Booking your skiing holiday
Q: Does Powder White have an ATOL licence?
A: Powder White does have an ATOL licence (6860) that financially protects holidays including flights from the UK.
Q: Which resort should I choose?
A: Primarily you should choose a resort that best suits your group's skiing abilities. Whilst all resorts have beginner slopes, some resorts are better suited to intermediate or advanced skiers. In our Chalet Resorts, Courchevel, Meribel and Val d'Isere are all in vast ski areas and are suitable for all levels - beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers. St Anton is renowned for its advanced ski area, however recent improvements & additions to their lift system, now make it just as popular a choice for all levels of skier. Please see our resort guides to investigate further.
Q: What type of accommodation should I choose?
A: The type of accommodation you choose is determined by the type of holiday you want. The Hotel option is as you would imagine: your own room(s), with varied catering options - eg. Bed & Breakfast or Full Board. Hotel holidays do tend to be the most expensive type of accommodation, however we have many great value options to suit all budgets.
The hugely popular Catered Chalet option provides a home for the week so ideal for those looking for a relaxed atmosphere with privacy. This option is also available to those looking to share with other like-minded skiers in a selection of our properties, perfect for those looking for a more sociable surrounding. Meals are prepared and served by the friendly & welcoming chalet hosts who will provide a slightly more informal home-from-home base for your stay. In general, the catered chalet option will provide you with the best value for money at prices that are, in general, considerably cheaper than Hotels. For those choosing not to be catered for in our Powder White chalets, they are also available on a self-catered basis.
Our comprehensive Self Catered Apartment option is as as it says on the tin - self catered! On the face of it, the most cost effective route to getting into top ski resorts, but remember you buy your own consumables and cater for yourselves. They do however provide you with complete flexibility and the chance to sample local cuisine in multiple resort restaurants. All our self-catered apartments come with linen and towels and optional Extras available on request.
Q: Do you accommodate Short stays/Weekends?
A: Yes, however this is reliant on availability, demand and general booking trends. On occasion, we can accept short-stays in our Catered Chalets although these will need to be requested through one of our specialist Sales Executives. Pricing is based on a set per person per night basis related to the time of year you are travelling, it is not based on the pro rata’d amount derived from the full weekly charge. Hotels and some Self-Catered Accommodation can provide a bit more flexibility, but this tends to be during low season dates and came sometimes come at a cost.
Q: Are there Credit Card fees?
A: Yes - and the charges depend on which card you use. There is a charge of 2.5% for Visa and Mastercard credit cards. There is a 4% charge for American Express cards. There is no charge for the use of debit cards, and we are happy to receive bank transfers for Sterling, Euro and Swiss Franc payments - please ask for our bank details. NB. All bank charges for national or international transfer are payable by the customer.
Q: How do I get to the Resorts?
A: Powder White holidays are generally non-packaged with bookable travel elements as you choose. In other words, you are free to book the holiday you want, with the flights you want and with the transfer you want. The accommodation prices quoted on the website are without travel, therefore there is no obligation to build the entire package with us. We would encourage you to do this however in order to keep all information in one handy and easily accessible place via your “ability to manage” online booking. Many properties benefit from parking (some pre-bookable and payable locally), therefore you may choose to drive. Our French resorts have great train links to the UK, therefore you might opt for the Eurostar. Whichever travel you choose, you can either speak to our Sales Executives or book online where possible. Do feel free to ask for further information.
Q: Can I book Flights through Powder White?
A: Powder White holds the all-important ATOL license, Number 6860 and we are proud to have access to worldwide flights and Live Availability is instant through our integrated flight platform. Due to the ever changing prices of flights or train tickets (to the second!), it is understandable that any travel element of your package is 100% payable at the time of booking - we cannot guarantee prices or hold travel seats on your behalf. There are numerous airports that you can fly to, including Geneva, Chambery, Lyon and Grenoble (for French and some Swiss Resorts), Turin, Milan, Salzburg, Zurich, Innsbruck, and Friedrichshafen (for Austrian, Italian and some Swiss Resorts). Eurostar goes into Moutiers for the Three Valleys, Aime for Paradiski and Bourg St Maurice for Espace Killy.
