Fiona Bacon from Wiltshire has been manager at the Chalet Hotel Bérangère in Les Deux Alpes since February 2015. We chatted to her about her work and about living in the French Alps.
• Hi Fiona, how did you make your way to the French Alps? What’s your career background?
By trade I’m a beauty therapist, but in 2008, after a family ski holiday, I decided I’d like to work a ski season. Mark Warner were the first company I applied to. I could have come out to the Alps and continued as a therapist but took a job as chalet staff in the Chalet Hotel Christina in La Plagne instead. I’m now on my 11th season, having been employed in a variety of roles!
• What originally attracted you to working in the hospitality industry?
By nature I’m a sociable person, so the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life in my working day was an attraction.
• What do you do in the summer months?
I’ve worked summers for Mark Warner in Rhodes and Kos, which has given me the opportunity to try sports such as windsurfing, sailing and waterskiing.
• Where do you like to travel when you have some time off?
Between seasons, time off is precious, so I tend to spend it at home catching up with friends and family before leaving again. Marrakech is on my list to visit though.
• What are your favourite places to eat and drink in Les Deux Alpes? What do you like doing when you’re off duty?
The best restaurant in town has got to be La Porte d’à Côté – the food there is delicious, and the atmosphere is great too. If we’re going for après, it tends to be Smokey Joe’s or Umbrella Bar, but if we want a drink in the evening it will be the Windsor Pub or Polar Bear.
• Why would you recommend Les Deux Alpes for those looking to book a ski holiday this year?
As well as the skiing, there’s plenty to do in resort. We’re also well connected with Alpe d’Huez and the off-piste area La Grave. For those travelling with young children, we have a short transfer time from Grenoble airport. We also have guaranteed snow on the glacier.
• What happens at the hotel at Christmas?
This will be my first Christmas at the Bérangère, but we’ll have heaps of decorations, Christmas songs and mulled wine and mince pies around the hotel bar to spread the festive cheer. Christmas Day itself I’ll greet guests at breakfast with Bucks Fizz. Most will go out skiing as usual, then the kids in childcare might have a visit from Father Christmas and sing some carols as well as being kept entertained with festive activities. In the evening there will be a gala dinner in the restaurant, with traditional roast turkey and all the trimmings.
Read more about ski holidays at the Chalet Hotel Bérangère.