Hucksters Budget Ski HolidaysHucksters Budget Ski Holidays

Life as a Senior Seasonnaire

So the seed was sown……. Julie & Chris asked me to return the following season as chef alongside Natalie. I couldn’t have asked for a better team, Natalie and I worked well together, her cakes and desserts were to die for, we spent our mornings preparing the meals in the Mont Blanc kitchen, with the help of the rest of the team when they had finished their varying roles, it was very much a family affair, the music would be playing. Shopping day was on a Thursday, it makes going to Tesco’s pale into insignificance when you are shopping for up to 80 guest. Dan, Todd and I would set off in two vehicles, 12 shopping trolleys later and back up the mountain to unload. I’ve never lived down the day I left two trolleys behind in Super U, One of “Sharon’s senior moments” they never seemed to forget!! Skiing was amazing trying to keep up with this lot, my skiing certainly got faster that season. Staff days out were fun, going to La Plagne on the Olympic Bob sleigh run, Arpette on Wednesdays and skiing back in the dark.

The season went by like a whirlwind, no sooner had you finished one week’s changeover then you would be on to the next. Life was always varied and sometimes stressful.New Year changeover, the Tarantaise Valley gridlocked due to heavy snowfall, Natalie and I trying to translate French ingredients when catering for food allergies and intolerances and driving my daughter back to Geneva with the snow chains on. My first season was to end on a sad note when Dan had a serious skiing accident; he had been a main player in our team and was sorely missed. Keeping the team spirit up was hard initially, but all the team pulled through together, not only for the guests but also Dan. He had become very competitive on our marshmallow and spaghetti nights, staff versus guests, the team took this on board, especially the girls keeping up Dan’s position of beating the guests, with their towers beating all records, with photo’s being sent to Dan for his approval. This is when the whole community of Vallandry along with Tracker and the Bar Mont Blanc team, and the Hucksters crew and guests set about fund raising for Dan. This to me showed what a close, friendly and compassionate place our little bubble up in the mountains was, even other seasonaire’s were only too pleased to donate. My first full time season was coming to an end now, but I was already thinking about coming back for more, glutton for punishment or what??!!

The following year I ended up by default heading up Le Sporting in Serre Chevalier, along with Patrick and Eve, also Paul and Felix who were later to join the Vallandry team. Hattie my cat accompanied me as well and became a firm favourite with the staff and guests. This was a much smaller operation. The skiing here was really good, Chris & Julie often came over and took me out skiing as well, resulting in me being taken out of my comfort zone on a few occasions and tackling new and unfamiliar piste’s but was always finished off with a stop to refuel in one of the beautiful mountain restaurants. We were fortunate enough to have the Thermal Spa in Monetier, perfect to relax and enjoy the amazing views of the snow covered mountains from the outside pool. Here I enjoyed looking after guests old and new, many familiar faces that I knew from Hucksters. At the end of the season I had no vehicle to get to the bakery in the morning, so rather than let the guests down I decided to cycle down to the village bakery on an old bike we found in the shed.I started off wobbling down the road just after seven in the morning, I suddenly looked up at the speed device which would flash up if you were going over 50kph, for it to flash up 17kph, a big green thumbs up, I then crashed the bike and the chain came off. The return journey was interesting cycling with a bag of baguettes on the handlebars!

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Customer Reviews

By dispensing with things such as towels and complimentary toiletries (bring your own) and guaranteed en suite bathrooms, Hucksters has managed to create accommodation that is definitely communal and cheap but in that no-frills way that makes you feel pretty smug at the money you are saving. It has ...

The Guardian - Top 10 affordable ski cha...

The staff were more like friends than employees and knew the area very well. Can't fault them. They sorted an issue with my wife's ski pass with as little stress as was possible. To start your day of skiing one had only to walk about 20m from the door, pop your skis on and off you go. You could eit...


Just back from a fabulous week in Vallandry. The lodge was great and the location to the lifts perfect. I wanted to say thank you for all your help and the wonderful staff, they are all good bunch and made us feel very welcome. Please let them know we did appreciate their hard work, and smiles every...


We have travelled with Hucksters as both a school group and a family for an incredible 18 years. Never have I worked with a company who is so flexible and accommodating to individual needs. The ski and board options are exciting and varied to suit all abilities, from novice to the extreme, from door...

Mrs Denise May MBE

If you're travelling with youngsters, there is a great selection of registered childminders who can look after the little ones while you let your hair down. Just ask us and we'll be happy to help you arrange this service!

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