Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What does the price include?
A. All our prices include accommodation, electricity, heating, water, gas and VAT.
Q. Are there any additional costs?
A. Additional supplements may apply for facilities such as use of sauna (unless otherwise stated); Linen and end of stay cleaning for self-catering (unless otherwise stated); Parking costs; Equipment hire (as detailed on the Ski Hire page), Lift passes (as detailed on the Ski Lift Pass page) and Ski School (as detailed on the Ski School page); Spa Treatments (as detailed on the Ski & Spa page); Deposits requested on arrival at self-catering locations (refundable if no damage); Local tourist tax (€1-€3/pers/day, see detailed description below); Commercial card payments will incur a 1.85% charge in respect of all transactions.
Q. What is Local Tourist Tax?
A. The French Government charges a tax for tourists called Taxe de Séjour. The cost varies from place to place but is usually €1 to €3 per person per night. This money is then put back into the resort to help with the running of the tourist office and all local activities, the up-keep of the resort in general and the improvement of facilities. As this is payable directly to the accommodation owner, you will be asked to pay this at the reception desk of your chosen residence or hotel at either check-in or upon departure, so please ensure that you have sufficient funds.
Q. Are there any under-occupancy charges or additional supplements for guests?
A. As our prices are based on a 'per property' basis you can enjoy the comfort of a larger property with no extra charge for the accommodation. It is also acceptable for friends to come and stay with you provided the stated maximum number of occupants is not exceeded as each house is furnished, equipped and insured for a stipulated number.
Q. Does the number of people affect the price
A. All our apartment prices are for the accommodation. Provided you don’t exceed the capacity of the apartment the price will not increase if you have more people. We could have priced our holidays on the basis of the first 2 adults (ie. apartment package price divided by 2) and then said all children and additional adults FREE but we don’t subscribe to this kind of marketing ploy!
Q. Should I avoid peak dates?
A. If you are tied to school holidays, we recommend that you book as early as you can to avoid the disappointment of your chosen accommodation being fully booked. If you are free to travel at any time, we recommend that you avoid peak dates such as half-term holidays (we can advise you of when these are if you are unsure) as the resorts will be busy.
Q. How can you be so much cheaper than the big operators?
A. We aim to offer competitive prices and although we don't have a price match guarantee we are able to review prices if required. We are confident we won't have to! To find out more about the value offered by Ski Collection, visit our 'Top 8 Saving Tips'.
Travel & Transport Questions
Q. Can I book transport with you?
A. No, we do not book travel from Ireland, we just offer the accommodation and any ski extras.
Q. Do you have any en-route accommodation if I don’t want to do the whole journey in one day?
A. Yes, we can arrange over-night stops for you in quality 2 and 3-star hotels. We have selected The Originals, Golden Tulip and Novotel which all offer en-route accommodation in many convenient locations across France.
Q. Do you organise car hire?
A. Yes, we can arrange competitive car hire at all airports, train stations and other town locations. Hiring a car means greater freedom, flexibility, allows you to ski in different resorts, enjoy excursions and can often be cheaper than using taxis.
Q. Can you arrange a transfer from the airport or train station?
A. Yes, we can arrange private taxi transfers from a number of airports and train stations. Door to door service in comfortable vehicles with baby seats supplied, ski equipment carried free of charge and all group sizes catered for.
Q. Do I need a passport or Visa?
A. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. The UK Government is advising that after 29 March 2019 travellers should have 6 months left on their UK passport from their date of arrival as if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change from that date. The EU has confirmed that UK holidaymakers won't need a visa to visit the EU after Brexit - even in the event of a no-deal exit. Read more in What about Brexit? below.
Customers are reminded that they should check with their own doctor for advice on medical requirements of the host countries. We recommend you apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which covers or heavily discounts treatment that is medically necessary during a temporary stay in EU and EEA countries, and Switzerland. Find out more about applying for an EHIC at https://www2.hse.ie/services/ehic/ehic.html as you will need to present the EHIC card for reciprocal treatment.
There are now more in depth passport checks when exiting the UK at any airport or port, click here for more information.
A. We recommend visiting ABTA's Brexit advice for travellers page, which has lots of useful information and practical advice.
