‘I’m a chalet girl and guests give us big tips – from free holidays to cash’

The weather has turned colder and Christmas is almost here which means the ski season is almost upon us.

Anyone who loves to plow through the snow knows that keen youngsters sign up every year to work the season.

One such dream job is as a chalet girl in some of Europe’s fanciest ski resorts.

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The chalet girls each reside in a particular home and cook, clean and help out their guests as they stay with them.

It can be fast paced and hard work, but one chalet girl claims it’s all worth it – especially because you get tips and gifts from guests.

Hannah Tooke has been a chalet girl for eight winter seasons in Val d’Isere and she’s also worked in Japanese and Australian resorts too – she shares her exploits on Instagram, @foodby_hannah.

The ski-obsessive works as a chef in luxury ski chalets so she’s often working with wealthy clientele.

She told Daily Star: “I get to live in the alps and ski every day! I quit real life, and ran away to the mountains so I could ski every day, and I’ve never looked back.

“Most days I’m on the snow at 11am and can ski until last lifts.

“Our guests love it when you come in for evening service and you’re buzzing about all adventures you’ve had that day! Every day is a chance for adventures and fun.”

When they’re feeling especially appreciative, Hannah’s high-end guests might even treat her with gifts.

She noted: “I usually work with families or big groups of friends. Often two or three families will stay in the same chalet. I often get quite substantial tips from clients, especially now that I am working independently.

“I think people are just so appreciative of everything that you do for them during their holidays.

“One thing I’ve really learnt is that people’s time is worth so much more than their money – and when you make one of their few holidays for the year extra special and memorable, then they want to show how grateful they are.

“During the winter we’re often taken out to lunch or dinner by our guests, or on nights out with them, and I’ve even been given a day’s off piste ski guide when my guests were too hungover to ski hard that day!

“During summer I’ve even been given a clients holiday home to stay in for a week which was seriously nice of them!”

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But, you definitely have to work to make the most of the season.

Hannah added: “I cook breakfast, afternoon tea and a four course dinner for my guests while they’re staying in a ski chalet.

“I always source the freshest seasonal and local ingredients and cook dishes that hero those throughout the week.

“It’s very important that my food looks as good as it tastes too, and that the kitchen is immaculately clean, table set beautifully.

“I also train new staff at the start of each season on how to run a chalet properly, and mentor those staff throughout the season.”

She noted: “You wouldn’t believe it but ski chalets are some of the cleanest places in the world, as they’re cleaned thoroughly with toothbrushes, toothpicks, ear buds.

“You have to work cleanly and be organised!

“We also have to be very knowledgable about the resort and happy to make recommendations that will suit the clients.

“A good chalet girl can have a huge effect on someone’s ski holiday, even beyond what happens in the chalet.”

Would you ever work a season on the slopes? Tell us in the comments…


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