Accommodation will play an important role in any search for the best ski deals, but what exactly should you be looking for when selecting your ski chalet? Read our guide to find out all about the most crucial factors to consider to find the ideal property.
Catered or self-catered?
As with traditional hotels, you can choose from self-catered or catered options when it comes to booking your ski chalet. There are benefits to each type; self-catered accommodation gives you a certain amount of freedom to eat what, where and when you like, which may appeal to some.
However, it's worth bearing in mind that you'll also have to clean up after yourself in a self-catering chalet, so if you'd rather do away with that kind of hassle, you may be best off looking at catered ski chalets. With this type of accommodation, all of your meals will be prepared by staff who will also clean and maintain your chalet - something you might be grateful for after a tiring day on the slopes!
Private or shared?
Again, whether you go for a private or shared chalet will depend on your personal preference. A private chalet will allow you to book an entire property for you and your ski party, while shared accommodation will see you stay in the same chalet as other skiers.
The latter is usually cheaper and the best option if you want to meet new people from the off, while private chalets will likely be more appealing if you're planning a romantic ski break or are travelling with a large group.
Location, location, location
Another key factor to consider is the location of your ski chalet. If you like the idea of being able to hit the ski run straight from your accommodation, you should look for a property situated extremely close to the slopes.
Alternatively, a chalet near the ski lifts could be a good option if you don't mind being a little further from the skiing area, but like the convenience of being able to simply hop on a lift between the ski village and the slopes.
The cheapest accommodation will be those chalets situated away from both the slopes and lifts; in which case, you'll need to use public or resort transport to get around.
Amenities and luxuries
Whether you're booking a budget ski holiday or something a little more luxurious, you will want to know that your chalet offers all the amenities you need to make it easy for you to go about your daily routine.
Self-catering chalets should have a well-equipped kitchen - and one large enough to accommodate several people if you're staying in shared accommodation. All chalets should have at least a basic bathroom, with some offering extras like a sauna or jacuzzi to help you rest your weary muscles after a hard day on the slopes.
Another feature to look out for is storage space. Ski equipment can be quite bulky, so it's important to be able to stash it safely away when you're not skiing.
The cost of your chalet stay will usually be included in your ski package, and will largely depend on which of the above options - private or shared, catered or self-catered, etc - you go for when booking your holiday.
If you're looking to save money, it can be a good idea to book your break as far in advance as possible. For example, if you're browsing ski holidays for 2013, you might want to think about actually booking it right now. Not only could this lead to a lower cost, but it can also mean you're more likely to get the chalet you want because you've beaten the rush!