Nick is 30 years old, living and working in London.
He reached out to us on WhatsApp with bold plans for a 50-person (!) group ski trip with friends. No mean feat.
Having handled everything himself the previous year, remembering the pain and anguish he faced, Nick came to packed for help.
The challenge: a stress-free 50-person ski holiday
Nick knew the group was likely to grow in numbers over time, so we advised him that a hotel or apart-hotel, where they could latch on rooms or apartments at a later date, was the best way to go. In an ideal world, it would be close to the après, in a ski-in, ski-out location, but “not too fancy”.
His group combined beginner skiers, experts, and those there for the après only, so it was crucial to find a great all-round ski resort. He knew Val Thorens would be popular, and was keen to explore options in St Anton as well.
These are two of our favourite resorts (members of our team have done seasons in both) so we could give him the lowdown on each: where to stay, the best après and the quality of the skiing.
The solution: advice and recommendations tailored to the group
Nick’s a busy guy, so ringing round and emailing hotels, arranging transfers, ski hire and ski equipment for such a large group, having done it all the previous year, was not something he was keen to take on.
We were able to help with all of that, and put together the best selection of options in Val Thorens, St Anton and Mayrhofen, too (a beginner-friendly alternative to St Anton, at less of a premium) so Nick could compare options and get the right balance between price and quality of accommodation.
We included pricing for transfers, ski passes and ski hire (as they vary a bit resort-to-resort) too, so he could take the full picture back to his group.
Cheval Blanc in Val Thorens turned out to be the winner. Their self-catered apartments are great quality, right on the slopes, and a short walk to the resort centre. To keep the cost of their ski holiday down, Nick’s group were happy to have some people sleeping on sofa beds, which helps a lot but isn’t always practical.
The booking: easy separate payments and individual extras
When we confirmed the accommodation, Nick just had to share the booking link with the group so they could sign up, enter their details and choose their extras - saving Nick the admin involved in gathering choices, paying upfront, and chasing repayments.
As with any trip of this size, there are always amendments and additions. Things like lessons to be added, last minute name-changes and other questions from the group that need to be addressed.
Whenever these cropped up, Nick just had to send them our way. We were on hand in Messenger and WhatsApp to help so the group could speak to us directly, saving Nick from a torrent of WhatsApp messages.
We made sure that ski passes were waiting in resort upon arrival, and that ski hire was ready to be collected from the shop just a stone’s throw from the residence.
We also requested a supermarket stop on their way from Geneva so they could stock up on things to eat and drink during the week.
So how did it go?
Let's ask the man himself: