A former chalet host who worked at one of Europe’s most prestigious ski resorts has revealed what it’s like to be available to wealthy Russians.
We’ve all heard of the ‘yachtie’ life from Below Deck and while the ‘seasonal’ life isn’t as rewarding in terms of money, what a chalet host has to do on a day-to-day basis isn’t not too different – especially when it comes to discerning customers.
‘When wealthy Russians aren’t on their yachts, they’re often up in the mountains staying in some of the most prestigious private chalets which can cost up to £250,000 a week,’ the hostess revealed to Fabulous.
“I worked during the winter season and we had families or groups from all over the world come to stay with us.
“It sounds like child’s play being a chalet girl, but it was hard work, our chalet was expensive and we worked to a very high standard of service.
“But when we were told the next people to arrive were Russians – we always knew the job would be even harder – they had a reputation for being difficult, rude and asking for things day and night.”
And it seems that no request was prohibited.
“Once the chef was asked to prepare separate meals for a guest’s dog and almost every day we were criticized that the weather wasn’t perfect.
“Either there was too much snow, or not enough snow, or the snow was too wet, or it was our fault that the sun hadn’t come out for their lunch!” What the snow had done that week often reflected on the quality of our tip.
“Once we were asked to have a mountain top picnic with magnums of champagne and caviar because the guests ‘liked the view’. So, we skied all that down to the spot – it took about an hour to set up – but they stood there for 10 minutes because it was “too cold”. So we had to take it all back down.
“Making a four-hour round trip to the nearest major city was nothing new either. We made the round trip to Geneva just for a specific face cream after one of the guests forgot it.
But although all the requirements were in a day’s work, there was one thing that really baffled the winter season workers.
“They pay thousands to come and stay at these amazing chalets, but most of the time they hardly ever ski.
“A woman stayed with us for a week, she didn’t put on any skis or snowboard once, she just went to the shops and spent around £3,000 a day on clothing or ski wear that she wore she wasn’t going to wear. It was disconcerting!”
But while they can be hard to please, the chalet host revealed the hard work was worth it.
“They might have been fussy but tips were good, not as good as American customers but we would be given 500 euros each on average per week.”
Typically, like yachts, seasonal workers have very few expenses when working for private companies or chalets, so 500 euros to spend on après-ski parties sounds good to us.