Catered vs Self Catered Accommodation: Which is Best for Your Winter Holiday?
The standard of a ski getaway has really moved on in recent years. Not only is the winter holiday accommodation more luxurious, but the whole experience offers so much more, making your next ski trip the most memorable ever.
With all this choice, it’s sometimes hard to decide on what is going to be best for you. Catered or self-catered for your ski holiday? That is the question.The answer is rarely straight forward and usually it’s about much more than the food.
We've put together a guide with to talk you through each of the options and how they might work for you and your group. Read on to get all the details!
Luxurious Catered Accommodation
Fluffy towels, comfy sofas, log fires and hot tubs used to be reserved for upmarket alpine hotels. Not to mention all the mod cons of free wifi, SONOS systems and iPads. Now forward thinking holiday companies are making sure their catered accommodation has luxury to wow.
So what should you expect from catered accommodation for your your next ski or boarding holiday?
Everything is done for you
The main plus of catered accommodation is that everything is done for you, so your winter trip really feels like a holiday. Let’s face it, you work hard and you deserve to be spoilt. Catered accommodation allows you to be whisked away from your day to day challenges and mundane chores, to a winter wonderland of fun and excitement.
Much more time to relax
You’ll be surprised how much time is freed up, when many of your household tasks are done by others. All you need to do is focus on having a great holiday and doing what you want. Whether it’s more hours on the slopes, the enjoyment of being spontaneous or that all important quality time with family and friends, catered gives you the benefit of choice.
Enjoy all the home comforts and laid back luxury of an alpine retreat
When you are out in the fresh air all day, there is nothing better than returning to your accommodation to sink into a comfortable sofa by a freshly lit fire and be handed your favourite tipple. Then there’s time to chill out in the hot tub before dinner is served. No this isn’t a dream… this is catered!
No meal planning, busy supermarkets or washing up
Unless you’re very lucky, meal planning, the weekly shop and washing up are all part of life. However, with catered accommodation, it’s possible to avoid the hassle of day to day chores and that’s a very liberating experience, even if it’s only for a short time.
Have the support of your chalet hosts
The best chalet hosts are a very social bunch and ambassadors for their area. They have extensive knowledge of all things alpine and a true local insight into their resort. If there’s a problem or if you just need some guidance, your chalet host is your go-to person for help and a hassle-free holiday.
Start the day the civilised way
Mornings on a winter holiday, can be a bit hectic. Getting up and ready, grabbing something to eat with a slurp of coffee, before putting on ski boots and rushing out. Catered accommodation means you can have a longer lie-in, a luxurious shower then saunter to the dining table where a lovely breakfast has been prepared. You can start the day feeling revived and full of energy.
Transport to and from the ski lifts
Sounds simple doesn’t it? But transport to and from the ski lifts can be a real game changer.
For a start you don’t have to walk any great distance in ski boots, carrying your skis and poles, plus the skis and poles of any children!
There’s no hanging about at the ski bus stop or squashing onto an already busy ski-bus. Imagine being dropped off within metres of the ski lift and arriving fresh as a daisy to start your day.
Of course this luxury is even more welcome in the afternoon, when legs are tired and you just want to get back and have a shower. Not all catered accommodation provides transport so check that it’s included.
Après ski boot drop
Don’t want to come straight back to the chalet? Fancy some après without worrying about your skis being left outside? Or walking back in ski boots a little bit squiffy?
We offer a boot drop service. We pick you up from the slopes, swap your ski boots for shoes, take your skis off you and drop you off at the pub so you can walk back to the chalet at your own leisure! This works brilliantly when you are staying in a chalet right in the centre of town.
Afternoon goodies to keep you going
All that mountain air can build up your appetite! When you get back, there will be oven fresh cakes, or something savoury to keep you going ’til dinner.
Drinks to accompany your evening meal
Knowing that the bulk of your drinks are already included in the price of your trip can really help where budgeting is concerned. There are no big bills to surprise you at the end of your holiday. We know that wine is a personal thing, so we have made sure that optional upgraded wines are available. Find this in the Honesty Bar of our catered accommodation.
Dinner is served
The 4 course evening meal is a wonderful part of the holiday.
Gradually everyone appears, refreshed and relaxed in casual gear, and gathers around the dining table to await their food being served. I love to see a group of people at a catered chalet dinner table - the oohs and umms as they taste the food, the clinking of wine glasses, the sound of laughter and general ski banter, as they recount the day’s escapades.
Why it’s Great for Couples
Going catered means getting the most from your winter holiday accommodation. You have more time on the slopes as your chalet hosts do everything else.
Airport transfers can be expensive for a couple, so look out for companies who include transfers in their catered holiday price.
After a day on the slopes, it’s always good to sample the buzz of après ski, safe in the knowledge that dinner will be ready when you get back. Even better when you can enjoy an après ski boot drop.