The Brexit extension to 31 October 2019 has provided absolute certainty that all current arrangements for travel will remain as they are today. If we do end up leaving the EU without a deal, the UK government recommends that adults and children have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your passport on your date of travel. If your passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. Any extra months on an adult passport will not count towards the validity requirement, so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel. You can check your passport online.
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Ski Extras Questions
Q. Do I need travel insurance?
A. Personal and medical travel insurance including Winter Sports cover (if you take part in winter sports activities) is a vital aspect to booking a holiday, giving you protection not only against some forms of cancellation but also unforeseen circumstances that could otherwise spoil your holiday. With this in mind, we require that all our clients have adequate cover in place and by proceeding with this booking you confirm that you have or will have suitable travel insurance cover in place prior to the holiday.
Q. Can I pre-book ski school?
A. Yes, we can pre-book ski school at many resorts (subject to availability) and we would particularly recommend that you do so, especially at peak times, in order to avoid possible disappointment.
Q. What are the facilities for children?
A. Each ski resort has dedicated facilities for children, such as ski kindergartens (usually 3-6 years old) and crèches (usually from 6 months) and these can be booked through the resort tourist website. Please see the individual resort pages for more information.
Q. Can I pre-book ski lift passes?
A. Yes, we can pre-book ski lift passes in most resorts. By pre-booking, you can take advantage of our reduced rates and not have to worry about the expense or fluctuation in exchange rates once you are in the resort.
Q. Can I pre-book ski equipment?
A. Yes, we can pre-book ski and snowboard hire for any level in all our resorts. Any duration over 3 days is possible and by pre-booking not only will you benefit from our reduced prices but you won't have to worry about paying once you arrive and your equipment will be ready and waiting for you.
Q. Can I pre-book spa treatments?
A. Yes, we can pre-book spa treatments at any of our spa residences. Everyone likes to be pampered at some point, so whether it's for a loved-ones early Birthday surprise, a belated Christmas present or just a well-deserved treat for yourself, more information available here - book today!
Q. What does ‘Our Rating’ mean?
A. All ski accommodation featured on our website is sourced from only well-known leading suppliers. However, we still feel that it is very important that all our ski residences are inspected and personally hand-picked by ourselves. We also believe that educational trips for all staff are an essential part of training. The experienced team at Ski Collection all therefore have very good knowledge and understanding of our whole range of ski resorts and ski accommodation.
As a result this then allows us to share our first hand experiences with our clients, giving you a much better service and allowing us to help you choose the perfect ski holiday for your individual or group needs. We have rated our ski accommodation according to cost, quality of facilities and location. We also ensure that all our featured ski accommodation meets the French Health and Safety Regulations. Our rating does not always meet the official rating.
Q. Why is there a computer-generated picture of the residence?
A. In some cases, normally when a residence/hotel is under construction, we may have to use an artist's impression or computer-generated images. These will always be based upon accurate information we have at the time and will provide you with a good representation of the accommodation. These images will then be replaced with new photos at the earliest opportunity.
Q. What does “Ski in/Ski out” mean?
A. This indicates that you can ski to or from the residence. This is subject to normal snow conditions in the resort at that time and to the individual skier's ability.
Q. What does “Door-step skiing” mean?
A. This indicates that you can access to or from the slopes with ease (within 100m of the residence). This is subject to normal snow conditions in the resort at that time and to the individual skier's ability. See doorstep skiing properties.
Q. What is a mezzanine?
A. A mezzanine is an open plan (sometimes closed off) bedroom above the lounge, usually accessed by means of a loft ladder or steep staircase. These bedrooms are generally not recommended for young children or the elderly.
Q. What is an alcove/cabin?
A. This is a broad description used for a sleeping area that cannot be classed as a proper bedroom; it ranges from being an alcove in the entrance hall (usually with bunk beds) or it may be partitioned by a sliding door, but may not have a window.
Q. Can I take my pet?
A. Dogs and other pets are only allowed in certain accommodation (generally apartments). It is essential that you check with us beforehand in any case. Otherwise please assume that dogs and other pets are not allowed in the accommodation and cannot be brought under any circumstances. When animals are allowed in the accommodation there is normally a charge for this.
