• Megan

Confessions of a Chalet Host

In my last post, I mentioned that I had some stories about my hosting days that I would be sharing soon. The stories from over the years vary from hilarious to disgusting! Below are a few of the funnier ones that came to mind.

The Echo Magazine in Val d'Isère used to have the best stories about Seasonnaires antics' in the gossip pages towards the back of each issue and I'd love to interview Kene, who was the chief sh*t-stirrer and Editor of The Echo for many years, to get some of his favourites. For now, you'll have to put up with mine though.

That scene from The Hangover: Alps Style

On my first season in St Anton, there was a Chalet that was regularly rented out by Stag (Bachelor) parties. The girl who hosted the Chalet wasn't the biggest fan of this and one week, when there was a particularly raucous group of guests, she happened to be 'ill' a few times. I was sent to cover her morning shift on one of the days so had a rough idea of the state that they were getting the Chalet into each night.... which was pretty bad. I got off lightly though. She had been hiding the food for the week because on one of their first nights there, they got back when the Bars closed and decided to have a huge food fight which blew her budget for the week as she then had to go out and buy new stock.

Anyway on one of the mornings towards the end of the week, the Resort Manager had popped over to my Chalet to drop something off when he got a phone call. At first he seemed quite relaxed and then his tone got more concerned before he ran out of the Chalet and sped off in the car. It turns out that the Chalet Host had arrived to find what looked like the hotel scene from the Hangover after the 'big' night.

The first thing that she found when she arrived was that they had got hold of a fire extinguisher and set it off in the Entrance Hall where everyone's Ski Jackets and equipment were. Absolutely everything was coated in a thick layer of foam, including the Skis from the Rental Shop. As the Chalet Girl and Resort Manager walked through the Chalet, they found Road Signs, Traffic Cones, Space Hoppers, Pizza Boxes and various other items. The furniture had been completely moved around- some of it swapped between different rooms. A radiator had been broken of the wall, they had put holes through the artwork with their heads and there were a number of people sleeping there who were not guests of the Chalet. It looked like they had tried to Ski or Sledge down the stairs at one point tot. Perhaps the most surprising thing that they found was a two legged creature and it wasn't one of the Stags from the group. At the end of one of the corridors, eating some cereal that had been thrown around (the guests had found her food hiding spot) was.... a duck.

Somehow, the guys had managed to find a duck (it was the middle of the season in a record snow year) and brought it back to the Chalet as their mascot. It wasn't the only thing that they caught that week though. The Groom had to be taken to the medical centre in town to get a strong prescription of antibiotics so that he was able to consecrate the marriage the weekend after he got back.

A bit Tied Up

Ski Seasons are often one of the first times that young Seasonnaires are away from home the first time. They get plucked from living under their parents roof, following their rules, to one of the loosest places that you can live: a Ski Resort. This often results in rapid self discovery and exploration. Older Seasonnaires watch the chaos unfold, gently guiding the newbies back onto the right path when it's needed so few tend to go completely off the rails and most manage to pull themselves back together by spring. One of my roommates was a bit of a late bloomer though.

She started out the season barely drinking, getting early nights and reading her Bible before going to sleep. Social influence is pretty persuasive though and it wasn't too long before she started to deviate from her righteous path.

By the mid point of the season, she had more notches on her bedpost than many of boys. Nobody really paid much notice though. Then one day, she didn't show up for the Staff Meeting. Even with a hangover that reduced you to a shadow of your soul, you made sure that you dragged your arse to the staff meetings because the punishments were not worth missing it. She didn't pick up her phone but we all just assumed that she had left it on silent or something and slept through her alarm- not the most responsible bunch of 18 year olds. She didn't show up to Ski that day either and when she still hadn't come back to get changed for the evening shift we started to get worried. We mentioned it to one of the Reps and he said he would stop at her Chalet first on his rounds in the evening to check that she had shown up for work.

When we all met up for drinks after work, he was grinning. She hadn't shown up for work but he said she was fine... 'more than fine, actually'. It turned out that one of the guests in the group had taken a liking to her and they had got together a few times. The guests, who were eating Pizza instead of the meal that they should have had cooked for them, went on to tell the Rep that their friend was a "bit alternative". The Chalet Host hadn't come to the Staff Meeting, Skiing or home for over 24 hours because she had been tied to the bed... having fun with the guest.

When she came back the next day we saw the state of her wrists which proved the story to be true.

Transfer Day: Drink the Chalet Dry

Often on Transfer day, the guests leave Alcohol that they've brought throughout the week in their rooms. On one of the larger Chalets that had a team of 6, it became a tradition to 'drink the Chalet dry' on Saturdays when the entire building had to be cleaned from top to bottom. Some weeks this would mean a few beers for each Host, some weeks it was a lot more.

There was one week where the guests had left behind:

2 crates of beer

1 Litre of Pink Gin

1 Litre of Normal Gin

1 Bottle of Jaegermeister

4 Boxes (12 shots per box) of Jaegermeister miniatures

1 bottle Champagne

2 Litres of Smirnoff Ice

and various other miniatures

On Transfer Day, the previous week's guests leave in the morning and the next week's guests arrive after a long travel day to a clean Chalet and their friendly hosts to present them with a warm meal & their Welcome Meeting. Not this week.

Everyone was so drunk from playing 'Drink the Chalet dry' that the Supervisor had passed out behind the bar in the dining room. The other Hosts had to try to remember the Welcome Meeting and do dinner service for the guests, absolutely blind drunk. The Chef managed to make it through the Starters but only plated half of the Mains before he had to go outside and put his head in the snow. Luckily the entire Chalet was rented out by one group that week so room assignments were handled by the guests. The Staff cleared up dinner and then hid out in the Accommodation for a few hours before sneaking out to carry on drinking. They had to pass through Reception on their route to freedom, though, and found one of the Hosts passed out on the sofa in the the Entrance Room so they dumped him in his bed an continued on their merry way.

That's just a sample of some of the things that Chalet Staff get up to. The experience also learn many positive skills, creates friendships for life and Hosts have some of the best times that they'll never remember. It's also fair to say that Chalet Host Antics are not just the work of British Seasonnaires either!

Send me a DM with your stories and I'll put them together for a future post.