The widest choice of accommodation
As the UK's leading ski specialist, we have developed the best and widest choice of hotels. In order to guide you through our comprehensive range, the following features are highlighted to help you choose your accommodation:
With all the various national tourist boards applying widely varying criteria to hotel ratings, the whole question of international hotel grades has become confused. We have therefore applied our own 'Thomson rating', representing the general standards of that country in order that fairer comparisons can be made (an example of a 4.5 Thomson rating is shown above).
Please note: The Thomson rating may differ from the official star rating of the local tourist board.
Our classifications take into account not only the basic facilities, but also the location, leisure facilities, general character and atmosphere of the hotel. Chalet ratings give comparisons with other chalets but do not provide like for like comparisons with the ratings of full service hotels.
Our chalets range from larger properties to smaller traditional alpine houses and apart-chalets, where we have adapted the use of one or more apartments within a larger complex. Due to this wide range it is difficult to grade them on a like for like basis and, in addition to the facilities available, location and general standard, we have based our grades on our senior manager's opinions and on customer feedback.
Exclusive to Thomson
This indicates a hotel, property or product offering that is only available through brands operated by TUI Travel PLC in the UK, including Crystal, Thomson, First Choice, SkiBound and Flexi Ski. We have thus been able to secure particularly favourable conditions, a large number of rooms and often 'added value' items on your behalf.
Each year, Thomson customers give their own rating of all our accommodation and the top scorers in each category receive the coveted Thomson Hotel Awards, shown on the relevant hotel pictures:
Gold Medal - for overall excellence recorded from customer satisfaction questionnaires.
Current awards are based on Winter 2010/2011 customer ratings.
'Platinum hotels' are a hand picked selection of deluxe chalets, hotels and self-catering apartments in world class ski resorts.
Crystal managed properties
Food and drink
Meals are offered on a half board basis only and taken communally at set times. Afternoon tea is laid out and available on a first come, first served basis. Early children's meals can be provided in all chalets but a special children's menu may not be available. For late arrivals (after 10pm) a cold platter or simple snack will be provided. Please note chalet and Crystal hotel staff have one day off per week when breakfast and afternoon tea are left out and you are free to sample a local restaurant for your evening meal. Free wine is served with dinner in all chalets. Once coffee has been served, this will no longer be available. Wine in Crystal hotels is restricted to 1 quarter litre glass per person per night.
Chalets are, for the most part, family homes rather than hotels and as such do not offer the same type of privacy or facilities as purpose built hotels or apartments. Bedroom doors may not be lockable, rooms vary in size, even if similarly priced, and there may be limited hanging and storage space. Some chalets have internal cabin rooms or rooms located in the eaves which are usually best suited to children and often sold at a discount. Many chalets have bedrooms with private facilities (though not always ensuite) whilst in others bathroom facilities are shared between guests (usually 4-6 people) and sometimes with Crystal staff who are resident in the chalet. It may not always be possible to provide every guest with a front door key, though an increasing number of chalets now have an entrycode system. The majority of chalets have lounge areas although seating may be limited.
Chalet and Crystal run hotel staff
Service is relaxed and friendly and as such these accommodations will rarely provide the same facilities or levels of service found in hotels.
For your convenience all our chalet descriptions show the individual room numbers, which will be confirmed on your invoice, so you can be sure of getting the exact room you booked, whether you are the first or the last to arrive!
Family and Family Plus Chalets
These will have facilities and equipment as described, see individual pages. We cannot, however, guarantee that there will be other families sharing the chalet as they may also be booked by customers without children.
In consideration of other guests, use of hot tubs is not permitted after 10pm. Many chalets now benefit from whirlpools and saunas. Whirlpools can be used 5 days per week between 1730 and 1930hrs and will be locked outside these hours. Children should not use whirlpools and saunas unsupervised and adults should follow instructions for their own safety. It is not recommended that young children use these facilities.