Q: Can I book Transfers through Powder White?
A: Powder White arranges transfers for all of their guests where required, often private but also on a shared basis. It is worth remembering that these get extremely booked up therefore it is recommended that you organise this element at the time of booking or at least shortly after you have confirmed your booking. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee late availability, especially difficult during peak season dates. There are numerous options that you can use to get from the airport/train station up to the ski resorts, including helicopter transfer, private transfer, shared transfer, public bus and car hire. We can advise and arrange all of these for you so just give us a call for further information or alternatively book online when confirming your booking - all at the click of a button!
Q: What age is a Child?
A: On a Catered Chalet holiday, we consider a child to be between the ages of 2 and 11. They benefit from a small reduction on the adult price. If your child is 12 or older, they are priced at the adult rate (this will be checked in resort!). Children can be catered for separately based on a simpler variation of the adult menus or alternatively they can be catered for at the same time as the adult party. We warmly welcome children to our catered chalets booked on a whole occupancy basis, however we unfortunately cannot accept younger children under the age of 5 on a shared chalet basis. Children staying in Hotels or Self-Catered Apartments are priced at the adult rate.
Q: What age is an Infant?
A: On a Catered Chalet holiday, we consider an infant to be under the age of 2 - ie. up to and including 23 months. They benefit from paying just a nominal rate of £250 which includes a cot (with base sheet) and highchair. This small contribution also goes towards utility costs, breakfast items, fresh fruit, milk, bread, afternoon tea items & fruit juice. It does not include stairgates, pushchairs, pram, changing mat/table, nappies, formula, washing facilities or jars of baby food. You will however be able to access kitchen facilities to make or heat simple baby food if required. Please liaise with your chalet host to arrange. Infant charges for Hotels or Self-Catered Apartments are individual to the supplier so please enquire at time of booking.
Q: Do you provide Childcare / Nanny services?
A: Powder White does not offer childcare, but we have worked with many child care providers in each of our resorts, so we can give you details of these for you to contact directly if required. We feel that it is best for you to decide which childcare is best for your child, and all charges are payable direct to the childcare provider.
Q: Can I take my Dog on Holiday?
A: To a Catered Chalet, yes. However there are guidelines that must be adhered to. We will allow one dog (max 25 kilos) or two small dogs (max 10 kilos each). They are charged at £250 per dog and there is an additional £250 per dog security deposit payable which is refundable subject to no damage/cleaning charges. We ask that dogs are fully house-trained, not dangerous, not allowed on any of the chalet furniture and that they are never left unattended at any time. Should you have a dog that is particularly hairy(!) or sheds its hair, we ask that you ensure this is cleared up at all times as we do not expect our chalet hosts to clear up after them or look after them. Please advise at time of booking full details of your dog/s - these will be checked on arrival in resort so absolute honesty is required here.
Q: What training do you staff go through?
A: The staff go through an intensive pre-season training course that cover all aspects of your holiday. All catering staff also have a Food Hygiene Certificate and many have attended a well-regarded Cookery Course. All are passionate about cooking and will do their absolute best to ensure our food is enjoyed by everyone.
Preparing for your holiday
Q: Who Manages my Booking and Can I Manage my Booking Online Myself?
A: Absolutely! And we fully encourage you to do so. Our system is set up for you to access your booking up to 8 days prior to your arrival in resort. Here you can pre-book flights, transfers, ski passes, ski hire and any Extras to enhance your holiday even further (in Chalet accommodation). You can also pre-book private lessons ski school through our recommended suppliers. You will need to provide your full contact details & address, names of your party, ages where applicable and any Special Diet information along with your estimated time of arrival in resort should you be arranging your own travel. By all means liaise with your personal Sales Executive in the run-up to your holiday, however please note that this process can often take time or even incur administration charges, most of which are not chargeable should you be making simple changes online. Any significant material changes to your booking carry various levels of administration charge which are detailed in our Terms & Conditions and these are payable at the time of change.
