Posted 12/03/2018 Tagged: Snow

Q&A with Rupert Longsdon

What’s your top tip location for skiing 2018?

Whoever you are and whatever your budget it is important to maximise value. The resort that springs to mind for 2018/19 season is St Martin de Belleville in Les Trois Vallées. We have been working in this resort for about 10 years and have had the pleasure of watching it grow in terms of good quality chalets matched with excellent service and linked in to this incredible ski area.

Where is your favourite place to ski and why?

I find it hard to beat Val d’Isere in the formidable Espace Killy ski area. This resort continues to impress and improve. Keeping up with demands of skiers both on and off the mountain. It has the full range of chalets and hotels for all levels of the market. From 2* to the exciting new 5* Palace hotel being built for the 19/20 season. On the mountain the cost of your ski pass is reinvested yearly in better lifts, snow making, new pistes for all abilities and overall skier experience. Combine this with the high altitude (2 glaciers) you can genuinely ski from the 1st December until the 1st May. However I do find this a very hard question to answer as the choice of resorts and countries I have had the pleasure of visiting over the years gives so many strong alternatives which is why we now work in 58 resorts.

Do you have a favourite hotel or chalet?

Chalet Grace in Zermatt is a wonderful balance of still being an Alpine and of course with those mesmeric views of the Matterhorn it ticks that vital box. Le K2 Palace Hotel in Courchevel 1850 is a first class hotel in every way a five star chalet should offer but it still understands distinctly the needs of skiers and non-skiers whilst on their holiday.

USA or Europe? Which is best?

You can word it so you give reasons for both as we have followers in both markets... 

I would prefer to compare this as North America (USA and Canada) or Europe as I think it is a better comparison. I honestly do not think you can say which one is better and if you read the feedback from our clients who regularly visit both you can see there is no clear leader. The one similarity is that they both have good snow (!) and skiing to suit all types of client. If you are a keen skier you simply have to ski both over time and in fact take that further and make sure you visit USA, Canada, France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. I should really add Japan too but that was not the question! They all have their individual character which must be sampled. If there was one overriding difference between NA and Europe it has to be the history of the resorts in Europe lend to a more quintessentially quaint Alpine experience. A 300 year old farmhouse turned into a stunning chalet or incredible mountain restaurant specialising in local delicacies that have been in that region for many generations and still owned by the same family is hard to compete with.

Where are you going skiing this year?

For the second year in a row I am going to be based in Val d’Isere with the family (very spoiling, although the children are not so convinced about going back to the local French school). Contrary to what people think, this is for work! The main role is to get out and meet as many of our clients as possible across all resorts that we work in. So I am hoping to cover a good number of resorts over the winter.