All hail the great British ski-chalet holiday: Get stuck in and make sure this noble tradition does not go downhill (and try La Plagne in France to see why it’s worth saving)

  • Roger Alton stayed in La Plagne 1800 in ‘comfy and welcoming’ Chalet Laurier 
  • La Plagne is part of the immense Paradiski ski area, which includes Les Arcs
  • Ski chalets aren’t ideal if you want to be on your own, or lose weight, says Roger 

The skiing chalet holiday is as traditionally British as picking up a giant bar of duty-free Toblerone on the way home.

But battered and bruised by Covid and Brexit as well as labyrinthine new laws on working in the EU, these holidays seemed to be nearing their last run.

Or so it was said.

Not so: reports of its demise have been wildly exaggerated. I went with Ski Beat, a perky Brighton-based outfit with about 50 chalets in top destinations.

Cosy chalets in La Plagne, a resort in the heart of the French Alps. Roger Alton travelled there with Ski Beat, concluding that it’s ideal for beginners and intermediates

We were in La Plagne, a colossal family-friendly resort in the heart of the French Alps, with the Paradiski pass giving access to Les Arcs as well.

More than half the runs are blue so it is ideal for beginners and early intermediates, though there is a good number of challenging reds and blacks. Home was Chalet Laurier, a comfy, welcoming eight-bedroom spread in La Plagne 1800. Our knowledgeable hosts were Naomi and Sam who looked after the place and made sure we were all well fed, happy and never needlessly thirsty.

And oh the food. Gone are the vast plates of spag bol and flagons of gut-wrenching local red from all those years ago; now it’s pre-dinner canapes and drinks, and then into courgette crumble (no, me neither, but delicious), cranberry, almond and feta salad, tomato tarte tatin, grilled goat’s cheese salad, ginger beef casserole, salmon with parsley and Parmesan crust.

Robert stayed in Chalet Laurier (above), ‘a comfy, welcoming eight-bedroom spread in La Plagne 1800’

And, good lord, the tartiflette. And that was just dinner. There was always a terrific cooked breakfast and throughout the day an endless supply of tea, coffee and home-made cakes. It’s fair to say that a chalet holiday is not the best place to come if you want to lose weight.

It’s also not the place to come if you want to be on your own.

These are holidays where you eat together, drink together, and often ski together. So, get stuck in and make sure this noble tradition does not go downhill.

TRAVEL FACTS

Roger travelled with Ski Beat, which offers a week in Chalet Laurier from £913 pp, including flights from Manchester and Gatwick, transfers, and all meals. See skibeat.co.uk or call 01273 855 100.

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