Meet the real life chalet girls
Ed Westwick never turned up I’m afraid
When you were 16 you did your GCSEs. When you were 18 you did your A levels, then you went to university. Once you graduated you got a job – if you worked hard. But what if you didn’t do that? What if you sacked it all off to spend six months a year skiing and getting pissed on a mountain, and got paid at the same time?
Louise Dunphy, Saalbach Hinterglemm, 1100m
I did two seasons in the same chalet. Breakfast had to be ready for the guests coming down at 7:30am. Myself and the other chalet hostesses would take it in turns to do the breakfast shift, the other would start an hour later at 8am and clean the rooms while the guests were down at breakfast. The person on breakfast shift would do the food prep for the dinner service and peel a small mountain of potatoes and carrots and then bake the freshly made cake ready for afternoon tea.
After, we’d head straight onto the mountain to meet up with all the other chalet girls. We’d then take it in turns to return for afternoon tea at 3:30pm. We had a run that led directly down to the side of our chalet so I’d ski straight in and serve up still in my ski gear and have a wee chat with the guests.
We served a full three course meal except on a Wednesday, our day off. The best parties happened after après ski on a Wed. We’d have been skiing with guests all day from 8am and wouldn’t arrive back in the chalet till 7am the following morning, time for a quick change and onto breakfast shift before going straight back out onto the mountain.
I generally arrived in resort on 7 December and returned the first week in April. We got paid €500 per month, all food and board was included at the chalet, as was your lift pass for the season (€430).
We had a few good guests, but the most memorable were six well educated gay guys from London who were so lovely, we took them out every day and at the end of the week we got a €150 tip from each couple. I’m still friends with them on Facebook.
In my first Winter season, I was doing the job of two chalet girls. I knocked on a door, waited and nobody answered so I unlocked the door to enter the room and clean it. As I went to walk in, there was a German guy, early to mid twenties standing bollock naked apart from a sports sock on his cock, he invited me in to join his one person party. I swiftly declined and left two new toilet rolls on the chair on my way out.
Julia Pencakowska, Courcheval, 1850m
I’m a chalet host at a privately owned chalet which is new, so it’s pretty easy to manage. I’ve only met the couple who own the chalet once. All I’d do would be coming in, doing a bit of cleaning and going because they quite like their space.
I snowboard mainly, off piste is my kind of thing. I’m not massive on tricks. But I love going out and snowboarding off piste whenever the snow is fresh yeah that’s kind of why I’m here. In summer I work on boats in the south of France.
There’s a place called Rond Point that’s really good for apres. There’s always a live band, you go there and start drinking. Especially late season in March and April, it’s warm and you can sit in a deck chair and drink beer. For my birthday two years ago we did a BBQ and people were in shorts.
Last year we had a lovely group from Abu Dhabi. They were super excited about being here and skiing plus they brought us a load of little snacks from Saudi Arabia. They were really cool guys. It’s cool to have a group of people from the Middle East so happy to ski here. It’s a totally different culture but you have something in common because they love skiing.
Georgina Chew, Hokkaido, 1600m
I shared a room in my chalet which was actually a converted shower room in the basement. Mould started growing on my clothes.
Days were always busy. I’d be up at 7:30am to prepare breakfast. Around 10am the second person would get up and start cleaning the rooms. Then we’d both hoover and mop the floor. We’d have free time until 6pm when we’d need to get the table for dinner and help prep for the three course set meal.
Saturdays were the busiest day as it was the changeover so there was no skiing on Saturdays and few Friday nights out. On one of my days off I once landed a 360 but it was very precarious so I don’t think I’ll try it again. One of the best weeks I ever had was when the bosses were selling their chalet. For the last week we just skied, drank, skied, drank then repeat. I would wake up still drunk and then the afternoon would be filled of me thinking I’m an Olympic skier until we got back to the chalet or to another bar and continued drinking until I passed out.
I usually get no more than a month between seasons so spend it at home. While out here I get free ski rental, a lift pass, food and board. Also, you get served quicker and cheaper drinks at the bar because you’re a regular.
My worst guests were a group of Scottish people who were so rude and loud and constantly drunk for the whole week. You wouldn’t even know where to start cleaning their rooms. Then on the second day two iPads went “missing” and they accused us of stealing them. More and more things kept going “missing” and eventually the police came to interview them. One of the girls said €200 had gone missing from her purse and then her mum corrected her and said it was €600. Luckily our boss was really cool and never believed them.
I can’t say it’s much like Chalet Girl: Ed Westwick never turned up I’m afraid. They also never seemed to clean apart from once in the film and a chalet girl literally is a glorified cleaner. My chalet days are over but they were a lot of fun while they lasted.