BEST SKI OPER­A­TOR

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE - Adrian Bridge Henry Druce

The catered chalet hol­i­day con­tin­ues to be the pre­ferred choice for Bri­tons want­ing to ski in the Alps, and this year’s win­ner and run­ners-up have catered chalets at the core of their busi­ness. They all also of­fer pricier, high-end hol­i­days – the most re­silient area of the mar­ket since num­bers of Bri­tish ski trav­ellers de­clined af­ter the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

YSE leads the pack. Its ex­pan­sion from 12 chalets when founded 35 years ago to 19 now, plus one chalet ho­tel, mir­rors the growth and ever-ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the only re­sort where it op­er­ates – Val d’Isère in France.

As the firm says: “Con­cen­trat­ing on one re­sort al­lows us to know the re­sort and our ac­com­mo­da­tion per­fectly, to have enough weight in town to ne­go­ti­ate the best prices on ski hire or get the phar­macy opened at 2am, while re­main­ing small enough to of­fer a gen­uinely per­sonal ser­vice.”

What re­ally helps to set YSE apart is founder John Yates-Smith be­ing based in the re­sort day and night through­out the win­ter sea­son, to make sure the com­pany de­liv­ers the per­sonal ser­vice of which it so proudly boasts.

Fol­low­ing YSE is Scott Dunn, with lux­ury chalet hol­i­days of­fered in Courchevel, St An­ton and Val d’Isère. Its wide-rang­ing port­fo­lio ex­tends to up­mar­ket ho­tels, hol­i­days to North Amer­ica and Ja­pan, and be­spoke heli-ski­ing ad­ven­tures.

In third place, VIP SKI runs 66 of its own lux­ury chalets and two lux­ury ski ho­tels in 10 re­sorts in France and Aus­tria. and North Seas, has slipped from sec­ond to third but is still the lead­ing oper­a­tor on these routes.

BRIGHT IDEASTour op­er­a­tors are de­liv­er­ing new itin­er­ar­ies to coun­tries such as In­dia, left; a Scott Dunn ski chalet, be­low left; on the rails with Bel­mond, be­low

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