Chalet and Crystal run hotels staff night off
Our chalet hosts and Crystal hotel staff have one day off per week so evening meals are for a total of 6 nights only, leaving you free to sample a local restaurant. In chalets, breakfast and afternoon tea is laid out for you to help yourselves. In Crystal run hotels, there is a buffet breakfast and afternoon tea as normal. Days off vary from resort to resort, but are usually Tuesday or Wednesday but will be changed to avoid falling on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year's Eve.For short durations of 5 or 6 nights in January, staff will have one day off during this period.
Chalet age limitation
Please note, other than in chalets specified as accommodating children (Family Chalets) or our Family Plus Chalets we do not accept children under 12 years in chalets, unless a party is booking the entire chalet. Therefore, it is essential that all children's ages are advised at the time of booking.If we are not advised that children under 12will be in the party and the chalet booked is not a Family, or Family Plus Chalet we reserve the right to provide alternative accommodation upon arrival in resort and pass on any additional costs incurred. However, children are welcome in all Crystal run hotels - see individual hotel webpages for details.
Please request at time of booking if you require this facility,for which a £10 charge will be made in Europe and £30 in USA/Canada. Please request at time of booking if you require this facility, for which a £5 charge will be made.
Chalets don't normally offer facilities to store valuables.
Crystal run hotels
All of our Crystal run hotels have their own great value bars. Please note: local licensing laws prohibit the consumption of both duty-free and alcohol brought in from the outside in public rooms. Restaurant/dining rooms in certain hotels are open to non-residents - see property descriptions for details.
Many of our Crystal run hotels no longer feature in local Tourist Office publications and are not subject to official classification as they are leased by us for the entire season and generally run exclusively for our guests. If you need contact numbers or directions please call Pre-departure Services on 0871 231 3297 (calls to 0870 and 0871 numbers cost 10p per minute plus network extras).
Supplements payable for facilities in chalet rooms are abbreviated on each price panel.
In the interest of fire and safety regulations, laws of individual countries and out of consideration for other guests, all chalets and Crystal run hotels are non-smoking.
All Crystal managed chalets and hotels include bed linen and one bath towel and one hand towel per person. A mid week change of towels is included within all Crystal managed chalets and hotels (on request).
Please bring some slippers or indoor shoes with you. Wet floors are slippery and uncomfortable for everyone so you will be asked to leave your outdoor shoes by the front door.
Accommodation is normally available from 4pm on the day of arrival and you should anticipate checking out before 10am on the day of departure.
These will apply when rooms are not used to maximum capacity, provided you book the minimum number required. Please note: Under occupancy supplements are based on 2 adults sharing. Should you wish to book a chalet for less than the advertised minimum capacity, the supplement for each unused bed is the applicable per person brochure price minus up to £150 in Europe and £300 in USA/Canada.
General accommodation information
Descriptions and ratings
- Properties in this brochure have been carefully chosen and are considered to offer suitable accommodation for the cost shown. In the case of EU countries, the star rating shown is that of the relevant national tourist authority but, as other countries apply widely varying criteria, we have featured our own 'official ratings' to help you choose from the various properties on offer and to compare from one country to another. To avoid confusion, many properties featured are described as hotels as, in our view, terms such as Pension, Haus, Gasthof and the like do not always reflect the quality of the properties and are usually an official grading for tax purposes.
- Annexe accommodation may be part of the main hotel or in a separate building, which is guaranteed to be within walking distance. It should be borne in mind that chalet/annexe accommodation, though it may give access to facilities at the property through which it is sold, may not offer rooms to the same star level as the associated property where your main meal may be provided. This is reflected in the cost reduction.
- Prices are based on accommodation in standard twin/double-bedded rooms unless otherwise stated.
- Baths may not always be full size and showers may not always have a shower tray or curtain.
- Soap is not normally provided in rooms.
