The mountain, looming white and brilliant, the excitement of heading up in the chairlift for your first run, romping around throwing snowballs, making snowmen – we just get foolishly excited by snow. It’s magic. You know you want to get to the snow this winter – but where to stay? Here’s why we’d pick a bach.
1. Log cabins
Is there anything more romantic than a log cabin blanketed in snow? The hush and whisper of snow falling on trees outside your window? Stay in a log cabin and you’ll feel you could be in the Swiss Alps, or a Russian fairy tale. Stoke the fire, light the candles and decide between mulled wine or hot chocolate.
2. Your spot by the fire
One of the great things about staying in a bach is not having to fight for space by the fire, as you would in a lodge or hotel perhaps. Feel free to hog the best spot in front of the flickering flames. Build that fire, sprawl in front of it, toast marshmallows, tell stories, have the children toasty in pyjamas imagining the baying wolves outside…
3. Divide by ten and it’s quite affordable…
Get a group of friends together or rally your favourite rellies - when there’s lots of you, you can afford somewhere larger and more luxurious. The children can entertain each other, people can spread out, and it’s all rather festive and social. Live it up, without breaking the bank. Anyone for a pony-ride in the arena?
4. Drying rooms
Over 100 baches in the Central Plateau have drying rooms. It’s no fun struggling into wet gear so a drying room makes a big difference if you’re skiing for more than one day. Some hostels and lodges have drying rooms too but you’ll need to share. At a bach, it’s good to know your things will be dry, safe and just as you left them.
Every snowflake’s different – so is every bach. Rather than a bland, sterile room off a corridor, you can pick a place that’s unique, and that feels like a home for your holiday. Fancy a 60s decorating theme, to match your taste in music, or to go with someone’s birthday? No problem. Want a slice of history - an old railway cottage, or a stone miner’s house? Check. Need an off-grid eco-lodge with stags’ heads? Got it.
6. Privacy, more privacy and… an outdoor bath?
Sink into hot water, look up at the stars. A bach gives you the privacy to lie back, raise your glass to your beloved, and admire the moon, starkers…
7. Your Kitchen Rules
Cook up a feast after a day on the snow. You don’t have to queue for a stove, or share a kitchen with strangers, or explain your dietary requirements and children’s awkward preferences, before settling for nachos, again. You can eat whatever you choose! Take as long as you want, make a mess, gossip, sip and sample, enjoy the warmth and creativity of it all. Share with your friends and take turns on the cooking – play Masterchef, if you’re the competitive type.
8. It’s just you and your favourite people
Not everyone loves chatting to strangers first thing in the morning. There’s a fair bit of clomping about in queues and squashing together with people you don’t know up in the cafes and rental shops on the slopes. So it’s nice to just hang with your friends or your beloved or your family, and completely relax at the end of the day. You’ve got the time and space to catch up properly, have a laugh and laze around with the people you love most.
Photo Credit: Tiki
9. Games and Toys
When the weather packs in and the skifields are shut you’ve got your own space to spread out it in. You can pick a bach that has stacks of board games, or chess, a pool table, a library to explore, films to watch and toys to play with.
10. Got a baby? Don’t apologize!
Babies and toddlers are adorable! Until they’re not. You might feel a little anxious about your baby’s tendency to wake up in the middle of the night and exercise those powerful lungs. You don’t want to be worrying about the other guests and flimsy walls. Or you might want to avoid a toddler tantrum in a shared dining room. Search for a bach that’s toddler safe and has a cot or highchair or whatever you need. That way when your little darlings are merrily tipping their spaghetti on the floor or singing loudly at 3 a.m. you can smile indulgently and whisper “precious times…”