Q. When can we get into the apartment and when do we have to leave?
A. Arrival day is Saturday unless otherwise arranged. Your accommodation will generally be ready for you to arrive between 5pm and 7pm and you are requested to leave by 10am. In case of planned later arrival you need to let us know in advance. If delayed on route, you must call the accommodation reception or the owner directly and as soon as possible to inform them in advance, so that if needs be, alternative key collection arrangements can be made. Some accommodation have the option to check in earlier for a fee.
Q. Are bed linen and towels included?
A. Bed linen and towels are normally provided for apartment residences but this is specified within each apartment description. Some may be charged at a supplement and in this case must be requested through us at least two weeks in advance so that we can advise the accommodation supplier. For chalets linen and towels can normally be hired locally and this is something we will arrange for you and again this must be done in advance.
Bed linen and towels will be available to collect from reception for apartment residences and from the caretaker for privately owned properties. Beds are generally not made for you unless otherwise stated or unless an additional fee (where applicable) has been paid. You will be issued with bed linen packs by reception when you check-in. If you arrive after reception closing time and you have called them on the day prior to their closing time to advise as requested, the packs will normally be put in the apartment (you may want to reconfirm this when you speak to them on the day).
At a number of our featured residences ‘beds made on arrival’ can be added at an optional cost. Please check the relevant accommodation description for this. In most residences at the end of your stay beds need to be stripped and the bed linen and towels should be left in a pile within the apartment or handed back to reception – the correct procedure will be advised to you by the residence staff.
Q. What about end of stay cleaning?
A. End of stay cleaning is not included with self-catering unless otherwise specified in each accommodation description and cleaning products are not normally provided. You can choose to do this yourself or pay a supplement in most resorts - this will be detailed in the description. In any case properties must be left clean for the next occupants. If this is not done, money will be deducted from your deposit.
When end-of-stay cleaning is included or when optional end-of-stay-cleaning is paid for it never includes the kitchen area so the fridge still needs totally emptying, all the dishes need to be cleaned, the dishwasher needs to be emptied and the bins need to be taken out. In most residences beds need to be stripped and the bed linen and towels should be left where indicated by the accommodation staff.
Q. What will be in the apartments when we arrive?
A.Most of our residences were built within the last four years and the apartments are all fitted and furnished to a very good standard of comfort and convenience and are fully equipped for basic holiday needs. However, we do recommend that you take some basics with you such as tea towels, salt & pepper, coffee, tea bags and toilet roll. You will be able to buy all these things in resort but the local supermarkets are more expensive than those in the valley so it’s a good idea to stop on the way.
Q. Do all apartments have comfy sofas?
A. In all our apartments and even those in our 4-star luxury selection, the living areas are generally designed to be used as additional sleeping areas. As a result there is likely to be a maximum of one or two sofas in even the largest apartments and these will be convertible sofa beds rather than the types of sofas you would usually have at home. However, they will certainly not be uncomfortable and will be more than sufficient for you to relax and enjoy your ski holiday.
Q. Do all apartments offer full home comforts?
A. Apartments in residences are designed for the rental market so they will be functional but they will not offer full home comforts. The kitchenettes, for instance, will generally be compact and may only have equipment suitable for basic cooking rather the full range that you may have at home (e.g. no proper oven unless otherwise stated). However, all apartment equipment, furnishings and fittings will be more than sufficient for you to relax and enjoy your ski holiday.
Q. Will there be English TV?
A. Please note that TV (when listed) generally means a television with only French terrestrial channels unless ‘satellite TV’ is indicated. In this later case the number of English language channels may be limited to news channels and other freely available international channels.
Q. Can I use my DVD player?
A. Most TVs will allow connection to a DVD via SCART and/or HDMI socket. We recommend to take both if you already have both, because unfortunately we are unable to check TV specs for any of our accommodation.
Q. Will there be WI-FI in the accommodation?
A. Normally unless we state so wireless internet will only work in the vicinity of the reception area, i.e. you won't be able to get a connection from within your apartment. In those instances we will normally state "Wi-Fi at reception" or similar. If it is possible to get a connection from within each individual apartment we will say so. Normally we will indicate what the charges are when payable.