- Credit cards/Travellers cheques: many hotels/properties as a matter of policy require an imprint of your credit card to betaken at registration for security reasons. This is particularly common in USA/Canada, where credit cards are favoured by most suppliers and the majority of commercial outlets in preference to cash, so we recommend carrying one or more of the recognised cards. Visitors to Eastern Europe will generally find that credit cards are not widely accepted and visitors to Austria may find that credit cards are not accepted by 2* and 3* hotels/guesthouses. Travellers cheques are no longer widely accepted as a method of payment but most resorts will have a bank where these can be changed, at a charge.
- Free drinks will be given at the discretion of the hotel owner and the offer is normally limited to one drink per person during evening meals. "Unlimited" free drinks refers to drinks between starter and dessert. This is usually a choice of house wine, beer or soft drinks and will not include spirits, etc.
- Bars in some hotels may not stay open until 11.00pm, particularly when the hotel is family run or when the bar is part of the hotel restaurant.
- Check-in/check-out at hotels is normally after 3pm (after 5pm for apartments) and you should anticipate having to vacate your room by 10am irrespective of the time of your departure. For some European areas, your flight will leave the UK early in the morning and you may arrive in resort before midday, so your room may not be ready when you arrive. On the day of your departure, there will be somewhere to store your luggage free of charge, where you can leave your bags until departure time, though this may not always be locked. Please note: courtesy rooms may not always be available.
- Balconies: the payment of a supplement for a balcony facility does not guarantee a specific view or that it will be private, unless stated.
- Smoking restrictions: In some countries, eg France, Austria, Italy and several North American states, smoking is increasingly prohibited in public places - e.g. hotels, restaurants, bars etc. It is your responsibility to obtain information from the relevant tourist offices before you book if such restrictions would affect your holiday enjoyment.
- Cots: should be requested at the time of booking. Any additional payment for food/cot hire must be paid directly to hotels, for which we have no control over the cost, and cot linen is usually provided (not duvets). Please note we cannot guarantee that cots will meet British Safety standards. The inclusion of a cot may restrict room space. Some rooms, particularly those described as small or with restricted headroom, may not be large enough to accommodate a cot. Please telephone our Reservations Department for further information.
- Hotel facilities: Leisure facilities, saunas, whirlpools and other facilities advertised as available at a hotel, unless specifically stated as being "FREE" will carry a charge payable to the hotelier. Children may not always be allowed in hotel bars, particularly in North America, even when accompanied by their parents. In some cases swimming trunks not shorts and swimming hats may be compulsory.
- Fitness rooms/health suites: facilities will vary and we cannot guarantee the range or type of equipment provided will be as extensive as in a purpose built gym.
- Late night entry: please ensure you always check the arrangements for late night entry in the event your hotel closes the main door at a specified time.
- Car parking: is not always available at hotels and therefore if you require this facility please check at the time of booking or call the hotel direct.
- Local functions: nowadays, even small hotels can be used as venues for weddings, local celebrations & conventions. Hotels will always try to ensure that guests are not inconvenienced but some disturbances may occur.
- Christmas and New Year in hotels: special Christmas dinners and festivities are usually offered in all half-board hotels and are included in the holiday price. Please note that formal dress is often expected in the larger, more exclusive hotels for Christmas and New Year, (usually 4 and 5 Crystal rated hotels).
- Saunas: in Austria it is quite usual for people not to wear bathing costumes in saunas
- WiFi access: please see individual property entries for details of WiFi availability. If WiFi is advertised, there may be some service limitations and 24/7 access may not be available.
- English Television: in Europe some accommodations have English speaking channels available, although the selection may be limited.
Full and half-board: a table d'hote menu is usually offered to all customers who book meal arrangements, with limited or no choice of menu, unless specifically stated. Meals usually start with dinner on the first day of your arrival in resort and finish with breakfast on your day of departure.
If you arrive after 10pm it is likely that a cold platter will be provided and if you have an early morning departure hotels may not be able to provide a full breakfast. Sometimes hotels may allocate tables on a shared basis and in some countries, particularly Italy, it is common for individual napkins to be re-used if clean and re-presented in a personalised envelope.
Packed lunches may sometimes be made up by guests from the breakfast buffet.