Luxurious catered properties provide a stylish space to relax, where log fires, comfy sofas and mountain views come as standard and there are lots of lovely extras to make you feel at home.
The catered option is a great way to meet and socialise with other people who share your love of the mountains. Great friendships are formed around the dinner table and if you want, you can explore the slopes with your new ski buddies.
Gain insider knowledge of the area by getting to know your hosts over a glass of wine, as they prepare dinner. It’s the ideal opportunity to ask for advice about all things alpine. From something as simple as a mountain restaurant recommendation or as monumental as a quiet place on the slopes to pop the question, your hosts are there to help.
Why it’s Perfect for Families
Maximise quality time with your family as all the chores are done for you. You can bath the kids and relax while you wait for dinner, or snuggle up on the sofa after your meal and watch your favourite film.
When you pay good money for your winter trip, you want to be sure that you make the most of your time on the slopes. Then you can put all your energy into skiing or boarding as everything else is done for you.
Have fun at planned family events in the resort without having to worry about what to cook everyone for dinner or battling the crowds in a busy supermarket.
You can benefit from the support of your chalet hosts for help and advice. Maybe your ski boots just don’t fit quite right or one of the children is a bit off colour, your chalet hosts know who to call and what to do if there’s a problem.
Young children will love being transported to and from the ski lifts, especially when they are tired after a busy day…. and so will Mum and Dad!
Catered is Wonderful for Groups
Luxury catered properties provide a relaxed and luxurious open plan space to wow the most demanding of groups. With plenty of room for everyone, the whole group can chill out and have a laugh together.
A group trip is brilliant, but everyone needs a bit more space. Catered accommodation gives more flexibility for the group to split up and do their own thing.
Some may want to enjoy the après ski, while others will prefer to eat cake and sit by the fire before dinner. Then after your meal, you can just relax or head off to explore the resort’s nightlife.
If you have ever been the organiser of a group trip, planning the budget for everyone can be a daunting task. Catered accommodation makes budgeting so much easier, as most of the food and drinks are included in the price.
A group can take some organising on holiday, where household chores are concerned. With catered accommodation, it’s much easier as there are no arguments about who is cooking dinner, who is clearing up or who is doing the next supermarket run.
Ideal for beginners or if you are new to the resort
Chalet hosts are a great source of information, they have extensive knowledge of the mountains and resort. Meal times and the short drive to the lifts are perfect opportunities to get all the top tips from your hosts.
So if you are new to the winter holiday experience and the resort, it is really easy to get all the insider information to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
Luxurious Self Catered Accommodation
People used to have pre-conceived ideas that self-catered apartments were small and cramped, but basic self catered has now been replaced with super contemporary state of the art spacious and luxurious ski apartments, with finishing touches that mean you have a better than ‘home from home’ experience. More importantly, if you can make the most of an Apartments Concierge Service to hold your hand from a distance, even better!
So... What are the benefits of choosing luxurious self catered accommodation for your next winter holiday in the Alps?
More independence and privacy
Self catered accommodation offers the ultimate freedom, as you can do exactly what you want and get a real feel for the resort as a whole. You can be as spontaneous as you wish, so if you want to party until late then lie-in until eleven, the decision is yours.
No set meal times
You can choose when and where you want to eat. So if you stumble across a brilliant mountain restaurant, you can have a big lunch knowing that you can eat something lighter that evening.
Enjoying the local food is an important factor for many whilst on holiday and self catered accommodation permits the luxury of sampling different restaurants.
You Save money
Self catered accommodation is cheaper than catered, as long as you are careful about how often you eat out.
You can have the option to save money by cooking your own meals and living more like the locals. Why not make a tartiflette using local ingredients for an authentic alpine meal?
Home from home accommodation
Enjoy a more home from home experience in your winter holiday accommodation with an air of sophistication. Use the FREE Wifi, Bose sound docks, UK satellite TV, Games consoles, MALIN+GOETZ toiletries, Nespresso coffee machines and Yorkshire tea.
Special touches to add to your winter holiday
There are lots of things that can be arranged before your arrival to make your self catered experience super easy:
- Welcome pack to get you started.
- Grocery Shopping Pack waiting for you when you arrive, so there’s no need to go shopping on your first day.
We put essential milk, tea, coffee, sugar and wine into all our apartments as part of our Welcome Pack. But we can also do a proper shop for you! We have a standard shopping pack with all the essentials, but if you want anything in particular, we can get that for you too.
- Fizz pack to celebrate your holiday or any other special occasion
If you have a special occasion to celebrate (or just happy to be on holiday in Morzine), we can also stock your fridge with some lovely bubbly. We have selected a great prosecco for you to enjoy from Le Verre Gourmand.
- A nice cold beer always helps you recover from a long journey and get your holiday started. But you can arrive to a fully stocked fridge. We can have beer and wine waiting for you, so you don't need to carry heavy boxes from the supermarket.
