With the increasing popularity of winter sports, it seems as though almost every significant mountainous region in Europe, North America and beyond offers one the potential to go skiing or to ‘ride the powder man!’ And therefore, the increased popularity in winter sports has also increased the availability of jobs in ski resorts.
Where there’s skiing there’s accommodation, and where there’s accommodation you’re more than likely to find chalet maids – true legends in the world of ski resort jobs! Renowned for being hard drinking, bed hopping ski monsters, is there any truth behind the legendary bad behaviour of chalet girls and boys, and what’s it like to work as a chalet maid?
In this article we explore the world of the chalet maid – note, despite the sexist association of the word ‘maid,’ chalet maids nowadays are just as likely to be men as women – and we show you how to go about finding work abroad as a chalet maid too.
Chalet maid jobs in Europe run for the season between October to March with the busiest period being over the Christmas holidays, in the southern hemisphere the job season runs from June to October. Minimum age to work as a chalet maid is normally 18 – 20 years old, and there’s no maximum age – although the heavy workload, unsociable hours, poor pay and fact that most people you’re working with are young party animals puts most people off the job once they hit 30!
The chalet maids’ duties typically include preparing breakfast, afternoon tea with home baked cakes and a three-course dinner with wine in the evenings. They’re also responsible for keeping the chalet clean and the guests happy. Many companies offering chalet maid employment at ski resorts will require you to work out a menu plan prior to interview, with the meal being to a dinner party standard. So the role can be quite challenging as well as being physically exhausting – but then, the pay off comes in the form of the time off that chalet maids get each week to go skiing.
Chalets can range in size from 6 to 40 bed properties, and a chalet host would be expected to look after up to 12 guests on their own. Sometimes there are floating members of staff who can help out, but as with most ski resort jobs, it’s hard work and not just about skiing, vodka and Redbull! That’s not to say that ski jobs are all work! Working patterns are usually 6 days on with a day off each week. Perks for ski resort staff can include season lift passes and equipment hire, medical and personal insurance, travel to and from the resort as well as food and accommodation and the use of the T.V. and sofa when your guests are out skiing!
There are a number of ways to apply for jobs as chalet hosts. You can either head out to your chosen ski resort and knock on doors and chance your arm, or the more sensible option is to apply in advance to tour operators and resorts. Although pay rates may start in the region of a lousy GBP50.00 per week, the work is very popular and there’s never any shortage of people looking for work abroad as chalet maids. Most ski tour operators will have a webpage with a careers section for people wanting employment at ski resorts. After that it’s just a case of brushing the dust off your skis or snowboard, and preparing your liver for a few months of hard graft.
Oh and don’t forget…despite the stories…there’s no hanky panky allowed with the guests!