après: Piste Mountain Bistro, Jackson Hole for up-market American tapas. Après at Cloud Nine, Aspen Highlands.

My tip: Extend your break and take in a city stopover. New York in the United States, or Venice in Italy to name a couple. What is more, we can arrange it all for you.

Toby Galtress

Toby Galtress

Hotel and Japan Specialist

Whether it’s a beautiful bluebird day cruising the pistes or a storm day weaving through trees, there is nowhere I’m happier than on the mountain. Having skied since childhood and been lucky enough to do four winter seasons (as well as one in the summer) across Europe and Japan, it is now my pleasure to share my passion for skiing and travelling whilst helping you find the perfect holiday.

I am a skier but can also snowboard.

Favourite resorts: Portes du Soleil, Espace Killy, Hakuba.

Ski seasons: One each in Avoriaz, Tignes, Alpe d’huez and Hakuba.

Favourite properties: Hotel des Dromonts, Suites de Nevada, Hotel Le Melezin.

My tip: Trees are your friends during bad weather. They shelter you from the worst of the winds and give a frame of reference so you can see where you are going in a whiteout. Plus, they trap the powder meaning you can lap great snow whilst everyone else is hiding inside!

Alex Harvey

Alex Harvey

Senior Chalet Specialist

Having skied every year since I was two, including two seasons, I believe there is no better way to escape normal life than in the bubble of a ski resort. Whether you are a thrill seeker looking to explore or a scenic skier requiring a more relaxed experience, I want to find the perfect resort for you.

I am a skier first but can also snowboard.

Favourite resorts: Les Gets, Val d’Isere and Megève.

Ski seasons: One in Les Gets and one in Val d’Isere.

Favourite properties: Grande Corniche (Les Gets) and Lafitenia (Val d’isere).

Favourite lunch and après:  L’Etincelle (Val d’Isere), Chez Nannon (Les Gets) and La Folie Douce (Megève).

My tip: A great way to find the best runs in resort is to speak to your chalet staff or to book a guide for your first day, even if you’ve been to the resort before. 

Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts

Senior Chalet Specialist

My first ski experience was nearly 20 years ago, and I have never looked back. After two seasons in La Plagne, and five years crewing superyachts worldwide, I decided to put my knowledge to good use and help others discover amazing properties in the world’s best resorts.

I am a skier.

Favourite resorts: Lech and Verbier.

Ski seasons: Two in La Plagne.

Favourite properties: The Arula Chalets in Lech, Chalet Tschoder in St Anton and Chalet Chene in Val d’Isere.

Favourite lunch and après: If you are after a great lunch with a fabulous view then head no further than the Bergerie in La Plagne.

My tip: Take part in an evening meal up the mountain, followed by either a torch lit ski or toboggan ride back to the village for a vin chaud.

Tim Newns

Tim Newns

Senior Chalet Specialist

Escaping to a snowy mountain resort, enjoying the beautiful scenery, good food and exquisite wine is the best way to relax the mind and refresh the soul. Whether travelling with family, friends or solo, we are sure to have the perfect property for you.

I am a skier but also can snowboard.

Favourite resorts: Chamonix, Val d’Isere and St. Anton.

Favourite properties: Chalet Twenty 26 (Morzine), Debussy (Morzine) Chalet Bel Sol (Val d’Isère) The Fairmont Chateau (Whistler).

Favourite lunch and après: Zum Zee in Zermatt and La Folie Douce in Val d’Isère.

My tip: A guide is a great way to explore a new area as they will know the quietest slopes and the best restaurants. If you own ski boots, start ‘wearing them in’ a few days before you depart. The first day back will be so much easier!

Elena Dryden

Elena Dryden

Chalet Specialist

I’ve been a keen skier since I was 11 and first tried snowboarding in my late teens. I decided to take a 6 month career break to do a season as a chalet chef, but I ended up staying in the French Alps for nearly a decades worth of winters. Having managed a small portfolio of catered chalets in the Tarentaise valley I have plenty first hand knowledge to share.

I am a skier and a snowboarder

 Favourite resorts: La Plagne and Breckenridge

 Ski seasons: One in Ste Foy and 8 in la Plagne

 Favourite properties: Chalet-trois-ours (Meribel), Chalet-nyumba (Verbier)

 Favourite lunch and après: You can’t beat a long, leisurely lunch on a sunny day at the terrace of Le Carlina  in Plagne Bellecot. For superb Après head to the legendary Follie Douce in Val Thorens

 My tip: During the busy school holidays take advantage of shorter lift queues by skiing while everyone else is at lunch between 12pm and 2pm

Jo Evans

Jo Evans

Chalet Specialist

I only discovered my love for skiing in my twenties but fast forward to multiple ski holidays and three winter seasons and I am hooked. I look forward to sharing my passion for skiing to help you enjoy your favourite winter days.

