I’m sat on the plane about to leave Lyon and head back to the Emerald Isle. I am devastated to say the least. I always feel this way after every holiday but in particular snow holidays. There is just something about them that just instantly puts me in a great mood all day every day. I always say that the slopes are my happy place. The crisp fresh air and that the feeling of gliding through the snow on your board, there is nothing better in life. Those of you that watched my Snapchats whilst I was away will know my love for the snow by now. Everything just looks more beautiful in the snow and it blows my mind every time I go.
In Flutes Bar in T2 Dublin Airport before we boarded
Views over Dublin as we left Dublin Airport
So every year we pack our snow boots, reflective goggles & numerous items of brightly coloured Roxy/Billabong ski gear and head for the snowy Alps. The annual ski trip is one I would never miss and if I could live all year round on a ski slope I would. For those of you that have never been on a snow holiday, you are truly missing out. It’s an expensive one but one worth saving your for. I missed it last year as we were living in Australia so this year it was a must.
The view from outside our window (above)
If you read yesterday’s post on ‘Going On Your First Ski Holiday?’ you will know that I went with Irish company, Highlife. Highlife run all-inclusive holidays to some of the best skiing resorts in Europe. They are only based in Meribel, Val D’Isere and Morzine in the French Alps. So if you wish to go anywhere else you need to choose another ski company. I’ve gone with Highlife now on numerous occasions and couldn’t recommend them enough. They are slightly more expensive than your average company but the service they provide is really incredible. From the minute you contact them in the office to the minute you arrive at the airport to come home, they have you covered.
Meribel is one of my favourite places to snowboard. It is situated in The Three Valleys which is the world’s largest ski area so your never short of ski runs. With Highlife, they actually provide a free shuttle to and from the ski lifts/village which is a great added extra. You stay in your own private chalet where you can rent the entire chalet or share with other travellers. We stayed in a chalet called Chalet Carine and there was 10 of us in total. Andrew and I didn’t mind this as we had been with Highlife many times before. You meet some really cool people this way and it’s a great experience. Some people might be put off by this but I guarantee you its an amazing experience. We met a beautiful couple Dorothy and Steve from Co. Meath. They were such an interesting couple and Andrew & I could have listened to them talking for hours on end. Dorothy mentioned to her daughter that she was staying in the chalet with me and to my surprise her daughter Hannah actually knew all about my blog. She had followed it for quite some time which I was thrilled about. The saying ‘it’s a small world’ really is so true. Also staying the chalet was a really lovely family from Sandycove. Pat, Ann, Tara, Rob & Adam were on a family ski holiday and it was their first time with Highlife. Needless to say, they were as impressed as I was on my first trip with them. Their dad Pat was absolutely GAS CRAIC, there is no other words for him. He literally made everyone laugh the entire week. Lastly, we had a really nice Italian guy Luca who came alone. This is the fabulous thing with Highlife, you can come alone and never feel like you are on your own for the entire holiday.
In our chalet, you have a host who help you with anything you need every morning and evening. This year our host’s name was Lucy. She is an absolute credit to Highlife and was one of the happiest and nicest girls I’ve come across with them. You also have a private chef who cooks your meals each day too. We were lucky enough to have two chefs this week, Sam & Rebecca. Sam mainly done the cooking whilst Rebecca made the desserts. The food is on a another level with Highlife. The quality of the food we got everyday was 5 star hotel standard. Each morning, it’s a choice of anything you wish for breakfast cooked by the chef then for lunch, we were nearly always on the mountain. Make sure to know that prices on the mountain for food/drink can be tripled. For €40, we got two bowls of soup and two coffees. It’s CRAZY! We did eat lunch in the town one day in a place called L’Igloo which was so cool. The food was so delicious and the decor was like an inside of an igloo. For dinner it’s a 3 course meal in the chalet with everyone followed by unlimited wine, beer and of course the all important cheese board. We were in France after all.
After dinner or after the slopes you can head for après-ski where everyone goes for a drink to celebrate a fabulous day of snowboarding or skiing. We hit Meribar or La Folie Douce most days but there are some other cool spots like LDV, La Taverne and O’Sullivan’s you can check out too. It’s such a laugh and so much fun. We saw an Irish band called Bring Your Sisters and they sure get the crowd going. One thing you need to make sure you have some good footwear with you, especially if it’s snowing in the resort. I may have went for a few ‘slides’ in my very impractical but fashionable boots. You essentially need just a good pair of boots that will stand the snow. It’s very casual in the evenings for those that asked me, so jeans, jumpers, a nice coat and your away. I wore jeans, jumper and one of my big jackets most nights. One great thing is nobody really cares what you look like and I think that’s what I love the most. The slopes in Courcheval though are as well groomed as the people. If you visit Courcheval it really is a total different world. You will be graced with a sea of beautiful people that are gliding the slopes glamorously in their Chanel skis & fur coats. There are helicopters & private jets landing in the middle of the mountain where James Bond was filmed so it’s even just worth going to see (below).
I think complimenting good service should be done more often. People are so quick to complain when they have a bad experience but tell me the last time you complimented great service? I make sure to do this at least once a month whether it’s in a shop, airport or restaurant. So we want to thank Jenny and Gina for making our entire stay smooth going without a hitch. We want to thank Barry for literally being one of the funniest guys ever! He made us all laugh uncontrollably everyday he called over to our chalet. He was from Kerry and nearly everyone he spoke to couldn’t understand him. He was ‘cracked’ (a word he used for everyone else but it’s nuts to you and I). A big thank you to the lovely Lucy for being one of the best hosts in all the land and helping us whenever we needed. Emily for being so nice & stepping in for Lucy on her day off and last but not least our two chefs, Sam and Rebecca. The food we had this holiday, not only probably made me gain a stone in weight but were the most delicious meals we have ever tasted with Highlife. Sam was quite possibly one of the most talented chefs I have ever met. He cooked us the most beautiful meals that I hope to try and recreate myself. To think he was only 23 is just amazing. Rebecca on the other hand made us desserts to DIE FOR. As you all know I’m a keen baker so her desserts really blew me away. The reason I am mentioning the staff in Highlife is because the staff are truly what make the holiday. They go above and beyond for every guest no matter what the need and that’s why I return year after year with them.
One thing that ski holidays aren’t short of is the craic. Whether your in a group or like us go as a couple, your bound to have endless fun and really enjoy yourselves. Andrew and I are real outdoors people so we love the snow. I would quicker now go to the snow than the sun. When you have a company like Highlife do everything for you, it makes the trip even more enjoyable. So it’s au revoir to the snowboard for another year and look back on what was another great ski trip. I’m already excited about booking for next year.
NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. I was not paid or given a discount by Highlife to write this post.
Here is some of the photos from our trip to Meribel. If you have any questions at all about snow holidays just mail me, tweet me @aoibhedevlin or send me a message on Snapchat aoibhedev89.
Love Aoibhe xxx
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