Vegetarian/special diets: vegetarianism is still relatively uncommon in some areas of Europe, particularly in Italy and Eastern Europe, so customers requesting such meals may find choice limited in some hotels. Similarly, it may be difficult for some hotels to cater for the needs of customers with strict special diets.
If you have any special dietary requirements it is important that you request these at the time of booking.
Eastern Europe: offers exceptional value. However, it should be noted that standards cannot be compared with those found in Western European destinations. Whilst some hotels boast a good range of facilities, they may not always be of a comparable standard to Western European hotels, particularly in terms of service and the variety of food offered. The provision of some basic foods, for example, can be restricted at times, which results in a limited choice of food being offered and, bearing this in mind,we would not recommend Eastern Europe as an appropriate destination for vegetarians or people with specific dietary needs.
Single rooms may not always offer the same facilities or location as twin rooms and the payment of a supplement does not necessarily mean that a twin room will be provided for sole use. Often single rooms are purpose built and intended for sole use only. "Single Savers" do not apply to all single rooms in a property or on all dates.
Cabin rooms are sometimes featured in chalets/apartments and are small internal rooms which may not necessarily have natural light, sometimes with restricted head room. These rooms may have pull-out or bunk beds.
Eaves rooms are so described because they have sloping roofs and beams, often with skylight windows and reduced headroom. These rooms may have pull-out or bunk beds.
Triple rooms are usually based on a standard twin room or standard double for two persons with an additional couch/put-up bed added for the third person that may restrict space. Purpose-built triple rooms are rarely available.
Four-bedded rooms are sometimes available, particularly in North America, and may be based on two queen beds or a king bed with additional couch/put-up beds which may restrict space. Please refer to the brochure description for the type of beds provided - invoices will always show room and then bed type.
Quad rooms are also sometimes available in our European destinations. Such rooms normally comprise a standard twin/double room with additional couch/put up beds being added for third and fourth occupants. This arrangement may restrict space.
Twin-bedded rooms in Austria, Switzerland and some Italian and Slovenian resorts are normally one large base with two mattresses/duvets. These are also known as 'Austrian Twins' and are regarded as two beds. Separate twin beds are rare and cannot be guaranteed as available. Some twin beds may be in ahead to head position.
Please note: unless under occupancy supplements are paid rooms will be allocated in accordance with the number occupying the room. Any room facility supplement will still apply. For example 2 people paying a supplement for a quad room with private bath and shower will receive a room with two (not four)beds. The supplement is payable for the private bath and shower.
North America high season supplements
- Low Season: 01 Dec-09 Dec, 04 Jan-10 Feb, 27 Feb-06 Apr and 11 Apr-30 Apr 2011
- High Season: 17 Dec-30 Dec.
- Mid Season: 10 Dec-16 Dec, 31 Dec-03 Jan, 11 Feb-26 Feb and 07 Apr-10 Apr
North America rooms: rooms are costed on maximum occupancy and the cost of the room is the same regardless of the bed configuration.
Rooms described as superior, suites, junior suites, apartments etc; offer a variety of facilities and room configurations. As these descriptions vary considerably from country to country it is not possible for us to provide a standard description which will adequately cover all the variations. Therefore, please make specific enquiries when booking to ensure the accommodation meets your requirements, particularly for suites and apartments. Rooms that are small, located under the eaves, cabin rooms,in annexe accommodation and suites will be highlighted in the price panels.
- Accommodation in Austria is allocated for you on arrival and you may, on occasion, be upgraded into a larger hotel. Guesthouse accommodation offers bed and breakfast accommodation, although half-board is usually available, taking the evening meal in one of our hotels or in a village restaurant.
- As accommodation is allocated locally, bookings of more than one room cannot be guaranteed to be in the same accommodation,though we will of course endeavour to do so. Rooms booked without private facilities within them may require you to pay a nominal fee for showers provided at that property.
