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booking a chalet

7 replies

JJ · 20/03/2003 00:13

Hi! I was wondering if I could get your opinion on this.. am I being a total cheapskate?

We're trying to book a whole chalet next year for a ski holiday. The chalet has 3 bedrooms: one with a double bed and a single bed, one with twin beds and one with a bunk bed. It, according to them, sleeps 4 adults and 4 children. I'd like to book the chalet for a week for my family: two parents, two kids with the possibility of a childless couple (or one of the couple) joining us. So I wanted one bedroom for me and my husband, one for the boys and one spare (hopefully for my friends). In their brochure, they say there is a 25% discount for kids using a separate room. This resort has childcare (wonderful childcare) which is optional. The chalet has two toilets, neither en suite.

So I emailed and asked how much it would cost to book the entire chalet, giving all details. Her answer was that we would need to pay for every bed (4 adults and 4 children -- her definition of every bed) as well as pay for 4 children in childcare full time. I thought I had misunderstood and emailed back, this time explaining further, but this is her reply:
"If you wanted the whole chalet for yourselves you would need to pay the full price of the chalet - which is what I sent through earlier. So unfortunately if you wanted the whole chalet with the boys in their own rooms those are the prices you would need to pay. It may seem a lot of money - but we if we gave a family of 4 a chalet that sleeps 8 - we would be losing money on the chalet."

I can see having a minimum charge on a chalet and wanting to make every penny possible, but this seems ridiculous. What if people don't fit neatly into a room? We didn't this year and were just charged the basic rates. I don't think that we should pay the maximum that could be paid for a chalet just because we want the whole thing, as that is unlikely what they'd get anyway (it'd have to be filled with two families of two parents / two children each). Plus, asking us to pay for optional childcare for children who won't be there.....

I'd be happy paying to keep a room for my friends who might book (but won't know until early next year), the price for my boys to have a room (the quote from the website: Children aged 24 months to 12 years :
 25% discount if using separate room ),
and then the childcare that is actually required. This amount is much less than the one she quoted me (it's 64% - 75% of the price quoted, depending if one or two people are staying in the extra bedroom).

What do you guys think? Am I out of line for being annoyed?

Sorry, just realized I can't preview this.... forgive any mistakes.

OP posts:
GillW · 20/03/2003 09:08

If you went to the company and said you wanted to book for three/four adults (i.e. two rooms) and two children in a seperate room, without explicitly saying you wanted the whole chalet (and they could hardly put anyone else in it if you'd booked every room) what price would they quote you then? I'd be tempted to pose as someone else, and try to book it that way, to see what they say. I'm afraid though that if it came out less I'd still be so annoyed at the attempt to rip me off that I wouldn't book with them anyway!

Croppy · 20/03/2003 17:47

Can't understand why on earth you would have to pay for child care for four children when there is only 2.

Lindy · 20/03/2003 19:02

No, you are not being a cheapskate but the travel companies really try and squeeze as many people in as possible. We've just booked a summer holiday and many of the brochures say 'sleep X' number of people - but then state that two are on a sofa bed, two are in bunk beds in a 'cabin room in the hall' whatever that is etc! In our case there are only 3 of us, me, DH & DS (2) - but he needs his own room as he goes to bed much earlier than us (we don't want to share) - both us being large we certainly don't want to sleep on a sofa bed so in order to be comfortable we have had to book a villa that states it sleeps 6 - which is of course much more expensive !

Don't know what the answer is - but I sympathise with the problem.

SueW · 20/03/2003 21:22

I don't think you are being a cheapskate either - I really hate this per person type of booking and avoid it whenever possible.

The worst example I came across personally was trying to get a trip to New York where, on a 5 day holiday the agents would only give a 10 quid discount for DD. Yep, a tenner! We ended up booking a suite hotel and separate flights and getting much better value.

Why can't they just say the chalet costs x amount to rent and sleeps up to 8 people. Childcare is available at y cost per hour/day/week. Like they do with cottages over here?

SofiaAmes · 21/03/2003 00:42

Sorry, but isn't that the concept of free trade. If you don't like their pricing system, book someplace else. If their pricing system didn't work/was too expensive they wouldn't have any customers and would have to change it.
I do agree with you that this sounds super annoying and expensive, but it seems that you should just look for another place.

suedonim · 21/03/2003 06:04

We've been looking at hotels in Bali and child places are free but you have to rent the bed!!

JJ · 21/03/2003 07:41

Thanks for all the messages. I have been looking at other places. It still does get me that the optional childcare is required for the imaginary children. The week I'd like to book is 6 March next year. We went this year the same week with friends who stayed in the chalet with a party of 4 adults and 2 children and paid for 4 adults and 2 children (both with childcare) in 3 rooms (ie the whole chalet) with no premium attached.

SofiaAmes, no, I don't think free market is "put up or shut up". I think it's about begging, bitching, complaining, cajoling, discussing, distrusting, enticing and entreating on the parts of both the buyer and seller. It's a give and take process. Plus, we had a wonderful time on our holiday and it's worthwhile for me to make sure that I've tried everything to do it again.

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