Q: Can I pre-book Ski Passes?
A: Yes - and we would highly recommend you to do so in order for you to avoid any unnecessary hassle on arrival in resort, and to also take advantage of some of our fantastic pre-booked deals! All passes need to be pre-paid, and these will be delivered for free on or shortly after your arrival. Please be assured, we charge exactly the same for this as you would pay in resort. We highly recommend taking out the local mountain repatriation insurance which provides, for only a small amount extra, complete peace of mind and certain cover which normal travel insurances do not. To pre-book your passes, simply log into your booking and choose the passes that are right for you - it really is that easy! These are secured on your behalf with a deposit at the time of booking and balance will be payable with your full holiday balance 12 weeks prior to departure.
Q: Can I pre-book Ski/Board Hire?
A: Yes - and again we would highly recommend you to do so and you can often benefit from our regular and appealing pre-booking deals! Simply log into your online booking where you find a couple of options: 1. Representing excellent and extremely competitive value against other local suppliers and 2: A slightly more expensive option which, in general, provides you with an in-chalet fitting (over a nice glass of wine perhaps!) For all pre-booked ski hire, we will need certain information from you including ages (if children), heights and weights - this again can be simply added to your booking all at the touch of a button...
Q: Can I arrange Ski Lessons through you?
A: Yes - and this is something that you should be doing sooner rather than later, since ski lessons are subject to availability and get booked up very quickly on peak dates. Please raise your requirement at time of booking, simply provide what you are looking for and we will check availability for you. Our recommended partners will then contact you directly, confirm tuition details and arrange payment directly.
Q: Do you offer Ski Guiding?
A: No - legally we are not allowed to. However, we can organise ski guiding via the local guides.
Q: What & When is Changeover Day?
A: Changeover day is when the accommodation is prepared for the arrival of new guests which essentially involves cleaning of the accommodation and change of linen. For our Catered Chalet Programme, changeover day tends to be Saturday in our French resorts (Meribel, Courchevel & Val d’Isere) and Sunday in St Anton, Austria. Hotels and Apartments changeover days are based around the dates of your individual booking and are carried out by the local supplier, not Powder White staff.
Q: Is there Parking?
A: There is often parking (often limited) with some of our chalets and this is detailed on the individual chalet pages. Where a chalet is filled on a split-booking basis or where we are able to provide you with parking outside an alternative property, a weekly fee of £85 will be charged per car - please note though that this is on request in advance and not guaranteed therefore pre-booking and pre-payment is absolutely essential. Where we have no parking available, local resort car parks can be used and this is charged locally at the individual parking rate. Hotels & Apartment Residences have varying parking options so please ask at time of booking as this may well need to be pre-booked.
Q: Is Wi-Fi provided?
A: In our Chalets, yes - and this is free of charge however most Hotels & Apartments will apply charges so please enquire at time of booking. We cannot guarantee that there is an uninterrupted service. Also we cannot guarantee any minimum speed of connection, especially when multiple devices are being used simultaneously. Please also note that we cannot guarantee that your device (laptop, tablet, phone etc) will be able to connect and use the wireless as all computer settings differ greatly. Downloading of internet material (even films or music) is not allowed and anyone to be found downloading inappropriate material will regrettably be reported to the relevant Authority.
Q: Is there a TV in the chalet? Does the TV have English Channels?
A: There is a central TV in each of the chalets along with a DVD player so we encourage you to bring along a selection of your favourite films if you so wish. Our TVs will provide local channels only unless specified and where some properties may benefit from TVs in bedrooms, we cannot guarantee this will be fully functional in our Chalets.
Q: Is there a Safe in the Accommodation?