Connection in apartments are normally limited to one concurrent device with extra charges for subsequent devices but this will be detailed in each accommodation description. Please note that reception can be intermittent and slow at times so you can't always 100% rely on it. If we don't mention Wi-Fi at all within the description it normally means there isn't one at the accommodation.
Q. Can I be guaranteed a non-smoking apartment or room?
A. Although most residences and hotels try to discourage smoking on their premises, it is clearly impossible to prevent people smoking in their apartments or rooms. When apartments or hotel rooms are checked between two sets of guests, the accommodation staff will always aim to eradicate any such odour but if somehow it wasn’t totally the case please report this immediately to the accommodation staff on arrival.
There is currently no legislation in France that prohibits smoking in holiday accommodation (except in the public areas) or which makes holiday accommodation providers offer dedicated rooms for smokers and others smoke free but our accommodation providers will always encourage a respectful attitude by all guests.
Q. Do apartments have baths or showers?
A. Some apartments have a bath, others have showers; some apartments have both a bath and a shower, but this will be detailed in the particular accommodation description on our website. When we refer to a shower room, this means that there is just a shower. In the case of bathrooms, we will generally state ‘Bathroom with bath’ when there is a bath. Please note that in France not all baths have a shower attachment or even a shower screen.
In some residences not all apartments within the same type are identical (so some may have a shower whilst others may have a bath) but the detailed description will state this. Where different configurations are described, we can make a request for a particular type but please note that we are unable to give any confirmation of this (please refer to our paragraph about special requests).
Booking Process Questions
Q. How long can I take out an option on an apartment for?
A. You can hold options for up to 24 hours on selected accommodation. The option will expire if we do not receive confirmation from you within this time.
Q. Do you charge extra for booking by telephone?
A. No, unlike some well-known holiday companies we do not charge you extra for making telephone bookings. We actually feel it is important we talk to you to fully understand your requirements and to advise you of the most suited options.
Q. Can I make any special requests?
A. Please advise us at time of booking of any special requests, which will be communicated to our French partners. All special requests will be noted, but cannot be guaranteed. Cots, TVs, telephone lines, bath towel hire, cleaning kits and end of stay cleaning are some of the options which can be arranged at certain accommodation (when not included in the basic package). Please enquire for the availability of these for your chosen accommodation.
Q. Do you need to be advised of any special needs within the party?
A. We are happy to advise and assist elderly, special needs or disabled customers to choose a suitable holiday. Clients with mobility problems are strongly advised to enquire about the apartments before booking, as many have steps, steep stairs, narrow doors and awkward corners.
Q. When will I receive an invoice?
A. Once you have made your booking and paid a 25% deposit, a confirmation invoice will follow within 48 hours. It details what has been reserved, the cost of your holiday and the date by which the balance is payable. When you make your booking you must accept the terms of these booking conditions, on behalf of all your party and pay a deposit as detailed in How to book your holiday. A contract will exist only when we issue our confirmation invoice. We strongly suggest that you do not make independent arrangements linked to the accommodation, such as flights until then. It is important that you check all your details shown on the confirmation invoice carefully to ensure they are correct as this forms the basis of the contract. Any discrepancies should be brought to our attention within 7 days of issue otherwise the details shown on the confirmation invoice will be presumed to be correct.
Q. Can I change my booking?
A. If, after our confirmation invoice has been issued, you wish to change your travel arrangements in any way, for example your chosen departure date or accommodation, we will do our utmost to make these changes but it may not always be possible. Any request for changes to be made must be in writing from the person who made the booking. Minor amendments (i.e. change of car or addition of passengers) can be made free of charge up to 4 weeks before departure. For other amendments you will be asked to pay an administration fee of €25, and any further cost we incur in making the alteration.
You should be aware that these costs could increase the closer to the departure date the changes are made, so you should contact us as soon as possible. The above costs will NOT apply if you wish to upgrade the service you have booked. Please note: ski extras (i.e. Ski School) may not be amendable after a reservation has been made and any alteration request could incur a cancellation charge of 100% of that part of the arrangements.
