Ski Season: Staff Accommodation and What to Expect
Doing a ski season is something that anyone can do whether you are on a gap year after leaving school, having a mid-30s crisis or retired at the age of 55. I cannot stress enough just how much a ski season is not just a job, but a lifestyle that comes with a lot of perks. One of those perks is accommodation included in your package in a ski resort, which can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Ski Season Jobs with Accommodation
Most winter jobs in a ski resort will provide you with somewhere to live whilst you work for a company and adhere to their contract. As long as the contract is not broken (e.g. you’re not doing your job properly) then you can live in what’s provided. A ski wage is typically lower to that in the UK as the “rent” for your room is removed but you will be surprised at the cost of independent rentals in the Alps.
My Accommodation Experience
The accommodation that is included can vary a lot from company to company and to be honest, unless you strike gold, you are very likely to share with another member of the same sex or if you are in a couple you are probably going to get a double bed in a small room. Don’t despair, though, as you really don’t spend that much time in your room. You’re probably working mornings and evenings, then skiing in between then at the pub at night time.
In my first season, I shared a windowless room underneath the chalet with a girl I’d never met. In the adjacent room was my resort manager who turned out to be one of my closest friends to this day and although I lost touch with my roommate, I still enjoyed living with her. Her alarm would go off at 6:30am and she would always whisper “gooood morning”! Cheers, mate. A perk of this accommodation was the huge bathroom and luxury bath as well as a small kitchenette.
My second, third and fourth ski accommodation was with my boyfriend and we shared a small en suite room (with a window!) underneath the chalet, which was comfortable enough for us. As we got older and more experienced, we looked for a ski job that included an apartment which we live in now and it is lovely and something we much prefer now. Some large companies rent entire chalets for their staff where you will get a social area which is nice to bond (basically pre-drink) with your team but I’ve also heard some hotels cramming six people into one room so do your research.
Ask the Employer
Make sure during the interview process you ask what the staff accommodation is like so you have an idea of where you will be sleeping for five months. If you are a returning member of staff and you know what is available, then ask for what you want and use it as a bargaining tool. Reliable and hard working members of staff are vital for ski companies to run smoothly.
Finding Your Own Accommodation
You can pick up a lot of part time work like cleaning, bar work and restaurant cover and if you have some money saved, you can put a deposit down on a seasonal rental apartment. This can vary from anywhere between €5,000 to €10,000 for the whole season, depending on which resort. Obviously you can split the rent between how many people that can sleep in the flat and if you’re following job groups on Facebook, you can make a lot of money back by charging a decent hourly rate.
Alternative Types of Accommodation
A lot of my friends live in their campervans as France is great for wild camping and legal long stay car parks. La Tania has a car park where there is a great van life community as well as other resorts like Meribel, Morzine, Flaine and Les Carroz. Most resorts have public toilets and showers but for a comfortable winter, your campervan should be winterised with a decent heater. We slept in our campervan on New Year’s Eve and we were warm enough but we did blast the gas hobs on for a bit before bed.
Accommodation can vary greatly but it shouldn’t hinder you from applying for your dream ski job. You are guaranteed to get a comfortable bed and enough room to store your ski gear, which is just about all you need.
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