LUX Autumn 2018

70 1806LU11 Superb Facilities in a Superb Location Established in 2009, Powder N Shine is an owner- run catered ski chalet company, based out of Reberty Village in the Three Valleys. We spoke to Francesca Smith as we look to explore the imaginative and innovative activities that customers enjoy when they visit Powder N Shine chalets. Situated at an altitude of 2000m, all of Powder N Shine chalets are located within the piste-side collection of properties that enjoy fantastic access to the full ski area. With the location unparalleled, Francesca and her team decided from the inception of the company that they would place a strong focus on food, wine and service, and this has subsequently seen the company gain several loyal returning guests, and allowed the expansion from one chalet in the 2010/11 chalet to four catered chalets, plus a selection of self-catered apartments, from the 2016/17 season. Famed for its exceptional customer service and exquisite and luxurious views and chalets, the team at Powder N Shine ensure that every guest that comes through the doors of the chalets is treated with the same level of importance. Making a great first impression, guests often leave having enjoyed a memorable stay, starting from the get-go. Francesca goes into detail about the first impression that clients receive, giving us an insight into the methods and techniques that the team employs to deliver a fantastic service. “When a guest first enters the establishment, we try to be as helpful and thorough as possible from the moment the initial enquiry comes in, right through to when that guest leaves the chalet, and sometimes beyond! This communication allows and encourages people to pre-book essentials such as ski passes, lessons and equipment prior to their visit, in order to ensure they get exactly what they want and to avoid spending time in resort on the admin side. “As owners, we make sure we meet all guests when they are in a resort, as we like to put faces to names, and occasionally we will have a meal with guests in the chalets to build on the rapport developed through the booking journey. “This is because we feel that our brand, in all its guises – electronic through the website and e-mails, the chalets and all of our members of staff, reflects our focus on the guests and their holiday experience. One example is our creation of ski itineraries that are in a folder in each chalet which guests are free to help themselves to experience the mountain. These itineraries are split by ability level, from beginner to expert, and were our attempt to replace the informal ‘ski hosting’, which we occasionally undertook to show guests around the ski area before it became impossible to do so.” Embedded in the company ethos are the establishment’s values, and with staff all adhering to these values, the team is able to provide guests with the most luxurious destination, all within the UK. Essentially, a key aspect of Power N Shine’s ability to attract guests from all over the world is the team’s determination to provide excellence. “Internally, we have operated for long enough now that we recognise the importance of getting the right staff who ‘fit’ correctly with Powder N Shine, and this has meant we have occasionally had to change staff, because our members of staff are our front line and for many guests represent Powder N Shine. “Logistically, we bring our members of staff out to resort at least two weeks before the arrival of the first guests, and the first few sessions of their training is an indoctrination into what it means to be a member of staff for Powder N Shine, what we expect, what our guests have come to expect and how we ensure that their every need is anticipated and met, with expectations surpassed wherever possible.” Whilst staff are continuing to provide an excellent service, it is also important that they are able to adapt to, and monitor, the relevant trends within the holiday industry which are pivotal to providing an excellent service to clients. “The UK catered ski chalet market has seen huge changes since the Brexit referendum in 2016. The future of catered ski chalet holidays as we know them are going to have to change due to major increases in costs with reference to staff employment mainly. Not only are changes occurring due to Brexit, the French regulations are becoming stricter hence the way UK tour operators second staff to France from the UK will now be done differently and with huge cost implications. Many chalet operators will be changing the catered chalet formula, so we do expect to see some changes ahead in order for our chalet companies to survive these huge changes.” In her concluding comments, Francesca signs off by talking about the challenges that the holiday industry will face, which are notably financial, but there is also the challenge of rising guest expectations. “Ultimately, the costs of catered ski chalet holidays will be rising over the next year for the foreseeable future due to economic and political changes. Our guests expect to receive the same quality year after year, so with increased costs ahead, holidays will become more expensive for the customers.” Company: Powder N Shine Contact: Francesca Smith Phone: 0207 164 6356 Website: POWDER SHINE N POWDER SHINE N