 I am a skier but learnt to snowboard this winter.

 Favourite resorts: Val d’Isere and Whistler.

 Ski seasons: One in Meribel and two in Val d’Isere.

 Favourite properties: Mont Tremblant (Meribel), Chalet Blossom Hill (Courcheval Le Praz) and Chalet Chouqui (Verbier).

Favourite lunch and apres: Le Refuge de Solaise (Val d’Isere) for lunch and then down to Cocorico for après. In Meribel for a beautiful walk and a great lunch, pick Le Clos Bernard. Après in Whistler has to be Longhorn Saloon or Merlin’s.

My tip: On a clear day take a few minutes to just stop and appreciate the staggering 360 views around you. Then call your chalet driver to meet you at the bottom of the piste to be whisked back to your mountain home.

Jemma Price

Jemma Price

Pre-Arrival Concierge

I fell in love with winter holidays and the mountains not just for the skiing. The quality time spent with friends and family, racing on sledges and dancing on tables in ski boots is incredible. Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll be desperate to return.

I am a skier.

Favourite resorts: The Milky Way, St Martin de Belleville.

Ski seasons: Two in Sestriere in The Milky Way.

Favourite properties: Baita 1697 (Milky Way), The Loft (Courchevel Moriond 1650), Chalet Abode (St Martin de Belleville).

Favourite lunch and après: Head to La Gargote Fashion Café in Sestriere for beautiful pizzas and the best après party in the Milky Way.

My tip: Give yourself some extra time in the mornings, especially on the first day. It is easy to forget how long it can take to layer up before heading to the slopes!

Jenny Goward

Jenny Goward

HR Manager

Exploring different countries and cultures by going on that perfect holiday is what motivates me and I’ve been very lucky to have been able to do a lot of overseas travel. I love spending quality time with family and friends, exploring new destinations and local food/wine.

I am a beginner skier.

Favourite destinations: Italy, Spain, Greek islands, Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Recently visited: India and Brazil.

My tip: Always take the time to plan your holiday and have an itinerary to ensure that you visit all the places you want to whilst in that country. Make sure you factor in some “down time” to relax and re-charge your batteries as well as sightseeing. The world is a small place these days with air travel so take time to go and explore different places.

Rupert Longsdon

Rupert Longsdon

Founder and CEO

I am an Alpine and Telemark skier.

Favourite resorts: Crans-Montana, Val d’Isere and Zermatt.

Ski seasons: Two in Val d'Isère, over 10 years in Crans-Montana and Méribel.

Favourite properties: Chalet La Bergerie in Courchevel 1850 and Chalet N in Lech, Chalet Grace in Zermatt.

Favourite lunch and après: Le Panoramic in Tignes. Be prepared to get settled in. Time it right to get the Tufs lift back to Val d’Isere mind you. The sun terrace of L’Etincelle in Val d’Isere late season. Only a short ski home.

My tip:  You can never stop learning and this is particularly true when it comes to skiing. Always budget for a ski instructor or guide, you will get so much more out of your holiday. Book afternoon group lessons at New Year and Half Term. No morning rush, lessons are quieter, no queues and still time to drop and have a long lunch…

Mark Gibbins

Mark Gibbins

Managing Director

I have always believed that skiing is a means of transportation to and from lunch...I am the person you need to speak to about finding the perfect terrace spot for a fine Alpine lunch!

I am a skier.

Favourite resorts: Crans-MontanaVal d'Isère and Whistler.

Ski seasons: Six in Crans Montana and two in Meribel.

Favourite properties: Ferme de Moudon in Les Gets and the Residences at The Four Seasons Whistler.

Favourite lunch and aprèsSignal in Val d'Isère for lunch and the infamous après at La Folie Douce (and now also in Val Thorens and Méribel).

My tip: Invest in your own pair of ski boots, even if you only ski six days a year...go that extra step and get a custom fit pair from SureFoot. 

Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly

Sales Director

I have always had a passion for travel and exploring new places. I have been lucky enough to travel to 50 countries and work on five continents, and I love nothing more than sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm with our clients. Before joining Oxford Private Travel I spent seven years in Africa working in luxury experiential tourism at some of the top properties on the continent, so I know what it takes to deliver a truly world class travel experience!