Studios and apartments
All bed linen costs (although not towels unless specifically stated)and local taxes are included in all Crystal prices. All accommodation is basically equipped with cutlery, crockery etc.Kitchenettes usually offer only 2 or 3 hot plates and not ovens,unless advertised to the contrary. Items such as toasters and kettles are not considered to be essential kitchen appliances in Europe and are, consequently, rarely provided. Customers are normally expected to make their own beds on arrival. Please also note that, 'starter' packs are rarely provided and you should, therefore, anticipate purchasing items such as milk, toilet roll, etc. on arrival (or the following day if you arrive late). When more than one apartment is booked of the same or different type, we cannot guarantee they will be in the same block, although a request will be accepted wherever possible (see Special Requests).
Cleaning in apartments: the initial cleaning before your arrival is normally included and, unless specified in the accommodation description, is not provided during your stay. If cleaning is provided it may not be available during public holidays. In some Austrian and French apartments, electricity charges based upon use may be payable locally. Please note: Other residents within the apartment blocks may sometimes have their dogs with them.
In studios/apartments, an inventory deposit against damages or breakages may be collected on arrival or an imprint of your credit card may be required (please check the brochure page). This will usually be between £150 and £250 (but up to £500 for some larger apartments), per studio/apartment, and is refundable on your departure, or later, directly by the local agent if, for example, you are obliged to depart early. It is in your best interests to leave the accommodation as it was found, as deductions for breakages,damage or leaving the accommodation unclean can be made by the local agents. As deposits are normally held by the accommodation owner/management and not Crystal, we cannot become directly involved in situations or disputes that may occur. We would suggest that credit cards or local currency are utilised as UK personal cheques are unacceptable.
End of stay cleaning
Apartment agencies expect the apartment to be left in the state they were found and will usually deduct a 'cleaning charge' if this not done. Upon check-in, the residence will provide their rules and further details on the "end of stay" cleaning required, please check with reception before your departure.
We do not have details of other guests in hotels or apartments and are unable to provide any information in this respect. Neither are we advised of any conference/convention bookings, schools or wedding groups. We are not privy to details of individuals booked in to chalets and Crystal run hotels and, in any event, would not be at liberty to divulge such information. We have no control over the behaviour of other guests and our reps will assist wherever possible if any other guest's behaviour is considered discourteous or anti social.
Apartments in France
These provide excellent value for money and are often in good locations. Check-in is not always until 5pm although a luggage room is usually provided. Late arrivals (after the reception is closed) may only be able to get a full set of keys in the morning. Check-out is usually 10am.
Basic items like toilet paper, cleaning materials, milk, tea and coffee are not always provided unless stated. Apartments must be thoroughly cleaned on departure. Small espresso cups are often provided in older apartments not mugs. Linen is provided but beds are not made up unless stated.
14 night pricing in Europe
Where only 7 night holidays are shown, just add the price of your first week to the price of your 2nd week and subtract £100. Any applicable supplements apply to the final basic price based on 14 nights.
A resort information pack is available on-line and on-mobile from 9-28 days before departure and throughout your stay. Standard internet access and mobile web browsing charges apply (check your mobile tariff for details). We strongly encourage all of our customers to download and print this information pre-departure. If for any reason this service is unavailable or you are unable to do so we will ensure an information pack is available for you (one per couple or group)on arrival at the airport or when you arrive in resort. Please note that the information provided may change from time to time and accuracy cannot be guaranteed but your rep will update you with any changes on arrival if necessary.
Swiss Ladder Policy
Please be advised that Fire safety standards in Switzerland differ to those in the UK and on occasions you may be in a hotel where the fire escape is in the form of an external ladder and/or you may be required to evacuate via another bedroom.
Please ensure you familiarise yourself with the exits and procedures in your hotel on arrival and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact a member of reception or our resort staff.
Families Accepted with Warning and A2 policy
Please be advised that safety standards with regards to balconies differ between countries and on occasions you may be allocated a room whereby the balcony is lower than we would expect in the UK.
For your own safety, please ensure that you take care when on the balcony and do not lean on or over the railings. If you have children below the age of 12 in your party, please ensure they are supervised and not left unattended at any time.