What are the main responsibilities of a chalet host?
Job roles vary depending on the type of company that you work for. For many, the chalet host has responsibility for all areas of chalet life from cooking breakfast, afternoon cakes and evening meals, cleaning of the property and interacting with the guests (and their children) to make them feel at home and welcome. Inter-personal skills are as important as your abilities in terms of cooking and cleaning to ensure that you really add value to the guest experience.
Other companies will employ chefs (particularly in larger properties) and the chalet hosts will assist with all other aspects of the service.
What will the typical working hours be like?
It depends on the specific role but typically the first day of the week (changeover day) will be a tough one with breakfast for outgoing guests and then a complete chalet clean followed by an enthusiastic welcome for the arriving guests along with dinner in the evening. It’s normal to make a welcome speech to arriving guests to familiarise them with the property, resort and the services that are on offer such as lessons, equipment hire, restaurants etc
From the following morning you will fall into a routine of breakfast, food preparation for afternoon tea and the evening meal. A daily clean of the chalet and bedrooms and then late morning your time is your own to enjoy the resort and all the mountain has to offer. Work starts again late afternoon/evening for dinner.
Except changeover day (and possibly shopping day) the benefit of chalet hosting is the time during the day to do your own thing and make the most of the winter season.
What are the main skills that I will require?
Of course, in many cases, the ability to prepare and serve the meals is essential but there are other important skills that you will need for the season and, indeed, develop further over the course of the season. Attention to detail, effective positive communication, managing difficult situations, time management and empathy are all equally important. Our course will help you develop all these skills. As far as the guests are concerned these aspects of your work will make the difference between an average chalet host and an outstanding one (and might well enhance your tips!).
Will I enjoy working a season as a chalet host?
That’s the aim. Of course, there will be times when it is tough. That’s the same with any job. You’ll get out of it what you put into it and its for you to manage your time effectively and show a positive attitude throughout. The benefits are huge. You’ll be living in a beautiful environment with the opportunity to experience a lot of new things and ski/snowboard a lot! You’ll meet a lot of new people from different backgrounds and hopefully make new friends for life.
Do I have to attend a chalet host course?
Again, it depends on who you are applying to. For many it’s a requirement for others, it’s a “nice to have”. Regardless, attending a course shows enthusiasm and commitment that can only be a benefit to potential employers.
In addition, aside from training you for the role, the course will help you develop a number of skills that will be a great benefit beyond working a season.
Where will I live?
Some chalet hosts will live in their chalet and in other cases you would live out in accommodation provided by your employer. Typically, you will share this accommodation with colleagues.
How long will the season be?
Typically, you will travel to resort in early December for company specific training/resort orientation and then leave towards the end of April once the lifts close and the chalets have been shut down.
What questions should I ask in interview?
Good question! Asking questions shows enthusiasm and critical thinking. Of course, you should ask about the benefits package offered but maybe don’t make this the first question!
Some good questions might be?
What is the support network in place in resort to help me do my job effectively?
What are the typical ages of people I will be working with?
What is the demographic of guests that typically stay with you?
Will I be responsible for shopping and budgeting?
Do you have a fixed menu, or will I be required to plan a menu each week?
Will I see my guest feedback each week?