Q. Can I transfer my booking to another person?
A. Yes, subject to a €25 charge.
Q. When is the balance for my holiday due?
A. The balance of your holiday is due no later than 10 weeks prior to departure. If the booking is made less than 10 weeks prior to departure, the total cost of the holiday is payable immediately. If the balance is not paid in time, we will charge a late payment fee of €10 per day per booking, from the date the balance is due. If we do not receive payment, we will cancel your travel/accommodation arrangements, retain your deposit and apply cancellation charges as per our booking conditions and fair trading terms.
Q. How can I pay the balance?
A. The balance can be paid by cheque, Visa, Mastercard or any debit card such as Maestro or Delta. Commercial card payments will incur a 1.85% charge in respect of all transactions. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept payment via American Express (AMEX) at this time.
Q. Is my money safe when booking with you?
A. When booking with Peak Retreats’ Ski Collection you can rest assured that you are arranging your holiday with an ABTA bonded company (ABTA No. W5537). This is your best guarantee of complete financial security, a guarantee you do not receive when booking your accommodation and transport independently.
Q. Is Peak Retreats/Ski Collection ATOL protected?
A. No and the simple reason for this is that ATOL protection from the CAA only covers flight/air based holiday packages. Peak Retreats does not organise flights and therefore it simply cannot be covered by an ATOL. It is for this reason that we are fully bonded with ABTA instead. If you ever decide to buy a package holiday including a flight do however ensure that you are buying from a company that has an ATOL and that you are issued with a dedicated ATOL receipt with your holiday invoice confirming the name and ATOL number of the company. More details on www.caa.co.uk.
Ticket & Voucher Questions
Q. When will I receive my tickets?
A. Your travel documents will be sent to you two weeks prior to your departure (by Royal Mail post). These will include suggested route itinerary, accommodation vouchers with directions and where any ski extra vouchers (i.e. ski hire, lift passes and ski school).
Q. What happens if I lose or mislay a voucher before departure?
A. You will be asked to pay an administration charge of €10 (per voucher).
Ski Resort Questions
Q. Do you have reps in the resorts?
A. We don’t employ local representatives, as we do not feel that you will find them necessary. Instead, we rely on our French partners to ensure that your stay is as enjoyable as it should be. We also provide all clients with an emergency out of office-hours telephone number.
Q. Will everything be open during early and late season dates?
A. This will vary from resort to resort. You may find that certain facilities such as restaurants, night-clubs etc. are closed for refurbishment or have reduced opening hours. Some ski lifts may be closed. Bus services (ski and public) may not be operating their full schedule. If you have planned to take part in a certain activity or visit a certain place, we recommend that you contact the local tourist office for more information. These details can be found on each resort page.
Q. Will everything be open on bank holidays?
A. Facilities such as Ski Schools and shops may be closed or have limited opening hours. Ski lifts should operate as normal, as should your accommodation reception. For more information about the facilities within the resort please contact the local tourist office, details of which can be found on each resort page.
Q. Is diesel cheaper in France?
A. Yes, despite the exchange rate it is still generally cheaper in France. For the lowest prices, buy fuel from hypermarkets such as Carrefour, Leclerc, Super/HyperU, Auchan, Geant.
Q. Are the resort supermarkets cheap?
A. You should find everything you need in the resort supermarkets but it will be cheaper to buy the main bulk of your food shopping from a hypermarket on your way to the resort.
Q. Can I get live traffic updates in France?
A. Yes, if you have decent internet access during your trip, live traffic conditions on French motorways are available here.
Q. What clothing do you recommend I should pack for skiing/snowboarding?
A. We recommend:
- Tops – A heavyweight fleece or wool sweater and a light/medium-weight, synthetic long underwear shirt. A down or synthetic fill jacket with hood (waterproof/breathable), must fit comfortably over your sweater.
- Bottoms – Waterproof/breathable lined ski trousers.
- Footwear – Wool or poly socks (medium-heavy thickness). Walking boots (waterproof) to be able to walk in snow.
- Handwear – Wool or fleece mittens. Ski over-mitts or gloves.
- Headgear – A wool or fleece hat. A pair of good sunglasses.
Q. Are there any health requirements?
A. Customers are reminded that they should check with their own doctor for advice on medical requirements of the host countries. We recommend you apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which covers or heavily discounts treatment that is medically necessary during a temporary stay in EU and EEA countries, and Switzerland. Find out more about applying fon the link above.