A: Whilst some Hotel or Apartment Accommodation may offer a Safe, our Chalets do not. We recommend that valuables are not left in the chalet and we ask all our guests to be extremely diligent when leaving the property. Please ensure you close all windows and lock any external doors securely. There are unfortunately opportunists in our resorts and extra diligence is needed during peak season holiday times. Where your chalet has a keypad entry, please be careful to keep this code to yourselves and not shout it out amongst you! Individual room keys are generally not available and, as is normal practice in our industry, chalets are shared on a trust basis. Lost keys are charged at £100 per key.
Q: Are Bed Linen and Towels provided?
A: In all types of accommodation, bed linen and towels are provided. Self-Catered apartments are unlikely to made up ready for arrival. In our Chalets, there is a towel change part way through the week and additional towel changes can be requested and charged to your booking.
Q: Are there washing machines in the Chalets?
A: Unfortunately any washing machine or dryer in our Chalets are unavailable for guest use. Hotels may well have a washing service which will be payable in resort.
Q: Do you cater for Special Diets?
A: Yes - but we need to know what these are at least a week before the start of your holiday - any notification after this point will result in a per person supplement being charged of £45 due to increased prices in shopping locally for specific items. Notifying us is easy - simply log into your booking and select from the drop-down menu next to each individual party name - Options are: Vegetarian / Vegetarian eats Chicken / Vegetarian eats Chicken & Fish / Vegan / Low Lactose (Non Dairy) / Gluten Intolerant / Severe Nut Allergy (no nuts for whole group / Mild Nut Allergy (OK for other members) / Halal/ Meat (£85pp supplement) / No Red Meat / No Pork (religious reasons) / Specific Allergy - See Notes Box (please detail). Please also note that some ingredients are very difficult if not impossible to get in the Alps, so do feel free to bring along any specific or unusual ingredients if you require them. We ask for your help and understanding as much as possible in this respect and please note that if specific ingredients are required because of allergies, an additional charge for these may be charged.
Q: Can We Choose our Menu Plan?
A: In our Catered Chalets, our Hosts work to a Menu Plan that has been created taking into account availability of fresh local produce, popular local dishes and particular recommendations from guests and previous staff over the years. It is simple but delicious! We pride ourselves on home-from-home cooking so please do not expect Michelin style food or haute cuisine - it’s not what Powder White is about. Whilst we will do our best to cater for Special Diets or Allergies, we are unable to cater for particular likes or dislikes.
Q: Can we get a Discount for not drinking wine and/or substitute it for Beers/Soft drinks?
A: There is no discount available if you do not want to drink the wine, and we cannot substitute beer or soft drinks instead of the wine. However, beers, soft drinks and other items can be added to the booking at an additional cost through the Optional Extras section of your booking - simply login prior to one week before arrival in resort and add them on in order to enhance your Chalet Holiday even further!
Q: When is my Pre-departure Information sent?
A: The pre-departure information is emailed to the party leader two weeks before the start of your holiday. You will also have access to the hugely popular travel app Vamoos which will have all information via this app on your mobile phone. This includes invaluable information such as: Address and Directions of the Chalet / Emergency Contact Details / Useful Information relating to your particular accommodation / Resort Information & Recommendations / Weather Reports. We highly recommend that all members of your party download this app and have this information literally at their fingertips.
On Your Holiday
Q: What time can I Arrive?
A: Hotels and Apartment Residences have varying check-in/check-out times and these will be advised at time of booking. Powder White Chalets offers a degree of flexibility in working to a “Gentleman’s Agreement” type of system. Arrival can be from 9.30am (no earlier), however the chalet will not be ready as previous guests are likely to still be there finishing off breakfast. You are welcome to drop your bags off, get changed for skiing and head out onto the slopes as quickly as possible - we highly recommend pre-booking your ski packs through us so you can make the most of this additional day’s skiing. Main access to chalet is generally available from about 2pm when the chalet is likely to be fully changed albeit on some occasions, it will be later than this. Please remember that the previous guests also have access to the chalet until 4.30pm after their additional day’s skiing at the end of their holiday, something you may also be lucky enough to enjoy at the end of yours!