I am a skier.

Destinations I love: Seychelles, Croatia, Vietnam, India, Kenya

Properties I love: The Brando (French Polynesia), Londolozi Game Reserve (South Africa), Palazzo Avino (Amalfi Coast).

Recently visited: Kenya, Seychelles, South Africa, Croatia, Italy

My tip: Travel is all about experiences and memories. Whilst it’s important to take photos, make sure you also spend time soaking up the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of your destination too!

Rosie Arntsen

Rosie Arntsen

Executive Assistant to the Directors

I have always loved traveling and have been lucky enough to visit some incredible places. There is nothing better than getting to experience the amazing food and cultures they have to offer.

I am a beginner skier.

Destinations I love: New York, Cape Town and Sydney

Favourite properties: Chalet M, Chalet Bluebird and Maison Blanche et Verte

My Tip: Research the sights and activities you would like to experience before hand to ensure you have time to fit it all in. I always like to ask for recommendations from those who have visited before.

Melissa Yardy

Melissa Yardy

Finance Manager

Good food and travel are two things which have always been close to my heart. Having lived for two years in France, travelled to many countries and having skied in various resorts across Europe for over 20 years – I feel extremely lucky to be able to help to facilitate others to enjoy similar experiences. 

I am a skier.

Favourite resorts: Val Thorens, Courchevel 1850 and Saas Fee.

Favourite properties: Hotel Le Val Thorens in Val Thorens, Hotel Le K2 Altitude in Courchevel and Chalet Annapurna in Saas Fee.

My tip: Make the most of everything the mountains have to offer: Rise for first lift, eat lunch in one of the amazing mountain eateries and don’t forget to stop and take a moment to really appreciate the natural beauty – it really takes my breath away. Finally, relax in the afternoon sun with an après-ski drink and enjoy the delicacies of the local restaurants in the evening.

Faye McPhillips

Faye McPhillips

Bookings and Accounts Administrator

I lived in Cyprus from the age of four so travelling, flying and seeing different cultures has been the norm for me from an early age. I love visiting new countries and particularly enjoy seeing how different cultures live and eat. I am a beginner skier.

Destinations I love: Cyprus, St. Lucia and Italy.

Properties I love: Anassa in Cyprus, Canella at Ca’nova in Venice and Jade Mountain in St Lucia.

Recently visited: Cyprus, St. Lucia, Barbados and Costa Rica.

My tips: Experience different tastes, sounds and cultures. Have a go at traditional dancing, try a dish you’ve never tried and meet people you will never forget because holidays are to be remembered.

Katie Mullis

Katie Mullis

Accounts Payable

I have always enjoyed exploring cities and seeing different cultures as well as sunny breaks away with family and friends. Over the last few years I have visited some incredible places enjoying the amazing food and incredible scenery which has motivated me to travel more and visit new places.  

 I am a beginner skier.

Destinations I love: Greek Islands, Sydney and Melbourne.

Properties I love: Chalet Mont Blanc in Megeve, Sunwatch Villa in Barbados, Four Seasons Bora Bora.

 My Tip: Plan in advance to ensure you fit in everything you would like to do.

Saffron

Saffron

Border Terrier

I hold a pretty important role within the company and that is ensuring the other canines here tow the line; as the boss's dog I feel this is my duty. Outside of that, I pretty much just sleep. 

I am a dog.

Owner: Mark Gibbins

Favourite spot: My bed, obviously. 

Favourite time of day: Breakfast time and five minutes of madness running around in circles. 

Party trick: Not sure I have one....unless looking darn cute is a trick!

Will

Will

Labrador

My most important office duties include chasing Saffron first thing in the morning, sleeping on my back so I am in the way of everyone, and pulling my puppy dog eyes when I want to go for a walk!

I am a dog.

Owner: Sarah Roberts

Favourite spot: My office bed.

Favourite time of day: Arriving at work, afternoon walk and home time! The rest of the time I’m asleep!

Party trick: Looking ridiculously comfortable and relaxed when everyone is hard at work!

Joey

Joey

Jackshund

My favourite thing to do is to follow my human around the office, but I’m also trying my luck to impress Thula – we like romantic afternoons holding paws whilst watching the garden outside.

I am a dog.

Owner: Melissa Yardy

Favourite spot: Being as close to my human as possible.

Favourite time of the day:  9am – when Bertie arrives, closely followed by lunch time belly scratches.

Party trick: Performing a jumping dance for my human whenever she comes back into the room.