Is self-catering the future of the ski industry? Pierre & Vacances advises how to be savvy with self-catering

Britons looking to save the pennies when booking a ski holiday can cut corners in many ways. Across the travel industry, self-catering is becoming increasingly popular for British tourists. It is thought that, despite Brexit not negatively affecting sales for the coming winter season, the looming threat of even poorer exchange rates and potential visas still makes the British public more frugal in their holiday decisions.

Pierre & Vacances, the leading provider of self-catered accommodation across Europe, has seen a steady rise in holidaymakers booking trips that adapt to their needs, whether that’s varying arrival dates or catering options. In the pursuit of improved value for money, holidaymakers yearn for more control over their holiday with the added flexibility that self-catering brings them, and the home-from-home environment of their accommodation.

Cathy Rankin, UK & Ireland Sales Director for Pierre & Vacances, said: “We have seen an increase in customers to resorts that have been traditionally known for chalet holidays such as Val d’Isère and La Tania. Avoriaz, which is traditionally known for being a self-catering resort, is going from strength to strength with consistently high sales figures. These figures might suggest that British skiers are no longer bound to chalet stays and the Saturday to Saturday package holidays of the past”.

How to make the most of self-catering It’s no doubt that opting for self-catering allows guests to make necessary cut-backs on holiday costs, but the rise in self-catering has generated a catalogue of more attractive, flexible options too. Gone are the days where self-catering equates to sleeping like a battery hen in compact and run-down apartments. Guests now stay in high-end residences with facilities that rival top hotels: Pierre & Vacances has 14 premium residences in the Alps, where holidaymakers can enjoy a ‘ski and spa’ experience, making the most of the swimming pools – both inside and outside – saunas, hammams, gyms and other entertainment facilities.

Pierre & Vacances offers a whole range of catering options so that guests can pick and choose the meals they want, to fit around their schedules. Guests who are out on the mountain during the day won’t want to waste money on full-board packages but may wish to dine at one of the residence’s restaurants on certain evenings. Skiers staying at Residence Les Balcons de Bellevarde can prepare packed lunches in their kitchens and heat it up in Val d’Isère’s designated space for picnics at the top of the Solaise lift, where they can eat on a budget in the warmth. Those who can’t function in the morning until they’ve eaten can ease those morning mood swings with a breakfast delivery of fresh bread and pastries to set them up for the day. All of this can be achieved while retaining the freedom of being in an independent apartment.

Of course, costs can be reduced even more by buying food from the supermarket and cooking in the apartments. Don’t want to miss out on the regional cuisine? In some resorts, traiteurs such as Le Gourmet Montagnard near Premium Residence Arc 1950 Le Village, and even some small supermarkets, serve ready-made tartiflettes and other tasty treats, which can be reheated in the apartments. What could be more comforting after a tiring day than enjoying Savoyard favourites in front of a family film? Pierre & Vacances can also provide fondue and raclette kits if guests want to rustle up their own cheesy feasts.

Increased popularity in self-catering has seen the birth of multiple catering companies that can cook for guests in their self-catered apartments. Whether it’s a decadent cooked breakfast or a three-course evening meals featuring plates of local produce, companies such as Chalet Kitchen and Monts & Merveilles have transformed the experience for guests stay in self-catering accommodation, making holidays flexible and care-free, just how they should be.

Guests can save going to restaurants for that special evening out rather than making it a daily essential just to be fed. Skiers often return home finding that they’ve over-indulged a little on the alpine fare, but there are plenty of ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep costs down when they cook for themselves.

For more information please call 0870 0267 145 or visit www.pierreetvacances.co.uk

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