The Chalet at 11º East, Obergurgl, featured in The Times top 20 ski chalets editorial late last year, and deservedly so. In being selected for such a mighty accolade, the selectors had focused on our superb décor, excellent food, and very friendly but efficient service. Of course being a ski in, ski out, chalet, set high in lofty Obergurgl where snow is assured from early December through to May without worry, also played an important part in our selection. Obergurgl has an unrivalled snow record, and with a base level of 1930 metres it’s not surprising. Many of the more famous resorts are much lower and have much patchier snow records. Kitzbuehl for example is only 800 metres and its snow record is dodgy! St Anton at 1300 metres and Megeve at 1100 metres are others amongst many that have variable snow records. Have a look at My Weather 2 which has comprehensive information: http://www.myweather2.com/Ski-Resorts/Austria/Obergurgl.aspx
Chalet owner Christopher Tessler explains what he considers to be the most important things to consider when booking a ski holiday.:
Firstly check out the snow track record. If you are going on a skiing holiday its important to see that you are going to be able to do that, right?
A skiing holiday is expensive and paying to hire equipment lift passes etc in a place where the skiing is likely to disappoint is something one wants to avoid. Maybe see if the chalet has a live web cam and see what the snow looks like at the time of booking. Of course if you are booking in the summer this tip may not be so helpful! The Ski Club of Great Britain has useful statistics to help you select a resort. http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/snowreports/snowconditions.aspx?country=country&swqsCountryGo=Go#.U013SV5DjZc
Then check out the chalet itself, its photos and especially the amount of en-suite baths. There is nothing better than a long hot soak after a hard days skiing (even more so if followed by a spot of Après ski!) and its no fun having to either wait your turn for the bath or even having to cross the corridor as is the case in some of the older chalets. All 5 deluxe rooms in The Chalet at 11º East have amazingly appointed en-suite bathrooms, with the very best toiletries to pamper yourself with.
Talking of toiletries, that is a quick and easy way to start identifying a chalets true credentials in luxury. Many Chalets claim they are in the luxury bracket, but a quick check on the toiletries will start to show the tell tale signs of poetic license common amongst many less well heeled chalets! Champagne is another tell tale sign. Real French Champagne, or sparkling Prosecco?
Lastly the food, what is served, and how flexible is the chalet? The Chalet at 11º East prides itself on serving really nice food in an atmosphere as formal or as casual as the guests want it to be, and special orders are handled with ease. If wine is included, what type of wine? At the Chalet at 11º East a superb selection of over 20 French, Italian, Spanish and Austrian wines are available at no extra charge. As is French Champagne. Each wine has been carefully food paired by Wine Poole to make meals a memorable and enjoyable experience. (http://www.winepoole.co.uk) Throwing in some house red and white that are not worth drinking is not quite the same! Many of our guests ask us to forward the wine list prior to booking, and we are always pleased – and proud to do so.
Finally, when to book? Well decent chalets tend to have the peak weeks rebooked year after year and the sooner one books the better chance one has. We find most bookings are made between Jan- April for holidays the next year.
Check out www.thechalet.com