- Don't fancy cooking or going out? Why not take advantage of our "Meals on Wheels" service? Restaurant food delivered to your door. We have partnered with one of our favourite restaurants, La Grange, making your self catered holiday easier.
- Buying your lift pass on your first morning of a winter holiday can be a bit of a faff. There is no need for you to queue up at the lift pass office with the hoards of first day skiers. We can organise your lift passes so they are waiting for you when you arrive. Just reply to our pre-arrival email with your order, and let us do the queuing for you (although we do this for chalets too).
- A breakfast in France just doesn't seem right without some kind of pastry product. Some people like to take a morning walk to the nearest boulangerie, but why not have your bread and croissants delivered? We can organise a range of tasty treats to be brought to your door each morning with our bakery delivery service.
- Ski and snowboard hire equipment delivered and fitted at your apartment which is a godsend and a real help in limiting the first morning faff!
Concierge for help and support
A self-catered ski trip should never leave you feeling you are completely on your own. By choosing a holiday company who provide a concierge, there will be a friendly face to let you into the property, give you all the information you need and then leave you to it. That way, you know there is always someone local to rely on for any questions, recommendations or problems.
You will have been contacted by our apartment team in the weeks leading up to your holiday. We like to make sure everything is in place before you arrive. But once you get to Morzine you are not on your own.
A member of our apartments team will meet you at your chosen luxury property and show you how everything works, from the hot tub to the heating. We will give you all the information to get you started along with hints and tips for a great holiday.
All our properties have information packs to help you out, but you can call our concierge team at any time. We are on hand to answer any questions you may have. The idea is that you are as independent as you want to be, but you know there is support if you need it.
Luxury long weekends
Sometimes, it just isn’t possible to book a ski getaway for a week, so having the option of a long weekend in luxury accommodation is the perfect solution.
The 3, 4 and 5 night options are available on selected dates throughout the winter season, so you don’t need to miss out on this year’s skiing or boarding holiday.
Self catered apartments are great for this as they are super central and allow you the flexibility you need to get that much needed ski-time!
Why it’s Fantastic for Couples
Independent travellers will prefer the freedom and privacy of their own apartment, allowing them to explore their new surroundings at their own pace.
Part of the fun of a holiday is getting to know the resort and enjoying the many bars and wonderful restaurants on offer. You can easily eat and drink in a different place every night if you want.
Self catered accommodation offers the perfect mix of long lie-ins and lazy days combined with more exhilarating times slope-side. Then after all that mountain air, there is nothing better than a cosy night relaxing by the fire, with a glass or two of delicious French wine.
Do you miss your dog when you’re on holiday? Some of our properties are suitable for small dogs, so it’s possible to bring you four legged best friend with you!
Why it’s Brilliant for Families
Self catered properties are the ideal solution, when families want to completely tailor-make their own holiday, knowing they have the help and support of an experienced holiday company
Every family has different requirements, so having the flexibility to spend money on elements of the holiday that they view as important, is vital. Self catered options can be the difference between a family going on a winter holiday or not, as only the accommodation is included.
The self catered option is ideal for multi-generational family holidays where various generations of the family have different needs and everyone can come and go as they please.
Self catered accommodation is perfect for groups who want to be on holiday together, but have different priorities in where they want to use their spending money.
There is more flexibility for the whole group, especially if some don’t want to ski the whole week and are happy to spend time around the apartment or doing other non skiing activities.
Having less formal plans means groups can be spontaneous. So if you want to go snowmobiling or ice skating in the evening then there’s no problem, you can eat later.
If you want to laze about in a spacious lounge or sleep-in after a late night, the choice is yours. Or if your idea of breakfast is a strong coffee before you head for the slopes, that’s fine. You never have to feel obliged to pay for something that you don’t want.
The Best of Both Accommodation Worlds - Here’s a Solution
Imagine you could have all the advantages of self-catered accommodation but without the hassle of having to cook every night or eat out, if you don’t want to.
What if your groceries could be delivered to you? This is something we offer at More Mountain and is super popular with our self catered guests - a fridge full of goodies, wine and beer chilled to perfection for when you arrive with ingredients for a bacon and eggs the next morning. Happy days!
Or better still, if you want your evening meal to arrive at your door, use our Gourmet Meals on Wheels service. You can even book your own private chef to cook for you such as Chez Toi or Alps 2 Atlantic.
With this wonderful solution, you can enjoy the freedom of self catered accommodation but with a taste of the catered option.
Ready to Go?
Are you ready to put your plans into action and choose your winter holiday accommodation? Get in touch to start booking your ultimate ski holiday.
If you’re not quite ready to book then sign up to our free email course where you will learn everything you need to know about booking your winter escape.
Winter in Morzine
About the author