NetChalets

Our Story
 

We can remember the realisation that it was actually going to happen. That moment when vague daydreaming had been swapped for something tangible and specific. The sort of specific that means you’ll be spending more money than you can probably afford to hurl yourself down a rather large, ice-covered mountain, with nothing but a bit of plastic strapped to your feet. We were old enough to pay our own way, and young enough to still have small regard for personal safety. We were going skiing.  

That first trip with three friends was fuelled by a view that “this is the sort of stuff we should be doing” and a conviction that riding a half pipe would be, without doubt, the skill level we’d be hitting after the first morning. We wanted excitement, with a fair bit of drinking thrown in for good measure. 

We were booked, we were going. With very little regard for where we were actually going, or indeed how you ski or snowboard.  Back then the internet wasn’t what it is now. There were no ‘how to ski’ videos or accommodation reviews on YouTube. There was no YouTube. It was a simpler time. A time when you had to spend hours on the phone to whatever travel agent you could remember the name of to explain all the details of what you wanted. It was a more painful time. 

We found ourselves at Les Arcs 1800, in the sort of accommodation where they demand you hand over your passport before they give you the keys. Four guys with brand new clothing, equipment, a couple of clanking bags from duty free and copious amounts of enthusiasm. 

The first day on the slopes we got the chairlift up to the top of a blue run that led back into the resort. An easy one to get started with. Unfortunately we hadn’t thought about taking any lessons. It took us two hours to get down. By the end of the week we were exhausted, bruised and only slightly better at snowboarding. We spent that trip falling over a lot and drinking homemade cocktails out of saucepans. We had a great time. We were hooked.  

Fast forward a few years and we’re older and wiser and have a few different requirements for our trips to the mountains. But we also found that getting what we wanted was more challenging. The pressures of arranging trips around packed work schedules and family life was getting more difficult. It seemed like there was nothing out there, just the same old apartment blocks or the same chalets run by the big tour operators. Where were all those great places you hear about but never think to write down the name of? How do we find somewhere when we can’t travel Saturday to Saturday? Or when somebody gets their holiday dates mixed up and can only come out for a couple of days? What if one person can only eat organic, gluten free food grown by monks? No one was gluten free on that first Les Arcs trip! 

We were finding it increasingly difficult to find accommodation. The internet should make this stuff easy, but in fact it was the opposite. Lots of great chalets let down by the fact no one can find them. The accommodation sites that profess to help you were appalling. Zero effort put in to making them easy to use, easy to find, or presenting the chalets in the best light. 

We spoke to chalet owners too: “We’re so glad we found you, but boy was it a struggle”. Now, we’re not our grandparents. We know how to work the internet. It’s not us that’s getting this wrong, it’s them! 

We saw an opportunity to do something better, something that served the purpose we wanted. It’s also kinda helpful that this was what we do for a living. Designing, building, managing and marketing websites. In our day jobs we were already doing this stuff, and we knew we could do it better. 

So we did. And this is it. We hope you like it as much as we do and that it helps you find what you’re looking for. You can search through chalets by resort or look for those with certain facilities. Or if like us you’re a bit well, difficult, you can post what you’re looking for and we’ll send that on to chalets that are a good match. You can then book direct with them, with no commission. 

Got a suggestion? Some feedback? Or just want to see a picture of us drinking cocktails from a saucepan in Les Arcs? Email us at [email protected]