Q: And What time do I have to Leave?
A: We ask all our Chalet guests to vacate their bedrooms by 9.15am and the chalet entirely by 10am so that changeover can be carried out. You are welcome to leave your luggage stowed away. After enjoying your final day’s skiing, you will have limited access to the chalet between 3.30 & 4.30pm in order to quickly shower and collect your luggage. All departing guests must be out of the chalet by 4.30pm latest. Please remember that there may well be a crossover of guests, and we ask everyone to be as flexible as possible for us to be able to offer this kind of system rather than asking our guests to adhere to stringent check-in/check-out times. Hotels and Self-Catered Apartments guests need to remember that access to and from their accommodation is set on a property by property basis and this will be advised to you prior to your arrival in resort.
Q: Is my accommodation Cleaned during the Week?
A: Hotels generally offer a daily housekeeping service and Self-Catered apartments do not, albeit some will have an end of stay clean and this will be advised during the booking process. Our Chalets are cleaned six days out of seven, even if you choose to take your chalet self catered.
Q: What time are Meals Served?
A: In our Catered Chalets, again Powder White wants to offer a degree of flexibility. Breakfast is generally served at a set time agreed with your chalet host between 8.00am and 9.30am. Afternoon Tea will be left out for you to help yourself to. Evening Meals are generally served between 7.30pm and 9.00pm at a time to suit you and as agreed with your chalet host that morning. Children’s high teas can be served earlier than this - please advise in advance if you need this. Remember that our Catered Chalets include 7 x breakfasts (one simple continental breakfast on chalet host day off), 7 x afternoon teas and 6 x 3-course evening meals with wine. Hotels stipulate their own timings for breakfast and the evening meal. There are no mealtimes for Self Catered Apartments as there are no meals!
Q: What day is the Chalet Host day off?
A: The chalet host day off is, in general, on Wednesday in France and on Thursday in Austria. Whilst this can be shifted by a day in order to offer a degree of flexibility, it cannot be moved to the start or the end of the week as our team have multiple other duties to complete which are not always obvious to our guests. If you are arriving a day or two late, or departing a day or two early, the chalet host will still need to have a day off in the middle of your stay. Please discuss with your Sales Executive at time of booking.
Q: Do the Chalet Hosts live in the Chalet?
A: In general, the vast majority of our staff live out of the chalet. However there are a few chalets where the chalet staff live in the chalet or in separate apartments/rooms which require access from the chalet. This is detailed on the individual chalet pages.
Q: Do I tip the Chalet Hosts?
A: This is totally at your discretion, but if you feel you would like to (always welcome!), ordinarily the chalet host is tipped around €25 per guest. Whilst the chalet staff receive an extremely competitive package which allows them to enjoy the mountain life, they do work incredibly hard and any well-earned tips are seen as an appreciation of this. We ask you to please treat our chalets hosts in the way in which you would want to be treated yourself!
After your Holiday
Q: How do I leave feedback?
A: The party leader will be emailed an online questionnaire after your holiday. Should other members of the party like to leave feedback, they can provide their contact details to our staff in resort shortly before leaving. If you want to give feedback whilst on your holiday or feel the need to raise any issue, please do let your Chalet Host or Resort Manager know straight away , especially if it is something that we can do to improve your holiday. There is little point telling us on the final night of your holiday when we could have made simple changes or improvements to ensure an enjoyable stay for everyone.
Q: What if I have left something behind?
A: If we can locate what you have left behind, we will, where we can post this onto you. However please note that you will have to pay for the postage and a quote will be provided to you with payment being made in advance of sending the item/s.
Q: Are there discounts if I book with Powder White again?
A: For Chalet Holidays, you will have a 10% repeat guest discount (if booked before 30th November of any given year). Sadly we cannot extend this discount to Hotel or Apartment holidays and this discount cannot be used in conjunction with other offers available at the time. For self catered bookings we can offer a 5% repeat guest discount.